Flickr’s commons

Flickr have just announced a project called The Commons, which they describe as

Your opportunity to contribute to describing the world’s public photo collections

A pilot project with the Library of Congress,

The key goals of this pilot project are to firstly give you a taste of the hidden treasures in the huge Library of Congress collection, and secondly to how your input of a tag or two can make the collection even richer.

You’re invited to help describe photographs in the Library of Congress’ collection on Flickr, by adding tags or leaving comments

There are already some interesting collections up there, like News in the 1910s and 1930s-40s in Color.

It will be interesting to see the range of tags and comments people take the time to put forward (but I’m not sure that comments like “neat train picture 🙂” are doing much for our understanding of LOC image collections!)

2 thoughts on “Flickr’s commons

  1. No doubt there will be a fair amount of noise, but I’m not sure the example you adduce is devoid of value for the institution or a researcher. It indicates the image prominently features a train, and it indicates that a person who is interested in train pictures thinks this particular image is exceptionally gratifying or indicative of the genre.


  2. well, yes, I concede. I’m not aware of too much AI (CBIR) work being done which uses the comments and tag clouds generated by users to facilitate more structured searching…. but someone should!


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