Thursday, February 21, 2008

Library of Congress uses Flickr

Library of Congress Blog » My Friend Flickr: A Match Made in Photo Heaven (Library of Congress): "If you’re reading this, then chances are you already know about Web 2.0. Even if you don’t know the term itself, you’re one of millions worldwide who are actively creating, sharing or benefiting from user-generated content that characterizes Web 2.0 phenomena. . . . . That’s why it is so exciting to let people know about the launch of a brand-new pilot project the Library of Congress is undertaking with Flickr, the enormously popular photo-sharing site that has been a Web 2.0 innovator. If all goes according to plan, the project will help address at least two major challenges: how to ensure better and better access to our collections, and how to ensure that we have the best possible information about those collections for the benefit of researchers and posterity. In many senses, we are looking to enhance our metadata (one of those Web 2.0 buzzwords that 90 percent of our readers could probably explain better than me)."

Many hands make light work « Flickr Blog: "Have you ever tagged someone else’s photo? I know I have. A describing word, or perhaps even two joined together; a ‘lasso’ to group photos together from an event; identification of a subject in the photo; a colour; a season…

All that work that we’ve put in has contributed to making something greater than the sum of its parts: an organic information system, derived of descriptive words and phrases made entirely from individual contributions. You can see what’s going on in the world by watching hot tags fly by on our main tags page. You can even see what’s going on now in some of the bigger cities in the world on our new Places pages. All thanks to the determined effort of you, you nerdy taggers, you.

There are about 20 million unique tags on Flickr today. 20 million! They are the bread and butter of what makes our search work so beautifully. Simply by association, tags create emergent collections of words that reinforce meaning. You can see this in our clusters around words like tiger, sea, jump, or even turkey.

What if we could lend this wonderful power to some of the huge reference collections around the world? What if you could contribute your own description of a certain photo in, say, the Library of Congress’ vast photographic archive, . . . . . ."


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