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Open Planets Foundation seeks to save world's digital data

10th August 2010

A new international consortium has been launched to preserve the world's intellectual and cultural digital data.

The Open Planets Foundation (OPF), which was founded by organisations including the British Library, the Austrian Institute of Technology and Microsoft, aims to archive documents like family photos and medical records for future generations.

According to the group, there are already more than 100 gigabytes of data for every person on the planet but this is more easily lost than information stored in traditional media such as paper and parchment.

The project, which is continuing the work of the four-year European Commission Planets scheme, aims to source data from hundreds of libraries, archives, universities and businesses and create new ways of storing it over the long term.

Adam Farquhar, head of digital library technology at the British Library, commented: 'Preserving our ability to access digital content in the future is one of the great challenges of our age.'

OPF executive director Bram van der Werf said that the project will continue the work of the world's great libraries and universities to 'preserve for posterity the intellectual and cultural history of the human race'.

Last month, the British Library launched the trial of the UK SoundMap scheme, which aims to chart the UK's 'acoustic landscape', in Sheffield.
 

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