The workshop focused on the computational and technical aspects of the project, beginning with presentations from Omer Rana on ‘Big Data and the Digital Humanities’ and Paul Rosin on ‘Image Recognition’. Ian Harvey then gave a demonstration of the illustration archive, which was followed by questions and a stimulating roundtable session. Points of discussion included how we might enhance the existing metadata, recent developments in content-based image retrieval and the politics of keywording.
It was agreed that the crowdsourcing aspect of the project has wide implications for both the computer sciences and the humanities. Crowdsourced data is highly significant within an anthropological context and can be more fully understood through the use of sentiment analysis algorithms. This data also has much to tell us about the interaction between word and image and how we must understand the illustrated text as a bimedial work of art.
There were a number of suggestions that we are planning to implement as the database develops, including allowing users to create their own image collections, tailoring images to taggers’ specific fields of interest and allowing tagging of multiple images at a time.
We ended the day with dinner at a local restaurant where the discussions continued over wine and Italian food. The workshop was both stimulating and productive and has given us a wealth of ideas to take forward for the next stage of the project.