Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Free and open images of public art

Jonathan Gray, Big Art Mob, public art and open heritage resources, Open Knowledge Foundation blog, November 30, 2007.  Excerpt:

I’ve just been poking around at the Big Art Mob website which was launched by Channel 4 earlier this year and picked up a Royal Television Society Innovation Award earlier this month. It aims to “create the UK’s first comprehensive survey of Public Art” using user-submitted camera phone pictures and a Google maps API....

In keeping with the ‘public spirit’ of the project, the terms and conditions state that images contributed will be made available to others under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

It looks like a great project, if it could generate a significant collection of CC licensed images displayed on the Big Art Map. However it would be even better if their images were fully open, and if the project made raw dumps of site location data and associated tags available for others to re-use!

The potential of open heritage resources....

Some of us at the OKF have been brainstorming about local heritage projects like this for a while. One line of thought is that linking user-generated material (including material from Flickr, Wikipedia, and so on) to material from local museums, libraries and archives could encourage the growth of a ‘public information ecology’ for local heritage. Naturally we think open licensing would help such an ecology to flourish - and would let developers to experiment with different kinds of interfaces to enable users explore, modify, extract and reuse material they are interested in. ‘Public art’ such as architecture, sculpture, and other landmarks is ideal subject matter for this! ...

Many freely available resources out there are still not open. Imagine what kinds of applications would be possible if more hobbyists and institutions allowed the fruits of their labour to be re-combined and built upon!