Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Library of Congress photos on Flickr

The Library of Congress is placing 3000 photos up on the Flickr Commons with the hope that the public will help tag them.

That’s why it is so exciting to let people know about the launch of a brand-new pilot project the Library of Congress is undertaking with Flickr, the enormously popular photo-sharing site that has been a Web 2.0 innovator. If all goes according to plan, the project will help address at least two major challenges: how to ensure better and better access to our collections, and how to ensure that we have the best possible information about those collections for the benefit of researchers and posterity. In many senses, we are looking to enhance our metadata (one of those Web 2.0 buzzwords that 90 percent of our readers could probably explain better than me).

Cool idea for sure. Whoever thought of this pilot deserves a lot of credit for thinking differently. I guess the only possible complaint is that they are being placed on a commercial site, but the images are in the public domain and there is no reason they couldn't be put on other sites as well.

This is a great example of how the public can be turned loose to create value. We need to see a lot more of this sort of thing.

No comments: