Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: Film-Based Imaging

Magazine article Information Management

Book Review: Film-Based Imaging

Article excerpt

Film-Based Imaging: New Views and Applications is a book with a forwardsounding title that appears to move beyond the world of micrographics and into the new world of imaging, offering new insight about an area of technology and the challenges of managing information today. It is, instead, a minimally updated version of the classic Micrographic Systems originally written by Daniel Costigan (first and second editions) and William Saffady (third edition). This book may disappoint those looking for a great store of new information; however, it holds its value as a good primer on micrographics.

Author Don Avedon has presented us with a work that acknowledges its own pedigree in the forward, however it is largely a reprint of Saffady's 1990 version. Without the title and the associated preconceptions, what is left is a very informative guide to micrographic systems.

Concepts, types of microforms, film processing, input/output equipment, and cost analysis are covered in such a way as to be a useful introduction for the novice and a detailed reference guide for the manager. The virtues of Saffady's work are well known, and there is little need to repeat a review of the third edition, except to illustrate points of comparative change within Avedon's book.

The most important but least satisfying change is the addition of a final chapter, which is the justification for the book's title change. If Chapter Eight, "Hybrid Systems and Applications," had been written in the same exhausting and detailed fashion as the rest of the book, it might have been a useful step toward defining where the field of micrographics is heading, both technologically and conceptually. Regrettably, this chapter uses only two brief pages to mention equipment: reader-scanners and the M drive. A discussion of actual and potential applications fares little better. There is no discussion of scanning methodologies for various types of source documents, associated technologies for character recognition, indexing, or the truly innovative hybrid systems emerging in today's market. The remainder of the chapter comprises case studies, which, while interesting, offer little evaluation or analysis that could be useful to others.

One of the most important and useful chapters is Chapter Seven, "Cost Analysis. …

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