PROJECT: NYPL Labs Building Inspector

The New York Public Library Labs team launched Building Inspector last week, an app that extracts, corrects, and analyzes data from fire insurance maps from the 1850s and 1860s. The Building Inspector presents a computer-generated outline of a building and asks the user to decide whether the outline matches the actual building. This user input allows the app to better process map data, which is, according to Wired, “part of a bigger strategy to make the library’s awesome collection of maps a gateway into its other collections.” In an early review, Ed Summers (Library of Congress) describes how the app represents a clever way for cultural heritage institutions to use the web to engage users in fun and interesting ways.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Katie Greenock, Rebekah Irwin, Elizabeth Lorang, Robin Potter, and Chella Vaidyanathan (Editors-at-large for the week), Zach Coble (Editor for the week), and Caro Pinto and Roxanne Shirazi (dh+lib Review Editors).