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.
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.
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’.