in Open Source

Tag, you’re it

Another interesting tagging project from the art world is, billed as “the first experiment in social tagging of museum collections,” which has recently been funded by IMLS for two years.

At a 17 November New York Technical Services Librarians meeting, Susan Chun of the Metropolitan Musuem of Art said steve solves the problem of “additional access points, multilingual information, and things that aren’t often included in art catalog records, like color.” Though the audience was somewhat skeptical, Chun said “steve won’t replace anything, and tags must exist alongside traditional cataloging.”

Though tags like “you will die” may have nebulous value, the Met found that 92% of tags added new information that wasn’t present in traditional sources.

Active since 2005, the tag collection is being studied by social scientists at Princeton and the University of Michigan. Questions being studied include “What produces good tags?” and looking at types and tag clusters using deduping and stemming analysis.

The project includes an open API and open source download. Installation is quite simple (requiring PHP and MySQL), but the upload of images requires a custom XML schema for description.

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