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more steve ... tagger prototype preliminary analysis


terms from one of the test imagesI've begun working with the data from the steve.museum prototype tagger, in preparation for a presentation at the ASIST SIG/CR workshop in Austin TX on November 4, 2006.The preliminary results, discussed in my paper [PDF preprint on-line] confirm the gap between terms provided by social tagging and those provided in professional museum documentation. We're seeing about 90% new terms in the top four, most-tagged works -- a number that really surprised me. (The blue terms in the charts are the ones that match museum documentation.)

It's not that one approach is right and the other wrong, just that there seem to be two entirely different discourses, two methods of looking at, and talking about art that seem to be almost orthogonal. There are very strong correlations in the terms supplied by different taggers, and these terms often aren't found in the museum's cataloguing.

It's got me thinking about the assumptions we come to museum documentation with, and the challenges in re-purposing information across platforms.

jt

sebchan's picture
hi jennifer
it exposes the search trends in a pretty rudimentary way but i think you'll immediately see the possibiltiies.
would STEVE be interested in getting a feed from it? we could probably set that up over the holiday period.
although it is search data it shows relationships between terms, objects and other terms, and, because of the nature of our collection and how it is already described (formally or with tags) the search data is in some ways the equivalent of user tagging (except non concious tagging)
seb
Director of Digital & Emerging Media
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
jtrant's picture

Seb,

cool idea -- the steve people are getting together at MCN next week. We'll talk about this there, and i'll be in touch.
jt
ps which holiday?

j. trant co-founder Museums and the Web | partner archives & museum informatics www.archimuse.com

sebchan's picture
which holiday - the december one.
seb
Manager, Web Services
Digital Media Services
Powerhouse Museum
P.O.Box K346
Haymarket NSW 1238
Australia
w - www.powerhousemuseum.com
e - sebc@phm.gov.au
Director of Digital & Emerging Media
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
sebchan's picture
hi jennifer
that paper is really interesting and opens up a lot of questions . . . .
we're looking at opening up access to the backend of our tag data and search data shortly - well in the coming months. i'm making a pretty strong case with our collection to be integrating search terms with tags based on how we've seens both tags and searches being used - we have the benefit of richer and often descriptive collection records with our material vs that in art museums.
it would be interesting to build a mash up application that compared steve tag data with data from our opac2.0.
we've started displaying search term data publically now in a limited way but feasibly we could make the database available via an API to other museums with similar collections
there's a bit of info on what we are doing at - http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/dmsblog/index.php?s=opac2.0
seb chan
Manager, Web Services
Digital Media Services
Powerhouse Museum
P.O.Box K346
Haymarket NSW 1238
Australia
w - www.powerhousemuseum.com
e - sebc@phm.gov.au
Director of Digital & Emerging Media
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
jtrant's picture
Seb,
I think it would be really interesting to compare results of tagging museum collections in different environments, steve, Powerhouse, Smithsonian Photography, wherever we can gather comparable data. One of the reasons for steve, and our IMLS-funded research project, is to learn more about user tagging behaviour, and where and how it contributes to the accessibilty of museum collections. 
There are more questions than answers right now, and I'm looking forward to talking more about what we're all learning.
jennifer

j. trant archives & museum informatics www.archimuse.com

j. trant co-founder Museums and the Web | partner archives & museum informatics www.archimuse.com