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Workshop summary – Two birds, one stone: Bridging cultural heritage collections with crowds and niches

On Monday the 31st of October the workshop entitled “Two birds, one stone: Bridging cultural heritage collections with crowds and niches”, was held at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. The workshop was divided in two sessions: presentations and a practical session. In the first session, cultural heritage institutions gave a presentation about their experiences with crowdsourcing, while the practical session involved testing of the systems presented.

The first presentation was by Maarten Brinkerink from the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision and was titled “What’s That? Video Tagging Games for Audiovisual Heritage Collections”. In his presentation, Maarten stressed the importance of enriching one of the vast audiovisual collection in Europe that Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision holds, not only by professional annotations, but also by using the crowd. One such crowdsourcing initiative is the “Waisda? ” crowdsourcing game where users are able to annotate videos online, the goal being the consensus between players. Slides and talk.

Next, Sander Pieterse from Naturalis and Xeno-canto Foundation for Nature Sounds in his presentation “Every Feather and Song: Crowdsourcing and Co-curation from a Natural History Perspective” emphasized crowdsourcing as a significant tool for “building a big collection together” and ensuring enrichment of the existing natural history collections. Moreover, he showed how crowdsourcing can be used as a way of networking between amateurs and professionals and how it can build a sense of connectedness within the communities it addresses. Slides and talk.

Saskia Scheltjens from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam in “Accurator: Consolidation and Integration of Annotations” presented the Accurator system, a project done in collaboration with VU University Amsterdam. Accurator is used for annotating artworks in Rijksmuseum, but despite its usefulness, the results are still to be integrated in the collections at the museum due to the various restructuring that is currently taking place within Rijksmuseum. Slides and talk.

The last presentation was held by Chris Dijkshoorn from VU University Amsterdam and was titled “DigiBird: on the fly collection integration using crowdsourcing”. He presented the results of DigiBird, a project that reinforces crowdsourcing initiatives and integrates four distinct nature-related collections. He mentioned how crowdsourcing is evolving to be a valuable approach to collect data, but faces challenges regarding sustainability and use of results. Slides and talk.

After these presentations, followed a practical session where the participants tried out the crowdsourcing systems presented: Accurator and Waisda?, together with the DigiBird platform. In the scope of the DigiBird project, an instance of the Waisda? game was created with a selection of videos that contain birds, while in the Accurator system a selection of artworks from the bird domain was selected. On the DigiBird platform the participants could see not only on the fly integration of results from the crowdsourcing systems presented, but also results from platforms like Xeno-canto and Naturalis and general statistics of the integrated platforms, together with real-time updates of annotations for artworks and videos containing birds.

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