Friday, 19 March 2010

the even more open library

Here's news of the new look Internet Archive. George Oates is the genius who started gathering those images of people sleeping in libraries, gawd bless her. I really hope if:book can make a project with this lot someday!


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The Internet Archive is thrilled to announce the soft launch of Open Library (our born again version) under the direction of George Oates (formerly of Flickr!) and a team of IA engineers and staff.

It's a work under on-going improvement, but check out the new features, detailed in the blog post:

http://blog.openlibrary.org/2010/03/17/announcing-the-open-library-redesign/

1. Works
The previous version of Open Library was only aware of editions of books, or “manifestations” in FRBR-speak. We’re excited to release Works, which helps catch all editions of the same book and collect them all under this one umbrella. Each work also has its own URI too – we’re hoping these propagate.

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2. Subject pages
We wanted to find a way to help people browse the catalog rather than having to know what they’re looking for before they start. So, we’ve gone through a process of breaking down and reconstructing the subject headings on our records, giving each heading a URL, and displaying a whole bunch of data about each heading: works about that subject, publishing history, related subjects, authors who write about it, and publishers who publish in that subject area.

3. Revamped search
We’ve rewritten search from scratch and upgraded to SOLR 1.4. Our ranking is very basic for now, so “relevance” doesn’t mean a lot yet. We can’t wait to improve on it, and in the meantime, you can also sort your searches by the number of editions, when things were published, or filter using facets.

4. UI Improvements
The whole site’s had an overhaul in terms of the user interface. All the major operations (editing, searching, adding covers etc) have been redesigned. Even changing the size and position of the Edit button will hopefully make it clearer that these records are open to correction. We’ll be blogging over the coming weeks with specifics about the user interface enhancements.

5. Links, link, links
Another major component of the redesign is to begin the process of connecting our records to other references out there on the interwebs. If you get to an Edit Edition page, you’ll notice that you can add different identifiers from a variety of systems to the Edition record, and even add a new type of identifier to the system. The more IDs we can collect, the more connections there’ll be into and out of Open Library.

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