Digital Multimedia

Digital Multimedia

N. C. Rowe
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-953-3.ch002
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Multimedia data can be important assets of government computer systems. Multimedia data can be documents, statistics, photographs and graphics, presentations, video and audio of events, and software. Examples include maps, video of meetings, slide presentations by consultants and vendors, graphs of budgets, and text of regulations. Video of meetings of legislatures and other government organizations is particularly valuable as it makes government processes more visible to citizens and can encourage trust in government. Multimedia is also particularly valuable in presenting geographical information (Greene, 2001), a concern of all governments. Added multimedia can also be used to more effectively deliver information to people, as with films, animations, sound effects, and motivational materials. Multimedia information is important for digital government because it is often a more natural communication mode for people than text. It is thus important that government be responsive to the needs and desires of citizens by providing it. Much of the world is illiterate, and the ubiquity of television means even the literate often prefer watching video to reading text. Some citizens have special needs: Blind people need audio, and deaf people need images. Video and audio also convey information beyond text: A video of a legislature meeting contains subtleties not apparent from its transcript. Research has shown that multimedia is especially good at conveying explanatory information about functional relationships in organizations (Lim & Benbasat, 2002). Research has also shown that people learn better from multimedia presentations than from conventional classroom instruction, and the multimedia provides a consistent experience available at any time unlike human instructors (Wright, 1993).

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