Access cultural heritage of Mexico digital archive with a click


The Center for Research and Innovation in Information and Communication Technologies (Infotec) participated in the development of Mexicana, a national repository of culture that concentrates and makes available to anyone the cultural heritage of Mexico.

Mexicana heritage archive
Mexicana heritage archive

This digital archive aims to generate a collection where users can quickly access information from different institutions related to the culture of Mexico, among which are the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the National Institute of Fine Arts Arts (INBA), the National Arts Center (Cenart), the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (Imcine) and the General Directorate of Libraries (DGB), among other 12, said in an interview the engineer Javier Solís González, Development Manager of New Products and Services of Infotec responsible for the development of Mexicana.

This project was developed in just under 12 months and was financed with resources from the Ministry of Culture within the framework of the digital agenda of the culture of the last administration. Mexicana allows access to nearly 700 thousand documents in formats such as photographs, books, audio, paintings, videos and third-dimensional models in great quality and free of charge.

He also explained that the development of this platform was complicated from the technical point of view, since one of the general problems faced by institutions when performing preservation work, is that the digitization is not carried out homogeneously, causing access to the files is difficult, either because it is not public access or because there are no direct ways to access them, he said.

"One of the great challenges that this project had was how to extract the information that is in different institutions, different formats and different forms of storage and how to interoperate and present it so that users can find it in a fast and organized way", he commented.

The platform is similar to a search engine to search for information on the Internet. When a term is entered in the text box, the page shows the results with a faceted classification, that is, dividing between the different types of work, formats, institution and date of the work.

Mexicana is mounted directly in the infrastructure of the Ministry of Culture. For the construction of the portal, the Semantic Web Builder platform was used, an open source technology developed by Infotec and whose main function is the creation of intelligent platforms and semantic applications.

"It is important to have this type of platform to have a tool that allows access to the cultural heritage of our country and to gather in a single access point all that information to interoperate and link data that otherwise would not be possible because of the different objectives that the institutions have ", concluded Solís González.