The National Library of Finland on February 8 2011, launched a national e-program that is tasked to digitize Finland’s historical documents and material. Considered as a first in Europe, Digitalkoot e-program (Digital Volunteers) takes advantages of the effectiveness of crowdsourcing in mobilizing people to help digitize millions of pages of historical materials.
Microtask, the technology provider of the program, provides an automated platform that splits dull repetitive tasks into tiny microtasks and spreads them evenly over the internet. When results are carried out by interested microworkers around the world, Microtask’s system gathers them into a completed assignment. In less than 30 days, Digitalkoot has already received more than 85,000 contributed minutes from volunteer gamers.
For the initial run, The National Library of Finland’s e-program offers two online games. In ‘Mole Hunt’, players are shown two different words from which they must determine any similarities. On the other hand, ‘Mole Bridge’ makes players correctly spell the words appearing on the screen. These online gaming experiences guarantee users one of a kind entertainment and the opportunity to contribute to the preservation of Finland’s historical culture.
We wanted to set up ‘Angry Birds for the Thinking Person’ – something which entertains but is also useful to us as a nation. Starting with a games application, we expect to attract schoolchildren interested in the Finnish language and history. Teachers can use our e-program for teaching purposes or school projects. Our program may also provide a hobby for the elderly or other people who want to stimulate their brain.
Kai Ekholm, Director of the National Library of Finland
In the next phase of the program, Ekholm explains how Digitalkoot developers are targeting a wider audience by creating games and programs for serious history buffs.
The coming new features enable people interested in a particular area to select and browse material related to their topic. If you want to know more about, say, the evolution of the key people who established the Finnish mining industry, digitizing will become much more motivating.
Visit Digitalkoot to play the games that digitize old newspapers.