Thumbnail previews of media files: would this be useful for you?

As part of the Wikimedia Commons integration project, we have prepared a new feature in OpenRefine’s Wikimedia Commons extension (not in OpenRefine itself): small thumbnail previews of media files. (The feature has not been integrated yet; there is still a bug to be resolved for which help is welcome!).

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The animated gif above shows a selection of Biodiversity Heritage Library files on Wikimedia Commons, with thumbnails, inside OpenRefine. Seeing the thumbnails allows me to much better see that I’m working on the correct file. In other projects, it has allowed me to make specific content edits in several workflows (e.g. flag/star certain rows based on what I see; add info in a column on what’s depicted or otherwise relevant in a multimedia file).

What do you think about this feature?

I’m curious to hear what general OpenRefine users think when they see this (now only Wikimedia Commons-specific) feature. Would this be useful for you too? Or do you think this is outside of OpenRefine’s scope?
Here’s a small and informal poll; please note that the outcomes will not result in feature development, it’s just a general gauging of interest!

Thumbnail previews for multimedia in OpenRefine: would this be useful for you?
  • I never work with multimedia at all; this would not be a useful feature for me and I consider this outside of OpenRefine’s scope
  • I do work with multimedia (sometimes) but seeing thumbnails in OpenRefine would not be a useful feature for my work
  • I do work with multimedia (sometimes) and seeing thumbnails for my multimedia data in OpenRefine would be useful for me
  • I have never thought about working with multimedia content in OpenRefine, but this feature would make it possible for me and would allow me to do new types of work
  • No opinion
  • Other (please comment)

0 voters

1 Like

I voted “Other” as while I’ve not needed this type of functionality in OR myself, that doesn’t necessarily mean I consider out of scope. If having thumbnails in view is helpful for doing data cleaning processes I’d certainly consider it within the scope of OR.

For an unrelated project, I’m watching a YouTube recording of a conference presentation about historical marine biology data. The librarian producing historical datasets uses various reconciliation services inside OpenRefine, including Wikidata and … mentions how retrieving (and actually viewing/eyeballing) images from Wikimedia Commons via Wikidata helps with a quality check of the data. (Interestingly, this is not a Wikidata-centric project at all; there’s no upload to Wikidata taking place, but Wikidata is merely used for enrichment, verifying and linking data.) Digital collections, biodiversity data, and the marine science librarian - Dr. Amanda Whitmire - YouTube Quote: “For me, this is an error-checking step.”

Thanks for that proposal Sandra! I really would appreciate thumbnails in OpenRefine and both for files reconciled against WikiCommons and for local files too. If i prepare my local file sets for uploading it to Commons i currently have to open the files in a new tab to check or enrich the metadate given in the dataset. having a small thumbnail would make work much easier though.