GLAMi Nomination

HEIR Tagger - Historic Environment Image Resource
Institution: University of Oxford, Department of Archaeology
Designer: Keepthinking
Tags: API, App, Archive, Collections Online, Crowdsourced, Experimental, Participatory, Professional Resource, Website

HEIR is a new crowdsourcing resource, web and mobile application for a wide range of studies, from tracking environmental and climate change to understanding human impact on the planet; from identifying endangered landscapes and endangered archaeology, to reconstructing lost buildings and habitats.


HEIR has over 14,000 images to share, and more are being added all the time. The images are part of the Archaeology Department of Oxford University, in the United Kingdom. They date from 1890 to about 1940 and have never been catalogued. In most cases, they are positives slides and the only information available on the images is that is written on their frames – when there even are frames!


In some cases, the location is known – and used to search the catalogue online. In other cases, the locations of the images are unknown. In all cases the content of the images is not known – and this is where the call to action comes in.


HEIR asks online visitors to help classify the images and identify what is in them. People can register using their Zooniverse credential and start tagging right away. Tags are placed directly on the images and allow ‘taggers’ to be as specific or loose and then can or want. The more information the better.


Each image needs to be keyworded or ‘tagged’ as fully as possible, to record everything it shows, from rivers and trees to people and their costumes.


Images can be discussed online, so interested users can contribute further knowledge, including location, time and even more. This has already let to important discoveries and changes in image meta-data.


A connected mobile app for iOs (and soon for Android), allows HEIR tagger to re-photograph the old sites and upload new images against the old ones, to allow comparisons and enable tracking the sometimes dramatic changes in the environment.



The images uploaded are linked to discussions, and inherently, to the original images.


Our hope is that HEIR taggers will help classify and tag the amazing images, making them more accessible. In the few months since launch, some 24,000 thousand tags have been created by over 100 taggers. Over 800 discussions are active on the website, with over 1,500 contributions.


Qi by Keepthinking is the Integrated Content and Collections Management System that holds all the data published in HEIR Tagger.


The website and mobile app are designed and developed by Keepthinking (