The Fourth Annual Fulbright Research Conference “Small Places Can Change the World” in Skopje, Macedonia (March, 2009)

The Fourth Annual Fulbright Research Conference “Small Places Can Change the World” in Skopje, Macedonia (March, 2009). The conference had its focus on nurturing economic development and innovation in small countries. I have presented a lecture about Digitization, Computer Assisted Translation and Translation Memory. For additional information please visit http://www.fulbrightacademy.org/

Photos from the conference can be found at http://www.flickr.com/groups/fulbright2009/

 

UNESCO “Training the Trainers in Information Literacy” Workshop

 The UNESCO “Training the Trainers in Information Literacy” Workshop hosted by the Department of Information Management & Faculty of Education of Hacettepe University has taken place in Ankara, Turkey, from 3-5 September 2008. I have meet a lot of interesting people there and gained a certificate for Trainer in Information Literacy.

As a concept, Information Literacy is a set of skills that embrace the entire life cycle of knowing how to define one’s information needs, then to find, evaluate, and communicate and effectively use the retrieved information. Information Literacy is, in turn, the keystone to Lifelong Learning.   

An information literate individual is a self-directed individual capable of knowing how to learn throughout his/her entire lifespan.

You can find some more pictures from the workshop if you visit my public picture gallery or the "official" picture gallery. I want to thank you to the organizers of the workshop, especially to Prof. Serap Kurbanogly (picture on the right) who had made us all feel warmly welcomed in Ankara. 

Also, I would like to thank you Prof. Yasar Tonta (picture on the left) for the warm welcome and for the professional talks that we had during the entire workshop. I am more than sure that I will have the opportunity to start a professional colaboration with this two great colleagues for which I have great respect. 

 I strongly recommend to all of you to visit Turkey and Ankara and to see the excellent  educational opportunities offered by the Academics from this beautiful country. 

 

The Fourth SEEDI Conference "Digitization of cultural and scientific heritage", Belgrade, Serbia, June 12-15, 2008

I had a lecture about "Digitization and Translation Memory as a Building Block for Cultural Heritage Preservation in the Context of Machine Assisted Translation" at the The Fourth SEEDI Conference Digitization of cultural and scientific heritage that held it’s place in Belgrade, Serbia, June 12-15, 2008. The aim of the Conference was to present and exchange experiences with new information technologies, standards and the other fields in the area of digitization of cultural and scientific heritage, including, but not limited to:

  • describing and representations of heritage objects and documentation about them,
  • processing of digitized content,
  • Presentation and long term preservation of digitized content.

It’s really funny, but the long term preservation was one of the main questions that I have ask the keynote speaker Ahmed N. Tantawy, (picture above) who spoke about The Eternal Egypt Project - IBM Innovation in the Digitization of Heritage. Unfortunately, Mrs. Tantawy didn’t reply to my e-mail about the digitization and preservation of the Cultural heritage in the case of the Megalithic observatory Kokino, 4th on NASA world list. IBM  is missing a great opportunity  to start a project and use his Egyptian experience and thus improve the presentational and preservation activities of its digitization researchers. The invitation stands open and I am more than sure that if IBM is interested in transferring the knowledge management in order to learn from their digitization experiences the financial resources offered by my country will be the smallest problem. 

As stated previously in my report from the last year’s SEEDI, most of the presentations of the SEEDI network are not concentrated on the issue of the Long-term preservation of the digitized content since most of the people from the SEEDI network are Professors of Mathematics and Informatics and not Information Scientists (The information architecture of the CMS is quite different than the architecture of Digital Library (DL) or even Scientific Repository (SR)).

 

My humble opinion is that EU is spending its people’s money in vain trying to build a network of “researchers” and “scientists” instead of learning from the best practices of the Large Scale Digitization initiatives and examples of successful DL&SR all around the world. Information Science professionals (like myself) are the key people and can offer better and more effective solutions for the problems that will arise in the next 3-5 years since most of the projects run in the SEEDI network don’t have the evolutionary path toward the real trends in the IS research field.

   

Information Technology and Journalism conference, 

Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2008

The 13-th International Conference on Information Technology and Journalism have taken it's place at the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik, May 19-23, 2008. The conference was organized by the faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb and the Department of Information Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb.

This year the conference has been devoted to the topic of New Public and New Media. I have presented my research "Digitization and Translation Memory as a Building Block for Cultural Heritage Preservation in the Context of Machine Assisted Translation" in front of my Mentor Prof. Damir Boras and colleagues from the Faculty of Phisophy in Zagreb.

To be quite honest, I was pretty satisfied by my digitization expertise and the knowledge in Information Science at the time of the conference. It was an excellent opportunity to show my passion for my profession in front of my colleagues and to meet some interesting journalism students from Zagreb. I will have to say a big “THANK YOU” to the organizers, especially to my PhD mentor Prof. Damir Boras who has provided me with this opportunity to attend the event. Hope to see you all next year in Dubrovnik.

 

Karl Franzens University Graz, Austria 

    From 01.03-01.04.2008 I was awarded a Teacher CEEPUS scholarship for the Karl Franzens University of Graz. It was an excellent opportunity for me to present and talk about my researches and my expertise in the field of digitization. I had some 5 lectures at the University Library at the end of my stay as a CEEPUS scholarship:

Mittwoch, 26. 03., 14:00 h - 17:30 h
1. Optical Character Recognition of Slavic Rare Books: An introduction to Pattern Recognition Techniques on Rare Books written in non-existing languages i.e. old Macedonian
2. The use of digital camera in the process of Rare Books Digitization: An introduction of the Abbyy Finereader 9.0 and it's new features in Second-generation Digital Camera OCR
Donnerstag, 27.03., 15:00 h - 18:30 h
3. EBSCO database: Visual search 2d Vs 3D interface and possible future 3D graphical interface for Digital Libraries
4. How to promote your library in the Web 2.0 digital environment using social tools: Blogger, Facebook, MySpace

Freitag, 28.03., 13:00 h - 16:30 h  

5. Digital preservation challenge: An historical overview of the various research initiatives and some recommended solutions by international teams of scientists dealing with the subject

    During the month spend in Graz I had some interesting meetings with the people from the Information Science field: Dr. Karl Zotter (the Director of the University Library with whom I have talked about the preservation problems of the library material), Mr. Karl Lenger (Head of the Digitization Centre  – TRAVENTUS scan robot used at the centre – very interesting approach but some software improvement can be (should) be done), Mr. Erich Reinhard and Mr. Manfred Mayer from the VESTIGIA manuscript center (I had worked with the digitization stand that uses digital camera for digitization of Manuscript, Rare and Fragile books).

    Anyway, just before the end of the stay I had a meeting with Mr.  Hubert Stigler (about the use of FEDORA at the Uni Graz) and Mr. Branko Tosovic (GRALIS Corpora Linguistics).

Last but not least, I would like to thank my CEEPUS coordinator Mr. Peter Deutschmann who puts a great deal of effort to help foreign scholars without whom all these meetings would be impossible and unfruitful. 


BOBCATSSS 2008 Symposium, Zadar, Croatia

   BOBCATSSS is an annual symposium organized by students at a number of universities in Europe. It takes place under the auspices of EUCLID (European Association for Library and Information Education and Research) and deals with themes from library and information science. Every year it is organized, managed and filled with content by students from an Eastern and Western European university. The universities have in common that they educate in the field of Library and Information sciences. Target groups of the BOBCATSSS-Symposiums are information specialists, students, professors in the field of Library and Information Education and Research and employees of libraries and information departments.

    I have actively participated with my poster presentation which is still actual especially after the Abby Finereader 9.0 version which includes Second-generation Digital Camera OCR.


Strategy development for the digitization of special collections within the NUL in order to protect and provide access to the Macedonian written cultural heritage

  The Workshop was held at the National and University Library "St. Kliment Ohridski". I have accepted the invitation from the Director of NUBSK to participate at the workshop with my presentation, but it seems to me that the unprofessional approach is something that I am getting used to when it comes to my colleagues from the National Library. I will need to emphasize the unprofessional approach by Mrs. Zlata Talaganova who changed my presentation schedule 24 hours before the workshop and didn't introduce me in front of my colleagues at the  official introduction!

    Nevertheless, in spite of everything that happened to me that day, I have find a strength to held my presentation and accented the importance of experts in the role of the digitization process and gave the perfect examples of how to make the digitization process more cheaper and effective. You can download my power point presentation titled: "Digitization of Macedonian Rare Books written in non-existing languages" which lasted around 45 minutes.


 COBISS 2007 Conference
"COBISS – SUPPORTING INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE"

    The Annual COBISS conference"COBISS – SUPPORTING INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE" held its place in Hotel Habakuk, near Maribor, Slovenia (28–29 November 2007). I have participated at the conference in order to get an insight to the COBISS OPAC which is used by the National and University Library in Skopje.

    To quote my colleague Alenka Kavcic-Colic from the National and University Library in Ljubljana, Slovenia “COBISS is a dinosaur!”. It seems that the Slovenian business lobby in Macedonia is still strong and that we wont have the opportunity to experience more advanced OPAC’s in the near future on the national level. As always, it is a real pity and shame that most of the important issues concerning the Information Science are made by unprofessional people who don’t seems to have a vision for the future development of the one of the most important sciences in the networked world today. The lack of knowledge management, i.e. information management professionals in my country will become a bigger problem for the years to come, and everyday work  from my colleagues from the National University Library “St. Kliment Ohridski” are a real proof for my pessimist (but realistic) predictions.


My interview about OCR/Digital Libraries for national A1 TV 

(The interview is on Macedonian Language)   


 SEEDI “Digitization of Cultural and Scientific Heritage” conference

    The Third SEEDI “Digitization of Cultural and Scientific Heritage” conference held its place in Cetinje, Montenegro (13-th until 15-th of  September 2007). 

    South Eastern Europe Digitalization Initiative conference was a nice opportunity for me to meet some interesting people that work for the Macedonian Ministry of culture that have made an short review of the whole conference at the web site of the Macedonian Cultural Heritage Protection Office. 

Anyway, I have seen some amazing presentations using Fedora DL architecture (done by Mr. Georgios Markakis) along with some trendy 3D presentations of the cultural institutions in

Sarajevo.  Long story short  - we shouldn't expect too much from the digitalization initiative in South Eastern Europe! It will be done mainly by  Technical faculties and National Libraries and  will not include the recommendations of Information Scientists and Digital Library experts which are not involved in the whole process at all.

I have presented my work done so far in the field of digitalization/OCR of Cultural Heritage done with cheaper methods than the conventional ones. Having in mind that there is a big money laundering involved in the whole process (UNESCO and EU fonds), national representatives from the region will be more interested in doing it with expensive equipment and international DL companies.

However, it is pretty obvious that Croatia seems as the unofficial leader of the whole process and we can only hope that the EU and UNESCO will appreciate their hard work in the field of Library and Information Science. For more pictures from the        conference visit my public photo gallery at http://picasaweb.google.com/poposkidimitar/ 

  

 

 International Conference on Knowledge Management 2007

My researches were also accepted on the 4th International Conference on Knowledge Management 2007 that have taken place in the heart of Vienna which was a huge success for me. Unfortunately, being unable to pay 490 euro for the registration I haven’t participated with my 15 minutes presentation. I think that a lot of you will agree that it is a pure insanity to give my 2 month salary for a 2 day conference.

Being in Vienna provided me with the opportunity to visit International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and OSCE and to talk with the Information managers and colleagues over there about possible employment or use of my services. Needles to say, I have demonstrated my skills along with the future use of OCR and provided them with some practical advices on how to improve theirs OCR accuracy and build a cheap digital library using my services.

Well, what can I say: The US and EU views on creating and using a digital library/ scientific repository and the use of OCR software are quite different! Since my main progress was done at Rutgers Alexander’s Library (i.e. in USA) I can say that I will always prefer more advanced OCR techniques and the use of new cheap technology instead of use of expensive and old technology which is at the same time less efficient. Not to mention the professionalism approached by the Institution in the research development that will serve as an important factor staying on track with the rapid changes of todays information society.

LIBRARIES IN THE DIGITAL AGE (LIDA) 2007

LIBRARIES IN THE DIGITAL AGE (LIDA) 2007

The themes of this year's conference where

Part I. Users and Use of DL.

Part II. Economics and digital libraries.

I have meet a lot of people over there and again actively participated with my "futuristic" poster about OCR done with cheap point and shoot digital camera. A lot of people where again interested in my work (some of them where sceptical about the whole issue) and my researches. Well, I can only tell you that my researches are distinguished and they have great results, sometimes better than most of the expensive scanners used at International Libraries.
Since most of my work was done almost 2 years ago you should check the site of ABBYY who has recently published the tips & tricks for using your digital camera for OCR!
Well, I was always a way a head of time (and it seems that that my biggest problem in finding a decent job around the world) and I am very aware of that but as M.C. Escher would have said:  

"Only those who attempt the absurd 
will achieve the impossible."

 

 TERRA INCOGNITA : ART OF LIBRARIANSHIP Third international convention of Slavic Librarians in Sarajevo 19-23 April 2007 

At the Sarajevo conference I have done 2 different presentations:

I  Advanced OCR of Rare Books and Special Collections Using cheap digital cameras
II  3D Visual Search pre
sentation about the Interface Design of the future web search.

I had a great honour to meet in person Mr. Jens Redmer, Director of Google Book Search (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and have a talk with him about the OCR problems that Google is dealing with on his Google book Project on digitalizing the World biggest University Libraries and making the books accessible for everyone. For more info visit http://books.google.com/.

I must thank him for his high professional approach and his ability to look you straight in the eyes and talk/listen about my OCR passion in recognizing every possible World language (living or dead/pictured or graphic/Egyptian hieroglyphs or Maya logograms).

I've also meet some old friends (Thank you/Hello to Vaska Sotirov-Djukic - pioneer of the BiH digitization process! From my point of view she had one of the best presentations on the conference) and new ones also: Mr. and Mrs. Lea and Wolfgang Klotz from www.ceeol.com, Mrs. Janet I. Crayne, Vanja Kenjic (great presentation about e-business and e-libraries), Samir Lisancic, Mladen Vukovic and a lots of other colleagues. 

Sofia 8-10 November 2006
Globalization, Digitization, Access, and Preservation of Cultural Heritage

I have participated at Sofia 2006 conference from 8-10 November 2006 "Globalization, Digitization, Access, and Preservation of Cultural Heritage" with my poster presentation.

As most of you may know, my passion for my profession is more than obsession. Since my professional surroundings at the Faculty of Philology “Blaze Koneski” i.e. the Dean and The Chief of my Department are not capable to understand or appreciate my professional achievements and my passion for OCR - I have donated blood in order to be in the Sofia conference and get 2 free days from my work. I have paid for all the expenses for the conference that were equal to my one-month salary.

I meet a lot of people over there, made some new (hello to Marie Bryan, Mats Dahlstrom, Laura Fernandez, Paul Fisher, Marta Mestrovic Deyrup (THANK YOU!), Jacqueline Solis, Urim Sallauka, Jon Guillian, Ypapanti Kytta, Alan Hopkinson, Dusan Katuscak, Focko Robbert van Berckelaer, Vaska Sotirov Djukic, Serap Karbanoglu, Conor D. Partee, Manfred Mayer, Lenka Danevska-sorry if I forgot somebody! Send me an e-mail so we can stay in touch) and old friends (hello to Niksa and Sanjica) from the LIDA 2006 conference in Croatia. I recommend this conference to all of you.  LIBRARIES IN THE DIGITAL AGE (LIDA) 2007 Dubrovnik and Mljet, Croatia 28 May – 2 June 2007

If somebody want to meet me again this is a great opportunity. Hope to see you all at the LIDA 2007. If you have some interesting conferences in Europe please leave a comment on my blog or just send me an e-mail and for your convenience I wil post the link here.

You can see some of the pictures from Sofia 2006 at my photosite directory. I still dont have a camera so If somebody can send me pictures from my poster presentation or my poster I will be more than grateful.

At the end, I want to say a big THANK YOU to Tatiana Nikolova-Houston from the University of Texas at Austin http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~slavman/hypertexts/ who understand my work and helped me financially (100$) to save some money and to buy a semi-professional camera for my work.
THANK YOU again from the bottom of my heart!

LIBRARIES IN THE DIGITAL AGE (LIDA) 2006 Dubrovnik and Mljet, Croatia 29 May – 3 June 2006

Being part of this International Conference was a valuable experience for me and my passion for OCR.

I have won Second place at the posters session for Professional Achievement for my work in the field of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and met a lot of interesting people there. On the picture you can see the actual moment of the award ceremony. On the left is Tefko Saracevic and on the right is me.

The themes for LIDA 2006 were:
Part I. Cultural, social and institutional effects and place of digital libraries.
Part II. Building a digital library for children and young adults
For more information you can visit the site at http://www.ffos.hr/lida/
I will just like to express my gratitude to my advisor Tefko Saracevic for the inspiration, Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic for inviting me at the conference and a big THANK YOU to Marija Dalbello for all the support.See you all next year at LIDA 2007.