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Many eyes make light work
February 3, 2010 5:15 PM   Subscribe

The Victoria and Albert Museum is using crowdsourcing to determine the best images, crops and enlargements of items in its online database.

Another crowdsourced project at the V&A: the World Beach Project Map, photographs of patterns made with stones on beaches.

People who enjoyed Backtagging may be interested in taking part.
posted by paduasoy (11 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aw, come on. Couldn't they just hire a handful of starving art history majors? It's not like they get paid the big bucks.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:22 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Weee. I like to think when I do something like that I am slightly delaying the inevitable dissolution of the order we observe in our universe under entropy. But probably not.
posted by shothotbot at 5:28 PM on February 3, 2010


"Crowdsourcing" is my "mashup."
posted by june made him a gemini at 6:10 PM on February 3, 2010


Unfortunately you can't answer the V&A's question by looking at the images on their website because the largest versions available (the pop-up display windows) are still only postcard-size. Give me 3000x4500 and we can start to talk. (Maybe they offer better behind the registration wall. Anybody know?) Also, like any self-respecting museum web site, they've broken tabbed browsing unless you disable javascript.

Basically, any graphics site with a "My Orders" shopping cart is telling the world "Pay no attention to our name. We are not a museum, we are a branch of allposters.com." Are they really crowdsourcing opinions or is this just a marketing gimmick for dragging in a few more potential customers? I strongly suspect the latter.
posted by jfuller at 7:44 PM on February 3, 2010


jfuller: The Victoria & Albert Museum is a museum - one of the world's largest, if you weren't already aware.
posted by divabat at 9:26 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


the largest versions available (the pop-up display windows) are still only postcard-size

Broken by design.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:35 PM on February 3, 2010


In other news, I'll be hanging some pictures next week and would love to crowdsource the positioning. You can prepare your responses now if you'd like.

[ ] A little more to the left
[ ] Oops, go some more to the right
[ ] No, wait, back to the left
[ ] Sorry, I meant my left
[ ] Up a little
[ ] I think it's tilted
[ ] The light's all wrong here
[ ] No, the light's just fine
[ ] Maybe it was better off where it was
[ ] That picture would look better in the kitchen, just saying

Thanks in advance, Internet!
posted by Spatch at 10:01 PM on February 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is pretty fun, I contributed about 50 or 60 before I got bored.
posted by Clamwacker at 10:54 PM on February 3, 2010


jfuller: The Victoria & Albert Museum is a museum - one of the world's largest, if you weren't already aware.

Yes, but they're a museum that clearly has high-quality scans of all these images and yet will only let you pay to get prints of them, rather than download them yourself. I wonder about their priorities as well.
posted by smackfu at 5:42 AM on February 4, 2010


> The Victoria & Albert Museum is a museum - one of the world's largest, if you weren't already aware.

Yeah, I'm aware of the Victoria and Albert and its history and reputation. I am given to wonder all the more how such a cultural icon (in the old-fashioned sense--any curator will understand) can be so large and so small at the same time.

Not that the V&A is alone in that. Time was when I wrote support checks (not millions, but often more than I could really afford) to museums I thought were doing their job well--job being to keep the art from deteriorating, and then get it out where people can see it. Nowadays OTOH my support is via Paypal to websites like

Wikimedia Commons
ibiblio
The Athanaeum
Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur
Web Gallery of Art
Lib-art.com
Visipix
...and (cough, cough, this one gives me especially evil pleasure; are you listening, Tate Modern? are you listening, MOMA?)
ArtRenewal

P.S. oh yeah, if you have some idea what you're looking for, more often than not Google images with the size option set to Large will take you straight to a good big scan like this one (1263 × 2756).
posted by jfuller at 10:26 AM on February 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


PDF of The V&A"s annual financial report... in case one had any doubts about adding ,000 to every really big number.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:39 PM on February 4, 2010


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