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Titan asbl: 25 years of contribution to the development of a digital and semantic universe

To facilitate navigation in this site, we divided the work into four different periods:

 1994-2003 Period: from standards to a digital decoder (Set Top Box)

1993 is a promising year for new initiatives in the field of European broadcasting! Following the failure of the HDMAC / D2MAC project for analogue high definition television, the European industry is setting up DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting). The latter will standardize DVB-S for digital satellite television and shortly thereafter DVB-C for digital cable TV. In this technological concert, ISO standardizes the MPEG2 standard in Singapore in late 1994! All the ingredients (modulation and compression) are available for a Set Top Box prototype project that the Titan non-profit organization launched in March 1994. With the preparatory work of the “Carrefours de l’audio-visuel”, it has in its midst industrial and operational skills required to design and develop a digital television experience.

There is energy to offer superior image resolution, reception in 16:9 format, a significant increase in the content supply via multiplexes of programs, the ability to encrypt one or more program streams (what motivated pay TVs), ... With the available means the association federates a digital transmission via a collaboration of the different actors: the RTBF for the content, Philips for the encoding, Belgacom for the transmission via optical fiber and the association of cable operators for signal reception and decoding. With the help of Philips, the association is also working on the definition of an encryption system (called OSCAR) to demonstrate the possibility for several service providers to live together in the same system!

In 1997, the fever subsided, and Canal + Belgium launches alone in the digital adventure! The decoder is strictly "cable" and the French embedded technology (Mediaguard and MediaHighway), which will not be without consequences on the further development of digital in the FWB (the belgian French speaking community).

The technical development page (decoder and infrastructure) of broadcast turns when the content opens! From 1998, the efforts of the association will focus exclusively on the development of digital solutions in the field of production before those of sustainable archiving.

In 2000, it's the BBC that hits the mark with its "SMEF" (Standard Metadata Exchange Forma)! From this moment the term Metadata becomes omnipresent ... as well as that of “essence” (audio-video) in MXF! The association works in a few projects with the ambition to promote nascent XML! It is also the first time that she has advanced the hypothesis of a digital archiving based on the concept of a website for the project AIME (Intelligent Multimedia Archiving) filed jointly with CIRTEF.

 2003-2008 Period : from standards (ISO-OAIS), to projects (ACE Media, MEMORIES), and initiatives (EMWRT)

It's the irruption of new concepts ... audio-visual production leaves the world of craftsmanship for digital tools! DAM - MAM tools emerge and will rub against the rough character of relational databases!

At the end of 2003, ISO's standardization of the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) will weigh heavily on the development of Titan's vision. It will invest in the promotion of this model that outlines the functions, responsibilities and organization of a system to preserve information (particularly digital data), in the long term, to ensure access to identified user communities. The key word is "interoperability" ... the durability in time is pledge of interchange in space!

Given the importance of the ISO / OAIS model, the Semantic Web and the work of IFLA (FRBR) in the developments of the non-profit organization, descriptions and analysis appear on this website under the “technology” tab.

In 2008, within the European project "MEMORIES", the non-profit association Titan takes the initiative to study and develop AXIS-CSRMbased on an expression of the needs expressed by the "Memory of the World" (MoW) of UNESCO (under the leadership of Ms Joie Springer [Programme Manager] and with contributions from the former head Abdelaziz Habib.)(see UNESCO and TITAN collaboration during the European Memories project (FP6-IST 035300))

Subsequently, projects of the CelticPlus Cluster (MediaMap, MediaMap+), the IASA, the UNESCO and the working groups of the EBU-MIM have largely contributed to the development of the concepts. The general properties and aims of AXIS-CSRM have found an echo in the IASA-OK initiative [of the Organising Knowledge task force of the International Association for Sound and Audio-visual Archives] and in the UNESCO Memory of the World programme.

On the basis of an initiative similar to that of the LoC (Library of Congress), the association organizes from October 2006 (and until 2013), an event entitled: European Media Wrapper Round Table. The EMWRT allowed to regularly confront points of view on the problems of the manipulation of cultural objects (the audio-visual contents, the photographs, the texts and the metadata which characterize them.) All the documents relating to these Conferences figure under the EVENTS tab.

 2008-2014 Period: major projects: MediaMap, MediaMap+ - AXIS-CSRM and AXIS-OK

The period 2008 - 2014 is marked by a significant activity in research and development projects designed and developed within the CelticPlus European Cluster that will deal with the dimensions of information management and communication in the media.

Initiated by the SKEMA Company (a Spin-Off from UTC Compiègne), the MediaMap project opens the ball! The title given to this project is enlightening: it is necessary to be able to map a content to access knowledge! The partners (French / Belgian) are numerous, diligent, ... and the development of Use Cases (Expo 58 - Congo 60) contributes to the acceleration of the apprehension of the underlying information technologies.

In June 2010, the participation in SemTech in San Francisco will amplify the semantic discourse! The time is for related data (LOD: or related open data)! They are an emerging set of concepts and technologies for combining and integrating these data. This exciting branch of the Semantic Web finds applications in many applications for data mining, integration and management.

On the basis of the results obtained by MediaMap, some partners will continue the work within the MediaMap+ project!

During these two projects, the organization has conducted eight years of research and prototyping on a conceptual semantic model (AXIS-CSRM) dealing with the integration of old analog archives, from the evolution of archives to the digital age. , and the internet of things.

In parallel, the IASA, UNESCO and the working groups of the EBU-MIM/MDN will largely contribute to the development of the concepts. The overall properties and objectives of AXIS-CSRM will be echoed in the IASA-OK initiative of the IASA's International Organizing Knowledge Task Force - the International Association for Sound and Audio-Visual Archives. UNESCO's Memory of the World Program.

Finally, the "EMWRT" organized jointly with MediaNet Vlaanderen and the Twist Cluster allow a dissemination of concepts and achievements! The prototypes aim to demonstrate how this approach promotes the semantic enrichment of audiovisual objects in order to allow a broadcaster to easily exchange content, a producer to expand his audience, a distributor to extend his reach and finally to user to more easily access available resources.

 2015-2019 Period: AXIS-GATE, -MOM, -SOW, -OK, IPG4U & the UNESCO

With the active collaboration of students from the IG2I institute in Lens, the association will lead several projects that deal with the enrichment of raw textual content (AXIS-GATE with RTBF), links between real-world physical resources and its digital representations (AXIS-MoM with the Mariemont Museum) and the modeling of an indexing centered on the event concept [Event] for multimedia content (AXIS-SOW with RTBF, Memnon, SGT and Perfect Memory).

For the last project, Titan has laid the foundation for a cross between a synchronous source and representations (text, video, sound, image) around the concept [Event], offering a contribution to the dissemination dynamics on the problems of interoperability.

With IPG4You, the organization is trying to get back to basics ... Concretely, the idea is to dust off the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) conceived in the 90s on the basis of the concept of Teletext! This is to create a common platform exposing in real time all the contents of the channels (French speaking?) gathered on a single application that will be accessible via the remote control on the TV. This platform offers a navigation between the different programs, live or in replay mode, on fixed and mobile screens, with complementary information in "linked open data" mode! Notice to amateurs???

All this work will bring even closer the association of arcana of UNESCO! In 2016, creation of the French and German-speaking Committee "Memory of the World", and in the wake of a Belgian Committee that oversees both committees. From 2017, it is also the chairmanship of the French- and German-speaking Sub-commission "Communication and Information" that instills a new dynamic in the work undertaken: work on the recommendations for the MoW program, for the definition of the indicators of the universality of the internet, OER (Open Education Resources), ...

For UNESCO, public authorities and other heritage holders, the reference is no longer the collection of physical objects, but the concept of "documentary heritage". To ensure selection, protection, representation, transcripts and access to the "Documentary Heritage", the processing of isolated documents is no longer of a sufficient standard because collections must be taken into consideration. objects, sometimes scattered and held in several places or institutions, having a coherence of meanings, that must be represented with their links and in their contexts, potentially in multiple ways, .. These are sets of documents that make sense as a coherent whole in a given context (global, local, intellectual domain [science / culture / political / social / economic ...]). This means that the same document can be found in several "Documentary Heritage" / Register (Community, Regional, UNESCO) depending on the point of view, the context taken; a "Documentary Heritage" may contain documents located in segregated funds; ...

It is indeed the "signified", the meaning of the user's approach that takes precedence! This requires more elaborate work: a knowledge of the internal structure of documents (at least "Named Entities") on the basis of synchronous translations / transcription (textual / symbolic / transmedia ...)., An ability to create links between internal points to documents, ... in order to offer a contextualized and interactive navigation in graphs, trees of knowledge!

Roger Roberts – President - June 2019

All the documents included in this site are public in so far as during their use the reference to the non-profit organization Titan is clearly mentioned.