Wikipedia Loves Art...is a scavenger hunt and free content photography contest among museums and cultural institutions worldwide, and aimed at illustrating Wikipedia articles. The event is planned to run for the whole month of February 2009. Although there are planned events at each location, you can go on your own at any time during the month.
Did you investigate the recent news stories about Google putting 14 masterpieces from the Prado into Google Earth, so that you can zoom and pan these great works in extraordinary detail (search for 'Museo del Prado' on Google Earth)? Over 3 months Google engineers/photographers took 8,000 highly detailed photos of the 14 paintings and in painstaking fashion they have been pieced together to form magnificent reproductions. Here is a tiny detail from Goya's picture of Executions on Principe Pio hill....
This is a great project and for me it immediately raises the question: "Will Google attempt to do for pictures and the world's great art what it is now doing for books and all the world's published literature?" ...
I suspect that museums and art galleries will do a lot of this sort of work themselves. This virtual Prado does not carry any ads, but let us face it, its a spectacularly good advertisement for the Prado itself....Mind you, if it turns out that museums and art galleries are quite capable of databasing their own collections, it may also turn out that more libraries decide to do a similar job for their own collections. The fact is that the tools used by Google for capturing information held in books, libraries, pictures and museums are increasingly available to us all. Capturing information on your digital camera or your iPhone is almost a democratic right. It will be very hard for companies to build exclusive monopoly holds over information which anyone can collect with a wave of their hand.
Peter Suber at 1/29/2009 03:25:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.