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Daily Archives: December 14, 2013

British Library releases over 1 million images using Flickr Commons

British Library Digital scholarship blog: “We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of. Which brings me to the point of this release. We are looking for new, inventive ways to navigate, find and display these ‘unseen illustrations’. The images were plucked from the pages as part of the ‘Mechanical Curator’, a creation of the British Library Labs project. Each image is individually addressible, online, and Flickr provies an API to access it and the image’s associated description.  We may know which book, volume and page an image was drawn from, but we know nothing about a given image. Consider the image below. The title of the work may suggest the thematic subject matter of any illustrations in the book, but it doesn’t suggest how colourful and arresting these images are..

Next steps - We plan to launch a crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe what the images portray. Our intention is to use this data to train automated classifiers that will run against the whole of the content. The data from this will be as openly licensed as is sensible (given the nature of crowdsourcing) and the code, as always, will be under an open licence. The manifests of images, with descriptions of the works that they were taken from, are available on github and are also released under a public-domain ‘licence’. This set of metadata being on github should indicate that we fully intend people to work with it, to adapt it, and to push back improvements that should help others work with this release.  There are very few datasets of this nature free for any use and by putting it online we hope to stimulate and support research concerning printed illustrations, maps and other material not currently studied. Given that the images are derived from just 65,000 volumes and that the library holds many millions of items.”

Report – Addressing Poverty and Homelessness in the United States

No Place Like Home Addressing Poverty and Homelessness in the United States, by Tracey Ross | December 5, 2013 “While owning a home is the cornerstone of the American Dream, growing income inequality, coupled with an affordable housing crisis, makes maintaining stable housing a challenge for millions of Americans. In his book, Making Room: The Economics of Homelessness, Columbia University ProfessorContinue Reading

Report – The State of Women in America

Anna Chu and Charles Posner | September 25, 2013 “Despite the advancements made by women over the past few decades, it is still difficult for women to get ahead and not just get by. There remain challenges on economic security, leadership, and health issues that make it harder for women to have a fair shot at success. This mapContinue Reading

Report – Guns and Crime The Gun Debate 1 Year After Newtown

The Gun Debate 1 Year After Newtown Assessing Six Key Claims About Gun Background Checks by Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons | December 13, 2013 “The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, reignited the debate on whether to strengthen federal and state gun laws. Soon after the massacre, the top priority for advocates forContinue Reading

My Sandy Hook Family

My Sandy Hook Family “December 14, 2012 forever and unalterably changed  the lives of the 26 families whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since that day, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness, love, prayers, and generosity received from the entire world. To simply say thank you is notContinue Reading