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Dear Museums: Uploading Your Content To Wikimedia Commons Just Got Easier 24

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the who-doesn't-need-more-bird-videos? dept.
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.

Video: By Creator:Marc PlompNederlands: Natuur Digitaal (Marc Plomp); Stichting Natuurbeelden (http://www.openbeelden.nl/media/711590) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl], via Wikimedia Commons.

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

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  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @04:38AM (#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.

    • by xaxa (988988) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:07AM (#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.)

    • 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?

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        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 t

        • by Trepidity (597)

          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.

      • by geniice (1336589)

        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.

    • by geniice (1336589)

      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.

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

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

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

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