The Smithsonian just released 2.8 million images into the public domain

The Smithsonian Institution has just released 2.8 million images (2D and 3D) into the public domain via a new Smithsonian Open Access online platform where anyone can browse and download high-res files. And then reuse them! Or remix them! For whatever! For free! From Smithsonian:

Featuring data and material from all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo, the new digital depot encourages the public to not just view its contents, but use, reuse and transform them into just about anything they choose—be it a postcard, a beer koozie or a pair of bootie shorts.

And this gargantuan data dump is just the beginning. Throughout the rest of 2020, the Smithsonian will be rolling out another 200,000 or so images, with more to come as the Institution continues to digitize its collection of 155 million items and counting...

Spanning the arts and humanities to science and engineering, the release compiles artifacts, specimens and datasets from an array of fields onto a single online platform. Noteworthy additions include portraits of Pocahontas and Ida B. Wells, images of Muhammad Ali’s boxing headgear and Amelia Earhart’s record-shattering Lockheed Vega 5B, along with thousands of 3-D models that range in size from a petite Eulaema bee just a couple centimeters in length to the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant, estimated at about 29 light-years across.

Smithsonian Open Access Read the rest

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Patrick Costello (previously) writes, "I had to go through a 25 hr EEG, but I didn't let the wires glued to my head stop me from posting my weekly frailing banjo workshop." Read the rest

1,650 year old unopened wine bottle looks like it should stay that way

Josh Jones at Open Culture looks at the Speyer wine bottle, the oldest (and possibly grossest) unopened bottle of wine. Read the rest

Can Everipedia remake collaborative encyclopedias to be inclusive and enjoyable?

English Wikipedia participation peaked ten years ago and is down about 20,000 active users a month from its high point. Three big factors often get cited: deletionism, poor mobile editing options, and a lost spirit of inclusiveness. Everipedia wants to address all three with the latest attempt at an encyclopedia of everything. I spoke with co-founder Sam Kazemian about the project, which often pops up as a top search result for college-related news and people. Can they crack the code of next-gen participation? Read the rest

100 bold ideas the BBC can use to fight back

With five more years of Tory government on the horizon, the BBC is at its most perilous moment. Government ministers are attacking it in every way, from wanting to cut the license fee to demanding that it end all popular programming so as not to "compete" with the private sector. Read the rest