Education and Research


Kim H. Veltman

Acceptance of CAPIRE PRIZE 1996

Mr. President, your Honour, the Mayor, distinguished guests, I am deeply grateful for the honour that is bestowed upon me through this prize which I accept on behalf of our team, for it is as much theirs1 for having built the system as mine for having had the idea.

r to these isles is first struck by a very different approach to time. Indeed to a Northerner when things begin over an hour "late" one immediately thinks in terms of some unforeseen disaster. Yet as I stand here and witness a full moon rising majestically over these magical islands, I am conscious that a different sense of organization is in place, one which integrates even the moon and nature in its scheme.

Standing on this island where Hippocrates was born, next to Socrates Beach, one is very conscious of a great philosophical and cultural heritage. Traditionally the details of this heritage were always local. One had to go to the place to see its special features. In a sense this will always be the case and yet the revolution that is being honoured by this prize is transforming aspects of that experience. For the past decade our team has been working on a System for Universal Media Searching (SUMS), which serves as a new interface for systematic access to the Internet. Last year SUMS was chosen as one of 19 Canadian projects at the first G7 exhibition on the Information Society (Brussels) and at the World Summit (Halifax). At those meetings it was proposed that the G7 should sponsor 11 pilot projects covering a range of topics: a global inventory of projects, global interoperability, education, libraries, museums, environment, global emergencies, health, government, small and medium enterprises and maritime information systems. Of these, pilot project five on museums, officially termed, Multimedia Access to World Cultural Heritage, is being headed by Italy. It has four sections: capture (the Canadian NRC laser camera, Ottawa), archive (multimedia system of the Museum for the History of Science, Florence), display (a virtual reality version of the tomb of Nefertari by ENEL/Infobyte, Rome) and navigate (SUMS, Toronto).

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