Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two approaches to OA for public domain art

I saw these two developments within two days of one another and thought they should be blogged together.

  1. Wikipedia Loves Art.  (Thanks to Jonathan Gray.)  Excerpt: 

    Wikipedia Loves 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.

    The project is coordinated by the Brooklyn Museum, with the participation of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum (New York), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Historical Society, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Taft Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum. In all, there are 16 different museums and cultural institutions participating....

  2. Adam Hodgkin, Google Pictures and Google Books, ExactEditions, January 27, 2009.  Excerpt:
    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.