Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ancient Marbles Wiki

Ancient Marbles Wiki is a community platform about ancient marbles where everyone can contribute, from amateurs uploading holiday photographs to geologists dealing with isotope analysis. Such “mixed” communities exist in other archaeological subdomains like numismatics and ceramics, and they are common for sciences. There are several advantages that this newly created community platform brings to the exchange of knowledge for the study of ancient marbles.
To create we concentrated on social networks and open content. The use of well-known social networks as environments for sharing and creating knowledge about the Ancient world is an established pattern. Adopting tools that are either already in use or easy to learn can maximise the number of contributors. Open content ‒ best exemplified by monumental efforts like Wikipedia or OpenStreetMap ‒ is a crucial element for integrating digital heritage projects in the Web. Visitors of museums, places of worship and archaeological sites should be able to create themselves the digital resources to be shared. Open content ensures that today’s efforts won’t get lost tomorrow, by allowing everyone (including search engines) to get a copy without restrictions.
Our experience is centered around a community wiki, editable by all users, with content available under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Share Alike license (as Wikipedia). Sharing of pictures is possible as long as the authors choose an open license, also on external websites such as and Wikimedia Commons. We defined a set of information to collect for all kinds of marble, but beyond that, it has been entirely up to the contributors whether a “record sheet” should become an encyclopedic page.
The key strength of is to integrate contributions at different levels, without the constraints of a database or a scholarly publication, by leveraging the capabilities of the cloud.

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