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Steve.Museum Social Tagging of Museum Images

Steve.Museum Social Tagging of Museum Images

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Steve.Museum Social Tagging of Museum Images

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  1. Steve.MuseumSocial Tagging of Museum Images

  2. Who is Steve? • Steve is a collaborative project, formed in 2005, dedicated to exploring the effectiveness of social tagging for accessing art museum collections online and engaging audiences.

  3. Who is Steve? • Founded in 2005 as a volunteer effort • Funded as a research project by an IMLS National Leadership Grant in 2006 • Re-funded by IMLS for research activities in 2008, as well as implementation work

  4. Funding: Institute of Museum and Library Services Listserv Participants: 350 active members Future Collaborators: UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies Minnesota Digital Library New Media Consortium University of Maryland, CLiMB Project Cleveland Museum of Art Denver Art Museum Guggenheim Museum Los Angeles County Museum of Art Indianapolis Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art Minneapolis Institute of Arts Rubin Museum of Art San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Skirball Cultural Center Walker Art Center - Archives and Museum Informatics Susan Chun, Independent Consultant Taxonomy Strategies Think Design


  6. Why study social tagging?Every partner has a different answer • Can tagging help users find art more easily? • Can tagging change the way users look at and engage with art? • Can tagging help museums understand what visitors see and understand?

  7. From: J. P. Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 11:24:43 -0700 To: Subject: Looking for a paintingPlease help:I have been looking on and off for years for this painting. The painting is of a very well dressed renaissance man standing in a room (a library) in front of him on a table is a large hour glass. The painting has very rich colors. I have talked to a lot of people and they have said they have seen this painting but can't remember its name or the name of the artist.Could you please use your resources to find this painting?

  8. A few of the people I’m most interested in helping • J.P. • The cyber-volunteer • The scholar from abroad

  9. Why a research project? • What conditions yield the most useful and accurate descriptions of artworks? • What interfaces provide the most engaging user experience? • Can museums develop and manage a research project with both quantitative and qualitative research methods?

  10. What has Steve been up to? • Steve is in the final stages of a two-year research grant from the IMLS. • Steve has completed four data collection experiments and is analyzing the collected data. • Steve has released open source software to help other museums use social tagging tools.

  11. steve’s Tools

  12. The steve tagger: an open-source, configurable tag collection environment

  13. Available for download at



  16. The steve term review tool: a tool for reviewing and annotating tags


  18. The steve reporting suite: allowing us to review and analyze the data

  19. Data will be on deposit at ICPSR and CPANDA for use by researchers

  20. 2006-08 Research Agenda

  21. Term collection in four different environments and two installations

  22. “Sets” environment, public tagger (









  31. Some stats from the research: 11 Participating Museums 1,784 Works of Art in the Research 93,380 Tags collected* 2,275 Users who tagged* *Derived from the sum of statistics from single and multi-institutional deployments


  33. What are tags telling us?

  34. Tags are different than museum documentation • Tags are useful • Tags can’t be found elsewhere • Tags could help improve searching Full papers and presentations are available at: Final research results will be released in December 2008.

  35. A Few Highlights Tags are different than museum documentation • 86% of all tags not found in label copy • 62% of distinct tags not in AAT • 85% of distinct tags not in ULAN

  36. 88% of tags were useful A Few Highlights Museum professionalsfound most tags useful If you found this work using this term would you be surprised?

  37. A Few Highlights Tags are almost always useful when they are assigned two or more times.

  38. A Few Highlights Few useful tags are found in extended documentation • Automated Matching is problematic • 19 distinct tags found in 11 documents • 138 matches found automatically (51 relevant | 87 not-relevant) 63% false matches Landscape near Arles - Gauguin, Paul Indianapolis Museum of Art ... the house where he grew up ...

  39. A Few Highlights Institutional Affiliation Matters. • Users invited to tag by The Metropolitan Museum of Art were 4 times as productive • Multi-Institution Tagger: 22 tags / user • Single Institution Tagger: 82 tags / user

  40. A Few Highlights • Tags could improve searching • Only 4 submitted tags matched the online information. Wayne Thiebaud (1920-1963) Display Cakes, 1963 Collection SFMOMA Tags Submitted: 20th century, baked goods, balanced, balancing, cake, cake stand, cakes, cherry on top, coconut cake, cream filling, dessert, desserts, food, frosting, genoise, lemon merangue, Lollypop shadows, painting, pie, plates, portrait, shadow, shadows, simple, tall stands, Thiebaud, three, trio, white background

  41. What are taggers telling us?

  42. The works may evoke strong emotions Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm Tag: piece of sh*t

  43. They see things differently Winslow Homer, The Gulf Stream Tags: sharks, dolphins, rocky shore

  44. They have stories of their own to tell “My wife and I lived in Baltmore from 1959 to 1964. One of her best friends' father passed away, and she gave my wife this work from his estate. We have proudly owned and displayed it in our home for the past 45 years.” -Contributor to the Cleveland Museum of Art “metadating” project

  45. They create “Very Personal Meanings” Albers, Homage to the Square Tagged: tubberware

  46. They create their own connections between works Tag: Michael Museum of Art

  47. They can’t spell

  48. They have expert knowledge This watercolor has been made in 1910 for the french newspaper "l'Illustration". Dulac illustrated each christmas number of the Illustration between 1909 and 1913. I'm a french student (doctorat in History of Art) and wrote a monograph of Edmund Dulac when I was in Master degree. The french city of Toulouse (where Dulac is born)is about to organize an exhibition in november - december 2008 in wich I take part. If you need more informations about Edmund Dulac, you can get in touch with me by email: -Contributor to the Cleveland Museum of Art “metadating” project

  49. They aren’t malicious From all tags collected in the first three term collection cycles 29 “blacklisted” terms

  50. steve’s Future