Digital Archives of Engineering Images:
Lessons from the Arts

Kirk Martini
Assistant Professor of Architecture and Civil Engineering
Department of Architecture, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA 22903

Published in Information Representation and Delivery in Civil and Structural Engineering Design, B. Kumar and A. Retick eds. Edinburgh: Civil-Comp Press, from The International Conference on Information Technology In Civil And Structural Engineering Design 14th-16th August 1996 in Glasgow Scotland, pp. 93-97.

Note: Previously, this paper was posted on the web in its entirety, however since its early 1998 acceptance for publication in the journal Advances in Engineering Software, copyright agreements have dictated that it be posted in abstract form only.


The paper identifies and describes issues involved in creating archives of engineering images accessible via the world wide web. Digital imaging and the web are two key information technologies of the 1990s, and offer new opportunities. The paper reviews five key issues relating to digital image archives: image representation, image processing, documentation, searching, and standards. Particular attention is given to approaches being developed by museums and other arts organizations. The paper also briefly describes and contrasts web-based image archives under development. Image enhancement and query by image content are identified as particularly important issues.