Using crowd sourcing to create the UK SoundMap


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Presented by Richard Ranft, British Library at Metadata and Web 2.0, 4th Annual CIGS Seminar on 23 Feb 2011 at the National Library of Scotland.

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Using crowd sourcing to create the UK SoundMap

  1. 1. Using crowdsourcing to create the UK SoundMap - Richard Ranft, British Library Metadata & Web 2.0 - 4th annual CIGS seminar 23 Feb 2011 National Library of Scotland
  2. 2. 2001: ‘Listen to Nature’ maps
  3. 3. ‘ Sounds Familiar’ British dialects map
  4. 4. Archival Sound Recordings maps
  5. 5. Radio Aporee map <ul><li>Bullet 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bullet2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bullet 3 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. UK Sound Map: Aims <ul><li>Explore potential for web mash-ups for digital scholarship </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership with Noise Futures Network </li></ul><ul><li>Map evolution of national soundscapes by aggregating everyday sounds from around UK for 12 months </li></ul><ul><li>Test low-cost, innovative techniques for crowdsourcing research data with real-time capture-&-publish model </li></ul>
  7. 7. Audioboo app “ Twitter without typing… User generated BBC Radio 4 The Youtube of the spoken word” <ul><li>Free app, launched March 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone & Android ‘smart’phones </li></ul><ul><li>or, Audioboo via any web browser </li></ul><ul><li>5 minutes limit </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter, Facebook integration </li></ul>Contributors 80,000 Recordings 280,000 Listens 11 m. (66,000/day) Top contributors UK, USA, Germany
  8. 8. 280,000 Audioboos
  9. 10. Method <ul><li>‘ Pro’ Audioboo account – magic tags </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot in Sheffield city July 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>UK-wide August 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Use of social networks </li></ul>Amazon cloud service FLAC audio, metadata (tags, #uksm, photo, time/date, GPS) capture FLAC, metadata archive mp3, metadata publish ?#uksm  moderation  magic tag
  10. 11. Web browser recording & upload
  11. 12. Challenges <ul><ul><li>Legal / reputational risks of user-generated content: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>deliberate or inadvertent capture of 3rd party rights </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>defamatory remarks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>invasions of privacy or compromised confidentiality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mitigated by: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>moderation of all contributions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Take-down notice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clear instructions to contributors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some legal protections (incidental licences, reasonable doubt) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Technical quality - lowering the quality bar? <ul><li>iPhone : 22kHz, 16-bit mono FLAC </li></ul><ul><li>Other phones – large variety of other files </li></ul><ul><li>Omni mic – wind noise </li></ul><ul><li>Web uploads – large variety, stereo PCM wav but also highly compressed formats </li></ul>
  13. 14. iPhone - white noise spectrum anti-aliasing filter speech emphasis
  14. 15. Android phone - white noise spectrum
  15. 16. Results <ul><li>Whose brainchild was this? Will anyone really be interested in sounds originating from 2010? Don't we have anything better to do with taxpayers money? (a Blogger) </li></ul><ul><li>The increasingly innovative British Library (BBC Technology blog) </li></ul><ul><li>@dollyskilbeck: Can't describe the pure pleasure and pride in contributing to @UK_SoundMap #uksm #audioboo (Twitter) </li></ul><ul><li>Winner, UK social media communications award (public sector category) </li></ul>
  16. 17. Results II <ul><ul><li>1,600 recordings from July 10- Feb ‘11 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>260 contributors ( ≈ 4 per contributor) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>82% made with mobiles. The remainder used dedicated audio recorders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voices and direct human actions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Amplified sounds and music </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Machinery </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sounds of wind and water </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Animals </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emerging themes (e.g. decline of whistling in public; female voices predominate in public announcements) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very limited metadata </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Moderating the data <ul><li>6% recordings rejected to date: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reasons for rejection: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright (music/broadcast/performance) 36% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Poor quality (wind noise, low level) 22% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No geodata 19% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Obscenities, time wasters, advertising etc 19% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recorded outside UK 3% </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 20. Locations
  19. 21. time and tide bell, Bosta (Outer Hebrides, Scotland)
  20. 23.
  21. 24. Next project: Evolving Englishes map <ul><li>Read 6 words: controversy, garage, neither, scone, schedule, attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Or, read 'Mr Tickle‘: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It was half past eight on a rather warm, sunny morning. In his small house at the other side of the wood, Mr Tickle was fast asleep. He was having a dream. It must have been a very funny dream because it made him laugh out loud and that woke him up. He sat up in bed, stretched his extraordinary long arms and yawned an enormous yawn…. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 25.
  23. 26. Conclusions <ul><li>Selection - still a manual process </li></ul><ul><li>Low quality – mass observation </li></ul><ul><li>Simple to implement: RSS feeds to Google map mashup </li></ul><ul><li>Cost effective way to rapidly collect large amounts of data </li></ul><ul><li>Augments existing research collections </li></ul><ul><li>Engages wider public with your institution; ‘democratises the curator's role’ </li></ul>
  24. 27. Thanks for listening! <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>