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Digital Heritage Award 2011

The nominees

​An international jury, consisting of Josh Greenberg, Susan Hazan, Johan Oomen, Vincent Puig and Mia Ridge have selected the five final of a longer list of crowdsourcing projects. As you can read in the jury statements (provided with each of the final five projects) each of these final projects is well worth winning the award!

The 5 nominated crowdsourcing projects are (in alphabetical order, with the institution that will present the project at DISH2011):

It was up to you, the participants of the conference, to vote for your favorite project. Remember that the award is not meant as a quality assessment of the project, but says something about the preferences of fellow professionals. Which idea leads to new horizons? Which project inspires the most?

How to vote?

Each project was shortly presented during the plenary program of the first day of the conference. Each project had a table at the information market where you could talk to the representatives of the project, try the tools yourself or get a closer look at project online. Three stickers were handed out to each conference, which could be used to vote for favorite project(s). Until the end of lunchtime you should have contributed your stickers at the project table! The award was presented at 17:15 pm at the end of day 1 (December 7).

And the winner is...

This year, the Digital Heritage Award 2011 (DISH Award 2011) was handed out to the best crowdsourcing project. During the first day of DISH2011, all participants of the conference could vote for one of the 5 nominees.

At the end of the first conference day, the winner received the DISH Award 2011: the project 'Digitalkoot' by the National Library of Finland and Mikrotask.

DISH Award 2011 won by Finnish project Digitalkoot 

... Digitalkoot !

Will be presented by: Ari Rouvari, The National Library of Finland

Project website:
Institutions: National Library of Finland, Microtask

Statement of the jury by Susan Hazan:

​"Digitalkoot – a joint project of the National Library of Finland and Microtask – has set itself the goal of indexing the entire contents of the library; representing more than 4 million pages, including newspapers, maps and other valuable documents; with the important goal of making the collection available to everyone. However, not all the content made its screen debut the way the original editors intended it so that the texts are rife with typos and other inaccuracies that were generated by the optical character recognition (OCR) processing. In order to increase the accuracy of the newspaper archives' text-based searches the library realized that it had to clean up the texts, and decided to reach out to the public to lend a hand. However, instead of simply installing a service such as reCAPTCHA as many others have done, Digital Koot came up with a much more entertaining solution and have turned their crowd sourced editors into gamers with highly entertaining Mole Hunt and Mole Bridge.
At this point the library's goal is to correct the actual words as you play the game and later on, us brave mole protectors will actually be structuring the documents and tagging images. So far, according to their website, some 50,000 volunteers have been building the bridge to the moles' pink-hearted girlfriend and in this passionate race against time, have corrected hundreds and thousands of unintended typos that were originally handwritten or printed in old fonts.
The brilliant solution here is that there is a built-in safety net for malicious, or not such diligent gamer who either deliberately, or unwittingly type in the wrong words. At the beginning the system offers the player (invisibly) only “golden tasks”; words where the solutions are known and preset. Only those with the best of intentions can then go on to continue playing. The results are impressive; with the length of playtime varying from a few seconds to more than 100 hours. The average time spent protecting moles comes out to around 9 minutes which means that together these mole fans have contributed some 3,400 hours of their time on a voluntary basis, and reached an amazing 99% of accuracy in the transcription of the Aamulehti archive."

How to play Mole Hunt

How to play Mole Bridge

Nominee: Old Weather

Will be presented by: Lawrence Chiles, National Maritime Museum Project


Jury statement by Johan Oomen:

"In October 2010, a consortium including the National Maritime Museum and the Citizen Science Alliance launched its initiative Old Weather, that aims to collect data on temperatures from historical ship logs. These detailed logs were kept by ships of the Royal Navy, that around the world from 1905 to 1929. Sailors wrote down temperature, wind and other climate data every four hours. Users perform a task comparable to other transcribing projects.

The execution and impact of Old Weather is extraordinary. For instance, the speed in which this work is carried out is just stunning. By December 2010, 202,904 pages have been transcribed, 25% of the total amount. And a year later, the total amount has risen to 736,581, i.e. 97 percent of all the logs. The project managed to attract a large crowd and (judging from the results) also managed to create an user friendly and scalable platform for carrying out the task at hand. The blog keeps both the community and outside experts engaged. The international press coverage has been impressive, including tv news coverage.

With this data, scientists will be able to study how oceans transport heat and water around the globe and try to determine how this affects temperature. The Old Weather project is the a citizen-based science project by the Citizen Science Alliance community, which has enrolled many tens of thousands volunteers in to process images of stars, galaxies and other astronomical formations. The jury congratulates Lawrence Chiles of the National Maritime Museum (who will be attending DISH) and the rest of the consortium the best of luck with this nomination. Well deserved."

What is Old Weather

Why computers cant't do the job

Nominee: Remember me

Will be presented by: video message of Lisa Yavnai, director Remember Me project.

Project website:
Institution: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Statement of the jury by Susan Hazan:

"Remember me is an important opportunity to really make a difference and the time is now, as tomorrow would be too late. Tracing these lost children who lost their families, their friends – even their identities is possibly their last chance of being able to recover something of their lost lives – something of themselves. This heart-wrenching call is hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington and reaches out to us all to help identify these lost children posted on the website in an effort to piece together their wartime and postwar experiences. Some 1,100 photographs have been posted on this dedicated website and the museum hopes that by publicizing these photographs, people will be able to ‘identify the children, discover lost information about their wartime and postwar experiences, and facilitate renewed connections among these young survivors, their families, and other individuals who were involved in their care during and after the war’.

This exemplary use of crowd-sourcing has already born fruit. So far, at least 180 children have been identified through this call and are now living all over the world. According the USHMM website, more than 61,500 people from 150 countries have visited Remember Me, including many who offer to help track others down. Charles Rotmil identified the child in the online photograph as his older brother, Bernard, who passed away at the age of 84 on June 19, 2010. Bernard and Charles were hidden during the war by the now-famous Father Bruno Reynders, who hid nearly 400 children and their full story is now online on the USHMM website.“

Remember Me preserves Holocaust

Holocaust survivor reflects on significance of the project Remember Me?

Nominee: Transcribe Bentham

Will be presented by: Melissa Terras, University College London

Institution: University College London

Statement of the jury by Susan Hazan:

“In spite of the remoteness of it all the experience feels surprisingly academic. On the Transcription Desk you are confronted with original and unstudied manuscript papers written by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), the great philosopher and reformer. Those who have a direct interest in Bentham, or who are simply curious to take part in the kinds of academic processes that are traditionally carried out within red-leather libraries are encouraged to make their own, significant contribution in unraveling these manuscripts.

This is your chance to exert your own – and until now secret – desire to be a paleographer, and even if you have had no prior academic training in deciphering 18th or 19th century manuscripts you can join in the fun! Students, or school children with Bentham on their curriculum – Bentham’s ideas are studied as part of a range of A-levels and Scottish Highers – will find this experience even more rewarding and satisfying. Online paleographers can interact with others by creating a social profile and by sharing ideas in the discussion forum. For those who need a gentle nudge there is a quick start guide to using the tool as well as detailed guidelines on how to transcribe the manuscripts.

According to the website, since Transcribe Bentham was launched to the public on 8 September 2010, volunteers have transcribed an average of 34 manuscripts per week and since mid-September 2011, the transcription rate has been at 44 manuscripts per week . Transcribe Bentham is a participatory project based at University College London who hold 60,000 papers written by Bentham including thousands of papers, potentially of immense historical and philosophical importance, that have yet to be transcribed and studied. By transcribing this material for the first time, you will be making Bentham’s thought accessible to the world at large, as well as helping UCL’s Bentham Project in its task of producing a new authoritative edition of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.” 

The Bentham Project

Getting Started with Transcribe Bentham

Nominee: Trove

Statement of the jury by Mia Ridge:

Project Website:
Institution: National Library of Australia
ABC News item about Trove:
Library celebrates volunteers for their help in text correcting – note the text correctors song:

Will be presented by: video message from Rose Holley, manager Trove at the National Library of Australia

Holley will be presented at the conference by Liam Wyatt, Wikimedian in Residence at the British Museum.

“Alongside typical crowdsourcing actions like commenting and tagging, the National Library of Australia's Trove newspaper database makes visible the issues with optical character recognition (OCR) – the errors in transcribing old typefaces and newspaper layouts that can make searches in the database inaccurate and render content meaningless – and asks the public to help improve it.

Supported by effective design that makes correcting text a satisfying interaction, the user experience is further enhanced by the immediate appearance of the corrected text on the page (alongside the editing history). This shows participants the value of their contribution by making their corrections immediately available for the benefit of other users.

One of the qualities we looked for was a close match between the crowdsourcing project and the mission of the organisation running it.

The crowdsourced functionality in Trove is closely aligned to the needs of its users, who would be correcting text from the digitised originals for their own uses. By providing a tool through which participants can share their corrections, their individual work benefits all users. Trove's excellent support for the needs of their users is rewarded by the number of corrections entered by the public, with 51 million corrections recorded at the time of writing.”

Text Correction in Trove – how to

Laatst gewijzigd: 05-01-2017

crowdsourcing   DISH2011   DISH  
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