SAAB veterans shared their knowledge during metadata edit-a-thon
Edit-a-thons where people edit Wikipedia together are not uncommon. But never before has Wikimedia Sweden organized an event where people have shared their knowledge and created metadata for images!
At the Air Force Museum in Linköping, just over ten people with connections to SAAB's aircraft manufacturing in the area gathered. Among them were the Association of Saab Veterans and the Östergötland Aviation Historical Society, who were invited to the event, which was organized by Wikimedia Sweden in collaboration with the Nordic Museum and the Air Force Museum.
More information from those who participated
The photos that are uploaded have very little information, metadata, associated with them. Often, there is only a title and a year, which is information taken from what was written on the physical folders in the photo archive. Now, we wanted to gather people with strong connections to SAAB, who have worked or are working there themselves, who could tell us what the pictures depicted. In this way, we could add structured data to Commons via Wikidata tags, and image captions and descriptions directly in Wikimedia Commons.
The highlight was that a man who appeared in one of the photographs was present during the evening! He was able to tell many details about what he was doing when the photo was taken and why. Other participants added information about both that and other images. They talked about the premises, the airplane models, the equipment, the purpose, which photos showed actual activity, and which were staged.
Since this was our first similar event, we drew many lessons. It was nice to sit together in the same room and look at the pictures together, but it was probably not the most effective way to work. Next time, we need to split the group into several to work with more different images simultaneously.
The tool we used, ISA Tool, worked relatively well for both adding Wikidata tags to the images and adding image captions. It works less well when several images are similar and could have essentially the same tags and descriptions, as the information cannot be copied in any convenient way. Feel free to help add more info to the SAAB campaign.
We will have a similar event in the fall to follow up and add more information.