Guest post from Gavin Willshaw, Digital Curator at the University of Edinburgh, about a project to improve the tagging of images in the University Library’s image collections (http://images.is.ed.ac.uk ). Please contact Gavin (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like more information or would like to get involved
Following on from the success of our Pop Up Library Metadata Games sessions during Innovative Learning Week, this week we took Metadata Games to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Central Library, the first time the game has been taken off campus since its initial pilot back in August. We battled through the inclement weather and set up stall in the library’s ground floor foyer area then, poised with laptops and lollypops, set about recruiting people to take part in our tagging game.
We were keen to spread awareness of our work – and the university’s collections – beyond the confines of campus and we were also interested in to see if there was any noticeable difference between the sorts of tags that members of the public contributed in comparison to those provided by students, academics and staff (that analysis is yet to be done!). Over the course of the two hour session, 15 players, ranging from teenagers to pensioners, provided us with 776 tags (more than 50 per person) – an impressive total considering there was no free coffee on offer for participants on this occasion!
These tags will now be moderated and then uploaded to our image database, ultimately helping to make our collections more discoverable online. You can see an example of how the tags we have harvested from the game have directly contributed to the improved description of one of our iconic items, Rashid al-Din’s History of the World (http://collections.ed.ac.uk/iconics/record/51419). The crowdsourced tags ‘horses’ and ‘knights’, which were harvested from the game, complement the existing formal descriptive metadata showing author, date shelfmark etc.
We enjoyed taking the game on tour: many thanks to Bronwen Brown, Fiona Myles and all the staff at Central Library for all their help with the event, and to all players who contributed their time to help us improve the description of our images.
Keep on playing at http://librarylabs.ed.ac.uk/games/ (EASE login required)!
Gavin, Claire, Charlie and Paul