Perpetuating Canada’s memory with digital archives
Library and Archives Canada, the fourth largest library in the world, has launched a new initiative to migrate its extensive archives onto a digital platform.
The institution hopes that this large-scale project will make its grand archive of historical and modern records easier for Canadians to navigate. Representing one of the biggest digital preservation programmes initiated globally, it is estimated that over 7Pb of data will be processed.
Containing documents such as genealogies and family histories, published works, theses from Canadian universities since 1965 and governmental records, LAC’s archives are an extensive and far-reaching collection of national importance.
Discussing the new digital archive, Sylvain Bélanger, Director General of LAC, hoped that it would enable access to the library’s material in a more practical way.
“In the past, we used multiple products and approaches to address different streams, but with this new centralized system we’ll be at the forefront of digital ingest and preservation, and we can focus on delivering practical ways of helping Canadians to innovate using information from the collection.”
Delivering tech solutions
Helping LAC to deliver its digital archive project is Preservica, a leading digital preservation software developer, and cloud-tech solutions provider TeraMach. The former will ensure the integrity of the archive, whilst the latter will assist in the design, installation and maintenance of the overall structure.
“It’s an honour to play a role in helping to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada now and for future generations,” said Mike Quinn, CEO of Preservica.
“Being part of such a large-scale digital preservation program is an ideal opportunity to showcase how Preservica is helping organizations scale their archives and increase the use of unique digital assets to enrich citizen services and cultural initiatives.”
Hunter Li, President and CEO of TeraMach, expressed similar appreciation for having been chosen for such a prestigious project. "The new platform will use the AWS cloud infrastructure in Canada as part of the TeraMach Cloudx solution.”
“This important award allows us to showcase the advanced and comprehensive IT solutions that are embodied in TeraMach Cloudx, which enables express connectivity to a broad array of SaaS provider solutions including AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and Preservica,” he said.
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Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.