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An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture

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At what point does the sheer scale of the available open data itself obstruct openness? Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums are digitising at an increasing pace, and with a growing awareness of the importance of licensing issues and open access. Europeana, long at the forefront of these efforts in the EU context, recently passed the 50millionitem mark in its collections, and other national and international infrastructures are achieving similar milestones. But digitisation and aggregation at this scale mean that modelling richness is in effect often lost. Data heterogeneity across collections, and individual datasets curated to support only certain, very specific, scenarios within them, often combine so that only the very minimal metadata needed for information exchange is available to endusers. Ironically, volume and cataloguing criteria thus potentially combine to put open culture proponents in the position of those intelligence agencies that ‘open’ their miles of archive shelfspace to investigators, but fail to provide an index.
Attention at Europeana and similar organisations has accordingly turned recently to adding structure and semantics to digital open data in a way that makes it more usable, transparent, and comprehensible to endusers. The technologies used and the way they are applied vary with organization, domain, and usecase, and include but are not limited to: semantic enrichment and datamining; personalisation features; crowdsourcing and annotation frameworks; and the creation of knowledge graphs. These technologies all have their own particular advantages and limitations, as will be discussed in brief casestudies. In particular, a strong division is evident between datadriven, empirical approaches such as datamining and usercentric technologies such as crowdsourcing and personalisation. In the ideal case, however, these two tendencies converge on the notion of a ‘user community’ a group, it will be argued, that not only ‘uses’ or ‘consumes’ open data, but shapes it, gives it meaning, and endows it with value.

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An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture

  1. 1. An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture Timothy Hill | EEXCESS 2016 Netherlands, Public Domain 1660 - 1625, Rijksmuseum Anonymous Arrival of a Portuguese ship
  2. 2. Title here CC BY-SA Europeana Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia CC BY-SA Europeana Collections homepage Europeana| CC BY-SA CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture
  3. 3. Title here CC BY-SA Title here CC BY-SA Europeana aggregation infrastructure Europeana| CC BY-SA Europeana CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture
  4. 4. Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia CC BY-SA CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture Cultural Heritage Aggregation: A Global Perspective (I) lDigital Public Library of America (DPLA)
  5. 5. Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia CC BY-SA CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture Cultural Heritage Aggregation: A Global Perspective (II) lHumanities Network Infrastructure (HuNI)
  6. 6. Metadata flattening: sparse records CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture
  7. 7. CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture Metadata flattening: three views of inscription Voskos, E28 (Europeana Portal)
  8. 8. Metadata flattening: three views of inscription Voskos, E28 (Aggregator) CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture
  9. 9. Metadata flattening: three views of inscription Voskos, E28 (Transcription / translation) CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture
  10. 10. CC BY-SA Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia Big Data, Small Data l“Will the use of digital methods lead to an erosion of our most unique facility in the humanities, the aptitude for fine-grained and careful interpretive observation?” l“Humanities scholars make theoretical and practical advances … by forwarding carefully observed, exquisitely described jewel-box examples. Our small data add nuance and offer counter-narratives ... The finest contribution of the past several decades of humanities research has been to broaden, contextualize, and challenge canonical collections and privileged views. Scholars do this by elevating instances of neglected or alternate lived experience.” lBethany Nowviskie, Capacity Through Care CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture
  11. 11. CC BY-SA Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia Data as document(s) CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture Voskos, E38 Subject: Aphrodisia (of Cyprus) Date: 7 th - 6 th century BCE Title: Aphrodisia's Epigram Findspot: Amathus, Cyprus [ … ]
  12. 12. CC BY-SA Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia Data as graph ('things not strings') CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture Voskos, E38 Start: -750 Title: Aphrodisia's Epigram Stop: - 600 https://test.perio.do/#m63njp6pz Label: Cypro Archaic I https://base.europeana.eu/agent/123 Label: Aphrodisia (of Cyprus) Object Type: Agent http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/707462 Label: Amathous, Cyprus Type: Settlement
  13. 13. CC BY-SA Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia Applying Controlled Vocabularies and NER CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture Voskos, E38 Start: -750 Title: Aphrodisia's Epigram Stop: - 600 https://test.perio.do/#m63njp6pz Label: Cypro Archaic I https://base.europeana.eu/agent/123 Label: Aphrodisia (of Cyprus) Object Type: Agent http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/707462 Label: Amathous, Cyprus Type: Settlement Sex: Female
  14. 14. CC BY-SA Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia User-driven linking (I) – User sets CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture EP112. Deeds of the Deified Augustus VC96. Epitaph of Caracalla EP631. In Memoriam for Livia Voskos E38. Aphrodisia's Epigram Sappho, frag. 94: “Honestly, I wish I were dead” Imperial Epitaphs Women and Mourning
  15. 15. CC BY-SA Enriching Cultural Heritage Data with DBpedia User-driven linking (II) – Annotations CC BY-SA An Embarrassment of Riches: Crowds, Communities, and Curation in Digital Open Culture EP112. Deeds of the Deified Augustus VC96. Epitaph of Caracalla EP631. In Memoriam for Livia Voskos E38. Aphrodisia's Epigram Sappho, frag. 94: “Honestly, I wish I were dead” Imperial Epitaphs Women and Mourning
  16. 16. 28 April 2016 With input slides from Valentine Charles, Antoine Isaac & Hugo Manguinhas, Europeana R&D team

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