Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon 2016 – Register Now!

On 1-2 July 2016 the Swiss OpenGLAM Working Group is inviting to the Second Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon at the Basel University Library!

Registration is now open. Please refer to the event page for further information.
We have set the official registration deadline to 15 June; but please consider that the event may be booked out before that date as the number of participants is limited.

The event is organized in cooperation with the Basel University Library and, and is kindly supported by Migros Kulturprozent, Christoph Merian Foundation, Ernst Göhner Foundation, and the State Archive of the Canton of Basel-Stadt.

Follow-up us on Twitter!Follow-us on Twitter! (Photo: Swiss National Libary, Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon 2015, CC BY-SA)

The main objective of the hackathon is to bring different stakeholder groups together, to let them interact around specific topics in order to share experiences and to develop concepts and software prototypes. Also, the event is intended to serve as a jumping board for the creation of software and other forms of data/content re-use that get some public visibility (e.g. by displaying or performing them at a museums’ night) or have some other outside impact (e.g. by their use for research, in the context of Wikipedia/Wikimedia, or by facilitating the crowdsourcing of certain tasks). For this purpose, special attention is put on the match-making between hackathon project teams and potential “sponsors” – heritage institutions, funding organizations, research projects, or other entities interested in assisting a project team in taking their idea from prototype to a real product. As a novelty compared to last year’s hackathon, the final project presentation will therefore be open to interested parties and the wider public.

As its name suggests, the hackathon is primarily about open data and content, that is freely licensed so it can be re-used by anyone for any purpose. In the same spirit, and in order to support a culture of sharing, we also encourage the use of open source software.

On our dataset page you will for the moment mostly find last year’s datasets.
We are working on adding many new datasets for this year; more about that in a few weeks’ time!

We are looking forward to a creative and inspirational hackathon and hope to see you soon in Basel!

For the OpenGLAM working group and the organizing team of this year’s hackathon,

Beat Estermann

Imagine a World where Every Librarian Added One More Reference to Wikipedia

| 14. Jan 2016 | in Allgemein | Keine Kommentare

As part of Wikipedia’s 15th Anniversary celebration, Wikimedians are asking librarians all over the world to take 15 minutes to add at least one more reference to Wikipedia.

Join the campaign!
Twitter: #1Lib1Ref

„It’s important to recognize the lasting impact of Wikipedia on the online research environment: Wikipedia has become the default location for every type of researcher, both casual and professional, to start their research. After 15 years, Wikipedia has over 35 million articles in hundreds of languages, many of which have references and external links that guide researchers to authoritative sources about the topics they are researching.

Without a doubt, this makes Wikipedia one of the most important research tools in the world. It’s the largest hand-curated annotated bibliography ever, and is one of the biggest referrers to scholarly publications and one of the biggest sources for readers of medical information. However, Wikipedia’s strengths sometimes hide its systematic gaps and failings—there are many pieces of information on Wikipedia that can’t be verified by a source, or are missing because of our community’s systemic biases.

The libraries community has a huge number of opportunities to help solve these gaps.“

(Alex Stinson, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Blog)


Heritage Institutions Invited to Provide Data and Content for Upcoming Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon!

| 12. Jan 2016 | in Event | Keine Kommentare

The OpenGLAM Working Group is once again calling on heritage institutions to provide data for the upcoming Open Cultural Data Hackathon : All Swiss heritage institutions are invited to contribute data and content for our second hackathon, which is taking place on 1/2 July 2016 on the premises of the Basel University Library.

The hackathon is an excellent means for heritage institutions to enter into dialogue with software developers, researchers, and Wikipedians, in order to put their data and digitized collections to wider use.

Datasets from Swiss institutions are listed on the event wiki.
Preparatory meetings for data providers will be held in the afternoon of 11 March 2016 in Bern, hosted by the Bern University Archive (in German) and in the afternoon of 18 March 2016, in Lausanne, hosted by the Bibliothèque universitiare de Lausanne (in French). Participation in the preparatory meetings is free; participants are however requested to sign up one week in advance by emailing beat.estermann(at)

Letter to heritage institutions in Switzerland (German/French)
Infosheet for data providers (German/French)

International OpenGLAM Survey – First Set of Publications

The International OpenGLAM Benchmark Survey has given way to a first set of publications in several languages, including:


Diffusion of various Internet-related practices among heritage institutions


Publications so far have been based on data from Finland, Poland, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Further data has been collected for Portugal, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Brazil, and New Zealand. Related publications are expected in the course of 2016.

Second Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon

| 13. Dez 2015 | in Event | Ein Kommentar

Have you ever thought about how cultural heritage data or content could be used for research purposes in the Digital Humanities and related areas? How they could be used in the context of Wikipedia/Wikimedia? Or for other purposes, such as apps and artistic re-mixes? – We will tackle these questions together at the second Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon!

1-2 July 2016

The forthcoming Hackathon will take place in Basel in cooperation with the Basel University Library and the University of Basel’s Digital Humanities Lab.

We particularly encourage the participation of software developers, researchers and domain experts interested in using cultural data, data providers, designers, and idea providers.

For more information go to GLAMhack 2016

GLAM and Wikipedia

| 16. Sep 2015 | in Allgemein | Keine Kommentare

Arbido_2015-3-v2In its September 2015 edition, „Arbido“ covers various aspects of the cooperation between heritage institutions and Wikipedia/Wikimedia. From mass uploads, over Wikipedians in Residence, to legal issues – the different articles in this issue address many facets of the encounter between the wiki world and the world of cultural heritage. A must read for all those who want to get a better picture of what has been going on in terms of GLAM-Wiki cooperation in Switzerland over the last couple of years.

For the institutions interested in getting involved with Wikipedia/Wikimedia, the instructions that have been made available on the German Wikipedia may be helpful:

International OpenGLAM Survey has been rolled out in Switzerland

The OpenGLAM Benchmark Survey has been rolled out in Switzerland. At the beginning of May, Swiss heritage institutions have received an e-mail invitation asking them to participate; the survey will remain open until the first half of June.

The OpenGLAM Benchmark Survey is an online survey conducted among heritage institutions throughout the world during 2014/2015. Its purpose is to measure the state of advancement of OpenGLAM (digitization, exchange of metadata, open data, linked data, open content, social media use, and crowdsourcing) in the participating countries and to identify the main challenges and obstacles with regard to the promotion of OpenGLAM and free access to knowledge.

The survey serves to inform the heritage community about the latest developments in the area of OpenGLAM and relate them to the state of advancement of open data/open content and related practices in their country.

Furthermore, the international benchmark study will provide international comparisons allowing each country to see where it stands compared to other countries and providing the international OpenGLAM community with a tool to help it better understand the particularities of each country.

So far, data has been gathered in Poland and Finland (preliminary results are available on the project website); data collection processes are presently running in the Netherlands and Switzerland, while Spain and Portugal will follow over the coming weeks. Further countries are expected to be included later this year.

The OpenGLAM Benchmark Survey is coordinated by the Bern University of Applied Sciences and carried out in a collaborative effort of national chapters of the Open Knowledge Foundation, by Wikimedia chapters, NGOs, heritage institutions, and research institutions. It has been inspired by a pilot survey carried out among Swiss heritage institutions by the Bern University of Applied Sciences in fall 2012.


A Joyful Gathering to Foster the Re-Use of Open Cultural Data

| 4. Mrz 2015 | in Event | Ein Kommentar

The First Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon which took place on 27 / 28 February 2015 at the Swiss National Library in Bern was a great success: Some 100 software developers, artists, designers, researchers, Wikipedians, and members of the heritage sector gathered to re-use more than 30 open data sets. The data and content provided by over 20 different institutions was re-used in a wide range of fields: for research purposes in the Digital Humanities and related areas, for the transmission of free knowledge in the context of Wikipedia/Wikimedia, for a variety of web-apps, and for artistic remixes. The hackathon was also an excellent means for heritage institutions to enter into dialogue with software developers, researchers, Wikipedians, and to put cultural data and digitized collections to wider use. And, last but not least, the hackathon was about sharing know-how, insights, software code, and techniques in an open-minded and playful environment among participants of varying backgrounds.

CH-NB-Swiss Open Cultural Hackathon 2015-Picture-031

The artefacts developed during the hackathon have been documented on the hackathon wiki; here some examples:

"Picture This"

Carl Durheim’s police photographs of stateless persons from the mid-19th century inspired several projects. One of them is “Picture This”, which consists of a “smart” frame showing a police photograph. By looking at the picture, spectators trigger a face detection algorithm that analyses both the onlooker and the stateless person’s gender and age as well as the mood of the person on the portrait. Information about the person on the photograph appears. Thus, spectators become part of the system judging the homeless person, and the person on the picture is once again at the mercy of the onlooker.

The Project “Schweizer Kleinmeister – An Unexpected Journey” shows a large image collection in an interactive 3D-visualisation: Some 2300 prints and drawings by the so-called “Schweizer Kleinmeister” (Swiss 18th century masters) from the Gugelmann Collection of the Swiss National Library form a cloud in the virtual space. The images are grouped according to specific parameters that are automatically calculated by image analysis and based on metadata. The goal is to provide a fast and intuitive access to the entire collection. Based on the criterion of analysis chosen (e.g. techniques or image features) the images are projected onto 3D space, where they can be explored.

There are many other things you may want to explore:

I would like to thank all the participants, data providers, co-organizers, sponsors, and our host, the National Library, for this engaging and inspiring event! I hope to see you again at another hacking occasion!
CH-NB-Swiss Open Cultural Hackathon 2015-Picture-070

Heritage Institutions and GLAM Volunteers Working Together on a Local Level

| 16. Jan 2015 | in Allgemein | Keine Kommentare

For more than two years, Wikimedia Deutschland has been running the project „GLAM on Tour“, which fosters relationships between GLAM volunteers and cultural heritage institutions.

The following video illustrates how cultural cooperations with GLAMs can be started, how volunteers are motivated to engage in GLAM activities, and how heritage institutions reach a better understanding of how an editathon or other activities with Wikipedians might look like (click on the picture).

Video: GLAM on Tour (by Wikimedia Germany) – in German, English subtitles are available.

Now and then, in addition to the regular „Wikipedia Ateliers“ at the Swiss National Library, Swiss Wikipedians are on tour as well: Thus, on February 14, 2015, a joint event at Kantonsbibliothek Thurgau in Frauenfeld will allow Wikipedians to take a closer look at GLAM resources while giving encouragement and support to people interested in contributing to Wikipedia.

  • From 14:00 to 17:00, there will be an „open editing“ session where people can gather some experience with Wikipedia editing assisted by experienced Wikipedia volunteers.
  • At 17:00, the library will present its collections – especially people interested in improving Thurgau-related Wikipedia articles may find new hints and reference material not easily found elsewhere. The event is followed by the traditional „Zürich-Stammtisch“ get-together of Wikipedians, relocated to Frauenfeld for this time.

Similar events took place in the Zentralbibliothek Solothurn in March and October 2014. On March 29, the „Zürich-Stammtisch“ was relocated to Solothurn, preceded by a presentation of historic encyclopedias. At four October dates, a „Wikipedia workshop“ at the Zentralbibliothek, organized by Wikimedia CH, created an opportunity for people interested in editing Wikipedia to learn about the project’s background, policies and editing basics.

Would you like to be the next stop on the tour, write an e-mail to or leave a message on the [ discussion page of the Zürich Stammtisch].


Sign up Now for the First Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon!

| 8. Jan 2015 | in Event | Keine Kommentare

> Deutsche Version

Premier Hackathon Culturel en Suisse – Inscris-toi maintenant!

Les bibliothèques, les archives et les musées numérisent le patrimoine culturel dont ils ont la charge et font des efforts croissants pour les mettre à disposition en ligne. Il en va de même pour les données culturelles que ces institutions collectent dans le cadre de leurs missions (par ex. géo-données ou métadonnées bibliographiques).

Ces données – même si elles sont encore peu nombreuses – représentent déjà une source d’innovation et un potentiel de création pratiquement inépuisable.

Que créer et comment innover à partir d’éléments digitaux du patrimoine culturel librement ré-utilisables ? Le groupe de travail OpenGLAM, soutenu par ses partenaires, t’invite à venir en faire l’expérience les 27 et 28 février 2015 pour le premier Hackathon culturel suisse à Berne dans les locaux de la Bibliothèque nationale.

Viens faire tempêter ta créativité et ton savoir-faire au contact du patrimoine culturel. L’occasion de se laisser interpeller par les idées des autres participants, qu’ils soient développeurs, chercheurs en digital humanities, wikipédiens, conservateurs du patrimoine ou représentants des fournisseurs de données culturelles.

Pour en savoir plus sur cet événement et sur le programme qui t’attend, consulte le wiki du Hackathon. Si tu as des questions, n’hésite pas à contacter le comité d’organisation:

Tu es intéressé-e et tu veux t’inscrire ? N’attends pas car les places sont limitées. Le formulaire suivant est à ta disposition.

Nous nous réjouissons de t’accueillir pour expérimenter ensemble le potentiel innovatif du patrimoine lorsqu’il est mis librement à disposition.

Le comité d’organisation


Deutsche Version

Erster Schweizer Kultur-Hackathon – Melde dich an!

Immer mehr Bibliotheken, Archive und Museen digitalisieren ihre Bestände des kulturellen Erbes und stellen die digitalisierten Materialien online zur Verfügung. Auch jenseits der Digitalisate stellen die Gedächtnisinstitutionen immer mehr Daten, z.B. bibliographische Metadaten oder Geodaten, online zur Verfügung. Obwohl bislang noch vergleichsweise wenige Datensätze aus Kultur- und Gedächtnisinstitutionen unter einer offenen Lizenz zur freien Nachnutzung zur Verfügung stehen, stellen diese Datensätze bereits eine unerschöpfliche Quelle für innovative Nachnutzungen dar. Hast du Interesse, ausgehend von frei nachnutzbaren kulturellen Datensätzen neue Ideen und Anwendungen zu entwickeln? Die Arbeitsgruppe OpenGLAM und ihre Partner laden dich herzlich ein, am ersten Schweizer Kultur-Hackathon am 27. und 28. Februar 2015 in der Nationalbibliothek in Bern teilzunehmen.

Sei dabei und lass` deiner Kreativität und deinem Können im Umgang mit Datensätzen des kulturellen Erbes freien Lauf. Am Hackathon kannst du dich von den Ideen der anderen Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer des Hackathons anregen lassen. Zur Teilnahme eingeladen sind insbesondere Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aus dem Bereich Digital Humanities, Wikipedianerinnen und Wikipedianer sowie Vertreterinnen und Vertreter von datenliefernden Kultur- und Gedächtniseinrichtungen.

Weitere Informationen zur Veranstaltung und das Programm findest du im Wiki zum Hackathon. Falls du Fragen an das Organistionskommitee hast, kannst du uns gerne schreiben:

Du hast Interesse an der Teilnahme? – Die Anzahl der Plätze ist beschränkt, melde dich also am besten gleich über die Registrierungsplattform an.

Wir freuen uns darauf, dich zu treffen, um die innovativen Möglichkeiten von frei weiternutzbaren Datensätzen aus dem Kulturerbe auszuloten und gemeinsam zu experimentieren.

Das Organisationskommitee

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