Going for Gold, map tagging and Histropedia
Royal Society of Chemistry
Andy Mabbett's residency at the Royal Society of Chemistry is ongoing.
The big news this month was the donation of 100 "RSC Gold" accounts, for use by project editors wishing to use RSC journal content, including full archives, and published databases, to expand articles on chemistry-related topics. Please visit en:Wikipedia:RSC Gold for details, to check eligibility, and to request an account.
The first batch of RSC staff received editor training. New articles included Dominic Tildesley (RSC President), Wilfrid Hickinbottom, Hickinbottom Award, and Danish Chemical Society, with Dan Eley expanded. At an event later the same day, Andy managed to photograph Dominic and record his voice, as well as those of other current and potential article subjects. Further voice files, for other chemists, were extracted from past RSC podcasts and released by the Society under an open licence.
See the project diary and the blog (aimed at non-Wikipedians) for other news.
In a joint effort with OpenStreetMap and the British Library 29,304 of the million images that the BL had released from old books were tagged as maps or ground plans between Friday 31 October and Sunday 28th December 2014. They are now being geocoded prior to being uploaded onto Wikimedia Commons.
To remind ourselves that the Wikimedia movement has an increasing number of uses beyond Wikipedia we invited the Histropedia team to tell us about their use of the information that we are compiling.
By co-founders Navino Evans and Sean McBirnie
Histropedia is a project making use of Wikipedia and Wikidata to build a timeline(s) for everything in history. The goal is to create a new and interactive way to explore history and to visualise the amazing work that has been done by the Wikimedia community.
The GLAM initiative has many benefits to the project, one of the most important being the availability of images that can be used to represent historical events. The inclusion of images on the events cards that make up the timelines is a very important part of the vision as it gives a much quicker and visual way to identify and compare the events.
Presently any image that is on a Wikipedia article can be selected to represent the corresponding event, and any user of Histropedia can change the selected image. The main image used in the article is not always the most appropriate for the event card, so the more images that are freely available, the better chance of users finding the perfect image to represent the historical event.
There are also additional features planned that will further increase the benefit of GLAM media for our project. For example, we plan to build a Commons viewer that will allow the images themselves to appear as events on the timeline. The images could either be pinned to the time they were added to commons, when they were taken/created or to the time in history that the image depicts. For example this would allow a user to see images of a person or monument at different times in history.
As well as improving the visual aspect of Histropedia, any increase in available data within Wikipedia and Wikidata will be of immense benefit to our goal of displaying everything in history. There are still lots of important events that are not properly recorded, for example ancient artefacts, historical publications, and artwork. The more data relating to these historically important items that is freely available for re-use, the more comprehensive and useful Histropedia will become.
We hope this project can play a role in highlighting the importance of openly licensed content for the future of free knowledge, and demonstrate that donation of such content can have an impact far beyond the Wikimedia projects they are initially released to.
- This section contributed by Eoin, the latest of our photographers to visit the Tank Museum.
Malkara Tank Destroyer (cutout)
Sherman Crab Mine Clearer
Museums are just full of old stuff! Well The Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset is certainly cram packed with old items, but these items were tools developed by man to destroy man.
I am not a pacifist, indeed I have a military background. Yet seeing these tools of death, which are such excellent examples of engineering, lying dormant, in such high concentration is still emotive. A real up and down experience.
The visit was triggered by Jonathan of Wikimedia UK offering free tickets. Living in Scotland did not deter me from volunteering - anything for a freebie - the trip was shoehorned between volunteering at Goodwood and visiting in Torquay.
I am not a naturally skilled photographer but knowing some of the theory and taking lots of images helps. My focus is usually back at the computer using tools to manipulate and extract the best from what sometimes is a less than perfect image.
The Wikimedia UK at The Tank Museum campaign appears to be a success as several other photographers had beaten me to it - indeed one was there the week before. Curiously the same photos were coming out of the campaign - the distinctive exhibits, well placed and well lit were the ones each one of us independently photographed. Jonathan had tried to get the likes of Milhist people to assist in compiling lists of desired images. However I personally found it difficult to correlate that table to navigating almost a hectare of tank filled floor space.
The camera used was a dated Olympus E-420, standard 14-42mm lens, no flash, no tripod. Images recorded in camera in Olympus RAW format.
As to the tools used back at the computer I use Ubuntu Linux as my operating systems which can be expanded with innumerable graphics programs. For general work GIMP is a very powerful open source equivalent of Photoshop. Also UFRaw and Hugin Panorama.
I am grateful to Wikimedia for opening up this channel for me to focus some work. Hopefully my donated material can help someone else.
Bovington's mind boggling reserve collection; a warehouse FULL of old military vehicles or all shapes, sizes and nationalities.
Things have been pretty quiet in Yorkshire over Christmas but will hopefully ramp up soon. One development is an experimental talk-page template to work in parallel with the GLAM Directory Pilot. The idea is to create a uniform template to attract editors from GLAM-related articles to the directory pages that help them find resources and get in touch with WiRs and active curators/museum staff. Any suggestions regarding design or polishes of the template syntax are very welcome.
- The Bodleian Library and Wikimedia UK are delighted to announce that the Bodleian is advertising a job in Oxford for a Wikimedian in Residence
I've added a section about Histropedia following a conversation with User:Jonathan_Cardy_(WMUK). I wasn't sure what formatting to use for the main image, but of course please edit as necessary. Leave a reply here or contact me on my Wikidata talk page if there are any other issues to raise. Regards, NavinoEvans (talk) 15:28, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
- Thanks Navino, much appreciated. What do others think of sometimes including uses beyond Wikipedia here? Jonathan Cardy (WMUK) (talk) 16:08, 7 January 2015 (UTC)