erin_trying (Bklyn) [deleted] 2:09pm, 30 March 2009
Hello all,

Here's a brief run down of machine tags that may help you navigate the Flickr pool:

Cary Bass Bonus Points Tag
wla:bass=[number] (wla:bass=1 to wla:bass=10)

Caption Tag (tells you if something has been captioned by the museum)

Institution Tags
Brooklyn Museum - wla:org=brooklynmuseum
Houston Museum of Natural Science - wla:org=hmns
Los Angeles County Museum of Art - wla:org=lacma
New-York Historical Society - wla:org=nyhistorical
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - wla:org=metmuseum
Indianapolis Museum of Art - wla:org=ima
Carnegie Museum of Art - wla:org=cma
Museum of Modern Art - wla:org=moma
Honolulu Academy of Arts - wla:org=haa
The Hunter Museum of American Art - wla:org=hunter
Jewish Museum - wla:org=jewishmuseum
Smithsonian American Art Museum - wla:org=amart
Taft Museum of Art- wla:org=taft
V&A - wla:org=vanda
The Film Society of Lincoln Center - flimlinc [this is not a machine tag]

Looking for multiple shots of the same object? Many objects have been machine tagged with their accession number. It reads num:[museum]=[accession number]. For example at the Brooklyn Museum here's five different shots of 78.243, a statuette of a cat from the Egyptian collection (num:brooklynmuseum=78243):
Just click on the globe icon next these tags to see if there are other photographs!

Hope that helps you guys find your way around.

Forever Wiser PRO 8 years ago
So for the museums that aren't captioning their pieces, does this mean the shots can't be used by Wikipedia?

I am wondering if the museums are having second thoughts about opening these photos up for use? Or are the museum staff just so busy with other great projects that they can't get to these photos?

I would point out that because the photos are on Flickr with tags and titles - some of the shots are getting a lot of traffic, and are being used at least on websites (I know one of mine is - and it is not captioned) and others are being looked at daily, though I don't know if they are being used somewhere.

I am only mentioning this because I am concerned about the ramifications for future projects. I really loved the project, and hope to see it continued.
asb7n1 8 years ago
How can I do a search for the photos without captions? wla:caption=yes shows the photos with captions. Logically I tried wla:caption=no and wla:caption=null, but neither returned responses.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Posted 8 years ago. Edited by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (admin) 8 years ago
Hi everyone,

While waiting for the list of images that Wikipedia would like to use, we at the Met decided to caption everything that we could at this time. Since not all of our tombstone info is approved, we could only caption objects that are already in our online collection database. We did this by downloading a list of accession numbers assigned to Met Museum objects in the WLA pool (machine tag num:metmuseum=x), checking against our database records to see if the object’s tombstone info is approved for the web, exporting the tombstone formatted for Flickr comments, and bulk commenting/tagging all approved photos on Flickr using the Flickr API. We completed the bulk commenting today.

Shyam Oberoi and Piotr Adamczyk here in the Website Department were the brains behind the automation. Piotr said that he’d write a bit more about the coding details for the batch commenter on his blog,

Once we receive a list of images from Wikipedia we will contact our curators for any image not already captioned and ask them to approve tombstone info.

Thanks for everyone’s patience.

Website Department
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
griannan PRO 8 years ago
Hi Alex,

your post states that you completed the bulk commenting today. I think my images were overlooked because none of my images were commented on but duplicate images from other wla members were. Here are some examples:

I do believe all the images have the proper machine tags. Did I miss something else?

hills, PRO 8 years ago
Hi griannan,

Your first example was not captioned because it does not have approved tombstone info.

The other two are a bit more puzzling. Let's take a look at your second example. You can see that there are three photos of that object in the WLA pool here. The other two were captioned. We used the Flickr API Explorer to pull all photos with the machine tag "num:metmuseum=" and your photo was not on the list (even though it is tagged exactly the same as the other photos). In fact, when you search using the Flickr API Explorer for the machine tag "num:metmuseum=1991.419.22" only the other two photos show up.

Piotr and I are a bit stumped as to why this is happening. Why wouldn't your photo be included in the return? It doesn't seem to be recognized by the Flickr API at all. If anyone has any ideas as to why this is happening please let us know.

In total we've captioned 457 photos but this makes me wonder how many others are slipping past the Flickr API.

griannan PRO 8 years ago
I just figured it out. I have my account set to hide my images from 3rd party searches using the api. It's the second option here:

I do this to keep people from using my images without my knowledge. i'm glad to know it works! i have changed it for the time being until all the images are selected, etc.

I am sure i am not the only member that does that.

thanks again
DJ-Architect 8 years ago
Actually, I am not sure that this is the total answer. My Account is not set to Hide any searches, so should be visible from everywhere.

While deleting my label images, I also noted that some of my images had not been captioned, some not scored, or both.

For example:
(I have deleted the label card for this, but it is the same object as:
label is at:
Catalogue number is RIBA:SC2/1 - whited out in label image but visible in top right corner of Object image.

I assumed this was just a "feature" of flickr(!), but hoped it would not make any difference.
erin_trying (Bklyn) [deleted] 8 years ago
DJ - Architect,

Here are the explanations behind your concerns:

The first image I 100% missed in the midst of thousands-of-images tagging--since the V&A scoring is not all done yet, I will tag this image accordingly and inform those captioning at the V&A. The second image is just missing the "cat" tag--a omission likely due to Flickr hiccups. The third is a detail of an image which has been captioned, and thus was not scored/captioned since the overall view has already been. The last image is actually not part of the V&A collection, rather is a RIBA object--the V&A has captioned these objects, but be aware they cannot be used on Wikipedia/the Wikimedia commons. You may have already seen this disclaimer on their captions of these objects: "Please note: this object is on loan to the V&A from RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects) and cannot be used in Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons."

I hope this answers all your concerns--any others please message me personally.

nyhistory 8 years ago
We are so appreciative of your enthusiasm, efforts and patience (certainly a virtue at this point). I realize that things have been moving somewhat slow up to this point, and we apologize. Like many other institutions, our (wo)manpower has been significantly cut back and it has been very difficult to keep up with all of the myriad of programming commitments and community relations that would be easier in other circumstances. However, these images should be fully-captioned and a winner accounced by next Monday.

N-YHS Communications
Hi everyone,

We've received approved tombstone information from our curators for the remaining 96 wikipedian-selected photos. We'll be batch commenting today.

Thanks for everyone's patience.

Alex Hills
Website Department
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Groups Beta