Tag. Check. Score. – New App finds „digitale honorary posts“ for museums

Release from Mon., September 16, 2013

Innumerable cultural assets of the state museums are not yet digitally recorded, and the museums themselves lack the staff. The Ethnological Museum in Berlin is now opening up its treasures through an app for citizens. Committed citizens can describe digital objects and thereby generate meta-data in a playful fashion.

Berlin, 16 September 2013 – The Ethnological Museum in Berlin stood before a sheer irresolvable problem: It has at its disposal huge amounts of rarely seen digital images and would like to make some of them open to the public. The personnel capacities are however limited. Alan Meyer, Fellow of the initiative Code for Europe together with the Fraunhofer FOKUS developed the solution: digital honorary posts. The app “Tag. Check. Score.” brings the photographs of the Ethnological Museum to the citizens. The citizens can now add tags, correct existing tags and thereby collect points: Tag. Check. Score. “One doesn't have to be a subject-expert to help a Museum, it can in fact be fun” Lena-Sophie Mueller, project-leader at Fraunhofer FOKUS, summarises the experiences gathered from the tests. The required expertise regarding the context and background of the pictures is supplemented by the staff of the museum. The gain lies in the fact that citizens through their own engagement make public digital cultural assets.

And the model is to act as precedent. To the initiative Code for Europe it is important that developer-teams develop reusable open-source IT-solutions that address specific problems of various cities. Digitisation for example is a challenge for most state museums, libraries and archives which they cannot master on their own. In the Berlin State Museums alone six million objects await to be recorded. The effort required to make them available online can hardly be estimated.

The developer-teams in close liaison with the administration are to improve urban services and make them transparent and collaborative. The different tasks will be: Public authorities identify challenges for municipal electronic services. The initiative Code for Europe is a part of the project Commons4EU. As an interface it organises the funding and finds software developers via public calls and scholarships. The best idea is promoted and developed in constant exchange between the municipality, Code for Europe and the developers. As an exception, in Berlin, the city did not assume the coordination and development but Fraunhofer FOKUS.

Fraunhofer FOKUS

Fraunhofer FOKUS develops vendor-neutral solutions for the information and communication systems of the future. The institute in Berlin researches what contribution information and communication must make in order to give shape to a comfortable and safer coexistence, and thereby addresses important challenges in social development and the smart cities of the future. In particular these consist of access to information, sustainable and economic utilisation of resources, networked-mobility and a modern public administration. In the context of its research the Fraunhofer FOKUS creates bridges between business, public administration, users and citizens.