Using our Flickr Photo Galleries
The third part of our venture into social networking is the use of Flickr, the free photo sharing site. Flickr allows users to upload photos, comment on them, share them with friends, and locate the places where these photos were taken. They can follow other people’s photo galleries, to see what photos they have uploaded.
We will be using Flickr in a manner that will allow us to engage the community in the analysis of the archaeological record. Archaeologists utilize photographs in a number of ways: we use historical photos to learn about how space used to be utilized; we take artifact photos to preserve artifacts we find and to present them to the public; and we take photos of excavation units because once we dig them up, they are destroyed forever. We also take photos of archaeologists in action not only to put on our website and in presentations, but also to remind us of who was excavating, and what methods we were using, in case the written record is lost or difficult to understand.
All of these photos will be put on to Flickr, grouped by site, and tagged according to their photo type. The public can access them, view them, and provide their own input regarding what they think the artifacts or features may be. For other archaeologists across the country, this may provide an opportunity for them to recognize an artifact that they have discovered from their excavations; antique collectors may recognize and be able to identify items. These are all possible outcomes, and are all pieces of information that would have not been gathered otherwise.