There is a quite a hubub about this new partnership and its well worth it. Everyone needs to take a look for themselves. The Library of Congress (LoC) is not only releasing their photos on Flickr. They are also providing context about the photos, links to the full URL, blogging about this, and being honest about the copyright restrictions. Most of which so far say “no none copyright restrictions”.
Beyond the basics they are also tagging the heck out of each photo. Inviting the community to comment, tag, and add value to the photos. See a missing fact, add a comment about it, notice the location is wrong, comment it. Take a read about what Matt Raymond from the LoC had to say about this initiative:
“The real magic comes when the power of the Flickr community takes over. We want people to tag, comment and make notes on the images, just like any other Flickr photo, which will benefit not only the community but also the collections themselves. For instance, many photos are missing key caption information such as where the photo was taken and who is pictured. If such information is collected via Flickr members, it can potentially enhance the quality of the bibliographic records for the images.”
This is like a breath of fresh air in an age of constant battles over sharing, transparency, and public data. Here is a group of folks that are trying something new, building closer relationships with their customers, and finding new ways to make themselves relevant. Thank you Library of Congress.
Now I’m off to see some amazing photos and join the worldwide community in this amazing experiment.