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The National Library of Finland has launched
Digitalkoot (digital volunteers), an online crowdsourcing project to digitize the
nation’s historical records.
“We have millions and millions of pages of historically and culturally valuable magazines,
newspapers and journals online. The challenge is that the optical character recognition
often contains errors and omissions, which hamper for example searches,” said Kai
Ekholm, director of the National Library of Finland. “Manual correction is needed
to weed out these mistakes so that the texts become machine readable, enabling scholars
and archivists to search the material for the information they need.”
The program currently consists of two online games developed by Microtask. In Mole
Hunt (Myyräjahti), the player is shown two different words, and he must determine
as quickly as possible if the words are the same. This uncovers erroneous words in
archived material. In Mole Bridge (Myyräsilta), players have to correctly spell the
words appearing on the screen. Correct answers help beavers build a bridge across
The online gaming experience enables anyone to contribute to the conversion portions
of Finnish cultural heritage into a lasting format. The aim is to crowdsource thousands
of volunteers to participate online utilizing modern technology developed in Finland.
“In the Digitalkoot program, participants can do as much, or as little, work they
want, where they want and when they want.” says Harri Holopainen, Microtask managing
director. “We help turn routine work into fun, almost a parlor game.”