Wiki Loves Monuments in Africa 2012, a roadway... to victory
While last month we reported about the African contribution to the international photographic contest, earlier this week a better news came in. The jury report awards the 21th place (out of 42) to this picture from South Africa, among the very finalists. The photo was taken by commons:user:Kay-africa almost two years ago and it depicts the base of the Donkin Memorial in Port Elizabeth, a mosaic representing various aspects of past and present life in the area.
State Library of New South Wales; Freopedia
State Library of New South Wales
Wikimedia Australia has been in partnership with Australia's oldest public library, the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW). Three GLAM events have recently taken place in this Sydney library where we have been using their extraordinary collection and excellent premises and also working with their skilled staff.
Librarian Training - Newspaper edit-a-thon
In November, three members of Wikimedia Australia (Whiteghost.ink, 99of9 and Wittylama) carried out training for two groups of professional librarians as part of an ongoing project. The current task for this major public library and hence, for these training days, was writing Wikipedia articles about current and historic New South Wales newspapers, such as this interesting journal which had a pre-existing article. (Full list)
The two training days resulted in:
- creation and/or improvements to 17 targeted articles (for example, Meie Kodu; Illustrated Sydney News; The Biz).
- enough competence in most of the group that they can continue to edit (many have already done additional edits);
- enough confidence in most of the group that are willing to continue to edit (all the responses on the feedback page plan to continue and also want more advanced training);
- an increase in female editors (most of the trainees were women);
- a good relationship with the people at SLNSW who are working on innovation and digitisation;
- a range of proposals for further collaboration and Wikimedia content improvement.
The combined training/edit-a-thon model seemed to produce good results both for the articles and the people working on them. With any training, criteria for success are that the trainees enjoy it and feel at the end that they can now do what they could not do before. So when we received feedback such as "great fun!" and "looking forward to making progress with edits and new articles", it was very gratifying. The key to this result was the advance planning that was done both by the SLNSW (particularly the planning from our contact person (User:Aliaretiree on behalf of the Library), and by Wm-Au (including tailoring the teaching and learning strategy for these groups).
Read the full project report.
Classical music edit-a-thon
In October, Wm-Au held an edit-a-thon at the SLNSW in conjunction with a broadcast of music by Australia's national public broadcaster, the ABC. Wikipedia has articles on this regular annual survey (see Classic 100 Countdowns) as well as each year's choices, (see, for example, this year's theme, the Classic Music of France). These summary articles are diligently updated by GFHandel but there are gaps in many articles about the music itself. The edit-a-thon aimed to reduce these gaps and build awareness of Wikimedia and WM-Au with the ABC.
The edit-a-thon created and/or improved 21 articles from the target list developed over the week of the broadcast. This article is an interesting one that resulted from our efforts. Full list on the project page.
Paralympic history edit-a-thon
As part of Wikiproject disability, Wm-Au held an edit-a-thon that centred on the history of the Paralympic movement. It used the resources and premises of the SLNSW to add historical context to articles about early Paralympic Games.
The Fremantle Society and WMAU started on the en.Wikipedia side of the Freopedia project during November, initially with Tuesday evening workshops in the Fremantle Library, followed by an edit-a-thon on 1st December. The Tuesday workshop was successful, the first night we re-engaged with some editors who have not been around for a while and we identified some limitations in the library's facilities. The second and third weeks both engaged new editors including staff from the library with whom I spent an hour answering questions and walking through various editing features before setting up for the workshops. The final Tuesday night was spent making preparation for Saturday. There were no new attendees that night, which in hindsight should have been a warning. On the Saturday there was only the core group who are driving the project. That was a disappointment, as many people had indicated that they would be attending.
However, it was not a complete disaster — we got permission to use the text from a research project that was put together to fund signage at many of the sites we had already identified. The State Records Office of Western Australia joined the event by providing written materials that were over 100 years old along with a donation of detailed sewer maps of Fremantle that include building outlines, lots, tram lines, rail lines, roads etc all under a CC-by-SA-2.5au license. These will be uploaded in the coming weeks once they are converted to a usable format. Along with these the Local History section provided digital copies of maps from 1833/34 which show the layout of Fremantle just five years after it was settled, and in 1892 just as the gold rushes were starting to have an impact on Western Australia. In combination, these three sets of maps provide an outline of the physical growth of Fremantle from settlement until it became the major port for Western Australia. The Fremantle Society donated its 1978 photographic survey of Fremantle, comprising about 4000 photos of Fremantle buildings, and Wikimedian Sam Wilson — a Fremantle Society member and a Freopedia co-ordinator — started digitising and uploading that collection.
- Donation of sewer maps
- Engagement with the State Records Office
- Re-engagement of former editors
- New WP editors
- Availability of 1833/34 & 1892 maps
- Improved facilities at Fremantle Library.
- The number of lead up workshops drew people away from the main day
- Check venues thoroughly; do not assume because it is x that it will have y
- An important measure of success is not just in participant numbers but in also successfully engaging with GLAMs.
So far this project has been of no cost to the Wikimedia movement, nor has there been any substantial cost to The Fremantle Society. Thanks to the City of Fremantle and the city's Library staff who have provided their space and time free of charge. Thanks to current WP editors from Wikiproject: Western Australia who worked on Fremantle articles during November doing much of the unsung gnome work on categories, project tagging, copy editing and general formatting of articles. Thanks to Wikimedia Australia for its moral support of the project and help in promoting it.
Semanticpedia; Lobbying at Ministry of Culture
November 19th, 2012 — Wikimedia France, the french ministry of Culture and the INRIA launched the Semanticpedia project. The project is a collaboration between INRIA, the ministry of Culture and Wikimedia France whose goal is to conduct research programs based on the Wikimedia projects content in order to extract semantic data and to provide cultural data freely available.
It is important to note it's the first time the ministry of Culture signed a partnership with two key players of the digital world.
Photography in museums
November 7th, 2012 — Rémi Mathis attended to a fourth working meeting on the photography in museums organized by the ministry of Culture following up the open letter published in spring 2012. The photographie usage from the visitors was on the agenda of this meeting.
Roundtable of the cultural heritage of the Rhineland; QRpedia at the Hamburg Museum
Roundtable of the cultural heritage of the Rhineland
Six GLAM representatives, coming from (image) archives of Cologne and the Rhineland, were brought together by the initiative of Raymond and elya in November in Cologne. Focusing on the presentation of current projects and the building of mutual trust, the participants of the roundtable agreed on further talks in order to exchange experiences and develop more concrete cooperation ideas.
QRpedia at the Hamburg Museum
On November 1, the Hamburg Museum installed 20 QRpedia codes in its exhibition. Thanks to the support and help of UK Wikimedian Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing) and the local Wikipedia community, the museum is able to improve outreach and share the free knowledge experience with other institutions. Numerous images have been taken and several articles have been written by volunteers to improve free knowledge about Hamburg's history. The outcome of a workshop at the Hamburg Museum in August 2012 was the basis for the current QRpedia project.
The codes are installed in the Hamburg Museum's new permanent exhibition "Taktgeber Hafen - Hamburgs Stadtentwicklung im 20. Jahrhundert" (The Hamburg harbour and Hamburg's city development in the 20th century) and on several architectural objects. The permanent exhibition features QRpedia codes that link to articles with numerous existing translations such as the Elbe river or the Hamburg town hall. The current displays provide little information about many of the architectural objects, resulting in insufficient visitor attention. By installing QRpedia codes, the Hamburg Museum was able to provide more information, including images of the original buildings, and improve the awareness about these objects.
6 journalists attended a press tour on November 22, resulting in online and print coverage about the QRpedia project at the Hamburg Museum. The next steps will include the evaluation of statistics and translation of articles into English and other languages. A list of all articles can be found on the German Wikipedia.
Celebrating a milestone: WikiAfrica hits its goals
The WikiAfrica and Share Your Knowledge projects are glad to announce that the number of contents now shared on Wikimedia projects is well beyond 30,000. For an overview of these figures the page Wikipedia:WikiAfrica/30,000 was created.
Three new case studies were published lately.
Fotografi per SYK is a tribute page to all the individual photographers who accepted to donate their African pictures to the project. Some of them had already contributed to Wikimedia Commons in the past, several attend the same photography group, others were discovered via Flickr...: their shots were vital in reaching the milestone and just wait for caring users to place them into relevant Wikipedia articles in all languages.
COSV - Coordinamento delle Organizzazioni per il Servizio Volontario instead contributed dozens of photos documenting their activity in the continent: so far Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia (Merca), Sudan (Darfur and Nubia), South Sudan and Zimbabwe are covered. The article also mentions Music Bridges, their project about music in Vanuatu, Melanesia islands, Mozambico and Southern Africa countries which was directly inspired by Share Your Knowledge and which will release contents with free Creative Commons licenses as well.
Drum roll for the third case study of the month: African contents from the Brooklyn Museum are online. Reviving an almost historic GLAM partnership this summer, WikiAfrica finally managed to publish thousand of pictures of gorgeous art pieces from the large collections of the Museum, and the full story is already available in English. As mentioned last month, a mask was also hosted on the main page of Wikimedia Commons and many linguistic versions of Wikipedia on December 1st.
Mexico/Spain editathon, Creative Commons activites and Wiki Loves Monuments contest awards
A simultaneous Spanish Wikipedia editathon from two continents
In Wikimedia México, we have had success partnering with groups and initiatives that share our values of freedom and the commons. One of those initiatives is Procommons Mexico Lab, a project supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), where our member Alan Lazalde works.
Recently, we developed the idea to conduct an editathon at the Spanish Cultural Center in México, and we welcomed the cooperation of Wikimedia España as our partner in the first editing marathon between two Spanish-speaking countries. This was also an important demonstation of work between members of Iberocoop — an initiative of Wikimedia chapters that share Iberoamerican cultural heritage. The members of the Mexican and Spanish Wikimedia chapters had already talked months ago about doing common projects because of our shared history.
For the members of the Mexico chapter, we had the opportunity to conduct the event at the Spanish Cultural Center in México, an epicenter of cultural activities in Mexico City. I contacted María Sefidari and Santiago Navarro, both members of Wikimedia España, and through our respective channels of communication and social media, we publicized the event to gain more participants, both in person in Mexico and remotely from people’s homes in Spain.
On Sunday, November 18th, at 10 am, María gave a short greeting vía Skype, and then editors from Wikimedia México and the student club Wikimedia Amoxcalli started writing about topics related to the Spanish Cultural Center in México, adding more information and updating what was already existing on the Spanish Wikipedia. We also wrote about its museum, cultural offices and programs.
Throughout the day, we worked on other topics related to Spain and Mexico: the Knife rebellion, which happened before the War of Independence between both countries; the Spanish soldier Torcuato Trujillo; contemporary artists like María La Ribot and Magda Donato; and the Spanish Ateneum of México. There was also a translation of a new article to the French Wikipedia by El Caro, and several to Catalan Wikipedia, thanks to GLAM promotor Àlex Hinojo and also to Gustavo Góngora writing from Catalonia.
We coordinated via the IRC channels of both chapters, and kept updating our progress on Facebook and on Twitter with the hashtag #EditMXES. In all, we had event participants in México at the venue and in Guadalajara; participants in Spain from Barcelona, Ferrol, La Seu, Madrid, Palencia, Vila-real and Zamora; and we were joined by the coordinator of Wikimedia Colombia from Bogotá .
By 4 pm, when we ended the editathon, we had written 18 new articles and expanded two more on Spanish Wikipedia. Plus we added seven new articles on Catalan Wikipedia and one new article on French Wikipedia. What had started as an initiative between Wikimedia México and the AECID resulted in a wider collaboration between many countries. We hope to hold more events like this soon.
Corredor Cultural Roma Condesa editathon
The Corredor Cultural Roma Condesa (CCRM) is a citizen initiative to promote cultural activities in the Condesa and Roma boroughs (colonias) in Mexico City. It is held twice a year, each of the editions dedicated to each of one of the areas, which are geographically close. The corridor includes activities of contemporary art, design, fashion, film, environment and food, involving galleries, shops, restaurants, and cultural centers of the two colonias.
This year among with the Universidad de la Comunicación, we run an editathon with articles of both boroughs on November 24th. The event was inaugurated by Carlos Mackinley, head of Tourism of Mexico City Government, Ana Elena Mallet, leader of CCRM, Salvador Corrales, vice Chancelor of the Universidad de la Comunicación and Carmen Alcázar, vocal of Wikimedia México.
15 new articles were finally written in Spanish, three in English and two in Catalan. Plus, the Universidad de la Comunicacion donated to Wikimedia Commons, part of their historical images.
Artes de México collaboration
It was included in the list of editathon, the article of Artes de México, the most connoted magazine of art in Mexico. I contacted Gabriela Olmos, editor of the magazine, who attended the event and gave us first-hand material to do the article. We agreed start soon a joint project to expand the presence in Wikipedia of the magazine, given its relevance in the study of art in our country.
Telecápita is an organization that perform various activities related to the reflection and discussion of issues of contemporary society. For the second time, the Second International Meeting Telecápita, which was attended by a number of researchers, lecturers and activists under the theme "Red-volution". At this meeting Wikimedia Mexico, through its President Ivan Martinez, participated in the dictamination of "Free Internet" roundtable discussion, which was attended by Jacobo Nájera, also member of the chapter as well by Enrique César, Ulises Kentros and Roberto Vivero Miranda. The roundtable discussion was held at Casa Vecina, in the downtown of Mexico City.
Wikimedia México was attended the Token:encounter meeting, through his member and Mozilla Rep, Odin Mojica, among with other free culture initiatives and activists such as Astrovandalistas, BanquetaLab, El Proyecto Sonidero, La tertulia de los cuervos, Labdoo Mexico, Sursiendo, Ruido 13, Vlax and Enrique César.
Creative Commons Latinoamerican Meeting
Alan Lazalde, Wikimedia Mexico member, actively participated in the implementation of the Latin American Meeting of Creative Commons, held in Mexico City on November 20 and 21 . Alan made much of the coordination and invitation of the attendees and moderating discussion boards. Within the meeting, Carmen Alcázar presented our activities and projects, highlighting Wiki Loves Monuments. Also participated in the event Evelyn Heidel, of Wikimedia Argentina, introduced the DIY free scanner.
Wiki Loves Monuments
On November 22th we made in the Museo Universitario del Chopo a press conference announcing the Wiki Loves Monuments winners, with the presence of Ana Lorenia Garcia, art researcher and member of the jury, Carmen Alcázar, coordinator of the contest in Mexico and Óscar Martínez, spokesman of Wikimedia México. Then on November 30th, we did an awards event with some of the winners of the contest, also at the Museo Universitario del Chopo. There we inaugurated an exhibition held with the support of the museum, which will continue at different venues in Mexico City for a few weeks, thanks to a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation.
Education Program activities
Continuing with the activities of our Education Program, we gave several talks related to editing Wikipedia from the classroom.
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, UNAM
Thanks to the Wikipedia Student Club in the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, we gave a talk with the students of Professor Alberto Posada Betancourt, who teaches World History to students of that degree. The professor started an ambitious project with their students, with the participation and support of Wikimedia México, about Theories of History and Social Hermeneutics in Wikipedia and Wikibooks, enriching both projects on authors such as Marc Bloch, Fredric Jameson. Agnes Heller, Ernst Bloch, Mikhail Bakhtin and Jean Paul Sartre. The professor and his students do other projects as "Planet of Slums", a monitoring student who performed, among other activities, radio spots on the G-20, which were broadcast on Radio UNAM.
On another occasion, Carmen Alcazar gave a talk to students of the class of teachers Mariana Osuna and Roberto Cruz.
Through Silvia Gutierrez, responsible for the Digital Library of the Universidad Veracruzana, we worked an integral project of collaboration with the institution starting from 2013. Silvia has made several rounds of talks with the authorities and interested in participating.
Dutch GLAM activities in November 2012
Wiki Loves Monuments in the Netherlands
The winners of the Dutch Wiki Loves Monuments were officially announced on November 9, during the Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland. Two new prize categories were introduced in the Netherlands this year: a special award for a photo documentary, and a prize for municipal monuments.
- First prize: Oostelijke brug van de Hortusvijver in Amsterdam. Frederik Balhuizen, CC BY-SA 3.0
- Second prize: Nis van de Grote of Sint-Maartenskerk in Zaltbommel. Johan Bakker, CC BY-SA 3.0
- Third prize: Poldermolen Goliath in Eemsmond. Wobbe Bouma, CC BY-SA 3.0
- First prize, 625 monuments: Peter van der Wielen
- Second prize, 487 monuments: Baukje Bouma
- Third prize, 335 monuments: MHB Verkuijlen
Winner of the first foto documentary award - a series of 5-15 photographs was Poldermolen Goliath by Wobbe Bouma, CC BY-SA 3.0
A pilot for municipal monuments!
This year, the Dutch Wiki Loves Monuments team has piloted a photo contest for municipal monuments, in the city of Gouda. Thanks to a group of enthusiastic local volunteers, a separate monument list was created in order to facilitate a local contest. The winning photograph here was Mallegatsluis, Gouda, by Agaath, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Next year, we hope to create a follow-up where many more Dutch cities and monuments participate with their own local lists and contests.
Wikimedia Conferentie Nederland, November 9
Wikimedia Nederland's annual conference was held on Friday, November 9 and featured keynotes by Lydia Pintscher (Wikidata) and Jimmy Wales. This year's topic was Wikipedia and education. One session of the conference was dedicated to WMNL's GLAM projects in 2012-2013 and the variety of formats for collaboration between GLAMs and the Wikimedia community.
Dutch Hackathon, November 10
The day after the Dutch Wikimedia Conference, 21 people attended a hackathon at Kennisland in Amsterdam. Quite a bit of work was related to GLAM projects: image uploads, OpenCultuurData and Wiki Loves Monuments. Read a short report in Dutch.
Workshop at Rijksmuseum
Wikimedia Nederland has some exciting news: the Rijksmuseum (which has been in renovation for almost 10 years and will be re-opened in April 2013) has expressed serious interest in collaboration with the Dutch and international Wikimedia community. The museum publishes its collection metadata and images via an extensive API (currently under re-development). And with the release of its new collection website, the Rijksmuseum allows downloads of high-resolution versions of many of its collection's images, often available under a public domain license.
On November 22, three Wikimedians held a workshop together with Rijksmuseum staff, in order to learn more about each others' work and projects. In a lively brainstorm, we pitched several ideas and projects that we could initiate together. We'll keep you posted!
Tropenmuseum and WikiAfrica
In other news, the Tropenmuseum of Amsterdam has donated 4208 images as part of the WikiAfrica project. Read more about the donation on their website and browse the photos on Commons.
Commons and endings
The ongoing series of workshops with the council of central museums has reached one of the stations along the way. November 1 was the day for the last scheduled workshop and our small room was filled with eager learners who kept working and working all afternoon. Me and Sophie had a hard time keeping up with their questions and comments as we guided them through the editing process and sent them off with big smiles and a lot of new knowledge. A week later focus shifted to Commons as me and Arild hosted a workshop where we taught the participants everything there is to know about Commons (and that is possible to teach them in four hours). They now know how to upload images with and without the wizzard, edit an artwork template, add, remove and modify categories, use images in articles, both on and off wiki. We also had a good talk about copyright and image policies among museums. The first phase of of our collaboration is done and an evaluation will soon show if this has been a good way to work for both parties.
Edit-a-thon about WWI
Wikimedia Sweden, in cooperation with Europeana and Humanistiska Föreningen at Stockholm University, organized an edit-a-thon with WWI as the theme to prepare for Remembrance Day. On the 7 November nine people came together at Stockholm University and one volunteer participated online during the editathon. We included many pictures from Europeana 1914-1918 on Wikipedia and expanded the articles that they illustrated. See our blog post about the event here (in Swedish and English). This was somewhat of a pilot for the series of WWI edit-a-thons that Wikimedia Sweden is coordinating and that will take place on the 29th of June 2013.
Wiki Loves Public Art in Sweden
During the month there were several developments regarding the Swedish involvement in the photo contest Wiki Loves Public Art, that we are organizing together with Europeana.
First of all we had a great meeting with the National Public Art Council Sweden and they will release their database under an open license and we will continue discussing how they can be involved in the organization of Wiki Loves Public Art.
Secondly, a new web designer, Andreas Lundgren, started working on getting the international and the Swedish website for the contest in shape.
Thirdly, a national coordinator for the contest, Eva Fransson, was identified and will soon start working.
Fourthly, one volunteer, Carina Lagerlöf, will start working with organizing supporting events to Wiki Loves Public Art to make as much as possible happen during May.
Fifthly, at the very end of the month we got the great news that we will receive funding from Vinnova (Vinnova.se) for our database project. As part of the project we will systematically contact municipalities in Sweden to get them to release their data about public artworks and integrate it in our database. This database will of course also be used for Wiki Loves Public Art. See our blog post here (in Swedish and English).
Wikipedian Developer in Residence at Riksantikvarieämbetet
This month marks the end of Andrés period as Wikipedian Developer in Residence at the Swedish National Heritage Board. During this period a large number of source templates have been designed, on both sv.wiki and Commons, in order to allow persistent linking to objects in the many collections aggregated by K-samsök - Swedish Open Cultural Heritage (SOCH). These collections include, amongst other things, the listed buildings and archaeological monuments which were included in this years edition of Wiki Loves Monuments.
In addition two new info-boxes for listed buildings (by Jsdo1980) and ancient monuments were designed and introduced on sv.wiki. For these a toolset was developed that allows such templates to be populated using the metadata provided through SOCH. At the same time a Commons template for images uploaded from Kulturmiljöbild (The Swedish National Heritage Board's photographic database) was introduced by MikaelLindmark. Since these images are often included in the SOCH metadata for listed buildings and ancient monuments the toolset was enhanced to include a tool for facilitating the upload of Kulturmiljöbild images. After verifying that the copyright status is appropriate the tool fills out the image description page and suggests a unique filename together with appropriate categories.
In return the use of standardised persistent links has enabled SOCH to use the Wikipedia and Commons APIs to enrich their own information with links to relevant articles in Wikipedia and images from Commons. For an example see e.g. the entry for Lund Cathedral.
The final report for this project will be published later this month.
Activities in Birmingham and Stafford; digitised books in London
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
On 4 November a backstage pass with editathon was held at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists gallery, facilitated by Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing), who has previously trained the gallery's staff and volunteers to edit Wikipedia. A small team of experienced and new Wikipedians were given access to the the society's small, but richly populated archives and wrote articles about a number of notable past Members and Associates of the Society and took photographs of objects and ephemera. At the end of the day, a number of QRpedia codes were deployed around the gallery. The gallery also donated a CD-ROM containing the digitised contents of the sketch book of Henry Harris Lines, which await uploading to Wikimedia Commons.
Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service Wikipedian in Residence
Since 13 November, Andy Mabbett has been Wikipedian in Residence at Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service, which manages Staffordshire County Museum, the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford, and Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Archives Service at the William Salt Library. The diverse list of articles improved as a result of the collaboration already include Tolpuddle Martyrs, the film Blanche Fury starring Stewart Granger, the Inspector Morse novel The Wench is Dead, and the George Bernard Shaw play Shakes versus Shav!
Nineteenth Century Books
Main page: en:Wikipedia:GLAM/BL/Books
Andrew Gray, the Wikipedian in Residence at the British Library, has been working with a collection of around 40,000 books made available by the British Library from a previous digitisation program. These are not yet widely available online due to their size, but can be uploaded on request to Commons or to Wikisource. All suggestions for new material are welcome - the collection appears particularly strong in local histories and travelogues.
The first book has been fully transcribed through Wikisource - A Journey in Khorassan and Central Asia, an 1890 travelogue by an English diplomat and his wife in eastern Persia and Russian Central Asia.
- From 5th to 9th November, Andrew Gray and Katie Chan ran a series of four workshops in Edinburgh for the University of Edinburgh, the National Library of Scotland, and EDINA. Around thirty librarians, academics and researchers attended the sessions.
- On 19 November, Andy ran a session on Wikipedia and its relevance to local government (including, of course, museums and libraries) at the HyperLocalWM unconference. He also wrote a piece advocating open licensing, for the unconference's own newspaper!
- On 20 November, Andy spoke about Wikipedia, and GLAM work, in an interview with Jamillah Knowles, for BBC Radio 5 Live's "Outriders". The thankfully pre-recorded interview was broadcast at 3am, but is also available as a podcast.
VIAFbot Edits; The Brooklyn Museum
VIAFbot Edits .25 Million Articles, Augmenting Authorities Data
VIAFbot, the bot that links English Wikipedia biography pages to their corresponding authoriy record at VIAF.org, an international disambiguation tool, has finished its run for >250,000 articles. In its algorithm the bot compared its own determinations of which Wikipedia pages corresponded to which VIAF ID, to that of German Wikipedia utilizing Wikipedia's multilingual features. During its process the bot recorded the agreements and disagreements between the two Wikipedias, and now a report on the comparison has been released. See the debriefing blog post for more details at http://hangingtogether.org.
The Brooklyn Museum strikes back, now with African contents
Drum roll for the nth institution happily joining WikiAfrica and Share Your Knowledge: African contents from the Brooklyn Museum are finally online. Reviving an almost historic GLAM partnership this summer, the project finally managed to publish thousand of pictures of gorgeous art pieces from the large collections of the Museum, and the full story is already available in English. As mentioned last month, a mask was also hosted on the main page of Wikimedia Commons and many linguistic versions of Wikipedia on December 1st.
Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 finished
Wiki Loves Monuments, or WLM in Wikipedia jargon, is a September contest which encourages people to take photos of their local heritage and upload those photos to Wikimedia Commons so that they can be integrated into Wikipedia articles (earlier coverage). Cultural heritage is an important part of the knowledge Wikipedia collects and disseminates. Everybody can edit articles, and everybody can contribute images to illustrate them. The harvest from the WLM contest this year proves that "an image is worth a thousand words" with over 1500 photos already added to the Commons category of "Quality images". Considering that not all of the jury selections have been added to that category, the number is likely to grow even more during the next few months.
Winning photo overall
Safdarjung’s Tomb, a garden tomb with a marble mausoleum in New Delhi, India. It was built in 1754 in the late Mughal Empire style, and was described as “the last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture”. Built about a century after the Taj Mahal, Wikipedia already had a well illustrated article on this building, but was missing a photo of the inside showing the actual tomb itself.
Today the top story of the building houses the Archaeological Survey of India, which itself is a guardian of cultural heritage. In all respects this was a true winner for Wikipedia.
Some other notable WLM 2012 photos
Belgium has lots of castles without Wikipedia articles, some of them centuries old, such as Château de Fontaine, west of Onhaye. A select group of volunteers has worked enthusiastically this year to keep the monuments lists for Belgium up to date on the English, French, and Dutch Wikipedia projects. That some volunteers are also highly skilled photographers is evidenced by one of the winning photos of a castle that just begs for an article to be written about it.
We already knew Poland had a number of interesting monuments from their contributions in last year's WLM. This year the contributions were less about whole buildings and more about architectural details, including many interiors of Baroque palaces, such as this finalist photo from Leubus Abbey in Lubiąż, Poland. It is interesting to see how such former royal buildings have become used over the centuries and this photo illustrates an interesting contrast in the office-like rooms adjoining the immensely over-the-top Baroque hall.
The Larabanga Mosque from the 14th Century is the oldest mosque in Western Africa, and it's nice to have a high quality image of it for Wikipedia. Ghana was a newcomer to WLM this year, and the monuments list is taken from the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, according to their description 'legal custodian of Ghana’s material movable and immovable heritage'. The monuments are classified into museums, forts and castles, and Asante traditional buildings. The forts and castles testify to the once flourishing trade between the indigenous African people and the European trading companies of Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, France, Sweden, and Brandenburg of German Prussia. The history of Ghana's government administration, judiciary, religion, health care and even its architecture has its roots at these ancient sites. Until recently, many of these forts and castles have had articles on Wikipedia illustrated with old maps or sometimes paintings. It will be nice to update those articles with modern photographs, while it is even more exciting to see new articles appear on Ghana's museums and traditional buildings.
- Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 - let's photograph your heritage too next year! Help us work on the list of unique identifiers to grow the database to 100% coverage - check out our progress so far
- Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 winners - Browse the winning photographs
- Desktop uploader for photos on Commons - The desktop upload page is split per world region with existing monuments lists in participating countries. To upload, you need a valid username on Wikimedia Commons, and must be willing to release your photo under a CC-by-SA license.
- The current FAQ on Commons with answers to internal questions from the WLM mailing list
- WLM Blog post about winning the Guiness Book of World Records. The 2011 WLM contest with its 168,208 submitted photos has been officially recognized as the world’s largest photography competition. Of course, they don't know yet that WLM accumulated 365,758 photos in 2012!
The Open Access Media Importer at full speed; Publishers deliver inconsistent XML to PubMed Central; Importing from other sources
Open Access Media Importer
After having been approved as a bot on Commons late in October, the Open Access Media Importer ran almost continuously throughout November, scanning PubMed Central for suitably licensed scholarly articles with supplementary multimedia and importing these into Wikimedia Commons, to a current total of well over 9,000, raising the number of files under Category:Open access (publishing) and its subcategories to almost 14,000 by the end of the month.
The bot attempts to provide the files with categories based on keywords, subject categories or MeSH terms supplied by the journal, by PubMed Central or by PubMed for the corresponding article. This sometimes leads to miscategorizations, often to overcategorization, and occasionally to no categories at all. At present, the files are spread over more than 20,000 categories, almost 10% of which had to be created on the occasion (e.g. for well over a hundred journals). Some of these categories (e.g. Caenorhabditis elegans or Green fluorescent proteins) are now filled with hundreds of files, which will eventually have to be distributed across more fine-grained categories. For many topics covered by PubMed Central (mostly biomedicine), there are thus now way more multimedia files available than the current Wikipedia entries (if they exist) can accommodate. For further examples, see actin cytoskeleton (on the English Wikipedia and on Commons), Gap junction (Wikipedia; Commons) or Woronin body (Wikipedia; Commons).
The review of the categorization of the files and of these new categories themselves continues - a process that you can facilitate by checking out (thanks to the overburdened Toolserver) a few of them and adding or removing categories as appropriate. If you can think of wiki pages where these files could be useful, please put them in there.
Bug fixes continued but shifted in focus from providing functionality to minimizing the effects of inconsistent and incorrect metadata available from PubMed Central.
Metadata at PubMed Central
The most prominent issue with the XML is that of incorrect or self-contradicting licensing statements. While this had been noticed already in spring (e.g. "licensed under a Creative Commons Attr0ibution 3.0 License (by-nc 3.0)" - yes, with a typo on top of it, in an article from Orthopedic Reviews, published by PagePress), actually deploying the bot to larger parts of the database made it clear that the phenomenon is rather common and not restricted to small and lesser known publishers.
The Open Access Media Importer analyzes the XML of articles stored in PubMed Central's Open Access subset. That XML is being delivered there by the individual journals or publishers, which provides the basis for a plethora of individual styles that may or may not be close to the actual specifications of the National Library of Medicine's Document Type Definition (now named JATS).
Besides the two journals highlighted in the figures, other journals affected by contradictory license statements include Evolutionary Applications (Wiley-Blackwell), Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark) (Wiley-Blackwell), Cellular Microbiology (Wiley-Blackwell), Cytotheraphy (Informa), The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene), The Febs Journal (Wiley-Blackwell), Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) (Wiley-Blackwell), Journal of Cellular Physiology (Wiley-Blackwell) and Database: The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation (Oxford University Press). At the Journal of Neurochemistry (Wiley-Blackwell), the self-contradictory notice "Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation." is even displayed directly on the article's page. The closest match to the term "Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5" would be the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License (CC BY 2.5), which is indeed linked from the XML and does permit commercial exploitation.
While contradictions between machine-readable and human-readable license statements are one sort of problem, many journals - including those published by PLOS, which account for the majority of the bot's uploads so far - do not provide a license link at all or mix up the license and copyright tags in other ways. On a related note, even articles clearly and unambiguously labeled CC BY may occasionally contain materials incompatible with such licensing, and some articles in journals otherwise using Creative Commons licenses occasionally publish something under Crown copyright or similar conditions, causing the bot to skip the articles.
Such licensing mess raises a number of questions: if the licensing for a given article agrees in its human- and machine-readable version on PubMed Central, can we then be sure that this information is correct? This is the case, for instance, with the journal Molecular Vision. What if the same article does not have any licensing statement at the journal's site (or in the XML there), or if the journal's copyright policy states CC BY-NC-ND as the only option? What if Google finds several articles from the same journal that are also labeled as CC BY?
The mismatch between stated licenses and actual licensing conditions also makes it difficult to assess, in an automated fashion, what amount of audio, video or other materials is available from PubMed Central under Wikimedia-compatible licenses. For some plots on the matter, see this blog post, which also highlights another frequent issue: that of a mismatch between the actual MIME type and that stated in the XML, as in the following example:
As a rough estimate, MIME type mismatches of this kind affect on the order of 10% of the supplementary files in the database. Since this translates to hundreds of multimedia files, the bot now attempts to determine the MIME type of all supplementary materials and chooses those that are, in fact, audio or video, irrespective of what the XML states about them, thereby even covering cases in which the XML makes no statement about the MIME types . The bot naturally fails, however, in cases when suitably licensed articles do have supplementary multimedia files but these are not mentioned in the XML available from PMC (another case: journal; PMC)
Another reason preventing the import of some suitably licensed materials is that files are frequently hidden in zip archives, which the bot ignores for the time being.
Once suitably licensed multimedia have been identified as such, they have to be converted to a format accepted at Wikimedia Commons, i.e. OGG. This does not always work, since some authors use rather unusual file formats, or the metadata about the files (e.g. the length of a video) is incorrect or not stated at all. Most journals have a disclaimer that proper functioning of supplementary materials is within the authors' responsibility, but it would be nice to establish a standard for testing that supplementary files submitted to journals actually convert properly to common standard formats.
Further issues arise when the files are converted and need to be associated with their metadata in Commons style: Sometimes, there is no description whatsoever of supplementary files, or the description of several files is lumped together in a way that the bot cannot parse. Some minor issues include line breaks in article titles or typos in categories or keywords provided by the journal, which the bot uses for the initial categorization of the files.
A problem not really solved so far is that of duplicate detection - while this works well for images, this is not the case for multimedia files, since multiple copies of a file will normally have different hashes.
The following files represent a selection of what has been uploaded by the Open Access Media Importer this month. If you can think of wiki pages where these files could be useful, please put them in there or let us know. For metadata about the files, please click on the Menu button.
Can you guess the research question addressed in the corresponding scholarly article?
Can you guess what these sounds represent?
December's GLAM events
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Edit-a-thon at Bicentennial Museum Buenos Aires, AR
Edit-a-thon at Centro Cultural Digital, Mexico City, MX
Stamford Project Wikipedia training, Lincolnshire, UK