Topic: New task - Alternate names for museums

My next main task is part of a revamp of how museums are handled. I have several items on that list, but for now, let's tackle the issue of museum names.

As has been noted, we have more and more museums where the local name can not be easily understood by English speakers. For example, the Museum of Czech Literature in Prague is called Památník Národhího Písemnictví in Czech. Or the Muzeum Pałac w Wilanowie in Warsaw, which in English we might call the Wilanów Palace Museum.

I have these goals:
1. The Athenaeum should be factually correct by recording the "true" names of institutions wherever possible.
2. The Athenaeum should also record local official names as a matter of respect, and to not impose English "bastardisations" just because something is in a foreign language.
3. However, we need to serve our primarily English-literate audience. Museums must be easy to find by searching in English or looking for an English name in a list, and they should have names available that make sense in English.

For that reason, we should have *both* the local name, and the best equivalent in English. Museums should show up in searches by either name, and they should be shown in listings by both names (generally).

I propose the following:
1. The forms for adding and editing a museum/institution will have a place to record the "local name" and the language of that local name.
2. They forms will also have a place to record the equivalent name in English (if the local name is not already in English).
3. On the museum/institution display page, the local name will be the main name at the top. If there is a second English version of the name, it will be listed underneath.
4. Both names will be used in searches, in list pages, and in suggestions when editing an artwork etc.


Here are the steps to do this:
1. Get a list of languages into the database: Done. I added a table for languages and used the ISO 639-1 list (http://www.mathguide.de/info/tools/languagecode.html). There are many thousands of languages, but this list will cover the most common ones to keep it manageable.

2. Create fields to store:   Done on March 17
2a. Local name for display
2b. Local name for sorting
2c. Local name language
2d. English name for display
2e. English name for sorting
2f.  Alternate name (just a space for a third name)
2g. Alternate name for sorting

3. Copy the existing name field for all museums into the local name field and set language for ALL museums to English. This will be WRONG for some museums, but it will save a lot of initial work. Done on March 17

4. Update the museum detail page to use the new fields instead of the plain old "name" field. Done on March 17

5. Update the museum adding and editing pages, so site members can start updating records, and cleaning up non-English museum names. For museums where the original language name was removed to show only an English name, *please* fix them to have the local name again.
- Edit page Done on March 17

6. Update site search to find museums by either name. Done on March 17

7. One by one, test individual pages that show or list museums. Not sure how many pages this is, or how long it will take.


I'm sure we'll find questions and new issues as we go, but that's the basic plan.

Let me know if you have questions. I hope to get going on the first steps within the next few days.

Thanks,
Chris

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

What about museums located in countries which don't use the Latin alphabet (principally Russia and Japan)?

It would help me if you could sort the museums by country. Maybe you should put a little flag next to their name in the list.

3 (edited by Josselin 2014-02-12 14:41:06)

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

I'm also thinking of a way to display museums on a map. Since they are located with accuracy on Google Map, maybe you can create a world map of all the museums entered on the website.

However, I have never been entirely satisfied with this Google feature as the map looks a bit empty and dull compared to old paper maps and it can be quite long to load when there are too many pins. If these problems are too difficult to solve, maybe we should restrain the map to the major art countries (USA, UK, France, Germany an Italy - one map for each), or focusing only on the major art cities (London, NY, Paris, Venice and Rome), where dozens of museums are located.

In addition, we later could show the importance of the collections of each museum by putting circles of different sizes on the map (more than 500 artworks, between 500-100, 100-50, 50-10, less than 10), each circle linking to the page of the museum. Here is an example of what I mean in a French newspaper (it's about demonstrations - so French ^^): http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/infogra … 23448.html

Josselin

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Museums in Brussels are named in both French and Dutch.
So the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium is called "Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België" and "Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique".

Tricky one. :-)

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Hello Josselin,

1. If there is no "romanised" version of the foreign language name, I say we just go with the English name. This is mainly due to the big technical challenge of having to deal with all of those character sets, both in displaying and in sorting. Japanese at least usually has a romanised version of names. Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, etc usually do not.

2. Yes, maps are part of the long term plan, but perhaps a ways off. One thing to consider is that the consolidation of museums into "civic collections" and so on is *removing* the actual place of those museums ...

3. Countries with more than one non-English official language: Yuck; hadn't thought about it. I don't have an answer yet.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Update on March 18:

I've gotten most of it done, including adding the fields to store various name types, a major upgrade to the museum editing page, and updating the search page to find a museum by any of its names (and to link directly to the museum artwork list).

I also added a better text entry box for museums, and made it so the main museum listing shows country and city (sorry Josselin, I know you've been adding the city to the museum name. We can leave it for now, but perhaps it's not needed any more?).

Now I just need to:
- Update the page for adding a museum (actually, merging it with editing so all can be done with one script)
- Update the museum listing to have multiple entries for museums with multiple names
- Check every page that lists museums and update the display as needed.

We're getting pretty close, and after this museums will be generally easier to use across the site.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

chris_mccormick wrote:

Update on March 18:


I also added a better text entry box for museums, and made it so the main museum listing shows country and city (sorry Josselin, I know you've been adding the city to the museum name. We can leave it for now, but perhaps it's not needed any more?).

One of the reasons I added the city to the museum names was to make a search by location. For example, when typing "Paris" in the search box I can have all the museums in this city: http://www.the-athenaeum.org/search.php … ords=paris
Maybe you should add a tab in the search box which would return all the results among the museum locations?

In addition, could you replace the name of French museums with missing accents for "Musée", many of them are written "Musee"?
Thanks.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Hello Josselin,
     I just did a text replace to fix the Musée/Musee issue. It affected 125 museums. I also updated the search script to find museums by city, so now it finds any museum where the city matches the search term. Here for example is London, where many of the museums haven't had "London" added to the name, but the search finds them by city instead:

http://www.the-athenaeum.org/search.php … rds=london

9 (edited by Josselin 2014-05-20 19:28:54)

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

chris_mccormick wrote:

Hello Josselin,
     I just did a text replace to fix the Musée/Musee issue. It affected 125 museums. I also updated the search script to find museums by city, so now it finds any museum where the city matches the search term. Here for example is London, where many of the museums haven't had "London" added to the name, but the search finds them by city instead:

http://www.the-athenaeum.org/search.php … rds=london

Thanks. This feature will need improvement in the future as it lists all the places named London, including towns in Canada, but this is not an urgent task.

10 (edited by Josselin 2014-03-24 18:10:48)

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

1. What should I do for Welsh museums? The official name of the National Museum of Wales is Amgueddfa Cymru, although I think many Britons could barely pronounce this name...
(the official name of the National Library of Wales is "Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru" (lol))
Currently, the two names are written together: http://www.the-athenaeum.org/sources/detail.php?id=1589

2. Idem with non-Latin alphabet languages (Russian and Japanese), shall I put the English name only, or add the local characters too?

3. In the dropdown menu, I can choose England, Scotland and Wales for museum locations. Should I use these ones or only the UK? The former would be more accurate, but the later would avoid confusion. Please remove the Countries of the United Kingdom if you choose the later solution.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Chris,
I think you should add a script in the dropdown menu to avoid repeating the town where a museum is located if it already bears it in its name.
For example, we have a repetition with this museum: Art Institute of Chicago (United States - Chicago).
It would be clearer to have instead: Art Institute of Chicago (United States)

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Hello Josselin,
      Some catch-up answers:

1. I'll remove Wales/Scotland/N Ireland wherever they are showing up, and we'll use United Kingdom in their place.

2. Non-Latin alphabet languages - we discussed this once before I think. In short, those languages are too challenging to include (for several reasons). If we're ever big enough (including funding) to consider building a truly "internationalised" site with much of the site's navigation and forms available in multiple languages, then we can look at it. For now, we'll have to use romanised names.

3. Welsh names: I think we still use them as they are for primary names, and put English names in as secondary. The only exception would be if there are museums with a very widely known English name which is by far the most "common" name. With the new multiple name capability, people will find them by the English name through search/dropdown lists/the listing page, so it's fine to have the "real" name be primary. Especially since the Welsh feel quite strongly about keeping their heritage!

4. On removing the city where the name has the city in it: I think we should keep it. It's not really a big issue visually, it serves to absolutely confirm the location (instead of having our viewers assume but not be 100% certain), and this way we don't have to build separate logic for special cases.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

chris_mccormick wrote:

2. Non-Latin alphabet languages - we discussed this once before I think. In short, those languages are too challenging to include (for several reasons). If we're ever big enough (including funding) to consider building a truly "internationalised" site with much of the site's navigation and forms available in multiple languages, then we can look at it. For now, we'll have to use romanised names.

Ok, I'll write Japanese names in English, with no secondary language.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Josselin,
     To be specific, adding Japanese or other languages with their own character sets would require loading in fonts which can display the characters. For now, it's just more coding work and web server load than we can justify, given how rare it is.

But I look forward to the day when we can consider doing such things! :-)

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Chris,
What would be the best translation for all the French museums named "Musée des Beaux-Arts - [city]"?
"[City] Museum of Fine Arts" or "Museum of Fine Arts of [city]"?
If it's possible, could you perform a query to add the correct translation to the "English name" field for all of them? I will check thereafter.
Thanks.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Hello Josselin,
     I think this:

1. If the city name isn't in the official name of the museum, I think it should be left out of the names fields. We show the city pretty much everywhere museums are displayed now, and search also finds museums by city. So I don't think we need to _add_ it to the name if it's not there.

2.  If the city is PART of the name, I prefer having the city "up front" (listed on the left) in searches and big lists. I think users will pretty quickly learn how to scan a list that way, and the city part of a name is much more unique and find-able. Once I get past the mental step that the city is listed first, I can much more easily find that visually than to go to the section with 100-200 listings all starting with "Museum" or "Musee" and then having to visually sort through that.

In other words, if there was a museum called Fine Arts Museum of Houston, I'll find it faster by scanning down to "Houston" than I would by scanning down to F or M and looking through those sections.

3. Once we decide what we want, I can probably mass-update most of them and save us a lot of work.

Also keep in mind that pretty soon I will build a sort option for the big museum list to sort by nation and city. I may also build an option in the main museum listing to only show museums for a specific country (thourgh you get the same function through the nation detail page currently). So using geographic "search and sort" in the main museum list will get better soon, and using the geographic fields rather than having to "fake it" through the name fields.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Hello Chris,
I'm updating the French museums and here is several remarks:

1. I have put into brackets the name of the city where the museum is located when several museums have the same name. Example here:
There are two "Musée National Picasso", one in Paris, another near Cannes:
http://www.the-athenaeum.org/sources/detail.php?id=2168
http://www.the-athenaeum.org/sources/detail.php?id=218

2. When a museum is located in the suburbs of a bigger city, I have added "Greater [city]" in the city field after the name of the official location. Therefore, we will later be able to display all the museums of the agglomeration.
For instance, the Versailles Palace is now located in "Versailles, Greater Paris".
http://www.the-athenaeum.org/sources/detail.php?id=2086

Please tell me if you agree with this.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Hello Josselin,
   I think that's a very practical approach, so please continue in that manner.

We probably won't know the "best" solution until some future date when we are trying to do a lot more with mapping and geographic data, which I think is pretty far out. For now we're just goign to be using nations and cities as "tags" rather than real geographic coordinates, so this is fine.

Thanks!

19 (edited by Josselin 2014-06-21 07:03:01)

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Here is the list of countries for which all the museums have been updated, ie:
- Primary name written in the official language of the country (if using Latin alphabet) and secondary name in English.
- Address appearing on Google Maps.
- Link to their website.
- Duplicates removed.


Brazil
Czech Republic
Finland
Greece (English names only)
Hungary
Ireland
Israel (English names only)
Netherlands
Norway
Portugal
Sweden

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

I think there should be an option in our profile settings which would let us choose how to display museum names, in English first or in original languages.

21 (edited by Josselin 2014-06-22 19:37:56)

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Second alternate name doesn't have a language option.


Dutch museums are a special case: as Dutch is so close to English, museum names are often the same in both languages, so I think there should be a script which prevent alternate names from being displayed twice when they are the same. Currently this only works when primary and alternate names are similar.

Example here: http://www.the-athenaeum.org/sources/detail.php?id=181
In Frisian (official language in the North Netherlands), we have the Frysk Museum.
In Dutch: Fries Museum
In English: Fries Museum
The latter two are displayed twice in the alternate names line.

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

Josselin,
     I don't understand why you would want to enter the same name twice? I understand that the museum is called "Fries" in both English and Dutch, but the point is to make sure it's findable and understand-able, not to record the fact of what it's called in each language. The only reason we say "English name" is because the site is mostly used by English speakers, so our options explicitly provide a space for the English name if the "primary name" is not in English or is not easily understood by English speakers. If you have the name "Fries Museum" in the "English name" box only, that's good enough isn't it?

23

Re: New task - Alternate names for museums

chris_mccormick wrote:

Josselin,
     I don't understand why you would want to enter the same name twice? I understand that the museum is called "Fries" in both English and Dutch, but the point is to make sure it's findable and understand-able, not to record the fact of what it's called in each language. The only reason we say "English name" is because the site is mostly used by English speakers, so our options explicitly provide a space for the English name if the "primary name" is not in English or is not easily understood by English speakers. If you have the name "Fries Museum" in the "English name" box only, that's good enough isn't it?

Hello Chris,
I thought it would look more professional to have the museum name in both English and the official language(s) of its country/province. Maybe in the future we could have a feature to display museum names in the user's language (for example, if the user is Dutch, then the Dutch/Flemish museums would have their name displayed in Dutch first, other museums in English).
So I have added English names for every non-English museum, even when the English name was the same as its official name (it rarely happened though). The museum list seems to display both names in separate entries, so perhaps you should only display one of them (with the alternate names displayed as subtitles).

Anyway, there should be a language selector for the second alternate name (think about Belgian museums, with a first name in French/Dutch, a second one in English and a third one in Dutch/French).

Moreover, you can deactivate the "Name in English" field in the form for museums located in all-English speaking areas (USA, Canada minus Québec, UK minus Wales, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand), and maybe for all the countries using non-Latin alphabet - since we can only enter their name in English.

Finally, the "name used for sorting" fields are a bit irrelevant (and confusing) in the form, you should remove them.