The lack of granular and rich descriptive metadata highly affects the searchability and usability of the digital content stored in museums, libraries, archives, as well as on Europeana; this often proves to offer a frustrating user experience on the different portals. In this context, crowdsourcing can offer a great opportunity for improving the metadata quality of digital cultural content in a scalable way, while at the same time engaging different user communities and raising awareness about cultural heritage assets.
The CrowdHeritage project, co-funded by the EC under the CEF Telecom programme, developed an open platform that offers cultural heritage institutions and aggregators the possibility to use the power of the crowd in order to improve the metadata quality of digital cultural heritage content, designing and launching ad-hoc crowdsourcing campaigns with gamification elements and an effective moderation interface. Through these campaigns, users are able to add information to digital cultural heritage records or validate existing ones in a user-friendly and engaging way.
The platform integrates and supports the Europeana APIs and several other available APIs from cultural institutions across the world, like the Rijksmuseum and the Digital Public Library of America. The CrowdHeritage platform has been customised and tested by EFHA and the other Aggregator partners in the project in six crowdsourcing campaigns, targeting different audiences (e.g. researchers, teachers, students, culture lovers, etc.) on four themes: Fashion, Music, European cities and Sports. The objective was to actively engage different target communities in enhancing the metadata of selected content, evaluate the usability of the platform and assess the effectiveness of the overall approach both in terms of data quality improvement and user engagement.