Open Images: looking back on 2010
How did Open Images contribute to an open collection of audiovisual material and stimulate the reuse of it in 2010? We reached the milestone of a thousand items available on the platform on the UNESCO World Day for Audio Visual Heritage in October. In September Open Images launched its open API. Items published on the platform and their descriptions (metadata) 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).
Since the start of the project, Open Images has contributed its audiovisual content to Wikimedia Commons to enable reuse of video on Wikipedia, for instance to ‘illustrate’ an article. 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.