The annual WikiConference North America 2019 conference was held in Boston/Cambridge, Mass. and was run in collaboration with the Credibility Coalition and with the generous support of the Craig Newmark Philanthropies, MIT and local cultural institutions. Because of the recent Wikimedia Foundation moratorium on funding conferences outside of a narrow band of pre-approved events, no Wikimedia Foundation or movement funds were used in the execution of this event.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted the main conference from November 8 to 11. The majority of the programs were recorded and video streams can be found here.
The conference kicked off with the annual culture crawl as a pre-conference event as a whole day of GLAM related engagements with institutions in the Boston/Cambridge area. The Museum of Fine Arts hosted the day with curatorial tours of the museum and hosted training for staff and community in their trustees room. There were meetups at Boston University, MassArt, State Library of Massachusetts, and a hackathon at the MIT MakerWorkshop.
There were a number of notable sessions, including a plenary panel discussion about the forthcoming book, Wikipedia @20 by MIT Press, with a number of Wikimedian contributors at the conference and serving on the panel. The reception for the evening was hosted at the MIT Museum.
Culture Crawl training
With the Museum of Fine Arts staff
Reliability and Credibility Summit
November 11 was the Reliability and Credibility Summit, run in conjunction with the conference partner the Credibility Coalition, which focused on the reliability of information, and included breakout roundtable sessions related to downstream platforms users of Wikimedia content, reliability of news content, and reliability of Wikimedia content. The platforms roundtable was an historic event, with representatives from Google, Facebook and Microsoft present to discuss how Wikimedia content could benefit users in assessing information reliability.
A number of sessions related to GLAM were held at the conference. On the Culture Crawl day, there was training on Wikidata, Structured Data on Commons and tools/strategy for GLAM institutions to contributed content.
Culture Crawl: Wikidata Tutorial: The basics - Rob Fernandez - slides
Culture Crawl: Introduction to Structured Data on Commons - Alex Stinson (WMF) - slides
Culture Crawl: GLAM Contribution strategies for Wikimedia content - Andrew Lih - slides
Open Access at the Cleveland Museum of Art - Kevin Payravi, Andrew Lih - slides
GLAMs embracing open access and Wikidata: Experiences from the Met Museum - Andrew Lih and Richard Knipel slides
Mbabel - One click article creation for events - Rob Fernandez and Richard Knipel - slides
Putting Institutional Partners at Ease: Becoming a Reliable Guide in an Unfamiliar Landscape - Ariel Cetrone - description
Engaging with Scientists: Sharing Knowledge and Encouraging Editing Through a Science Library - Jamie Flood - description
What’s good for GLAM is good for STEM? Editor recruitment and retention at NIOSH - John P. Sadowski - description
Introduction to WikiCite - Phoebe Ayers and Daniel Mietchen - description
4 Million in 4 Weeks: A case study on bulk import of cultural heritage metadata on Wikidata - Dominic Byrd-McDevitt - description
Taking Wiki Loves Monuments in the US to the Next Level - Kevin Payravi and Laura Soito - description
Wiki Art Depiction Explorer: a new tool for adding artwork depiction information
The Wiki Art Depiction Explorer (WADE) is a user-friendly interface to add depiction information to the Wikidata items of artworks. It was soft launched in the summer of 2019, and is now open for community testing.
The project is a collaboration between Wikimedia District of Columbia and the Smithsonian Institution, with community members Andrew Lih, Robert Fernandez, and Effie Kapsalis working with developer Edward Betts to develop the system. Its development was made possible through support from the Knight Prototype Fund, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
WADE's most basic mode of operation presents the user with a web interface that includes the Wikidata item of an artwork and a large image of the artifact. WADE prompts the user to type in what is depicted in the given painting. We are focusing on paintings for simplicity, though any Wikidata item can be edited using WADE.
Entering terms. As the user types, matches are interactively displayed, and previously used depiction terms listed first. How often that term has been in previous depiction statements is also displayed. Wikidata terms that have never been used before in a depiction statement are listed in a secondary set.
Selecting the name of a matching term adds that to a working queue of terms and any number of depiction statements can be added in this way.
Clicking the "Add these to Wikidata" button commits these changes immediately to Wikidata under the user's account. Therefore, the user needs to have a Wikimedia account. (WADE uses OAuth to authorize the tool to edit on their behalf.)
Pre-existing terms. If there are pre-existing depiction statements for the Wikidata item, they are displayed above the text entry field. There are also additional fields of information related to the artist, collection, and GLAM institution that holds the item.
Navigation. After depiction information has been added to the Wikidata item, a number of options are provided to navigate to similar works by artist, by collection, or by main subject. This provides incentives to keep working on more depictions.
First-ever Wiki meetup in Puerto Rico with WikiCaribbean
On November 27, Andrew Lih worked with the new WikiCaribbean user group to give a talk in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the local community at the offices of Microsoft.
The talk was titled "The five most exciting things in Wikipedia, Wikimedia and Wikidata: How they can help boost content about Puerto Rico" and covered a brief introduction to Wikidata, visualizing knowledge graphs, Structured Data on Commons and how artificial intelligence and machine learning have been used in the movement. Afterwards, there was discussion with academics from the University of Puerto Rico and from the local destination marketing organization, Discover Puerto Rico, on how to enrich Wikimedia content about Puerto Rico.
Museum Computer Network, Wikimedia content and The Met
Effie Kapsalis (Smithsonian) and Andrew Lih gave two of the opening Ignite talks at the Museum Computer Network conference in San Diego called "Imagine the Future of Global Structured Data." He showed how Wikidata knowledge graphs work and how The Met is using them to visualize collections in a different way. Ignite talks are strictly five minute talks where the 20 slides automatically advance every 15 seconds.
Later in the conference, he presented with The Met on the use of artificial intelligence on their collections, and how it has been used to enrich content in Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. The talk "Tags, Art, and AI. Oh My" was done with Jennie Choi, general manager of collections information at The Met, and Elena Villaespesa, professor at the Pratt Institute and consultant at The Met.
Advanced Wikidata and Wikibase training with Smithsonian Libraries
On November 20, Andrew Lih held a special training with Smithsonian Libraries on the advanced use of Wikidata and establishing content in Wikibase, the software extension to MediaWiki that allows for databases like Wikidata. Some of the topics covered included tools and gadgets for advanced users of Wikidata (Recoin, copy references, etc) and the new shape expressions (ShEx) EntitySchema features of Wikidata. Some other APIs and methods for accessing Wikidata from Python were discussed.