A major milestone: Open Culture Data Challengers are here

Finding interesting open culture datasets can be the most difficult part of producing new innovative apps. This year, however, we will embark upon a new strategy of open culture and heritage data and stimulation of creative re-use.

Are you building an app about World War II? You won’t have to search long for specific data holders anymore but you can find the data of the Anne Frank Museum, Rijksmuseum and Dutch archives that have joined Open Culture Data over the years. Do you want to combine all Dutch Golden Age paintings in one dataset? That won’t be a hassle anymore.

Based upon the successful unlocking of cultural heritage datasets and several hackathons and competitions since 2009, a new phase will start in the movement to open culture data. Now with more than 34 open culture datasets containing 29 million records, 1.6 million images, texts, sounds and videos, it’s time to enlarge them and bring them together.

Open Culture Data Platform
Part of our new approach to open culture data is an innovative open platform that is being created by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. It integrates all existing and upcoming open culture datasets. The technical infrastructure will be multi-dimensional, rich and diverse in content and best of all, it is entirely open. It will become the flagship of open culture data platforms. It gives developers the unprecedented possibility to combine datasets from various heritage institutions.

In order to get the new platform filled with the best existing open culture data, Kennisland will organize a master class for GLAMs (galleries, libraries, archives, museums). Data holders and experts from these cultural heritage institutions will be guided how to unlock their rich culture data. The subscriptions have been closed. Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank Museum and several other cultural institutions and archives are among the participants. This open, rich and diverse content is not only a bliss for developers who can build awesome apps, but also for all cultural heritage institutions and people that get a hold on those great new apps. Imagine what schools and entrepreneurs can do and with such an open culture data Platform.

Masterclass for cultural experts
In 2011, the open data developers’ community ‘Hack de Overheid‘ and the Dutch Heritage Innovators Network joined forces launching the Open Culture Data network. Within three months, this network identified and described and contributed eight open datasets from six culture data providers to a competition. At one such hackathon, organized by Open State and its Hack de Overheid community, cultural institutions such as Rijksmuseum, EYE Film Institute and the National Archives, pitched datasets and at the end of the day 13 apps were presented.

Shortly after, a masterclass was organized together with Open Culture Data partners Kennisland and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, in which 17 Dutch cultural institutions participated. After another hackathon, a new competition resulted in 27 apps, among them award-winning Muse app and Histagram. The Rijksmuseum API, with its well-known collection, 125,000 high-resolution images was the most popular and used in nine out of twenty-seven apps submitted for the competition.

Say hello to the Open Culture Data Challenge!
This year, with the richest open culture data platform existing, we thrive for the next generation of culture apps. We have left the concept of competitions behind and are launching the Open Culture Data Challenge. A renowned jury will only select four app proposals that will see the daylight under the guidance of Open State. The four teams that will be selected and actually build their apps completely will all win a grand prize. This method guarantees that the best next generation apps are being build and create the best examples of open culture data used from the new platform can be re-used in the best possible way.

So stay tuned and follow the upcoming news on Open Culture Data Challengers.

Open Culture Data is an initiative by Open State, Kennisland and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Open Culture Data Challengers is made possible with support from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.