Smithsonian Collection to be Open for App Developers

Alvan Fisher, The Great Horseshoe Fall, Niagara, 1820, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase
Alvan Fisher, The Great Horseshoe Fall, Niagara, 1820, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase

A White House blog on Friday announced that the Smithsonian American Art Museum would soon make its digitized collection open to developers so they can build it into educational apps. It follows a new executive order that “made open and machine-readable data the new default for government information.”

The White House wrote, “even museum curators do not have easily accessible information about their art collections. This information will soon be available to everyone.”

Part of the US Government’s Open Data Action Plan (PDF), the open Smithsonian database will include collection data such as artist or medium, along with images “without copyright or other restriction [...] for non- commercial, educational use.” The data should be available by December. 

 

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