It was the fourth time I was sitting in the first row waiting to see the results of the German hackathon on open cultural data. Beside me the minister of culture of Berlin, representatives of one of the richest and most influential patron foundations in Germany and 200 guests, coders, GLAM staff, Wikipedians, journalists and art fans. It was the 2nd of December. It was the day of the Coding da Vinci award ceremony in the Jewish Museum in Berlin. 15 project teams presented their applications. A great variety of things. There was a handcrafted card game based on digitized train tickets, the data on the program of the Berlin Konzerthaus was enriched with Wikidata, its promise to be inclusive was analyzed and presented on a website. An audioplay based on notes taken while Alexander von Humboldt was lecturing on Kosmos was embedded in a multi-perspective digital presentation. The Berlin Wall was raised in an augmented reality app that takes you through Berlin showing you private foto material from East-Berlin. Even a Virtual Reality application was created in the six week sprint, giving you access to browse the enlarged skeletons of fragile snake heads. We saw games, chat bots and were confronted with the hundred year old headlines of a German newspaper appealing like today's #fakenews via Twitter. It was a hard choice for the jury and the audience to choose the winners. But here they are: Skelex, Berliner MauAR, Bertuchs Bilderspiel, Exploring the Hidden Kosmos, Haxorpoda Collective and Marbles of Remembrance.
New to us was that the coder community had become more female, more international, more professional and more diverse. I think, this was due to our cooperation with the creative industry through one of our partners and our collaboration with the science hack community through our project manager Lucy Patterson. We had more high end media coverage thanks to a professional support here and we gained more international interest from countries like Sweden and France to cover Coding da Vinci as a format for their GLAM hackathon initiatives. Coding da Vinci shows: substantial is sustainability both in cooperations with partners, here Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, Servicestelle Digitalisierung and Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, but also in the format itself. It takes time to create a community, to create confidence to create a name. Next Coding da Vinci will start within 4 months in Leipzig. You are welcome to join us.
Chaos Computer Club Congress N° 34
For 34 years some engaged people interested in hacking, data privacy and coding in general have been gathering in the days between Xmas and new years eve. This year they were 16.000 at #34C3. People mostly from Germany, mostly male and mostly nerds in one way or the other were debating, learning, hacking or simply chatting for 3 days in a road at the fair in Leipzig. The town welcomed them with lots of extra services for their convenience. But mostly the attendees do all on their own on a volunteer basis, just like Wikimedians. The years before mostly colleagues from the Wikimedia Deutschland software department went to the congress. This year it was time to bring some #openGLAM to the halls. In a litte presentation on one of the many open mic stages, I showed the obstacles Free knowledge movement meets at museum's doors. The key is often cooperation to gain mutual benefit. Coding da Vinci is a frame where to achieve it. In the talk I gained my most valid take-away in a comment from the audience: loads of images are dull, if not accompanied with valuable metadata. Screening was yesterday. Re-use needs machine readable metadata. Reuse is what art is all about.
We need to assure that as much metadata is attached to the files uploaded in Wikimedia Commons as possible. Pattypan is a handy tool here. And we need to make sure to use Wikidata more thoroughly to create a tight linked open data network of GLAM content.