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Author Topic:   Image Fortress' International Space Archives
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42981
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-29-2008 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Image Fortress release
Image Fortress Launches Online Archive of World's Space Exploration Imagery

Image Fortress today announced that it has launched the International Space Archives, an online digital library organizing the vast collections of still and video imagery produced by the manned and unmanned space programs of the world. Over the past fifty years, the space programs in the United States and other countries have amassed extensive volumes of still and motion picture photography that has been largely inaccessible to the public. The International Space Archives has been designed to make this incredible collection of imagery available to a worldwide audience.

"The International Space Archives is bringing together, for the first time, the best of the still and video imagery produced by these space exploration programs in one comprehensive, well-organized collection," according to Stewart Cheifet, president of the Media Division of Image Fortress. "The photos, films and videos in the archive are coming from a variety of sources including NASA and the space programs of Russia, Japan, China, India, the European Union, and others. Also included in the archives will be the new imagery produced by both the national space programs and the various private space programs that are emerging to allow private citizens to experience the wonder and excitement of space travel."

"As NASA completes its 50th anniversary celebration in 2008 and commemorates the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 8 manned mission to the moon, it is fitting to launch this online archive designed to preserve and make easily accessible to a worldwide audience the incredible visual history of space exploration," said Cheifet.

The International Space Archives will include photos, films, and videos from the more than forty countries that have space exploration and research programs, adding still and video imagery from these programs on a daily basis.

About Image Fortress Corporation

Headquartered in Westford, MA, Image Fortress Corporation is a leading provider to government and private organizations of fully automated, online digital archiving services that ensure the secure, long-term preservation and integrity of electronic documents and still and video imagery. The company's family of DigitalFortress(TM) online digital archiving services is compliant with ISO's Digital Archiving standards and with the National Archives and Records Administration requirements and regulations for Federal government electronic records archiving. The Media Division of Image Fortress operates digital image archives created especially to preserve and make easily accessible historic, rare and one-of-a-kind still and video imagery that chronicles all aspects of the human experience.


Posts: 82
From: Bloomington, Illinois, USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 12-29-2008 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay   Click Here to Email Jay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I for one am not impressed. If that is all of the Apollo era images I had to offer, I would not even bother.

J.L. Pickering
Retro Space Images


Posts: 85
From: Queens, NY, USA
Registered: Nov 2008

posted 12-29-2008 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonCrater1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am very impressed. I bookmarked this site immediately and sampled the images. In the patch section, why are the patches out of order?

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42981
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-29-2008 07:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll be curious to see where they take it from here -- it has potential -- but as a first start, it seems to be a mile yard wide and an inch deep.
  • Example 1: A search for Armstrong returns 26 matches, whereas NASA Images returns 532.

  • Example 2: A search for Leonov returns 0 results, whereas NASA Images return 64.
Were I Image Fortress, I might focus on the "International" in their "Space Archive" title. NASA's image databases have been well tapped and indexed multiple times over.


Posts: 6210
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-29-2008 11:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just looked at some aeronautics shots. There's the photo description and the file size (seen one at 11.2Mb but 0 x 0 pixel!) but what's the point if you can't download them?


LCDR Scott Schneeweis
New Member


posted 12-29-2008 11:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is this a primarily a commercial venture that will be charging for the "privilege" of downloading public domain/tax payer funded images and multimedia? Why would NASA have an interest in participating, particularly given the current initiative to stand-up

Scott Schneeweis

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 42981
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-29-2008 11:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It doesn't appear that NASA is participating, but because the material is public domain, anyone can index and re-purpose their archives.


Posts: 3386
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 12-30-2008 02:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At first glance it seems to me that this is just a collection of scans that are already available in different places on the internet. Why one would want to pay for photos that are already available free of charge is beyond me...

I may be a bit biased here, but the image discs that J.L. Pickering is producing (with some help from me here and there) contain a wealth of images that is hard to match and that even NASA will probably never all put online. J.L. has a unique collection of photos and the prices he charges for the image discs are ridiculous. For a fraction of the price for one scan from, say, Corbis or LIFE, you can have hundreds of unique photos documenting a complete mission, including scores that even I had never seen before.

OK, had to get that off my chest


New Member


posted 01-08-2009 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JHornstein   Click Here to Email JHornstein     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm the Director of the NASA Images Project for Internet Archive, which means that I manage the site I just wanted to clear up a few things:

Image Fortress competed against Internet Archive to have an official role working with NASA to create a site combing all NASA's existing media collections, and making new ones available. The project was eventually awarded to Internet Archive. I believe the fact that Internet Archive is a non-profit and Image Fortress is for-profit was a factor in the decision.

After the project was awarded, Internet Archive looked for a way to work with Image Fortress as a partner in the project, but Image Fortress wanted to manage the entire project, which was not acceptable to Internet Archive, or NASA for that matter.

Image Fortress then hired someone from Internet Archive who had intimate knowledge of Internet Archive's plans and they have now launched their own site.

Image Fortress has no official cooperation from NASA, they are (to the best of my knowledge) simply grabbing images from NASA's public sites or from and posting them on their own site. There is probably nothing illegal in what they are doing since virtually all NASA images are public domain. But I do believe that what they are doing is ethically questionable, at best.

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