Vol 32 | No 2 | Spring 14
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AnteaterTag@UCI Invites Players to Travel Back in Time

In January, the Libraries launched an innovative online game called AnteaterTag@UCI and invited the campus community, alumni, and public to play. Over 130 players traveled back in time to view, tag, and contribute to UCI history. The winners of a competition were announced here.

“One of the key outcomes about this project is that it demonstrates the Libraries’ value as a “place”, either online or physical, a place of collective intelligence and wisdom”
AnteaterTag@UCI encourages contestants to view and tag (describe images using a keyword or short phrase) digital photographs from the Libraries’Online Archive of UCI History. Participants enrich what is known about these historical images from the University Archives and contribute to UCI’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2015.

“By playing AnteaterTag, it was a great opportunity to feel more connected to the university by tagging pictures from UCI’s first years. The history of our university is now engrained in my mind,” said second place winner Scott Hogan, UCI Student.
Powered by Metadata Games, AnteaterTag@UCI is a pilot project designed to help the Libraries gather valuable information, called "metadata", about archival pictures of people, places, and events at UCI from 1963-1982. Metadata– the labels that tell researchers and search engines what’s in a photograph or other types of media – will help make these important pictures more accessible to students, scholars, and the general public.

Image“The goal of the project is to find out whether a crowd sourcing approach will generate enough interest from users to help improve description and discovery of our digital assets,” said project leader Shu Liu, Metadata and Digital Resources Librarian.

"It was great fun looking back on UCI's history using the archival photos", said 8th place winner Barbara Davidson, UCI Associate Chancellor, Emerita. "I was a freshman the day UCI opened, and remember the bulldozers, half completed buildings, and newly landscaped campus. During my 32 year career at UCI I also did publications work for the campus, and many of the photos were what we called timeless gems.”
As a professional librarian, Liu was familiar with the concept of crowdsourcing, however, she had not had the opportunity to test its power in reality. “In late 2012, I was working with my colleagues to build a demo portal of the Libraries’ Online Archive of UCI History in anticipation of the campus’s 50th anniversary in 2015,” said Liu. “As soon as I heard about Metadata Games, I realized it was the perfect candidate to tie in with our project.” In May 2013, Liu proposed the project to the Libraries and got it approved working with a number of her colleagues.

“One of the key outcomes about this project is that it demonstrates the Libraries’ value as a “place”, either online or physical, a place of collective intelligence and wisdom,” said Liu.

ImageA competition was held from January through February 28, 2014 for contestants to play any of the four AnteaterTag games including Zen Tag, NexTag, Pyramid Challenge!, and Mobile Tag. Points were awarded by the software based on the number and quality of tags contributed by players. The top 15 scorers received Amazon gift cards valued at $50, $30 and $20.

The Libraries is assessing the success of the game based on the number of user participations, the quality of user-contributed descriptions, user feedback, and its impact on the user community. The plan is to expand AnteaterTag to other archival collections.

While the contest is over, AnteaterTag is still available to the public to play. Go to the website at: http://anteatertag.lib.uci.edu and leave your mark on UCI history!

For further information about AnteaterTag, please contact Shu Liu. (x45854 or shu.liu@uci.edu).