Tuesday 23 November 2010

digitalnz - 2

Here is the link to a copyright photograph taken by Mel Hodgkinson on March 10 2007 at Government House in Wellington that has been loaded onto flickr.com


The photograph is credited at digitalnz as being an image related to Toss Woollaston, one of whose paintings is displayed on the rooms of this reception room.

It could just as easily be indexed as an image of numerous British royal family portraits displayed on the grand piano at Government House. In fact, the photographs are more recognisable as an image. To discover which Woollaston painting was on display at this official residence in 2007 would require cross-referencing with the Te Papa collection.

How one catalogues source data connected to documents and images always determines how they are electronically indexed. This was the point of my posting the inaccurate Auckland Museum documentation related to my father’s experience as a soldier in Italy. When wrong information is associated with images then it is not always simple to correct it.

Another search result from seeking “Toss Woollaston” at digitalnz brings up Robert Field’s Head of Tilly Frankl in this Gallery’s collection. It gives no reason for the association with Woollaston and only those in the know would realise that he had met her. Yet, how did this sculpture get placed within a “Toss Woollaston” search?


A surprising result is this - if you search digitalnz for Toss Woollaston you only get 98 results. This means that the majority of Woollaston artworks held in New Zealand’s museums are not yet appear to be indexed by digital.nz.

Correcting incorrect data means going back to the source institution and informing them of their error and requesting that the information be updated.


Paul Rowe said...

As you suggest, the "Head of Tilly Frankl" work is being found on DigitalNZ in your search for Toss Woollaston due to a quote from Woollaston appearing in the full text of the record. DigitalNZ indexes the full text of the record and you'll see the Woollaston quote on this page: Head of Tilly Frankl.

I was involved in the export of data from Auckland Art Gallery to DigitalNZ. I think historically this description field was on the AAG website, whereas now its only on DigitalNZ, making it unclear to the user where the Woollaston connection is when they click directly from the summary result in DigitalNZ to the AAG site. It would be worth considering adding this description field back to the AAG site.

feedback said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comment. The readdition of the description field is one of a fair few changes we have in the pipeline for the AAG website in the near future to make browsing the Gallery's collection easier and more informative for users.

Amy Williams

Fiona - DigitalNZ Content Manager said...

Hi Ron

Thanks for your continued interest in DigitalNZ and how it works.

We work with a very wide range of NZ organisations and people to make
their content easier to find, share and use. You can see a list of
our contributors here:
However, we don't yet work with all the online collections in all the
Museums in NZ. As much as we'd love to!

We aggregate the content metadata from this wide range of
contributors. Which means that we bring their content descriptions
together and provide a search across it (search.digitalnz.org )

We also make that metadata available for developing other discovery
services (using what is called an API). An example of what is made
possible by this is the related search function on Te Papa's
Collections Online.
(DigitalNZ results are below and to the right )
So this is one way that DigitalNZ can help show relationships between
content items.

DigitalNZ tries to make it easier to explore and access the very wide
range of New Zealand related digital content but the discovery
experience can only be good as the metadata that we have to work with.
Metadata is always going to be quite varied across our content
contributors. From the example you pointed to in Flickr - a service
where anyone can upload their personal photos and describe them how
they wish - to the very extensive metadata that NZ galleries and
museums assign to their collections.

DigitalNZ aims to make New Zealand digital content *easier* to find,
share and use. But we aren't perfect. We try really hard though!

A couple of other things:
As Paul and Amy noted above: The reason the Tilly Frankl sculpture appears in your "Toss
Woollaston" search is that Woollaston is mentioned the description
that Auckland Art Gallery provided to us:

Also it is worth noting that a search for "Woollaston" yields 165
results. http://search.digitalnz.org/en/search?search_text=woollaston&commit=Search
so by broadening your search you can get few more.