Public Release: 

Internet access to nature sounds and bird videos

Cornell University

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The contents of the world's largest collection of nature sounds and videos of birds in their natural habitats soon will be accessible to the general public via the Internet, thanks to a gift of computer equipment to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology by EMC Corp.

When the new system goes online in 2003, Internet visitors to the Cornell lab's Macaulay Library web site will be able to hear any of hundreds of thousands of digital sound recordings, view video clips and order custom-recorded DVDs of their favorite birds. Scientific researchers, conservationists and citizen-scientists involved in ornithology projects will have Internet access to recordings they need for their work. And broadcasters and other users of high-quality video will get material via Internet2 lines.

"We're tremendously excited about this important gift from EMC," said John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "Thanks to their generosity, we will be able to apply technology developed by industry leaders and apply it to protecting birds and their habitats. We're looking forward to implementing our vital conservation and education mission in ways far beyond what we could have imagined without this gift from EMC."

The Hopkinton, Mass.-based corporation is a world leader in systems to store, protect, move, manage and access digital information. The gift to the Macaulay Library includes:

  • an EMC Symmetrix storage system with 10 terabytes of storage for streaming sounds and video over the Internet and maintaining all of the lab's digital assets (1 terabyte equals 1 trillion bytes of digital information; by comparison, typical desktop computers offer 20 to 30 gigabytes, or billion bytes, of hard drive memory);

  • an EMC Celerra network server and dedicated Symmetrix for delivering high-definition video over large bandwidth connections, including Cornell's network and Internet2;

  • project design, integration management and engineering support, including hardware support for three years;

  • the EMC Avalon IDM software suite, to manage data movement between online and nearline storage; and

  • publishing and distribution models to generate multiple video formats, including uncompressed deep-archive and broadcast quality, to publish paid-for content as well as for reviewing, editing and Internet browsing.

Commenting on the new system, EMC Executive Chairman Mike Ruettgers said: "Technology has been a driving force of change in the field of education. EMC is especially focused on supporting educational programs in today's information- and technology-intensive economy, especially in the areas of math and science. We are delighted to help the Cornell Lab of Ornithology enable greater access to their data library and offer enhanced services to its students and researchers."

The storage systems and servers are located on the main campus, in the Rhodes Hall home of the Cornell Theory Center, while the ingest stations and other equipment will move to the Library of Natural Sounds' new quarters in the I.P. Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity, currently under construction in Sapsucker Woods, when that facility opens in 2003.


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