Around the world, in peace and war
Andy Mabbett was a featured speaker at WikiArabia. See the Africa report for further details.
Royal Society of Chemistry
Andy Mabbett's residency at the Royal Society of Chemistry is ongoing.
While in Tunisia (see above), Andy gave a talk, "Wikipedia and Chemistry: play your part in disseminating the sum of human knowledge" to chemistry students and academics at the University of Tunis El Manar. He then brokered contact between the University and the Wikimedia Tunisia user group. No sooner had he returned, than he was off to Berlin to give a talk to early career chemists from all over Europe at the 10th Delegates Assembly of the European Young Chemists' Network.
See the project diary and the blog (aimed at non-Wikipedians) for other news.
Andy Mabbett is also Wikimedian in Residence at Thinktank Museum in Birmingham. Most of his work this month, limited by his travelling, has been on the upload, categorisation and use in articles, of images donated by the Museum, and by attendees at March's editathon. Statistics are available.
A further editathon is planned for 28 May - all welcome, but booking essential.
For a more details, see the Thinktank project diary.
The tour of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich
On 15 April we held a successful editathon at the National Maritime Museum re the Board of Longitude.
After a welcome from Jonathan Cardy of Wikimedia UK, Katherine McAlpine of the National Maritime Museum and Dr Mike Peel, we then introduced the experts to the Wikipedians and divided into several themed tables.
Before lunch we broke of from editing whilst our hosts gave us a short tour of the Royal Observatory.
Co-referencing "Your Paintings"
Following the completion of a drive to ensure that (almost) every entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has a corresponding entry in Wikidata, the months of March and April have seen a similar big push for painters featured in the "Your Paintings" index of oil paintings in UK public collections created by the Public Catalogue Foundation, with Charles Matthews again very much leading the charge, using the Mix'n'match tool developed by Magnus Manske.
By the start of May, just under 85% of the 36,374 painters had been triaged as either having, not having, or shouldn't have a Wikidata item. (The last category being for individuals with apparently not sufficient information to create a matchable item). Of these,
- 7920 painters on the "Your Paintings" list (neglecting duplicates) now have Wikidata items, with a further 8520 identified as worth creating.
- 6690 have Wikipedia articles in English, 3203 in French, 2683 in German, 2182 in Italian, 1990 in Spanish, and 1835 in Dutch; while 4508 of the painters had identified Commons categories. In addition,
- 6865 of the Wikidata items also have matches to corresponding entries on VIAF, with 6554 to the Getty Trust's ULAN, 6095 to the RDKartists database of the Netherlands Institute for Art History, 2843 to a Library of Congress Control Number, 2022 to the British Museum person-institution thesaurus, and 1895 to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- The process has in addition revealed 132 painters who may have duplicate entries on the Your Paintings site (although some of these may since have been fixed by the PCF).
These numbers are all likely to continue to rise as new Wikidata items get created, and cross-referencing of existing Wikidata items to all of these databases continues. They currently very much reflect work in progress. A series of tracking pages on en-wiki can be used to browse which of the painters do or do not have yet have English articles and/or Commons categories (organised by date of birth); while YourPaintings template can be used to link to the site from the bottom of an article on a painter, automatically drawing the link url from Wikidata if possible.
Meanwhile an increasing number of other art and artist catalogues have also been being added to the mix'n'match system for matching -- and from this month the GLAM newsletter itself will also contain a section dedicated to Wikidata: more here.
Mapping the Maps -- phase 2
Georeferencing an old map, by finding points in common on both the old map and a modern map
The second phase of the "Mapping the Maps" project is now underway, in co-operation with the British Library.
The first phase, last Autumn, succeeded beyond all expectations, with in all over 50,000 old maps and plans found from in amongst a million page-illustrations from 19th century books scanned by the British Library and uploaded to Flickr.
In the current second phase, Wikimedia volunteers are invited literally to place these old maps and plans on the map, by identifying points in common between them and a modern map. Success allows the old map to be placed over the new map, and faded up or down, or zoomed in or out, as for example with this overlay for the plan of Haarlem in the Netherlands in the 1750s, shown being georeferenced on the right. The overlay makes clear at a glance how the street layout has changed or stayed the same, and how the present zig-zag shape of the canal exactly reflects the water defences around the city wall as they were in the 18th century. The accurate scale and location information from the georeferencing should also in due course make possible the automated upload of the maps and plans to Wikimedia Commons with reasonably accurate automatic categorisation, as James Heald discussed in this presentation at GlamWiki 2015, outlining work still to be done.
On 26 April the project (both phases), with its use of exhaustive wiki pages leading to image searches to drive community collaboration, was honoured with a Silver award at the MUSE Awards 2015, part of a clean sweep by Wikimedia-related projects in the 'Open' category of the awards, given for Media & Technology by the American Alliance of Museums. The other winners in the category were Bronze for the Fashion editathon series, and Gold for the GLAM-Wiki Toolset.
As of this time of writing (early May) just short of 4,000 maps and plans have now been georeferenced, in addition to a further 3,200 in a pilot programme last year. The maps already georeferenced can be explored via this page for completed maps, while this parallel status page can be used to find maps and plans still to be done.
- 10 April; at the National Library of Wales: Welsh Photographers Editathon. This event focused on creating and improving articles about Welsh photographers, their lives, their careers and their photographs. The event tied in with the launch of a major exhibition on the life and work of Philip Jones Griffiths to be held at The National Library of Wales later this year. The event will be hosted by the Wikipedian in Residence Jason Evans and William Troughton, the NLW Visual Images Librarian, together with experienced Wikipedians.
- 23 April; at the National Library of Wales: WWI Gallipoli Edit-a-thon. Welsh regiments played a huge part in the Gallipoli Campaign. To mark the centenary of the beginning of the campaign on 25 April 1915 This event will focused on creating and improving articles about the Welsh regiments involved, the battles, the soldiers and their achievements. The event was hosted by the Wikipedian in Residence Jason Evans together with experienced Wikipedians.
Martin Poulter began as Wikimedian In Residence at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford on 1 April. As well as being Oxford University's main research library, the Bodleian is a library of legal deposit and has the second largest holdings of any library in the UK.
Martin has already met with various librarians and collection holders to discuss how content from the Libraries can be used to counter Wikipedia's systemic bias. The content areas looked at include scanned/digitised books, satirical cartoons, undigitised early bibles, and Burmese art. A workshop for library staff in Oxford has been booked for 6 May.
In preparation for this post, the libraries have created a new workflow for relicensing digital content, for purposes including upload to Wikimedia. Working half-time over one year, the WIR will deliver training workshops and public events as well as sharing content. Project outcomes will be reported on Wikipedia at en:WP:GLAM/Bodleian.
Sara Thomas is Wikimedian in Residence at Museums Galleries Scotland, currently on secondment to Glasgow Museums. This secondment will finish at the end of May 2015.
During April, Sara continued to train museum curators to edit Wikipedia and present to internal staff groups at different museums in the group in order to show the benefits of working with Wikipedia, and to sow the seeds for continued working with Wiki once her secondment has finished. A further meeting of the Wiki Working Group was held, during which the use of images and suitable images for donation were discussed. A meeting was held with the legal department to further discuss what steps need to be taken to move toward an image donation. Sara also presented to the Glasgow Museums' Insight Cafe, a semi-public event, to reflect on the progress of the residency so far, and what the long term benefits of working with Wiki could be.
An editathon on Scottish Fairground culture will take place on Thursday 7 May, and discussions are underway to stage a photography event across three museums in the summer.
National Library of Scotland
Ally Crockford's residency at the National Library of Scotland has now come to an end. We'd like to extend huge thanks to Ally for all her hard work over the course of her residency!
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