Why Aren’t We Doing More With Our Web Archives?

Why Aren’t We Doing More With Our Web Archives?

Since the early days of the web there have been myriad projects launched to archive and preserve the digital world that increasingly powers our global society. Perhaps the best known is the Internet Archive, which has been crawling and preserving the open web for more than two decades. As of last October the Archive had preserved more than 510 billion distinct URLs (images, videos, style sheets, scripts, PDFs, Microsoft Office files, etc) from over 273 billion web pages gathered from 361 million websites and taking up more than 15 petabytes of storage. Much of this collection is available through the Archive’s public-facing Wayback Machine that allows you to plug in any URL and see all of the Archive’s snapshots capturing its evolution over the past 20 years. With such an incredible repository of global society’s web evolution, why don’t we see more applications of this unimaginable resource?


Source: Forbes
         
The Rose Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)