– sorting historic photographs into categories

Vahur Puik
Estonian Photographic Heritage Society

Historic photographs in public collections very often lack basic classificatory tags – whether a picture is an interior or exterior view, has the picture been taken from ground level or from a raised viewpoint (a higher floor window or tower), is it a view photograph depicting mainly a place or a reportage photo about an event etc. Most of these decisions are easy to make for everyone only by looking at a picture, so it is useful to capture the information that would later enable bulk filtering of images. is a crowdsourcing application for that kind of binary categorisation of images. We take pictures from public collections that users can browse and ask them to make some sorting decisions. They can also mark images as favorite (bookmark), see the title of the image and open the image in an official web repository. The binary icon based categorisation is designed to ensure maximum simplicity of the task (especially on a mobile device). Our experience shows that even children of the age of 4 can take interest in tagging and make accurate decisions about the pictures. is an infotaining app (web, android) that gives users a reason to go through pictures without looking for something specific but enabling unintentional discoveries. Apart from categorisation, users’ favorites give an extra informational dimension to the images for the collection owners.