Today we completed the circle.
We have started presenting the tags that Flickr users have left on our images in the Commons on Flickr in their associated collection records in our online collection database. What this means is that the large number of tags added to our photographic collection in Flickr now are available in our OPAC to help others navigate the rest of our OPAC and connect with similar objects not available in the Commons and not in Flickr.
It is important to realise that almost none of the Tyrrell images were tagged in our own collection – even though the ability to tag was there. This means the effort that the Flickr community has made in tagging our collection in Flickr has a second life in our OPAC, reaching even more users and increasing their navigational and use value as metadata.
We first thought about merging the Flickr-originating tags with the tags submitted on our own site but realised that this could create confusion – especially because the Flickr tags couldn’t be deleted. Thus they now live in their own temporary tag space until our next redesign launches. After Luke did a bit of code tweaking we have managed to pull everything back in the correct character set (to accommodate all the double-byte tags in Flickr) and with spacing intact.
We now import Flickr tags each week (so don’t expect your latest tags to show up immediately!). The import script runs alongside the script that uploads our latest image to the Commons on Flickr each week.
Thank you again to all the Flickr-ites who are making such a useful contribution to the Museum’s catalogue metadata.