Due to the pandemic, the 6 th edition of the Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon on June 5 to 6, 2020, was carried out as an online event and attracted participants from all over the world. Organizing a virtual event presented a unique challenge: how to maintain the team spirit and collaboration necessary for a hackathon during a virtual event?
The GLAMHack was organized by the OpenGLAM Working Group of the Opendata.ch association in collaboration with other partners and was hosted by the Swiss Institute for Information Science at the University of Applied Sciences in Chur, in collaboration with the Institute for Multimedia Production. To create a sense of unity, the event was live-streamed so participants could follow along and feel part of the event. The team of organizers led the event on-camera from a stage from Chur, giving instructions and encouragement to participants.
The focus of the event was Linked Open Data, Machine Learning, Human-Computer-Interaction and Crowdsourcing. The diversity of the projects was very surprising. The majority focused on data visualization, either on appealing web-interfaces, with interactive maps or even with augmented reality on a web or mobile application. The other teams worked on interconnecting linked open data from different sources on a common platform, on data modeling issues, text analysis for research purposes, on recreational websites intended for a broad audience, on using open data for educational purposes or for the implementation of a chat-bot. One project was purely artistic while another consisted in documenting the event with a short video.
The data used in this year’s projects covered a variety of areas, reaching from press articles and topographic information, paintings and provenience descriptions of artworks to datasets containing information about theatre performances, Swiss heritage institutions or art exhibitions.
While organizing a virtual event had its challenges, it also created opportunities, with participants from 18 countries joining and sharing. This international touch, along with virtual break rooms, cocktail hours and other ways to interact online, led to a successful event despite the circumstances. With 15 projects and a rich side program open to anyone, the event garnered incredibly positive feedback.
Wikimedia CH has started a collaboration with the Montreux Jazz Archives for a Wikidata integration project. Beforehand, we completed a similar project together with the Swiss National Sound Archives. The Wikidata project aims to carry out an integration between the Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF) authority file and Wikidata. The respective meta data, which is free of rights, will be extracted from the database of the MJF with the following two objectives:
Enrich the Wikidata knowledge base with quality information
Enrich the authority file of the MJF, enabling a flow of information from Wikidata to the MJF
To perform the alignment with Wikidata it is necessary that the MJF exposes its data through Web pages reachable with standard URLs, which was not the case so far. This project step was considered mandatory from our side and has been successfully completed by the Montreux Jazz Archives Team, in order for us to proceed with the next project activity.
The project encompasses the process of interlinking, which is the actual stage of the Wikidata project. The following types of entities will be interlinked with Wikidata:
Musicians (approx. 17'000 items)
Songs (approx. 47'000 items)
Concerts (approx. 4'500 items)
For songs and concerts a Wikidata BOT will be developed. For musicians a manual interlinking is required. Wikidata lacks information on entities like 'songs' and 'concerts', therefore, the risk of disambiguation is low. The entity alignment can be performed using automatic procedures based on entity labels and exploiting the Wikidata ontology with safety reasonableness. The interlinking of the musicians (17'000 entities) instead, will be performed manually. Wikidata has many entities instances of classes like 'person' or 'musical ensemble', and the risk of creating wrong alignments, using only the names of the musicians, is too high to allow the use of automatic procedures.
The Montreux Jazz Archives requested to be notified, if changes to their meta data occur. Therefore, for any Wikidata change on Montreux Jazz related items, a service will be configured. The objective is to check daily, if Wikidata items related to the Montreux Jazz Archives database has been changed. The same service will send a notification via email to the Montreux Jazz Archives’ staff. In order to implement this activity, a database will be developed to store the diff track record and a service to periodically query Wikidata and send the respective emails.
GLAM and Education
Cultural Innovation Open Lab Wikimedia CH has been invited to participate in the first Cultural Innovation Open Lab, hosted by the University of Lausanne and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The aim of this new interdisciplinary project is to create cultural experiences for a post-pandemic society. The thematic working groups develop innovative cultural concepts and solutions such as digital tools and practices to help museums, music festivals, and theaters continue to operate, in an age of social distancing.
The Open Lab participants met virtually throughout the month of June to work on different topics ranging from how museums can leverage the digitalization of their content, to new formats that allow concerts and the performative arts to continue during a pandemic. The initiative is not only an avenue for us to learn and provide guidance, but also a great opportunity for outreach and to meet important partners among key contacts at GLAM institutions throughout Switzerland. Link to further information.
This project is an initiative from the Association of French Archivists, the Association of Swiss Archivists, Wikimedia France and Wikimedia Switzerland. The WikiArchives are a series of webinars to help GLAM professionals understand how Wikimedia projects and other tools could help them contribute to preserving and sharing cultural heritage. The Webinars were organized Thursday's until end of June 2020. In this context Wikimedia CH has presented the GLAM Statistical Tool and the WMCH Map Service. All the training sessions, presentations and material can be consulted on the project page.
International & Cross-boarder GLAM Awareness Campaigns
This year's International Archives Week took place from June 8 to June 14, 2020 and focused on
"Empowering Knowledge Societies". Together with Wikimedia Austria, Germany and the Swiss Association of Archivists we launched an awareness campaign with the aim to motivate GLAM professionals and our volunteer community to support in improving and completing the presence of Archives on Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Interested in more information? Visit our project page.
Due to the pandemic, ICOM International explored new partnerships and communicated its collaboration with Wikimedia via newsletter. Moreover, Wikimedia CH has been asked to write a report on our activities and results for International Museum Day 2020. The report has been published on June 11, 2020 on the ICOM International news page. Enjoy reading our report or visit the project page for more information.
Highlight Activities from our GLAM Partners
ETH Library Project
This month the ETH Library in Zurich completed their Wikipedia project. 5'791 Wikipedia articles have been enriched and 44 ETH Library staff members have been involved in this project so far. This project started as Wikipedia Action Day 2212 in December last year. The aim was to improve the quality of existing Wikipedia articles concerning 2'212 Swiss municipalities. Moreover, the event endeavored to enrich the articles with photographs by the Swiss aerial pioneer Walter Mittelholzer and his successor Werner Friedli. The ETH Library offers access to its images, and pictures can be downloaded for free if the authors' rights allow it. Nevertheless, the library recognized that uploading their historical images onto Wikimedia Commons and integrating them into Wikipedia articles made them visible and accessible to a wider public. The ETH Library has contributed more than 50'000 images to Wikimedia Commons and continuously supports us, in implementing events and new formats to enhance the quality of our projects. Wikimedia CH wants to express its thanks to the ETH Library team and the active Wikipedians engaging in this project as well as for the great achievement! Link to the blog report of ETH Library.
Cantonal Administration of Appenzell Ausserrhoden (AR)
It is the first time in the history of Wikimedia CH, that a Cantonal Administration launches a Wikimedia project largely by themselves. A joint team of the Cantonal Library and the State Archives started this project with the aim to complete information about the canton of Appenzell, personalities, families and more using their archival holdings and integrating the information of the Historical Lexicon of Switzerland (HLS). The project includes completing Wikipedia articles, releasing valuable images under a CC BY-SA license on Wikimedia Commons and launching a transcription project on WikiSource.
The first milestone is to integrate all German-language articles about Appenzell Ausserrhoden from the Historical Lexicon of Switzerland into Wikipedia. For biographies and family related articles an HLS model for Wikikipedia articles has been created.
In its work, the Cantonal Administration of AR has been supported by the voluntary community and Wikimedia CH, as it became aware of how important it is to prepare the corresponding image material. For this reason, knowledge is being developed in parallel on how to use Wikimedia Commons to upload predominantly copyright-free images and how to create a WikiSource project.
As an example, one of the most beautiful manuscripts from the Cantonal Library, 'Memorial der Tugendt (Johann von Schwarzenberg)' was just uploaded with Pattypan. This manuscript has been available at e-codices for 10 years under a non-commercial license. In collaboration with e-codices, the Cantonal Library has now changed the license accordingly and made it available on Wikimedia Commons so that the handwriting can be transcribed to WikiSource in a next step. Link to the project page /
Link to the Memorial der Tugendt
New Release of GLAM Statistical Tool
In the last two years, we have extensively worked to improve the GLAM Statistical Tool. We are happy to announce the release of the new version at the beginning of June 2020. The GLAM statistical tool has evolved to become a real working instrument, with its significantly improved usability. The added functionalities include new search features for media files, a statistical drill-down by image category, category-related statistics, and analysis of unused media on a statistical level, as well as a practical instrument for planning future work. The GLAM Statistical Tool now also offers an algorithm that suggests unused media files to be added to selected Wikipedia articles, with direct links to the suggested articles. Explore the GLAM Statistical Tool.