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Playing with metadata / Gavin Willshaw, Scott Renton (University of Edinburgh)

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Learn about Edinburgh University Library's metadata games platform, a crowdsourcing initiative which has improved descriptive metadata and become a vital engagement tool both within and beyond the library. Hear how they have developed their games in collaboration with Tiltfactor, a Dartmouth College-based research group which explores games design for social change, and learn what they're doing with crowd-sourced data.

Presented at the CIG Scotland seminar 'Somewhere over the Rainbow: our metadata online, past, present & future' (Metadata & Web 2.0 Series) at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 5th April 2017

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Playing with metadata / Gavin Willshaw, Scott Renton (University of Edinburgh)

  1. 1. Playing with metadata Gavin Willshaw, Digital Curator Scott Renton, Digital Developer
  2. 2. Digitisation • Increasing digitisation = more digital content • collections.ed.ac.uk – collections portal • How can this be made more discoverable and usable?
  3. 3. University image collection • Large collection of digital images • http://images.is.ed.ac.uk • Images mostly available CC BY at high resolution
  4. 4. Image metadata • Good “volume level” metadata • Data often says very little about what is in the image • Makes it very difficult for user to locate!
  5. 5. How did we get here? • No dedicated image cataloguer • Size of collection • Legacy content • Initial intention to improve description of collections items
  6. 6. The Game • Retro theme • Simple interface • “Say what you see” • Open to all
  7. 7. Stage 1: tag • Harvest initial tags • Open text box • No quality review • Points for tags entered
  8. 8. Stage 2: vote • Vote on quality of others’ tags • Closed system – good / bad / don’t know • Gain points for good tags; lose points for bad tags • Important quality review stage
  9. 9. • Tags QA-ed and imported into image management system • Distinction made between formal metadata and crowdsourced tags • Link included to add more tags
  10. 10. What we mean by crowdsourcing “--crowdsourcing not as extracting labor from a crowd, but as a way for us to invite the participation of amateurs (in the non-derogatory sense of the word)—those with every bit of the potential to be a Darwin or Mendel—in the creation, development, and further refinement of public good.” Owens, T. (2013) Digital Cultural Heritage and the Crowd. Curator: The Museum Journal, Vol. 56. Iss. 1.
  11. 11. What we mean by “the crowd” • Crowd: large, anonymous masses of people • Sourcing: outsourcing work and labour • “Knowledge Communities” - volunteers, engaged citizens, peers • Participation: production, development, refinement
  12. 12. What communities exist? • Academic researchers • Hobbyists • Students • Public • Educationalists • Self forming groups • many more . . .
  13. 13. Why engage communities? • Increased users • Widening participation • Feedback for improvements • Frees staff to focus on other tasks • Access to expertise
  14. 14. Metadata games for engagement • Metadata Games “on tour” • Integrated into other events on campus • Ran events which coincided with exhibitions • Events necessary for success
  15. 15. Motivation • Altruism • Display your skills/knowledge • Entertainment • Compound motivations
  16. 16. Information Services culture of play
  17. 17. Tiltfactor: metadatagames www.metadatagames.org 18,000+ tags for UoE images
  18. 18. Pros and Cons • Pros: • Hosted service • Easy to create an account • Easy to set up and play • Range of options – not just tagging • Easy to load images in from dropbox / Flickr • Cons • Limited functionality for more advanced options e.g. translation / transcription • Crowdcrafting requires technical expertise for modifications
  19. 19. What we have learned • Difficult to create engaging platform • Combine with events / activities – target theme and collections • Incentives / prizes help • Considerable staff time needed • Crowdsourced tags a compliment rather than substitute for formal metadata http://libraryblogs.is.ed.ac.uk/librarylabs/
  20. 20. PART 2 Scott Renton, Digital Development
  21. 21. Metadata Games Workflow • Why we needed them • How we built them • How we got on • Where do we go from here?
  22. 22. We get ‘skeleton’ records
  23. 23. We need ‘meat on the bones’
  24. 24. Options for enriching data http://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/UoEgal~2~2
  25. 25. Initial front end
  26. 26. How we built it • Emphasis on lo-fi • LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)- not cool! • Front-end design decisions- retro feel • EASE authentication • Part of the Library Labs site
  27. 27. Design decisions • Moderation module- causing a backlog! • Voting module- how many is enough? • Scoreboard • Stars for high contributors • More complex games: • set no of items, clock, featured items • “Easter Eggs” within the game
  28. 28. Authenticity • Moderation • Voting module • Thresholds • Demarcation • Could we do this better?
  29. 29. Proliferation
  30. 30. Workflow ‘out’ (LUNA)
  31. 31. Workflow ‘out’(collections.ed)
  32. 32. How we’ve got on (so far) • 283 users • 34070 tags in system • 15616 tags from our game • 18454 tags from Tiltfactor metadata games pushed in • 6212 tags pushed back into native systems • 2875 rejections • 1993 tags still in ‘voting’ pool • 22332 tags in moderation purgatory • Not bad for only 20 hours of play • With more engagement we maybe couldn’t cope… (!)
  33. 33. Where do we go next? • MSc projects • Revamp- intern signed up for the summer • Responsiveness • Links to social media • “Gamification”- make the games more playable • Make them more incentive-driven • Make them more secure (or less difficult to get into) • Computer-generated metadata?
  34. 34. IIIF • Beautification • Streamlining • Thumbnails through URL • Photoshopping through URL • Ditch the JPEGs! • Interoperability • Annotations • Translation and transcription
  35. 35. IIIF Deep-Zoom Viewers http://collections.ed.ac.uk/iconics
  36. 36. The Polyglot Project (coming soon!)
  37. 37. Questions and more info • Email • gavin.willshaw@ed.ac.uk • scott.renton@ed.ac.uk • lddt@mlist.is.ed.ac.uk • Sites • http://librarylabs.ed.ac.uk (metadata games) • http://images.is.ed.ac.uk (image repository) • http://collections.ed.ac.uk (collections repository) • http://iiif.io (IIIF website)

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