Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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OPAC2.0 – Multiple images and new acquisitions added

December 28th, 2006 by Seb Chan

A couple of minor new things to report on our collection database. A few minor additions to our collection database have been implemented today. These have been on the ‘to-do’ list for a long time!

Multiple images

Ever since OPAC2.0 launched we have been hiding multiple images of objects. Now they are all publicly accessible by clicking the numbers on the bottom right below the zoomable image. If no numbers appear then there is only the main image available.

Here are a few examples where you can now get different views of the same object record.

+ Hedda Morrison’s camera and accessories
+ Bleriot XI monoplane
+ 1969 Australian one cent coin

There are plenty more.

We have also implemented captions for these images where they exist.

The impetus, other than the availability of some spare time in which to do it, was a new internal kiosk for the Transport Gallery that uses the same backend database as the OPAC and required multiple images. The OPAC kiosk launched at the Museum on December 20 as part of a sound and light show called Further, Faster, Higher.

New acquisitions

Also as part of creating a simple image grid layout for the kiosk we were able to quickly implement a visual object browser based on date of acquisition.

Users can now view our latest acquisitions as they are catalogued by year. This gives a quick entry point into the collection.

Latest statistics

By the end of the month we will have served up 6 million object records since launch in June.

Of these –

~915,000 have been discovered via text searches (23,000 unique search terms),
~947,000 via tag cloud/user keywords (3,500 keywords added),
~330,000 via subject keywords,
~200 via OpenSearch.

This leaves 3.8 million records (63%) found by direct discovery – either via hyperlinking from other parts of our website (or other websites), or (probably primarily) via Google and other search engines.

Our specialist design portal, Design Hub which uses the same backend object database has also served up 185,000 design-related objects via searches on its site since its launch in August.

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