[Commons-l] Evaluating our coverage, and a partnership idea

Brianna Laugher brianna.laugher at gmail.com
Sat May 12 11:24:50 UTC 2007

Hello all,

I was thinking about how we could test Commons' coverage compared to
other media sources such as Getty Images and Flickr. One way would be
to make a list of topics that we should aim to cover. Periodically we
can compare our coverage to other resources to see how we are

Of course we accept that in some areas such as logos we will always be

There are also several ways we can measure. e.g.
-Binary: Yes/No we have something (anything) on that topic.
-Quantity: Number of photos in the relevant gallery and/or category
-Quality: Number of QI/FP in the relevant gallery and/or category -
maybe something also about general believability of other licenses
(own work of trusted Wikimedians = great, {{copyrighted free use}} =
not so good)

Here are some topics I've thought of so far. What else? What might you
go to a media resource trying to find? (I've just kept it to images so
far, not audio or video.)

Weather and geography stuff (oceans, volcanoes, lightning)

Planets/celestial bodies

Modern celebrities
Historical figures

==Stock photography==
Generic objects
Generic people
Generic activities (verbs)

World cities
World landmarks

Historical events
Types of food
Works of art

So how would you evaluate it? Of course if we pick 10 specific animal
species, for example, to evaluate against, there is a danger that we
would just fix up any missing ones right after the first evaluation,
because of course that's the wiki way. So although some of these are
fixed (eg. World cities and landmarks), with 'animals' we could each
time pick a different random subset of 20 or so to evaluate against.
For the 'fixed' ones, well, we can hope quality and quantity measures

So as to whether topics should be covered, things that we could
potentially get images of should be included, even if it seems
unlikely, e.g. people. Things we could not host in accordance with
Commons:Licensing should not be included (eg maybe Eiffel Tower,
Ausralian Aboriginal flag, works of art that are still in copyright).

Basically it would be good to have this kind of evaluation, because
then we can say "look our coverage of this broad range of topics is
like this". It also gives us an idea of coverage gaps, where we need
to improve.

So ideas for topics we should aim to cover, and other resources
besides Getty and Flickr that we should compare against, would be

I read that Lulu.com (vanity press/prints books on demand) has made a
licensing partnership with Getty images -
http://www.lulu.com/partners/getty/ "Lulu.com is working with Getty
Images to enable authors, creators and organizations to use licensed
content to enhance and embellish their original works, while
protecting and compensating the copyright holders. Portions of three
extensive collections — Stockbyte, Digital Vision and Photodisc — from
Getty Images' vast library of photos and illustrations will be
available to Lulu.com users." I wonder if this agreement is

Do you think Commons could pursue an agreement with a company like
this? Do you think Commons should? (I would put up a subset, like
QI+FP, to avoid bad licensing problems.)

Lulu does not really get the open content idea, I think (I had an
argument in their forum once with a guy who said freely licensed work
puts pro photographers out of business, or similar nonsense). So maybe
WMF could still set up an agreement with them and get some small
profit out of each use :) or maybe just a good example of the variety
of applications of open content.

Also there is a competitor http://www.blurb.com/ and AFAIK they don't
have any such agreement yet :)


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