Crotos: a project on visual artworks powered by Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons

Crotos is a search and display engine for visual artworks based on Wikidata and using Wikimedia Commons files.

The Wikidata extraction contains more than 133 866 artworks (September 2018) including 66 271 with HD image. This extraction is regularly automatically updated from Wikidata on the basis of the nature of the items and corresponds to visual artworks such as paintings, photographs, prints, illuminated manuscripts and much more.

The interface

Searches can be made by free or indexed search through a user interface. Results are displayed by chronological order with thumbnails. Links on thumbnails open a viewer with the image hosted on Wikimedia Commons.

It is possible to filter the results by type (painting, sculpture, print…) or to specify a period as a criterion.

By default, without criteria, a random selection is displayed. Besides with the Cosmos interface, it is possible to discover the artworks by indexation (par type d’œuvre, creator, movement, genre, collection…).

Descriptors

For each resulting image, the interface displays the title, the creator(s)  and the collection or the location where the artwork is maintained. These information are on Wikidata, a free, collaborative, multilingual, secondary database, collecting structured data to provide support for Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, the other wikis of the Wikimedia movement, and to anyone in the world.

Additional descriptors are date or period, nature of work, material used, inventory number, movement, genre, depicts, main subject, and so on. A full list of descriptors is mentioned here.

Contribution mode

The project has a contribution mode, useful for identifying missing information with facets. Finally, source is on github and the database of Crotos can be downloaded. Both are under Free Licence.

Sound heritage

Conserve the sound is an online museum for vanishing and endangered sounds. The sound of a dial telephone, a walkman, an analog typewriter, a pay phone, a 56k modem, a nuclear power plant or even a cell phone keypad are partially already gone or are about to disappear from our daily life.

Conserve the sound is a project form CHUNDERKSEN and is funded
by the Film & Medienstiftung NRW, Germany.

“Existência Numérica” – dataviz exhibition

The exhibition “Existência Numérica” (“Numerical Existence”), that will open on September 17 at Oi Futuro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), presents visualization works approached poetically. Migration flow, urban mobility in rental bicycle systems in New York, London and Rio, investments in science and technology made in Brazil in recent years, are some of the themes addressed by Brazilian and foreign artists who are at the forefront of data visualization, an area where art meets computer science.

The exhibition, conceived by Barbara Castro and Luiz Ludwig and curated by Doris Kosminsky (from Labvis Laboratory), will occupy the galleries of Oi Futuro, with dataviz projects by Pedro Miguel Cruz, Till Nagel & Christopher Pietsch (from the Urban Complexity Lab), Alice Bodanzky, Barbara Castro, Doris Kosminsky & Claudio Esperança and Luiz Ludwig.

A roundtable with the presence of artists and researchers will take place on September 19 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

A tragedy foretold: Brazil’s national museum hit by huge fire

On the evening of September 2, 2018, a massive fire broke out at the National Museum of Brazil at Quinta da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro, destroying almost all of the historical collection spanning over two hundred years, which included over twenty million items in its catalog. In addition to this rich collection, the building itself was the former residence of the Emperor of Brazil. It was extremely damaged, experiencing cracks, the collapse of its roof, and failures of the internal slabs.

Wikimedia Commons initiative is helping to recover part of the historical collection

One of the most immediate challenges is to recover and preserve images of the museum building and its collection, as our visual memory of these items is now our main asset. Anyone who has visited the museum and taken photographs of the buildings and its objects or someone who knows another person who has taken photographs can help: create an account at the Wikimedia Commons and upload the relevant photos.

Visit the Wikipedia page of the National Museum of Brazil project for more information.

Wikipedia page of the National Museum of Brazil project