EUscreen, the platform for European television history, now has its own portal on Open Images. The portal contains a selection of almost 60 videos from the European television heritage. They are all available for reuse under a Creative Commons license. The videos are from the archives of Sound and Vision (Netherlands), VRT (Belgium), NAVA (Hungary), Cinecittá Luce (Italy) and Televisió de Catalunya (Spain). By creating this portal on Open Images EUscreen wants to give people the chance to reuse footage from the European television history in a creative way.
The main goal of EUscreen is to make European television heritage available online to the public. Since the start in October 2009 more than 40,000 videos, photos and articles on European television history were published on the freely accessible website. The materials are from 28 European partners from 19 countries. One of the four focal points of EUscreen is ‘reuse and creativity’. The launch of the EUscreen portal on Open Images makes it possible for the public to engage with a small selection of the material in a creative way.
The collection of videos in the portal contains a varied selection. For instance, a programme on women in the army from 1977 from the archives of the VRT:
From the archives of Sound and Vision there is a report on the awarding of the TV Prize to Carel Enkelaar in 1961. In the audience is also Dutch television pioneer Erik de Vries:
Besides historical footage the portal also contains more recent videos, like the beautiful images of different places in Catalunya from the archive of Televisió de Catalunya. For example a video on the marine life of the marine reservation of the Medes islands:
For examples of reuse also check the EUscreen blog. There you can find reports on the different remix workshops and the demo page containing data visualizations and ideas to get started yourself. The complete collection, including virtual exhibitions, can be watched online (for free) on www.euscreen.eu.
In view of the upcoming Olympic Games the digital heritage portal Europeana also focuses on sports. With photos, videos and objects different aspects of (the history of) sports in Europe are shown in a virtual exhibit. The exhibition is divided into four themes: The Olympic and Paralympic Games, Famous European Sports, Football and Ancient Games.
The Sound and Vision set on Open Images has recently also been made a part of Europeana. In the virtual exhibit two videos from this Sound and Vision set were used for the exhibit, in the parts on tennis and cricket:
These two videos are only two of the many sports related videos that can be found on Open Images (and thus Europeana). You can find the virtual exhibition here: European Sport Heritage
In September 2011 the Wiki Loves Monuments contest took place. Thousands of pictures of European monuments were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. To stimulate the use of videos on Wikimedia Commons, Open Images also made a prize available for the best video of a monument.
We are proud to announce that the winner of this prize is this French video about an old wallpaper printing machine (built in 1877). The video shows “the 26 colors machine”, famous for being the first one to use 26 colors for printing wallpapers. Such a machine was a moving piece, with gears, paint, paper and men around it: a video is the only way to make it live again. The video – one of a whole set videos – also unfolds various viewpoints, from the tiny details of a golden cylinder to a view of the surrounding building.
The 26 colors machine, by Loeilamemoires (user on Wikimedia Commons), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share alike.
It provides something that cannot be shown in a static picture: a sense of both beautiful details and the surrounding building, which is typical of industrial age. Video is incredibly useful for the encyclopaedic purposes of Wikipedia. Whether it is to visualise a chemical reaction, watch lifeforms evolve in their environment, or see how a machine actually works. If an image tells a thousand words, then imagine what you can tell in 24 images a second.
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.
At the moment Wikipedia articles don’t contain a lot of videos (less than 0,1% of all files on Wikimedia Commons are video files). Open Images would like to change this. Therefore, most videos from Open Images are already automatically mirrored to Wikimedia Commons. To stimulate users to use more video on Wikipedia, Open Images will be handing out a special video prize. The maker of the best video uploaded as part of Wiki Loves Monuments will be awarded a 2 year Premium subscription to Spotify, or alternatively an Amazon gift voucher.
Wiki Loves Monuments is a contest organised by Wikimedia, the movement behind Wikipedia. To be eligible for the video prize participants have to upload a video of one or more monuments to Wikipedia in September. The rules are:
- Self made and self uploaded
- Uploaded in September 2011
- Freely licensed
- Feature one or more monuments
So be creative and enter the contest! The people of Video on Wikipedia have a howto explaining how to post a video to Wikipedia. More information on Wiki Loves Monuments can be found on their website.
The emancipation of the Dutch woman has made a lot of progression during the last century. Women are now actively engaged in the labour market, in sports and in many other places. Polygoon newsreels made a number of reports on women in a man’s world throughout the years. Special in this case is footage of the female aviation pioneer ms. Beppie Versluys. She was the first woman to receive a Dutch pilot license in 1930. In an article in Het Vaderland she talks in detail about her exam and her preparation for her exam. She understands that people might be a little nervous about a female pilot: “It must be an unsafe feeling for many people that their Dutch sky is traversed by not only a woman, but also one of a reckless age.” It wasn’t always easy being a woman during her exam. For example, when she had to fly for an hour at a height of 2000m she had a hard time: “It was very cold and I cried because of the pain in my fingers. (My colleagues probably never did that).” But nevertheless she passed all the tests and qualified as a pilot:
First female Dutch aviator, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
Ms. Versluys never had the intention to make a profession out of flying. But there were women in the 1930s who started working in professions that were seen as male professions. For example, Dutch women were trained to be a fire fighter. With the impending war they had to be able to take over the work from the men. Even though women weren’t thought to be suitable for the job, this didn’t really matter according to Het Vaderland: “If women are suitable for this job – fighting fire is men’s work – should be disregarded, because there will be no other choice.” Polygoon newsreels filmed a demonstration of the female firefighters of the The Hague fire brigade in 1939. Dressed in firegighter suits the women show among other things how to extuingish a fire:
The women’s fire brigade gives a demonstration, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
In 1953 the police in Heerlen also had something new, for the first time they started recruiting women to patrol the streets in uniform. According to the Nieuwe Leidsche Courant there tasks would be “monitoring the youth, teaching the youth crossing guards and supervising movie theatres, bars and other amusements.” In the same year Polygoon newsreels went to Heerlen to see the women at work. Besides their normal tasks the report also shows them taking part in lessons in judo to become more resistant:
Patrolling the streets with the female police, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
A report at the steel company Hoogovens in IJmuiden shows how things have changed in the 1980s. In an industry that was dominated by men for a long time, more and more women were employed. After a training the women could work as crane operator with the same pay and career opportunities as the men in the company:
After the 1000th video was uploaded to Open Images last October a new milestone has been reached: the addition of the 1500th video. A few themes can be distinguished among the last 500 video’s, such as winter, traffic and transportation, living, Schiphol Airport, fashion and beauty, sports, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, industry and production, countryside and performing arts. On the occasion of the 1500th video we will highlight a few videos from some of these themes.
The 1500th video that was added to Open Images is a report from the Polygoon newsreels on the 60 years existence of Philips in 1951. The electronics company Philips was founded in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik Philips. In 1951 Eindhoven was decorated with thousands of light bulbs to celebrate the 60 years existence. There was also an unveiling of a statue of Anton Philips. This week it is 120 years ago that Philips was founded:
Philips exists 60 years, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
The former Netherlands Antilles celebrated a special day on October 10, 2010. On that day Curaçao and Sint Maarten became constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a status Aruba had since 1986. The other islands – Saba, Saint Eustatius and Bonaire – became a direct part of the Netherlands as special municipalities. The status of the former colonies is laid down in the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which dates from 1954. The alteration made in 2010 wasn’t the first one. In 1974 Polygoon newsreels did a report on a conference on the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in The Hague. Subject of discussion was Suriname’s desire to become independent. This would become a reality a year later, when the charter was altered for the first time:
Conference on the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
In the countryside of Groningen they had other things to worry about in 1975. There the village of Weiwerd had to be demolished to make room for the expanding industry of the neighbouring Delfzijl. Polygoon newsreels made a report on the demolition of the village. The first houses had already been taken down by then and many inhabitants had left the village. The school in the village only had 14 students and 2 teachers left and the church in the middle of Weiwerd hadn’t had a service in months. Polygoon interviewed a woman who hadn’t moved yet:
Demolition of the village of Weiwerd, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
More than 20 years earlier workers were doing the exact opposite in the IJsselmeer. There they were busy building a new city, Lelystad. In 1950 they started working on the construction of a ring-dike for the future Flevopolder from the working island Lelystad. In the first months of 1954 they hadn’t reached the mainland yet and the winter caused problems. Because of the ice they couldn’t reach the mainland with a boat anymore. And after the thaw had set in, the ice wasn’t thick enough to provide the inhabitants with food and mail via that route. Thus the sixty inhabitants of the island were provided with the necessary goods via a helicopter:
Helicopter ends the isolation of Lelystad, by Polygoon-Profilti (producer) / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (curator), is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.
After the 1500th video the collection of videos on Open Images will keep expanding gradually. Later this year we hope to make the 2000th video available for reuse. Amongst the themes that will be added in the future is a theme on women with subjects like female football, female police officers and the feminist movement.
With this blog post we look back on the past year. How did Open Images contribute to an open collection of audiovisual material and stimulate the reuse of it?
Hundreds of Items Added to the Platform
In 2010 we have uploaded hundreds of interesting items to the platform from the historical newsreel collection of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, reaching the milestone of a thousand items available on the platform on the UNESCO World Day for Audio Visual Heritage in October. In our selection procedure some themes received special attention; sports, performing arts, winter, technology, and Indonesia.
This year the Sound and Vision was not the only contributor of content to the platform. Other wonderful additions to Open Images were done by the EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the Institute for Network Cultures and the Dutch National Committee May 4th and 5th.
In September Open Images launched its open API. Items published on the platform and their descriptions (metadata) and are accessible through an Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). This enables third parties to retrieve the stored metadata and media files in a structured way, making it easy to reuse material from the platform in their own applications (for example to create a mashup).
Video on Wikipedia
At first the ‘donation’ to Wikimedia Commons was a manual process, but in 2010 – in collaboration with Wikimedia Netherlands – we were able to fully automate this process, thanks to the Open Images API. As a result Open Images is now responsible for almost 12% of the video content available on Wikimedia Commons, hence being one of the biggest contributors of video that is reusable on Wikipedia.
We are getting more and more insight in the impact of the availability of Open Images material through Wikimedia Commons. We’ve learned that a large proportion is used to enrich over 550 entries on Wikipedia with related audiovisual content. In December 2010, these entries were viewed nearly 1.2 million times. This shows the great potential for the cultural heritage sector to collaborate with the Wikimedia Foundation to reach new and greater audiences within a meaningful context.
New Projects Reusing Open Images
When Open Images was launched in 2009 the material was almost immediately reused within several projects, including the OPEN CITY audiovisual archive of urban life from the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO and the ArtTube video platform about art and design from the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.
In 2010, tens of projects, small and large, were added to the list. Among them Picture War Monuments, a location-aware iPhone app that enriches the on-site visit to war monuments with audiovisual heritage, including newsreel footage and oral history video material on the Second World War available through Open Images. Another notable initiative was Image on a Map (‘Beeld in kaart’), a Google Maps mashup for the educational sector in the Netherlands combining several (educational) video sources – including Open Images – within a map interface. With this interface users are able to filter results based on subject (geography or history), location and time period.
In 2011 the Open Images platform will receive a major update, with both functional and visual improvements. Part of this update is the realisation of portal functionality, allowing third party content providers to build and manage their own entrance to the platform (think: http://partner.openimages.eu). This will, for example, allow them to highlight their own contributions to the platform and to design their presence on the platform according to their own wishes and branding.
The platform functionality is part of a larger campaign we are organising to attract more third party content keepers to contribute to an even larger and more diverse offering of open audiovisual content through Open Images. This campaign will focus on public broadcasters, regional and local archives and broadcasters, institutional archives and business archives.
Finally, we would proudly like to mention our nomination for the Museums and the Web – Best of the Web Award 2011 in the category ‘Innovative / Experimental’.
On Thursday, March 10, 2011 the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision organizes in collaboration with the Institute of Network Cultures, two workshops at the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk). Offering the opportunity for hands-on experience with online video, in these creative workshops participants will experiment with a variety of online video tools and technologies.
Workshop 1 – Remixing and Re-Use of Open Video Collections
In the context of the Open Images project, participants of the Remixing and Re-use of Open Video Collections workshop will get creative with material from the historical newsreel collection of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, to make their own short videos. Led by Maarten Brinkerink of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, and facilitated by artists Emile Zile and José Miguel Biscaya, creative students, media producers and video amateurs are invited to start reusing and remixing the growing wealth of open video collections that are made available online for use in inspired and inspiring video creations. During the workshop, participants will first become familiar with the Open Images collection, seeing what is available for re-use, and are then, through the guidance of workshop facilitators, offered a creative toolkit of possible styles and techniques they can use with the material to create and tell their own story using this found footage. The workshop takes place in collaboration with MediaLAB Amsterdam.
Participants should come with their own laptop and lots of creative energy.
Workshop 2 – Animated Gif Mashup Studio
Led by artist Evan Roth, Animated Gif Mashup Studio invites participants to work collaboratively to create a single music video composed of their favorite animated gifs. Animated gifs individually tell the story of one meme but, when archived and mashed together, they can tell the story of the entire Internet at that particular moment. During the workshop, Roth will teach participants about the open source animated gif mash-up software he built, how to search for animated gifs and how to put together their own animated gif compilations. By the end of the workshop, the group will create a music video that will be screened during the symposium and on a browser near you (for reference, see http://evan-roth.com/cream.php).
Participants should come with their laptops as well as any songs and/or animated gifs they might like to include.
Buy your tickets for the workshop here.
Date: 10th of March, 2011
Location: NIMk, Keizersgracht 264
Prices: € 7,50 student prices and € 10,- normal price
Time: 10.00 – 16.00 hrs
Fourty videos on sports have now been added to Open Images. These items from the Polygoon newsreels give an overview of different sports in the Netherlands. Besides well known sports like football, hockey and cycling, there are also videos on lesser known sports. One of these is a sport that orginated in the USA, pushball. In a game of pushball two teams try to push an enormous ball across the line of the side of the opposing team. A large crowd of spectators in traditional attire watches a pushball game in Volendam in 1927. A report of this match shows how falling players frequently get run over by the enormous ball:
Falling down and getting up again also seems to be the motto during a cross-country of the Royal Military Sports Club. In a report by Polygoon newsreels we can see how the mounted soldiers have to ride a course with ditches, fences and slopes. This doesn’t always go smoothly: horses refuse, go through instead of over the fences or fall down with their rider:
The participants of the 4th Amstel Gold Race in 1969 also had a hard time. The weather conditions were far from ideal. The participants of this cycling classic in the hills of Limburg had to deal with cold and wet weather. Many cyclists had to give up. Only 34 of the 170 cyclists finished the race. Eddy Merckx was the favourite for the win, but his fellow countryman Guido Reybroeck eventually won the sprint:
The water skiers on the Bosbaan in 1962 had better weather. The participants of the Northern European and also Open Dutch Championships Water Skiing particpated in two categories: trick skiing and ski jumping. The 14-year-old Dutch Conny Dane won the Dutch as well as the Nothern European title in the category trick skiing. The jumps of the Danish waterskier Glasner didn’t go as smoothly. He came 9m short of the eventual winner in his first jump. During his second attempt he fell, but luckily he was “not discouraged” according to commentator Philip Bloemendal, but “he was wet”: