Friday, February 26, 2010

Selecting images for Wikimedia Commons

I am really happy to present Richard as a guest on my blog.

Since the upload on Wikimedia Commons of 37.000 images from the photographic collection of the Tropenmuseum, I've been concentrating on a follow up concerning images of objects. Not all digital images that are currently shown on the Tropenmuseum's on-line collection have the quality that is required for this purpose. Therefore it is necessary to make a selection from the objects. 

Many images are digitalised slides from the seventies and eighties; they serve their purpose of object identification, but they no longer match today's standards for object photography.  Whereas the options for recording photographic collection is rather straightforward, objects can be photographed from many angles. An image should be a good representation of an object, show its shape and relative dimensions, and it should also be attractive to look at. The images that qualify for Wikimedia Commons must show the viewers in an instant what they are looking at. Furthermore, the fact that we consider the images on Wikimedia to be a sign board for the Tropenmuseum is not unimportant. And so, it takes some time to do the selection of objects one by one, but the result will be worth waiting for.

Richard van Alphen, coordinator of collection digitalisation of the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.
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