Since the launch of Open Images in 2009 there has been an increase in the reuse and reach of Open Images each year. To demonstrate this we will compare the quantitative results of 2011 and 2012 from Open Images in this blog. To measure is to know!
Visitors of Open Images
In 2011 there were almost 1,600 media files available on Open Images, this has now increased to more than 1,800. We can also see that the number of visitors has increased from 66,000 in 2011 to more than 105,000 in 2012. Of these visitors more than 53,000 were unique visitors in 2011, which increased to 89,000 in 2012. There was also an increase in the number of visited pages: in 2011 almost 207,000 pages were visited and in 2012 nearly 280,000. In 2011 nearly 11,000 videos were played, in 2012 this was close to 16,000. We also know that from July 2012 almost 2,400 media files were downloaded.
Reuse of the Sound and Vision Open Images dataset
Not only the impact generated on the Open Images platform itself is increasing, but the external reuse of material available through Open Images as well. The Sound and Vision videos from Open Images are, for instance, also available on Wikimedia Commons and in Europeana. Since these videos became available in Europeana in May 2012, they were visited 3,900 times by 3,200 unique visitors throughout 2012. Besides these numbers, we have particularly good insight in the external reuse in Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia. In 2011 as well as in 2012 nearly 1,600 media files from the Sound and Vision collection were made available for reuse on Wikimedia Commons through Open Images. In December 2011 these files were reused in almost 1,000 articles on Wikipedia, in December 2012 this number had increased to nearly 1,600. In the whole of 2011 these articles generated almost 19,000,000 page views. In 2012 this more than doubled to nearly 40,000,000 (!). In other words, this means that in 2012 a Wikipedia article containing reused media from Sound and Vision was viewed nearly 40,000,000 times.
Besides Wikimedia projects, the data and videos from Open Images are also used more and more for innovative applications. The API from Open Images makes it possible for computers to process the data from the openly available collections. In 2012, the API received 169,000 requests. Creative developers have become even more aware of the existence of Open Images as a great basis for new apps since the Open Culture Data initiative started in 2011. For the open data competitions Apps Voor Nederland (Apps for the Netherlands) and the Open Culture Data competition 2012, seven apps were submitted that used the Sound and Vision dataset on Open Images. Two of these apps won an award: Vistory (winner of Apps voor Nederland 2011) and Tijdbalk.nl (winner of the Dutch National Archives award during the Open Culture Data competition 2012). In recent years, a number of other applications have also been developed using the Sound and Vision subset of Open Images, such as Erfgoed in Beeld, Led it Up and Docs on the spot.
Putting the figures in perspective
The current size of the entire audiovisual collection of Sound and Vision is estimated at 750,000 hours. The Polygoon newsreel collection is one of the few subcollections of which Sound and Vision owns the required intellectual property rights to make the material available under an open content license. This subcollection forms the basis of the content that Sound and Vision selects for inclusion on Open Images and is estimated at 500 hours. Currently 110 hours of this collection are available via Open Images. This means that – based on the abovementioned estimated figures – at this point in time 22% of the newsreel collection is available as open content via Open Images, which translates to only 0.015% of the entire audiovisual collection of the institute. The impact of Open Images summarized in this blog post shows that even with a relative modest open content set, substantial impact can be obtained. Starting small in the case of Open Images already lead to great results. Imagine what would happen if we were able to even just release one percent of the entire audiovisual collection as open content. Based on our experience we suggest that institutions that haven’t yet opened (parts) of their collection at least experiment with a small content set, that can easily be made available without restrictions. By measuring the impact and actively promoting reuse, a lot can be learned by GLAMs about the potential of opening the digital doors of our institutions.
Metrics for measuring the impact of cultural datasets
The numbers show that the (re)use of the material on Open Images has increased substantially. The impact of Open Images has proved to be considerable and the external reuse of the open content also sees an increase. In response to the growing need within the cultural heritage field to receive statistics on the impact of the opening up of cultural data sets, Sound and Vision will perform impact analysis research together with Kennisland for Open Culture Data. In order to do so, the data providers from the Open Culture Network, but also international initiatives, are requested to provide data on the impact and reuse of their data sets by filling out a survey. The results of this impact analysis will be made public in the course of 2013.
Fifty videos about the Dutch railway network have now been added to Open Images. In 65 years of Polygoon newsreels the railways have been a recurring news topic. In these years it´s not only about the problems because of delays and failures, but especially about the developments and growth of the railways in the Netherlands. Gradually, an increasing portion of the rail network is electrified. Steam trains are replaced by electric trains. Until these steam-breathing monsters are nowhere to be found in the Dutch landscape. In addition, there are cities and connections added to the rail network. This way, the rail passenger can visit an increasingly amount of spots in the Netherlands.
The electrification of the Dutch railway network is progressing nicely in 1938. Electric trains are driving at various connections and on certain routes diesel trains are being used. Over the years the steam train slowly disappears from the Dutch tracks. This Polygoon newsreel shows how the electrification of the railways is progressing in 1938:
Electric train is overrunning the Netherlands, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
Of course there sometimes is, even in earlier times, something wrong on the railways. Among other things, in 1926 and 1929, a passenger train derails. Accidents regularly occur on guarded, but mostly unguarded railway crossings. The following item shows how road users are being made aware of the dangers of an unguarded crossing.
Road users attention…. unguarded railway crossing, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
Not only the trains and railways are topics in Polygoon newsreels. There is also attention for passengers and what objects they leave behind in the trains. From guitars to shoes, the most strange objects are found in trains. Different people are sniffing between the found objects looking for something of their liking:
In the railway museum in Utrecht, people can take a look at the past of the railways. Among other things you can see here the oldest Dutch steam locomotive, called the Eagle. You can admire an old timetable and you can see a model of an electric train driving back and forth on a scale model. Visitors also get a look behind the scenes of the Dutch Railways and the automation of the railways is illustrated.
With a video on the opening of the Zuid-Beveland railway from 1927 there are now 2000 videos on Open Images. Since the last milestone of 1500 videos some beautiful videos have been added. From the collection of Sound and Vision several videos form the Polygoon archives with themes like women, shipping, typical Dutch, pets, health and care, Hilversum and railways were added. A good example is a video on ms. Versluys, who was the first female pilot to receive her Dutch pilot license in 1930:
First female Dutch aviator, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
Besides videos from the Polygoon archives, there were also videos added from the collection of educational films from Sound and Vision. These films were produced mid-twentieth century by the Stichting Nederlandse Onderwijsfilms (Foundation of Ducth Educational Films). One of the films from the collection is Giethoorn, suitable for geography lessons:
Among the new videos there were also some not from the Sound and Vision archives. For example, Eye Film Institute Netherlands added a number of films from their Bits and Pieces collection. These videos were also the base for the remix contest Celluloid Remix 2: Found Footage. The contest challenged creative persons to work with a.o. the material on Open Images to make new videos. In the winning video, Untitled by Dániel Szöllösi, a number of smartphones are used:
Besides Eye Film Institute Netherlands the Netherlands Media Art Institute also contributed to Open Images. In their own portal various videos on media art can be found, for example The Unified Field van Peter Bogers:
Peter Bogers: The Unified Field, by Peter Bogers / Netherlands Media Art Institute, is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
Because of the open licenses of the videos and data on Open Images, they could be used for several projects. During the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam the videos were used for Docs on the Spot. With the Docs on the Spot app visitors could experience the documentary Omzwervingen in de nacht (Marjoleine Boonstra, 2004) on location in a new way. Via Open Images this experience was enriched with images from the past. In January Glimworm won the Apps for the Netherlands competition using the data and videos from Open Images in their Vistory app.
The visibility of the videos from Open Images on the internet has also increased. For example, the Sound and Vision set from Open Images was added to the digital library Europeana. On Wikipedia the videos are used to provide visual images to more than 1,100 entries, not only on the Dutch Wikipedia, but also on more than 60 other language version of Wikipedia. These entries are viewed more than 2,5 million times a month.
Access to the audiovisual content on Open Images is provided under Creative Commons licences. These licenses facilitate the reuse of content in different ways. One of the possible ways media from Open Images can be reused is on Wikipedia. For this purpose the videos on Open Images are transferred to Wikimedia Commons, the online repository where freely licensed media files used for Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia are stored. In the beginning this was done manually, but in the meantime this process has been automated through the Open Images API. Currently, there are more than 1500 media items from Open Images available on Wikimedia Commons. This means that Open Images is responsible for about 15% of the total amount of videos, which makes Open Images the largest supplier of videos on Wikimedia Commons.
The Wikipedia community uses the videos from Open Images to enrich the entries on the Wikipedia. For instance, the English article on the ‘Elfstedentocht‘ has a video of the Elfstedentocht of 1954:
Besides the reuse of complete videos, derivative works (such as screenshots) are also used. These are then for example employed in articles on famous people, for instance in this article on Dutch politician Pieter Oud:
3 million views
The reach of Open Images content on Wikipedia turns out to be substantial. In May 2011 the Wikipedia articles with media items from Open Images were viewed more than 3 million times. This is almost three times as much as the number of views in December 2010. Noteworthy is that the majority of the views are not on the Dutch Wikipedia, even though most of the videos on Open Images have Dutch subjects and are in Dutch. Of the 3 million views a mere 880,000 were on the Dutch language Wikipedia. The remaining 2.2 million views were on Wikipedias in different languages. The five Wikipedias where articles with Open Images content got the most views in May 2011 were:
- the English Wikipedia
- the Dutch Wikipedia
- the French Wikipedia
- the Portuegese Wikipedia
- the Japanese Wikipedia
More than 850 articles on the different Wikipedias make use of content from Open Images.
The article with the most views in May 2011 was Mother’s Day on the English Wikipedia, which was viewed almost 1.5 million views. The video used in this article is used on several Wikipedia sites. Besides the English and the Dutch Wikipedia, it is also used on for example the Tibetan and Persian Wikipedia. The Wikipedia articles containing Open Images media with the most views in May 2011 were:
- Mother’s Day (EN) 1,445,756 views
- AFC Ajax (EN) 121,322 views
- AFC Ajax (NL) 111,190 views
- Billy Graham (EN) 94,485 views
- Giro d’Italia (EN) 73,055 views
These statistics demonstrate that offering their material under a free license certainly has an added value for cultural heritage institutions. For the cultural heritage field it is a sound strategyfor opening up their collections to a large audience. It also gives the (internet) community a chance to enrich their projects with historic images. This reuse is of course not restricted to Wikipedia. By offering collections under a free license they turn into a rich source for (re)use fora large number of cultural, educational and creative purposes.
The rush on Dutch roads is off all time. Indications of the first blockages find their origin in the twenties from the 20th century. They are the heralds of the well-known frustrations in the morning and evening: traffic jams.
Over the years, the demand for motor vehicles grew, resulting in headaches for many civil servants. This led in 1938 to the establishment of the “Legion of Benevolent Road Users”. An initiative of the Royal Dutch Automobile Club to bring the politeness back in traffic, so that the safety on the street could be guaranteed. Members of the Legion ‘operated’ under the slogan “prepared for politeness on the street.”
Traffic can not just trust in the benevolence of the road users, so in 1965 a number of new traffic regulations got introduced where safety was of paramount importance. Pedestrians in the built-up area should not be hindered during their cross-over by inattentive motorists and mopeds as swift as an arrow. The Polygoon Dutch News shows in a report that the changes of the traffic regulations also restrict the various functions of emergency lanes.
Nearly 30 years after the establishment of the Legion of Benevolent Road Users, the situation on the roads are often still an awful affair. The undesirable behavior of many road users was not yet nipped in the bud. Especially in the busy capitol city of Amsterdam, motorists are a major problem, their pride possessions are anyway. Cars are double-parked at the strangest spots. However, it is not only the citizens where the finger should be pointed to. There is not enough parking space available in the city. The picturesque bridges that connect the canals do briefly serve as parking lots in 1967. It soon becomes apparent that this solution is unnerving to other road users, so the Amsterdam city council sets foot on the street armed with yellow paint.
In addition to addressing anti-social driving and parking, a car-free city centre of Amsterdam is becoming a more prominent issue. In reply to this, the industrial designer Luud Schimmelpennink in the early 70s came with an innovative concept for environmentally friendly transport: the Witkar. A three-wheel electric vehicle for two persons that could go up to 30 kilometers per hour. This electric tricycle is designed for the collective: subscribers don’t have to worry about a parking lot because the Witkar could be ‘hovered’ in a charger at five locations in Amsterdam.
As small as the Netherlands may be, as big the freedom has been for the performing artists, most of the time. Throughout the years a free rein has been given to many artists within different art disciplines to unfold their talents in front of a large audience.
As early as in 1958, the 14-year-old violinist Dick Bor was given the opportunity to perform as soloist within the Dutch Youth Orchestra during a concert at the Kurhaus in Scheveningen. This concert was held within the scope of the Holland Festival, an event that is held annually in Amsterdam and acts as a platform for the Dutch, as well as the international performing arts.
The Dutch Youth Orchestra has not been the only breeding ground for performing artists. Since the establishment in 1888, the notable Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) has brought forth many talented musicians. The RCO is known throughout the world for being a celebrated symphonic orchestra, so it’s not surprising that international performing artists throughout the years have been eager to cooperate with the orchestra. As early as 1946 the well known German choirmaster Bruno Walter took off to Amsterdam at the age of 71 to rehearse with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Having been the confidant of Gustav Mahler for years, Walters’ choice of repertoire for the cooperation with the RCO was easy: Mahlers Fourth Symphony.
The harmonious teamwork between different artists inspired not only the sector of the performing arts. The government also understood the significance of the fine arts and by the end of the forties the Raad voor Cultuur (Arts Council) is established with the intention to advise the government on the field of ‘art management’ in the sectors of film art, theatre, music, expressive arts and literacy. In 1956 the council is installed in a celebratory way in The Hague by Jozelf Cals, the minister of Education, Arts and Science. The positions within the board are being occupied by prominent people from the five sectors of the fine arts. Hence ballet dancer Sonia Gaskell became head of the sector of theatre.
Polygoon newsreels were shown in Dutch theatres from the 1920’s onwards. Subjects of the daily life in the Netherlands supported with compelling visuals were central to its (nowadays) typical format. To keep the audience interested Polygoon had to renew itself throughout the years. The latest inventions on communication, technology and innovation served the newsreels well as interesting subjects. Further, attention was paid to the mass consumption of the Dutch people in the ‘age of automation’. Innovations and developments which offered new opportunities in solving problems concerning the increasing use of energy, often found their way to the Polygoon newsreels.
These new techniques and innovations were often announced with great optimism. Take for example the introduction of a new sort of an electricity factory, the atomic power station in Dodewaard, announced with quit some enthusiasm. As where nowadays nuclear energy generally appears in an unfavourable light, in a news item from 1966 no attention was paid to the possible dangers entailing nuclear energy. The emphasis lay on the new possibilities: the station would supply the people with all the conveniences they needed in a time of mass use of energy.
Not only new methods to meet the growing need for energy among the Dutch were searched for. The need for better communication techniques became relevant in an age of mass communication. More and more people found their way to Schiphol airport and air cargo traffic grew continually. These developments put much pressure on the air traffic controllers. With the introduction of the radar, the Dutch airspace could be mapped in great detail so that the air traffic controllers had a better overview of air traffic approaching and leaving the Dutch air space. A Polygoon newsreel from 1951 shows how an air traffic controller from Schiphol ‘talks an airplane down’ with the assistance of a at that time new radar technique.
Attention was also paid to remarkable ‘close to home’ innovations which would make life much easier. As early as in 1963 Polygoon made a news item on the precursor of the contemporary late-night shops: the automatic store in Boxtel.
The ever more industrializing Netherlands provided its inhabitants not only with more energy, but also with new consumer goods. Many of these products came onto the market thanks to new technological innovations. New techniques were often shown in the Polygoon newsreels, and in retrospect can now give an indication on how fast new technologies follow each other up. For example, in 1978 a precursor of the contemporary DVD, the videodisc, was shown in a Polygoon news item. As was often the case with Polygoon news items, this particular item had a highly educative character, but with a comic flavour. In the item is demonstrated how with videodisc equipment connected to a regular television, among other things, images can be winded back in slow motion. Thanks to this new technique the bottom of a model walking on the catwalk can be seen again in slow motion. Putting the news in this ‘visual’ way, Polygoon continually captured the attention of its viewers.