We held our first Islandora Camp in San Diego last week, with many thanks to our hosts at San Diego State University. The overall structure followed our now tried-and-true pattern for camps: one day of general sessions introducing Islandora and community that builds it, one day of hands-on workshops with tracks for front-end administrators or developers, and one day with sessions taking a closer look at individual sites and tools. The near-release maturity of Islandora CLAW added some excitement to our workshops, as we did our level best to fit a couple of days worth of learning into eight hours. We'll be tuning the balance between the two stacks as camp continue forward, but thankfully next year's Islandoracon will allow plenty of time for both stacks to shine.
Day three is always a favorite for camp instructors, as we get a chance to join the audience and see what people are doing with Islandora out in the world. We saw some great use of Diego Pino's Islandora Multi Importer as an integral part of SDSU's Islandora workflow in Katie Romibiles session Islandora at San Diego State University. This was followed by Islandora Batch Uploader, a tool from Western Washington University that dropped jaws as David Bass fed it random images from a collection and it handed back accurate tags and a suggested abstract, using some pretty slick AI tools. Seriously, check this out:
Continuing the theme of using AI with Islandora, Tommy Keswick from Caltech showed us how they're using AI tools to hep OCR make sense of handwritten documents in his session Analyzing bulk OCR Results Among Mixed Typed and Handwritten Documents. We followed with a couple of sessions more focussed on the technical side, looking at ways to tweak Islandora's speed with Apache Camel in Islandora, Fedora, Camel: Getting Over the Hump, or to set up for a migration with the Move to Islandora Kit. Finally, a close look at the University of Tenessee Knoxville's experiences with moving to Islandora-as-IR in UTK’s IR Submission Workflow: Students submit directly into the repository? Sure, why not?.
What's next for Islandora events? We'll be holding a single Camp next June in Dübendorf, just outside of Zürich, Switzerland, and then doing a whole week of Islandora at Islandoracon in Vancouver, BC. Our Camp roster for 2020 is wide open, so if your institution is interested in being a host, please drop us a line!