Free Digital Image Sharing


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Pecha Kucha given at NODEM - Nordic Digital Excellence in Museums, IT University of Copenhagen, 25. Nov. 2011

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  • Thanks for coming I’m presenting this pilot project on behalf of five Danish art museums working together to pave the way for free and easy image sharing I’ll take you through the process and principle issues of the project, and tell you about the results we’ve accomplished so far
  • The project was initiated by SMK National Gallery of Denmark in 2009 SMK is building an online universe called Art Stories - based on creating connections between art collections on the web [SLIDE] We wished to establish more flexible ways to share images and contacted the Heritage Agency of Denmark They showed interest in the idea and were willing to support a pilot
  • The intention behind free image sharing is to create synergies between museum websites and collections that will be of benefit to online users and museums alike We would like to activate museum collections by making them accesible on different platforms - a network on the internet An important driving force in the pilot project is to allow museums to show relations between artworks that are physically located at different venues This will enhance the presentation of art in Denmark across institutional borders and augment the online traffic between museum websites
  • The project aims to lighten the administrative burden in image sharing between Danish art museums which today is unnecessarily time- and resource consuming A good example is the museum I come from – SMK – where photo sale is an important business that the museum is economically dependent on
  • At the heart of the project is an ambition to make it easy, flexible and user friendly to share our collections – to the benefit of museums and users alike The purpose of the project is to uncover challenges and perspectives in establishing a free exchange of digital hi res images for non-commercial purposes The outcome of the project is not a ready to use solution – but the initial results of an investigation into a complex field…
  • But we wanted to start the process and work together on creating an improved model for image sharing that matches the current media situation SMK invited four other museums to collaborate
  • The project took off in September 2009 with an initial meeting between the museums We created a mutual understanding about the goals and potentials of the pilot: Image sharing: Mutual field of interest Development of common educational tools: Lesser interest – each museum wants to develop their own tools
  • Barriers The pilot project is a preliminary investigation into what it takes, technically and in manpower, to administer free image sharing between Danish art museums on a national scale Barriers include Many museums don’t have sufficient IT skills Collections aren’t fully digitalized External photographers own image rights Copyright is expensive and an administrative burden Who has capacity to house and maintain image sharing?
  • The project has been a long process of discussing the principles and repercussions of image sharing, developing different scenarios and prototyping several versions of image sharing models
  • Solutions 1) Technical Free image sharing poses different challenges to institutions variously equipped in terms of IT-resources and manpower We have been working towards a dynamic combination of a central database and webservices in order to make free image sharing easy and flexible both for all types of art museums , both larger and smaller
  • 2) Copyright The pilot team has negotiated with the Danish copyright organisation about achieving a common copyright agreement that will make it cheaper and easier for Danish art museums to use artworks from colleague museums’ collections online The outcome is a standard agreement that will allow museums to sign up for a package that suits their specific needs at a standard low cost During negotiations we have tried to influence existing copyright regulations and make the organisation take into consideration the special circumstances applying to online digital images as opposed to printed images
  • 3) Educational potentials The pilot project produces a catalogue of ideas/user scenarios on how museums might exploit free access to digital images from colleague museums for educational purposes, showing examples of current projects at institutions participating in the project The project hopes to make it easier for museums to work together across institutions in establishing connections between collections
  • The project has resulted in the development and implementation of a digital web-based image sharing service in the shape of a website called Hi res images are uploaded to a common database (closed system) requiring a registered museum login. Image data are drawn from KID (Art Index Denmark) - a central museum database where art museums already register their collections Via API the image sharing database is connected to where museums can choose to share their collections publicly
  • Today museums (and users) can search each other’s collections in KID – but search isn’t intuitive and we can’t use each other’s image files The existing metadata standards of KID/Regin have been compared to Europeana We don’t need all the metadata types of Europeana, but would like to add better tagging to the KID standard
  • In addition to the closed database where museums can get each other’s hi res images we’ve established a common Flickr account for Danish art museums Here non-commercial images and related tags can be made accesible on a social media platform that encourages public usage and augments traffic to your collection
  • The database is integrated with KID so museums can search the image data connected to the hi res image they want to upload to the database
  • Additional image data (tags) are supplied in order to make database search intuitive and userfrinedly – both in the closed system and on flickr Here for instance an image is tagged with the artist’s name and other images by the same artist pop up
  • What are the benefits of this image sharing model Easy research across collections, for instance when planning a special exhibition Publish your collection online and augment traffic Add educational options to your own collection – the ability to search related works via tags and make connections Get images for free online without the administrative burden Copyright expenses are settled once and for all and easy to administer Easy to make cross-institutional collaborations
  • Evaluation The pilot team has invited museum professionals from four other Danish art museums to a focus group discussion and practical test of the database. The test will provide us with feedback on the principles and system of image sharing + other museums’ resources and preferences. The feedback will be integrated in our report to the Heritage Agency of Denmark.
  • The future The pilot hopes to pave the way for free image sharing for non-commercial use between art museums nation-wide Other museum types could also be included in order to broaden the scope of educational and research potentials In the future it is likely that free sharing could include other data types as well, following current trends on www where services like Google and Flickr share resources, allowing users to create new innovative combinations of data
  • Free Digital Image Sharing

    1. 1. Free digital image sharing a pilot project between Danish art museums
    3. 3. <ul><li>Why free digital </li></ul><ul><li>image sharing? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Today we buy and sell…
    5. 5. … tomorrow we’d like to share
    6. 6. Funen Art Museum Art Museum of Vejle SMK National Gallery of DK KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art The Hirschsprung Collection