De menagerie, Melchior d'Hondecoeter, Rijksmuseum

Workshop summary - Two birds, one stone: Bridging cultural heritage collections with crowds and niches

5/10/2016Link to post

On Monday the 31st of October the workshop entitled “Two birds, one stone: Bridging cultural heritage collections with crowds and niches”, was held at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. The workshop was divided in two sessions: presentations and a practical session. In the first session, cultural heritage institutions gave a presentation about their experiences with crowdsourcing, while the practical session involved testing of the systems presented.

The first presentation was by Maarten Brinkerink from the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision and was titled “What's That? Video Tagging Games for Audiovisual Heritage Collections”. In his presentation, Maarten stressed the importance of enriching one of the vast audiovisual collection in Europe that Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision holds, not only by professional annotations, but also by using the crowd. One such crowdsourcing initiative is the “Waisda? ” crowdsourcing game where users are able to annotate videos online, the goal being the consensus between players. Slides and talk.

Next, Sander Pieterse from Naturalis and Xeno-canto Foundation for Nature Sounds in his presentation “Every Feather and Song: Crowdsourcing and Co-curation from a Natural History Perspective” emphasized crowdsourcing as a significant tool for “building a big collection together” and ensuring enrichment of the existing natural history collections. Moreover, he showed how crowdsourcing can be used as a way of networking between amateurs and professionals and how it can build a sense of connectedness within the communities it addresses. Slides and talk.

Saskia Scheltjens from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam in “Accurator: Consolidation and Integration of Annotations” presented the Accurator system, a project done in collaboration with VU University Amsterdam. Accurator is used for annotating artworks in Rijksmuseum, but despite its usefulness, the results are still to be integrated in the collections at the museum due to the various restructuring that is currently taking place within Rijksmuseum. Slides and talk.

The last presentation was held by Chris Dijkshoorn from VU University Amsterdam and was titled “DigiBird: on the fly collection integration using crowdsourcing”. He presented the results of DigiBird, a project that reinforces crowdsourcing initiatives and integrates four distinct nature-related collections. He mentioned how crowdsourcing is evolving to be a valuable approach to collect data, but faces challenges regarding sustainability and use of results. Slides and talk.

After these presentations, followed a practical session where the participants tried out the crowdsourcing systems presented: Accurator and Waisda?, together with the DigiBird platform. In the scope of the DigiBird project, an instance of the Waisda? game was created with a selection of videos that contain birds, while in the Accurator system a selection of artworks from the bird domain was selected. On the DigiBird platform the participants could see not only on the fly integration of results from the crowdsourcing systems presented, but also results from platforms like Xeno-canto and Naturalis and general statistics of the integrated platforms, together with real-time updates of annotations for artworks and videos containing birds.

DigiBird prototype

1/10/2016Link to post
We extended the DigiBird website with new functionality showcasing the DigiBird integration pipeline. The main additions:
  • Annotation wall shows objects of crowdsourcing initiatives to which recently information has been added
  • Species page allows searching through multiple collections at once by entering the common name of a bird
Check it out on The code of the prototype is available at github.

Two birds, one stone: Bridging cultural heritage collections with crowds and niches

4/9/2016Link to post
Crowdsourcing is a valuable source of data and metadata in cultural heritage. In this workshop speakers from Naturalis, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the Rijksmuseum will provide their insights on crowdsourcing by discussing the following points:
  • Relevance: Why is crowdsourcing relevant to my institution
  • Tooling: Which tools do we use
  • Lessons learned: What are the lessons we learned
Sustainability is one of the problems encountered by many crowdsourcing projects. In the fourth talk we discuss how we approached this problem in the DigiBird project, which integrates multiple initiatives and shows how results can be leveraged for collection integration.

Date & venue

14:00-17:00 Monday 31st of October, at Sound and Vision, Media Parkboulevard 1, Hilversum


Session 1

14:00-14:20 What's That? Video Tagging Games for Audiovisual Heritage Collections Maarten Brinkerink, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision 14:20-14:40 Every Feather and Song: Crowdsourcing and Co-curation from a Natural History Perspective Sander Pieterse, Naturalis 14:40-15:00 Break

Session 2

15:00-15:20 Accurator: Consolidation and Integration of Annotations Saskia Scheltjens, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 15:20-15:40 DigiBird: on the Fly Collection Integration using Crowdsourcing Chris Dijkshoorn, VU University Amsterdam

Session 3

15:40-17:00 Practical session: try out the crowdsourcing systems


Participation in the workshop is free of charge. Places are limited, which is why we invite you to register. Register here For questions regarding the workshop you can send a mail to, more information about the DigiBird project can be found on This workshop is supported by the Dutch national program COMMIT/.

DigiBird website is online

3/6/2016Link to post

The website of the DigiBird project has been launched:! On the website you can read about our goal to do on the fly integration of cultural heritage collections, the people involved and also get the latest updates regarding the progress.

DigiBird is a valorisation project funded by the Dutch national program COMMIT/

DigiBird kickoff meeting

5/1/2016Link to post

On the 5th of February 2016 the kickoff meeting for the COMMIT/ valorisation project DigiBird took place. The meeting was hosted by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid). During the meeting, the people who will work on the project were introduced, together with the partners involved.

The DigiBird project builds on the results of the SEALINCMedia project, aiming to use crowdsourcing results to integrate three different media types: images, sounds and videos - all related to birds. The various datasets that belong to these different media types are provided by the partners involved in the project. Most of these platforms already use crowdsourcing as a means of annotating the bird media, but there is no single point of access for all of them and no means of crossover access. Thus, the goal of DigiBird is to achieve this integration by creating cross-links between collections and designing user-friendly interfaces. These will not only help to enable access to the various bird collections, but will also motivate people to contribute more knowledge by means of annotations.

The people who will work on developing this project are Chris Dijkshoorn - a PhD student and Cristina-Iulia Bucur - a student assistant, both affiliated with VU University Amsterdam.

The partners involved in DigiBird are:

During the meeting, a hands-on breakout session took place. During this session, the participants from the various partners could create their own view on how the interfaces could look and also how the user interaction can be dealt with by building various scenarios.

DigiBird is a valorisation project funded by the Dutch national program