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Dear Museums: Uploading Your Content To Wikimedia Commons Just Got Easier

Unknown Lamer posted about a month and a half ago | from the who-doesn't-need-more-bird-videos? dept.

Wikipedia 24

The ed17 (2834807) writes Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) are now facing fewer barriers to uploading their content to Wikimedia Commons — the website that stores most of Wikipedia's images and videos. Previously, these institutions had to build customized scripts or be lucky enough to find a Wikimedia volunteer to do the work for them. According to the toolset's coordinator Liam Wyatt, 'this is a giant leap forward in giving GLAMs the agency to share with Commons on their own terms.' The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision has a short article on their use of the new toolkit to upload hundreds of videos of birds. See also the GWToolset project page and documentation on the upload system (includes screencasts). Before the toolset, organizations wishing to donate collections had to write one-off tools to translate between their metadata schema and Wikimedia's schema. The GWToolset allows the organization to generate and upload a single XML file containing metadata (using arbitrary, even mixed, schemas, with some limitations) for all items in a batch upload, prompts for mappings between the vocabulary used by the organization and the vocabulary accepted by Mediawiki, and then pulls the files into the Commons.

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24 comments

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Terrible idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47555545)

You'll waste weeks uploading to only have the deletionists delete your hard work.

Gay sex! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47555587)

Goat sex!
 
This comment will, however, not be deleted. It will only be modded in the upward direction.

job killer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47555567)

Now who's going to write customized upload scripts for their local museum? So many high schoolers, pensioners, and volunteers will have their efforts cheapened by this new tool.

Re:job killer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47555629)

pensioners

Hooray, we don't need to use grandpa's COBOL uploader anymore.

Re:job killer! (1)

gnupun (752725) | about a month and a half ago | (#47556611)

Who's going to pay the entrance fee to visit museums if you can get the same content on wikipedia for free? If some do visit, there won't be any surprise factor ("I already saw this on the web").

Re:job killer! (2)

geniice (1336589) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559787)

Counterpoint. The number of people who visit the British museum to see the Rosetta stone

Re:job killer! (1)

aix tom (902140) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558837)

Hey, it involves XML. In most of the projects I know, every time some "customized scripts" were replaced by "just one simple XML....." the manpower needed to maintain those functions has usually tripled. ;-P

fFart museum (-1, Flamebait)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a month and a half ago | (#47555591)

I curate a useum of antique, moderm and postmoderm farts and offer nasal tours every hour on hte hour senior citizen and stufint half rice all fardts are copyproected and amarzing.

interesting split developing (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47555719)

I see at least three common approaches museums are taking to images of their collections:

1. Maximum lockdown: no photos of the collection on the internet, or at most some very low-res ones on the museum's website. The physical museum itself will typically have anti-photography policies to try to enforce this. The goal is to de facto exercise exclusive rights to reproductions of the work (even where the copyright on the work itself has expired), as a revenue source, through e.g. high-quality art books, licensing of images, etc.

2. Disseminate through museum-owned channels. The museum digitizes its works and makes them available to the general public free of charge, via its own website, in at least fairly high-resolution images, a "virtual collection" that anyone can visit. Third-party dissemination may be possible in certain jurisdictions [wikipedia.org] , but the museum either doesn't encourage or actively discourages it. The goal is to fulfill its public mission of dissemination/education, but while maintaining some control/stewardship of the work even online.

3. Maximum dissemination. The museum digitizes its works and makes them available in as many places as possible under a permissive license: its own website, archival repositories run by nonprofits and state institutions, Wikimedia, archive.org, news agency file-photo catalogues, etc. The goal is to fulfill its public mission of dissemination/education as widely as possible, and perhaps also achieve some advertising for the museum's collections and the works/artists it conserves, by ensuring that its works are the ones most likely to be used as illustrative examples in Wikipedia articles, books, newspaper/magazine articles, etc.

Re:interesting split developing (4, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | about a month and a half ago | (#47556027)

3. Maximum dissemination. The museum digitizes its works and makes them available in as many places as possible under a permissive license: its own website, archival repositories run by nonprofits and state institutions, Wikimedia, archive.org, news agency file-photo catalogues, etc. The goal is to fulfill its public mission of dissemination/education as widely as possible, and perhaps also achieve some advertising for the museum's collections and the works/artists it conserves, by ensuring that its works are the ones most likely to be used as illustrative examples in Wikipedia articles, books, newspaper/magazine articles, etc.

This project seems to have come out of the Europeana project, which aims to make a single portal with images/sounds/videos of all European museum collection objects: http://europeana.eu/ [europeana.eu]

I'd like to know what Wikimedia would think of the sheer volume of data that's there -- would they really want, say, 14 million high resolution photographs of beetles?

("Maximum lockdown" is often a result of cuts to other sources of funding, e.g. public subsidy.)

Re:interesting split developing (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about a month and a half ago | (#47557057)

I had been wondering about this. A FOAF was a curator at a museum on the West Coast, and when I talked to him about the idea of online displays, he was completely dismissive -- it seemed like anything other than "Maximum Lockdown" didn't even register with him. Then again, this was probably 15 years ago. Was Maximum Lockdown the usual stance before the Internet explosion, or do all three approaches have a well-established history?

Re:interesting split developing (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a month and a half ago | (#47557953)

I had been wondering about this. A FOAF was a curator at a museum on the West Coast, and when I talked to him about the idea of online displays, he was completely dismissive -- it seemed like anything other than "Maximum Lockdown" didn't even register with him. Then again, this was probably 15 years ago. Was Maximum Lockdown the usual stance before the Internet explosion, or do all three approaches have a well-established history?

I think all three approaches are common. It really depends on the museum. If they have some prized artifact the world knows about (Mona Lisa, David, etc) then it's likely to be "maximum lockdown" because well, they want you to see that item in their collection.

Then there are museums that make money off being exclusive dealers so they tend to put some stuff up.

Finally, there are public museums that have full openness. and intentionally want to spread the collection aroun.

I think it relates to how the museum is funded, as well as how notable its collection is - the lesser known, the more they need to advertise. After all, if you're the Louvre, you don't need to do anything - people come to you so you can lock it down and force people to come in. But if you're a museum on your rapidly dying culture, well, putting it online could mean dying as a footnote or leaving a legacy.

Re:interesting split developing (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559167)

Another one in that regard are the museums that feel they have kind of an "advocacy" role. Like a museum dedicated to the heritage of $ethnicgroup, or to a specific only-slightly-famous painter. They often have a big desire to make their topic more well known, so are more likely to go for the maximum-dissemination route.

Re:interesting split developing (1)

geniice (1336589) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559859)

Part of that is budget. A lot of museums don't have the money to digitalise their content or maintain anything but the most straightforward of websites.

Re:interesting split developing (1)

geniice (1336589) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559843)

I don't think photography policy is linked to dissemination approach. Historically they have been pretty random. A condition of a loan somewhere. some long gone director getting paranoid about theft. A curator who just didn't like photographers. A lot of the team people aren't even sure who is allowed to change the policy and there was little pressure to do so. Then came camera phones.

Video freezes XP single core with Chrome (1)

fleebait (1432569) | about a month and a half ago | (#47555881)

I know it's time to upgrade, friggin Java active pages, and this video freezes a single core machine.

Re:Video freezes XP single core with Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47555895)

single core? I bet you have a mechanical hard drive too grandad!

Re:Video freezes XP single core with Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47555905)

Can't you see? Its freezing cold in the video. Don't wonder your computer freezes from that, you insensitive clod! That's the "XP" in "Windows XP": "extra eXPerience". Makes you feel as if you were right in the video.

video quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47556097)

It is me or the bird videos quality is disapointing. I see noise on video (block, compression artefact, ...)

Re:video quality (1)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559737)

The source video is better quality, but the embedded video widget defaults to a lower quality transcoding for streaming (if you click the "webm 360p" box, you can switch to the original video).

Encoding with libvpx also seems to be kind of tricky and at least I've had trouble with getting block-free VP8 files even at a high bitrate (hey Monthy, hurry up and finish Daala [xiph.org] ;) ).

"Dear Museums..." (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a month and a half ago | (#47556189)

According to the number of posts, the "Museums" ain't reading /. much...

What's missing? A big check from Google... (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a month and a half ago | (#47557059)

Museum Director: "I'm supposed to pay some staffers or redirect some volunteers to do tedious data entry so I can submit my entries to Wikipedia's catalog, where Google will make money selling ads next to Wikipedia results on its search results page."

Wikipedia: "Basically, yes. So...are you gonna do it?"

Museum Director: "Let's see if you can get your Google buddies to write a $XXX,XXX check to our institution and then we'll talk."

Re:What's missing? A big check from Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47557579)

In other words, you don't know what Wikimedia Commons is.

Filezilla? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a month and a half ago | (#47557317)

Interesting, the standardization of art information on a global scale?
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