Monday, January 26, 2009

Looking at the larger context of restored images

These two girls are part of a recently restored picture. The detail I am interested in is the hair of these girls. This restoration was done from material available at the Library of Congress. They are part of a collection of images that were used to interest people about foreign places and foreign people. In those days people did not travel. It is pictures like this one that had the first tourists go to Marken. They are still coming.

When original material like this is restored, we share the result at Commons in a compressed format. This is great for the use on Wikipedia and for the re-use on the projects of students. For the restoration process itself it is a disaster. Restoration is a repeatable process and a restoration happens in many phases. By saving the half way products there is room for other restorers to improve on the end result.

The problem is we cannot. The files are too large. The .tiff format is not supported. Quite a lot of development effort is needed to make this happen and this is not likely to happen. So there is a need for plan B.

At Meta we make the case for a This project proposal will help grow the community of people who restore images. It will allow them to save the intermediate stages of their work. It will establish the Wikimedia restorations as relevant in the world of archives and musea and this will hopefully open up those organisations to collaborate with us.
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