Noopur Commons Machinery

Submitted Entry for 2014 Competition


Through various excellent sources like OpenGLAM and the efforts of institutions like British Library, NYPL, Europeana and more, we are gaining access to thousands of images, maps, videos, texts for use and re-use in public domain. However, time has come for us to take stock of these ""piles of open data"" in order to make them easy to search, share, modify, link and attribute. Given the vast spectrum of sources they come from, all works utilize different metadata standards and as they circulate through popular web platforms, they become ""orphaned"" as attribution breaks regularly.

At Commons Machinery, our team has been striving to study how attribution breaks and more importantly, can we automate it? If so, how does it impact the life and journey of a digital artwork? The aim of this entry is to present our prototypes-in-progress as well as try and implement Oembed technology for an entire collection at British Library.

Assessment Criteria

The research question / problem you are trying to answer

Please focus on the clarity and quality of the research question / problem posed:

As mentioned above, we have observed that while open digital collections are a huge leap, one needs and more nuanced and critical approach to making these "open collections" useful. The first step towards that is to strengthen their digital context - attribution, licensing, terms of use. While there is no single resolution, we would like to experiment and implement our current prototypes to make BL digital collections easily share-able without breaking attribution.

Please explain the ways your idea will showcase British Library digital collections
Please ensure you include details of British Library digital collections you are showcasing (you may use several collections if you wish), a sample can be found at

Our current prototypes and implementation of Oembed works the best with image collections. Given how big the image collection at British Library is, we propose to demonstrate using a smaller section from the same.

Please detail the approach(es) / method(s) you are going to use to implement your idea, detailing clearly the research methods / techniques / processes involved

Indicate and describe any research methods / processes / techniques and approaches you are going to use, e.g. text mining, visualisations, statistical analysis etc.

Commons Machinery has already developed browser extensions that can be found here. The challenge would be to see how we can work together to implement our idea. This can only be determined once we access BL's Flickr API and illustrate automatic crediting.

Please provide evidence of how you / your team have the skills, knowledge and expertise to successfully carry out the project by working with the Labs team

E.g. work you may have done, publications, a list with dates and links (if you have them)

The team consists of Jonas Oberg, a Fellow of the Shuttleworth Foundation, previous regional manager for Creative Commons and co-founder of the Free Software Foundation Europe. We also have a team of developers, led by Peter Liljenberg who has a long career developing and architecting international gaming networks. In Peter's team is Elsa Balderrama and Artem Popov, both young and enthusiastic developers with broad development expertise.We also have a community management team consisting of Noopur Raval and Claire Litton, both of who have worked extensively with community management before. We are also joined by Dr Mathias Klang as a resident researcher, as well as Veronica Lane and Leena Simon as project managers.

Please provide evidence of how you think your idea is achievable on a technical, curatorial and legal basis

Indicate the technical, curatorial and legal aspects of the idea (you may want to check with Labs team before submitting your idea first).

On our side, we work only with Free and Open Source software platforms. We believe that we have synergies with how the Labs team works as well as an understanding in terms of licensing. However, to actually work with BL's Flickr collection, we will need to correspond further with those responsible for maintaining the collection and related metadata.

Please provide a brief plan of how you will implement your project idea by working with the Labs team
You will be given the opportunity to work on your winning project idea between May 26th - Oct 31st, 2014.

We are already developing a catalog of products at our labs. Given the opportunity to collaborate, we would like to work on a specific long term solution with BL labs team to set precedent and best practices for data handling in open collections. This may require tweaking what we are building already. Also, we hope to foster a consortium of stakeholders in the cultural sector who might find this technically helpful.