User:Beat Estermann

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Presenting TAO at Wikimania 2012
At the Beach Party in Haifa with Ralf and Frank
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de-N Dieser Benutzer spricht Deutsch als Muttersprache.
en-3 This user has advanced knowledge of English.
fr-3 Cet utilisateur dispose de connaissances avancées en français.
ru-2 Этот участник владеет русским языком на среднем уровне.
it-1 Questo utente può contribuire con un livello elementare in italiano.
es-1 Esta persona tiene un conocimiento básico del español.
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Since February 2023, I have been affiliated with the Bern Academy of the Arts, where I coordinate the implementation of the academy's Open Science Strategy. Besides that, I am self-employed, providing research, consulting, and teaching services related to the digital transformation.

In 2023, I had project-based affiliations with the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons, and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland.

From October 2007 until January 2023 I worked for the Institute for Public Sector Transformation (formerly E-Government Institute) of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, since 2019 as a professor and between 2019 and 2021 as the deputy head of the institute.

I am currently pursuing a phd at the Center of Competence for Public Management of the University of Bern, focusing on open data and crowdsourcing among heritage institutions.

I have been among the founding members of "Digitale Allmend", an association for the promotion of the Digital Commons which also acts as the Swiss chapter of CreativeCommons, I am a founding member and a board member (since 2018) of "", the Swiss chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation, and a member of Wikimedia CH (since 2013). From 2014 to 2018, I chaired the eCH Specialized Group for the standardization in the area of open government data in Switzerland.

Current projects and engagements (selection)

  • Back in 2013, I have initiated OpenGLAM CH, a joint initiative of heritage institutions, research and educational institutions, NGOs, and service providers to promote OpenGLAM in Switzerland. As part of my engagement, I have established contacts to many heritage institutions in Switzerland, some of which decided to engage in cooperation projects with Wikipedia/Wikimedia, such as Zentralbibliothek Zürich, the Swiss Federal Archives, Zentralbibliothek Solothurn, the Swiss National Library, or the ETH Library. Furthermore, I am regularly contributing to the organization of the Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathons.
  • In 2016 I set up the Wikidata Project "Cultural Heritage" whose aim is to coordinate the ingestion of heritage related content into Wikidata. In this context I have written several case reports, talked to various heritage institutions, and accompanied several students' projects. I have also held workshops on this topic at Wikimania 2017 and at the 2017 edition of the Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon in Lausanne and have been continuing to do so at various occasions.
  • In 2019, I moderated a Wikidata Hackday Series for staff members of some of the major Swiss libraries (mandated by the Swiss National Library). In parallel, I worked with Wiki Movement Brazil on a project aiming to improve the coverage of data about heritage institutions in Wikidata and to promote its use across various language versions of Wikipedia. In 2020, in continuation of the two aforementioned projects, the OpenGLAM Working Group of the association launched the "Sum of All Swiss GLAMs" project whose goal is to improve the coverage of Swiss heritage institutions in Wikidata and to promote a variety of use cases, including the use of Wikidata-powered infoboxes on various Wikipedias.
  • Since 2020, I have been involved in the development of Culture in Time, an online application for the representation of cultural calendars based on a variety of linked open data sources, including Wikidata. The main cooperation partner for the development of the app has been the Montreal-based start-up company Culture Creates.
  • In 2022-2023, I initiated and coordinated the project "Image-to-Concept", funded by SWITCH and Wikimedia Sweden. The goal of the project is to enhance the ISA Tool (crowdscouring tool for the tagging of images on Wikimedia Commons) by adding algorithmic support in the form of semi-automatic tagging.
  • In 2023, I co-founded an "Open Event Data" Working Group (as part of the association), which aims at the promotion of a culture of data sharing in the field of events data and the interlinking of event calendars by referencing shared authority files, including Wikidata.
  • In 2024, I have co-led a cooperation project between the Benmérita Universidad de Puebla, Open GLAM Switzerland, Open GLAM Austria, and Wikimedia México with the aim to implement and test the CultureFLOW methodology, involving heritage institutions in Switzerland and arts students from Mexico. The CultureFLOW methodology has been developed by Open GLAM Austria and Open GLAM Switzerland as an extension of their traditional GLAM hackathon format, combining the hackathon methodology with artistic creation.

Earlier projects and engagements (selection)

  • Between 2013 and 2015 I maintained an overview of information related to the evaluation of GLAM-Wiki cooperations. The initial inputs were gained through the analysis of project reports and a workshop at Wikimania 2013.
  • In 2012, I played a leading role in the revamping of the Outreach wiki's Education_Portal.
  • From 2009 to 2012 I initiated and coordinated the project TAO (Third Age Online) the goal of which was to highlight the ways in which the access of older adults to the opportunities offered by online communities can be facilitated. In fall 2012 I handed over the coordination of the project to my colleague, Thomas Gehrig, in order to focus my activities on heritage institutions.

User Accounts / Disclaimer


I started to use this real name account in my role as coordinator of the project TAO. I had occasionally edited Wikipedia before (since 2005 as a registered user) and continued for a few years to contribute now and then using my original user account in areas unrelated to my outreach activities.


2012-2022: Apart from getting some minor funding (covering a few days' work) from the eCH Association for writing guidelines related to data ingestion into Wikidata in late 2016 and from the Canadian Asocciation for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA) for documenting and cleaning up data structures on Wikidata related to the performing arts in October 2020, my contributions to the Outreach Wiki and other Wikimedia projects in this time period have been made on a volunteer basis in my spare time or as part of my phd work. They do not necessarily reflect the official views of the projects or organisations I was involved in, nor the views of my employer, unless otherwise stated.

In 2022 and 2023 I received funding from CAPACOA and the Swiss Archive of the Performing Arts (SAPA) to help them document and clean up data structures on Wikidata and to assist them with data ingests. Furthermore, I coordinated the "Image-to-Concept" project (enhancement of the ISA Tool), funded by SWITCH and Wikimedia Sverige.

In 2024 I have been consulting and accompanying the Theater Winkelwiese in their effort to ingest parts of their data related to their playwright's database (Zentrum für Dramatik) into Wikidata and to align their Wikidata-related strategy with the one of SAPA.

I also occasionally teach introductory courses to Wikimedia Commons or Wikidata, coach heritage institutions when it comes to contributing to Wikidata, Wikipedia, or Wikimedia Commons, and supervise students' projects related to Wikidata; some of these activities have been part of my paid job.