Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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The Commons on Flickr: finding the Mosman Bay Falls

June 30th, 2008 by Seb Chan

Whilst we are collating the data to report on the Museum’s first three months in the Commons on Flickr, I’ll share one of the best stories to come from the project for us so far – the story of finding the Mosman Bay Falls.

Amongst our photographs we found two images simply titled ‘Mosman Bay Falls’. Here’s one of them

Nowadays Mosman is a densely populated suburb on Sydney’s North Shore with no obvious places where waterfalls of this sort might be. As two images with only limited catalogue records their locations remained a mystery.

Paula Bray, our Image Services Manager, posted a question as to their location in our Tyrrell Today Flickr Group, and within three hours one of the Flickr community who regularly tags and adds extra information to our images posted a reply, pointing to an online real estate advertisement that showed some waterfalls in the garden of a new development that was for sale.

Making contact with the real estate agent, Paula and one of her photographers, Sotha Bourn, headed out just after a week of heavy rain to take some contemporary photographs. Here’s what they saw.

She’s now posted the story back into the Tyrell Today group and also on our Photo of the Day blog, and we hope that other netizens might be able to tell us more about these rather spectacular inner Sydney waterfalls.

This is one of a few notable qualitative examples of the ‘value’ of putting our content into the Commons. Without broader exposure to the public and the social environment of Flickr, this and other discoveries would have been highly unlikely to have been made.

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