Extending Madoc crowdsourcing platform for new approaches to public crowdsourcing, academic research and teaching.
As part of the CLARIAH- VL (Flanders) FWO-funded project, the Madoc IIIF crowdsourcing platform has been extended for a number of use cases required by consortium members, Ghent University, VUB.The platform was identified as an ideal starting point to ensure their research projects produced high quality data, enabling an end-to-end process from importing to exporting and everything else in between from transcribing and annotating to geofunctionality, presentation and search. Madoc provided the necessary configuration features to create complex data models for capturing data and workflows for processing and consolidating contributions.
The first project to go live was Getuigenissen (o ‘Witnesses’ https://en.getuigenissen.org/project-2 ), a project by the VUB. This VUB and FWO co-financed digitalisation project gathers, digitises and, with the help of volunteers using Madoc, transcribes witness depositions and suspect interrogations preserved at criminal courts in 18th and 19th century Belgium. With the support of an interdisciplinary team of academic experts these transcriptions are being used to better understand the language and social history connected with criminality during that period.
Another early project (https://www.ghentcdh.ugent.be/projects/papa-mfumueto-comics-project ) focused on the comic art of Congolese artist Papa Mfumu'eto who produced hundreds of imaginative comics written in Lingala inspired by life and politics in Congo during the 1990s. Madoc has enabled the engagement of researchers and students (of f.ex. Lingala) throughout Belgium. Contributors can draw boxes around any comic strip element and annotate it with transcriptions, translations and semantic annotations for humanities research and teaching purposes and to prepare the material for virtual exhibitions. This will allow the wider public to read the comic books of Papa Mfumu’eto, even without knowledge of the Lingala language.
A further study is based on a archive of the fortnightly Belgian-Dutch feminist-socialist periodical De Vrouw (Woman; 1893‒1900) from the digital collections of the Belgian Amsab-Institute of Social History. The students collaborated to identify all poems (over 200 in total), developed a distinct data model to describe the poems, and each conducted a case study of their own, all within the Madoc IIIF environment. The long term plan is to use this model to bring together and share digitised periodicals from geographically disparate collections; and set up collaborative research projects and teaching initiatives in periodical studies across Europe and further afield.
Looking forwards, the Gent Gemapt project maps heritage collections to historical maps in order to connect collections with the contemporary landscape and people of Ghent. This project will push beyond what is available in IIIF today enabling existing Madoc features to sit alongside geofunctionality such as georeferencing, georectification, geotagging, georeferencing and geoparsing. Never before will all these functions be available within a crowdsourcing and annotation platform that provides this full end-to-end enrichment process. It will enable Ghentians to enrich the location-based collections by adding metadata, annotating images, transcribing documents, and georeferencing historical maps. Collection managers will then be able to validate these contributions using a Madoc workflow. This work will run in the latter half of 2022, more updates to follow!