Achievements & Contributions
Thanks to the efforts of numerous institutions and organizations throughout the years, TELDAP has accumulated a wealth of digitization experiences and materials. Moreover, better conditions for development have been created, and an impetus for the national development of digital content has been established. In an overall planning to build digital content, this national project has called for digitization of artifacts housed in national institutions and collections held in private organizations through a flexible public selection mechanism, placing digital archive content representative of Taiwanese culture under this project. From 2002-2007 the National Digital Archives Program cataloged the metadata of 2.02 million artifacts and 3.52 million digitized images (including video and text data). The contents span the entire spectra of humanities and nature. They have been divided into six categories: Biosphere and Nature, Lives and Culture, Archives and Databases, Maps and Architecture, Art and Illustrations, and Languages and Multimedia. These digitalized items are all available to the general public through the Union Catalog of Taiwan Digital Archives. In addition, the National Science and Technology Program for e-Learning has collected more than 35,000 digital learning courses (a total of 110,000 hours), from 2003 to 2007. Organizations involved in this process include the Council for Cultural Affairs of the Executive Yuan, Industrial Development Bureau of the MOEA, National Palace Museum, Council of Labor Affairs of the Executive Yuan, Department of Health of the Executive Yuan, Council for Hakka Affairs of the Executive Yuan, Council of Indigenous Peoples of the Executive Yuan, Ministry of Education, and Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission. These organizations provide multifaceted courses, and new management and reward incentives have been implemented to promote e-learning. There have been millions of logins for these courses, realizing the idea of life-long learning. The Ministry of Education has announced rules and regulations for distance education at college level and above and allowed educational institutions in specific fields to experiment in e-learning Master refresher courses, thereby opening the door for Internet-based advanced degrees. In addition, rules for university distance education have given e-learning a legal status equaling to university-level education, providing a legal framework for carrying out e-learning. All of these developments signify that Taiwan has embraced e-learning and modified its learning model accordingly.
Because of advances of Information Technology, Taiwan leads the world in Chinese data processing, including phonetic processing and Chinese computational linguistics. Taiwan’s achievements in digital documentation are also in the leading position in the world. Substantial results have been achieved in Sinology databases, humanities and social computing and educational software. In addition, TELDAP has laid solid foundations for multimedia management, union catalog, audio-visual processing, metadata retrieval, Chinese missing character and segmentation system, panorama object image integration systems, digital archive databases and temporal-spatial information integration systems.
More importantly, Taiwan has comparative advantages in IT manufacturing and services, and has highly developed IT and Internet infrastructures. Taiwanese scholars also have advantages in interpreting Chinese culture and history. Taiwanese academic organizations have long participated in international collaborations to solve Chinese textual and phonetic issues. The digital advantage has opened the doors to cooperation with other cultures in Sinology studies. As one example, the rare book management system developed by the Fu Ssu-Nien Library of Academia Sinica has led to collaboration with the Library of Congress, Harvard Yen-ching Library, and the East Asian Library of Princeton University in the establishment of a database for digitized ancient Chinese books. In addition, many institutes in European, American and East Asian nations have also expressed a strong desire to cooperate in developing technology for processing historical documents and share Sinology resources.
In the area of industrial development, the production value of e-learning climbed from NT$700 million in 2002 to NT$12 billion in 2007, a compound annual growth rate of 57%. The rate of internal e-learning implementation in companies with the top 1000 production value in Taiwan increased from 14% in 2003 to 52% in 2007. Most major corporations in the high-tech industry, financial services industry, information industry, traditional industry and distribution industry have implemented e-learning programs. These companies include, just to name a few, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc., Acer Inc., United Microelectronics Corporation, China Steel Corporation, Chinatrust Commercial Bank, First Commercial Bank, Sinon Corporation, China Motor Corporation, and China Airlines. As human talent forms the core resource of corporations, assisting corporations in establishing an e-learning human resources management system will boost their international competitiveness. Moreover, when companies promote internal e-learning, 85% of them choose a local learning platform solution (foreign solutions often chosen are IBM, Oracle and Saba). Local companies providing such solutions include: LearningDigital.com, aEnrich Technology Corporation, CyberLink Corporation, Over-Paradigm Technology Inc., HamaStar Technology Corporation, Taiwan Knowledge Bank Corporation, KSI Co., Ltd., CoreLight Digital Technology Co., Ltd. and SUN NET Technology Co., Ltd. These companies have established an industrial scale. With improvements in digital technology, changes in the public’s learning methods and support from government, digital content industries have unlimited potential, and production values are expected to grow rapidly in the next five years.
To promote e-learning, ELNP has built a foundation for the e-learning industry. The next stage will focus on expanding the international market and exporting international e-learning content based on Taiwan’s strengths, such as mathematics, science, medicine, digital game-based learning and information education. At the same time, knowledge creation, accumulation, sharing and renewal will be carried out to drive the knowledge economy. With the increase in the speed of innovation and the shortening of renewal cycles, workers in all industries (especially knowledge-intensive ones) can quickly acquire and renew professional knowledge and skills. After incorporating digital archives and e-learning, TELDAP will upgrade the “corporate knowledge web” to an “industrial knowledge web” for better integration of collective intelligence and improved competitiveness in the knowledge economy era.
Within the framework of the entire project, and through the open request-for-proposals mechanism, continuing support will be given to digitized content that represents Taiwan’s local digital archives, and private organizations are encouraged to join in the digital archives program. Through education, the spirit of the archive and the contents of the cultural artifacts in the archive will be passed on to the next generation and, through teaching activities, the meaning and cultural spirit of cultural artifacts will be transplanted to people’s hearts, allowing them to be passed on forever. As a result, cultural artifacts will have more meaning and wider influence than if they are kept in a corner or an organization.
Digital technology has greatly changed the way people collect and share experiences, send messages, communicate feelings, acquire knowledge and create culture. Multimedia technology has also combined digital text, images and audio-visual data into a single electronic device, drastically changing traditional methods of creation and access. Many countries have recognized these new digitization and Internet trends and are carrying out related work. With the digital content growing quickly today, these countries have realized that in order to be successful in the twenty-first century, a leading position in the digital world is essential, and one key to this is transforming achievements of civilization from textual format to digital information.
Compared to projects in other nations worldwide, TELDAP is the only digitization engineering project that utilizes national resources to archive important cultural artifacts and the only one that has created an interdisciplinary database through content-based technology. Thus even though archive contents may be scattered in individual organizations, data exchange and integration can be achieved through common metadata. Information related to biology, literature, arts, and the humanities can be acquired through the single portal of the Union Catalog. The further bonding of digital archives and e-learning will make TELDAP the most comprehensive and integrated digital initiative in the world in terms of platform, technology, content, training, application and marketing. Thus, TELDAP has become a learning model for foreign countries in terms of content, technology, application and management of the project.
It is hoped that TELDAP’s efforts will showcase Taiwan’s unique culture and bio-diversity as well as its spirit to the world. This will also allow international scholars to get to know about Taiwan and its rich and diverse resources and convey Taiwan’s culture to the world..