User:Aude/Content partnership opportunities

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Gov 2.0 Expo (May 2010)[edit]

I propose to organize a panel at the Gov 2.0 Expo (late May 2010 in DC) on content partnerships involving governments and public institutions, together with open source content projects including OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia.

Panel title[edit]

Content partnership opportunities with Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap

Short description[edit]

400 characters or ~65 words

Partnerships between government and institutional content holders with organizations such as OpenStreetMap and Wikimedia make information more available for everyone. Case studies discussed include Wikipedia partnership with the German Federal Archive, and collaboration between the District of Columbia government and OpenStreetMap, and learn about opportunities for future collaborations.

Long description[edit]

The notion of putting government works into the public domain has mostly been limited to the U.S. Federal government, while state and local governments in the U.S. and governments outside the U.S. have traditionally put their works under full copyright. Recently, there has been a movement within some governments towards opening up data and information. Crowdsourcing projects including Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap have incorporated some public domain content. These projects offer an opportunity for government and institutional content holders for further dissemination of content, and allow value to be added through improved metadata, further outreach, and integration with volunteer-generated content.

Opportunities for content partnerships with Wikimedia[edit]

About Wikimedia[edit]

Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects offer opportunities governments and public institutions for electronic dissemination of cultural heritage materials, reaching a broader audience than previously available. A wide range of content types can be disseminated via Wikimedia, including historic photographs, audio, video, and text materials.

Wikipedia is run by a non-profit foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation, whose mission is for every single human being to freely share in the sum of all knowledge. The role of the Foundation is to both keep the servers running, and to provide support the mission and Wikimedia's volunteer contributors who write the articles and maintain the projects. There are versions of Wikipedia in 270 languages, along with sister projects including Wikisource, Wikiversity, and others. Wikimedia Commons serves as a repository for media files which can then be used on Wikipedia and elsewhere.

Contributions to Wikipedia are done under several principles, including foremost that the content is licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0, making the content free to use and reuse. When reused, content and derivatives must be under the same terms that allow reuse. Wikipedia has a number of other policies that guide content, including writing from a neutral point of view, that information must be verifiable, and can't consist of original ideas and research ("no original research"). An exception to the "no original research" rule pertains to images, allowing Wikipedians to go out and take photos and submit them to use in Wikipedia articles. This works well to illustrate articles about places, common objects, and things that people can easily have access to. When it comes to illustrating historic events, artwork, and people, it's more difficult or impossible for Wikipedians to self-create photographs to go with articles.

Case studies[edit]
  • U.S. Federal government content - To help fill gaps for images, Wikipedians have looked to public domain sources including materials produced by the U.S. Federal Government. Mass image imports have been done, with content from FEMA, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Navy, as these are already in the public domain. Wikipedians have also uploaded content from the Library of Congress, in the process undertaking image restorations.
  • German Federal Archives - Some collaborations have already been undertaken between Wikipedians and government institutions. The German Federal Archives contain about 10 million photos, some which were already digitized. The mission of the archive is to archive records and make them available to the public. Nowadays, people often start their searches on the Internet, so making images available through Wikipedia made sense. Using qualitative criteria, the German Federal Archives selected images and obtained the necessary rights to allow them to be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. The actual uploading was done by Wikipedians, and to-date, over 100,000 images have now been uploaded. The availability of high quality images has provided an incentive for Wikipedians to write more and improve articles about German history, and feedback from Wikipedians and readers has lead to improvement of image descriptions and metadata.
  • Tropenmuseum - Other partnerships between Wikipedians and public institutions have involved the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, which is part of the Royal Tropics Institute (KIT). Tropenmuseum has granted permission to Wikimedia to upload images from its extensive collection of historic images taken in Indonesia and Suriname.
  • Wikipedia Loves Art - In the U.S., the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and others were part of the Wikipedia Loves Art event that took place in February 2008. The event took the form of a scavenger hunt and free content photography contest, with Wikipedians and Flickr users taking photographs of objects and art in the museums, and prizes awarded for the best contributions.
Future opportunities[edit]

Future opportunities for collaboration include events, such as Wikipedia Loves Art, and additional collaborations with archives, museums, and government agencies.

  • The panel will also briefly go over the process of uploading images and materials to Wikimedia Commons, including categorizing and adding metadata, as well as opportunities to involve Wikipedians in digital image restoration.
  • Beyond images, there may be an opportunity to incorporate data and maps into Wikipedia, as Wikimedia volunteers are working with OpenStreetMap on providing the ability to dynamically generate maps from OpenStreetMap data and embed them into Wikipedia articles. Thematic overlays to make maps showing locations of recent earthquakes and such will be possible. There may also be opportunity to incorporate NASA imagery to show satellite imagery maps for articles about remote places, such as in Antarctica.

OpenStreetMap data imports and collaboration in the U.S.[edit]

About OpenStreetMap[edit]

OpenStreetMap is an entirely volunteer-run project, with the goal of creating a free map of the entire world. Much geographic data that people think of as free really is actually copyrighted and not free at all. In the United States there is much more data available in the public domain than many other countries. By combining imported public domain data with volunteer data collection a better map can be made for everyone.

Many government agencies in the United States are interested in making their data more available. OpenStreetMap is an already established avenue for achieving this goal. Primary interaction between government data and OpenStreetMap so far has been import of government data already in the public domain. Contributors in the U.S. started out with importing some public domain data sources, including TIGER from the U.S. Census Bureau.

More recently, OpenStreetMap volunteers in the U.S. have started working with local government data to import it into OpenStreetMap, as well as collecting data through satellite imagery and field collection to improve upon the TIGER data and fill in more details. By combining imported public domain data with volunteer data collection a better map can be made for everyone.

Case Studies[edit]
  • Import of DC GIS Datasets: The Washington D.C. government changed the licensing listed on their GIS website to be acceptable for import into OpenStreetMap. MappingDC a local OSM group has begun to import available D.C. mapping data as well as performing on the ground mapping to enhance available geographic data in the D.C. area. Washington D.C. has over 100 datasets that could potentially be imported into OpenStreetMap. Everything from trashcans to heliports is available. MappingDC has worked to prioritze datasets and import then without overwriting contributor data. The D.C. GIS Department has assisted by answering specific questions about datasets and consulting on ways to keep them up to date.
  • Imports of portions of NHD (National Hydrological Database), and fix up of U.S. Census TIGER data through field mapping and satellite imagery corrections.
Future opportunities[edit]
  • Collaborative micro mapping of historic sites to provide detailed information. Arlington National Cemetery has already been mapped in detail for OpenStreetMap, much beyond the level of detail of the official map of the cemetery. Other sites such as Gettysburg could also be mapped, potentially as part of a mapping party event.
  • Two way data flow between local government and OpenStreetMap. Citizens could update information in their area and once citizen data is verified then imported back into government GIS.