I have started planning and preparations for the November GLAMout global. If you want to participate you should both answer the doodle to decide on a date and time, and also sign up on the GLAMout page and come up with topics for the agenda. Anyone interested in hosting the GLAMout in December should contact me or sign up on the page.
We partnered up with the Uganda Museum and monuments to expand their existing page on Wikipedia and train the staff on how to use Wikipedia. We started off with opening accounts on Wikipedia and going through the basics of editing on Wikipedia. We then decided that everyone would work on a different section of the article in their sandbox.Which was later uploaded to the page and we were able to expand on the article considerably by the end of the activation.
Future plans with the Uganda Museum
We plan to digitize the different galleries and upload the images.We will also compile a list of all the existing monuments and museums in Uganda and be able to create articles for them through hosting different events at the different locations.
The MS Wissenschaft is a riverboat with a science exhibition on board (see also Germany report). In 2014, three of the 38 stations it served were in Austria - Linz, Krems and Vienna. This way, the exhibits on Wikipedia and on Open Data (jointly produced by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and Wikimedia Germany) also reached an Austrian audience of several thousand visitors.
On September 15 in Vienna, a public evening event on Open Research - a topic rarely featuring in public discourse about research - took place aboard the ship. It was jointly organized - in partnership with the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) - by the Wikimedia chapters in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and the Open Knowledge Chapters in Austria and Germany. It featured a panel discussion around openness in scholarly research, structured around the themes of Open Science, Open Data and Citizen Science. The event was attended by an audience of about 70, many of which actively participated in the discussions, to the extent that the final duration took well over an hour more than originally foreseen, without causing people to leave.
Brief reports on the event are available from FWF and from Wikimedia Germany. The entire panel discussion - as well as the short talks on the three themes have been videotaped and are available on the YouTube channel of the Open Knowledge Foundation Austria (transfer to Wikimedia Commons is underway).
On 1 September Wiki Loves Monuments 2014 started for the fourth time in Belgium and Luxembourg. We want to organize Wiki Loves Monuments to give users who are not writers a chance to participate in a concrete goal. Also we think it is important to collect over the years as much as possible photos from different monuments to have a better coverage of Belgium and Luxembourg. In September people can upload their photos, in October the jury will select the winners and in November the prize giving ceremony will be organized. This will be announced on Twitter and our website.
As part of Wiki Loves Monuments we organized at 28 September a Wiki Takes... photo tour in the city Leuven (Louvain) to make photos of the local cultural heritage. Leuven has a large number of monuments of what we have no photo of on Wikipedia. Still, we would like to make visible on Wikipedia which monuments there are in this city. In several groups of 2 or 3 people, we followed a route through the city to photograph the monuments. Each group got a list of monuments on that route. Afterwards we had a drink and talked about the event.
The photo tour has resulted in a much better coverage of the monuments in Leuven, especially in the city centre. Most photos where uploaded during Wiki Loves Monuments, but some were after the contest. Nevertheless those are very welcome as well.
Results Wiki Loves Monuments
The edition of 2014 of Wiki Loves Monuments in Belgium and Luxembourg has resulted in
2320 photos uploaded of monuments in Belgium
242 photo uploaded of monuments in Luxembourg
Total: 2562 uploads
These uploads were made by in total 153 participants, of what 145 participated with photos of Belgian monuments and 12 participated with photos from Luxembourg.
As part of our partnership with the National Archives, and as a follow-up to the February project, 65 major documents from the French history were mass-uploaded on Wikimedia Commons, increasing the number of files to 142. It's a small number but these files have been chosen by the archivists because they are cornerstones of the National Archives. And thanks to Wikimedians work, almost every one of these 142 documents are now used on wikimedia projets. The most used being present on 23 pages (Procès-verbal of the Tennis Court Oath and Edict of Nantes).
Death sentence of Marie-Antoinette, (13-14 October 1793)
Last notes taken by Robespierre, the day of his execution (28 July 1794)
The French Wikimedia chapter is part of a research project involving archives services (from Vaucluse, Tarn-et-Garonne and Tours). This project has been designed with three parties: Wikimédia France as a non-profit partner, the local archives of Vaucluse as an institutional partner and Anaphore, an archives management software company as a for-profit partner. It has been given a grant from the French government in order to work on archives metadata distribution. The project should start before the end of the year and was part of a selection of 60 projects (see the list) out of more than 200 answers to the call for projects entitled "Cultural innovative digital services in 2014 " issued by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, to encourage projects which foster experimentation around innovative, visible and valuable digital cultural content.
World Café; GLAM on Tour; Museum für Naturkunde releases 15 million insect items; MS Wissenschaft
The German association of press spokespersons gathered at Wikimedia Deutschland to learn about the movement and the Wikimedia projects. After an introductory talk, the press representatives of various organizations were able to inform themselves more intensively about Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata at work stations with longtime volunteers, who answered questions and gave expert insight. Due to the high response and demand after the event, we will continue this world café format for other occasions, next time at Konferenz nationaler Kultureinrichtungen in Potsdam, an association of 23 cultural heritage institutions which invited us to be part of their digitization working group. See the talk here (in German).
Press conference on GLAM on Tour
In the course of the preparations for the next GLAM on Tour station in October in the city of Brilon, a press conference was held at the museum Haus Hövener which will also host the event. Approximately 30 Wikipedians, staff members of the museum and members of the society for the promotion of Haus Hövener will gather in Brilon to write articles, load up pictures and find out about the mining industry in the region "Sauerland".
See the coverage here:
Museum für Naturkunde releases 15 million insect items
The Museum für Naturkunde (museum of natural sciences) in Berlin just released 15 million items of their vast collection of insect objects under the licences CC0 1.0 and CC-BY-SA 4.0 (announcement in German). The museum spends a lot of effort in digitizing content and making it accessible for as many people as possible. For several years now, WMDE has fostered a close relationship with scientific professionals of the museum. For example, the Museum für Naturkunde took part in the GLAM hackathon Coding da Vinci and provided freely licenced content for coders. We also invited Prof. Johannes Vogel, General Director of the museum, as a speaker for the GLAM conference Shaping access!.
MS Wissenschaft ends its 2014 tour
The MS Wissenschaft, a riverboat with a science exhibition on board, finished its 2014 tour at the end of September in Forchheim. The tour had started in May in Berlin and featured 38 stops across Germany and Austria, reaching a total audience of around 90,000. This year, the topic of the exhibition was the "Digital society", and a joint exhibit by the Open Knowledge Foundation and Wikimedia Germany on Open Knowledge and Open Data was part of it. While in Vienna in September, a public event on Open Science was organized on the ship (see coverage in the Austria report).
A New Wikipedian in Residence; Lyon Declaration; Libraries, Ancient Inscriptions & Wikibase
A wikimedian in residence is working with the digital library of BEIC, Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura in Milan. During the collaboration in the next four months, Federico Leva (also known as Nemo) will help BEIC create sinergies between its collections and Wikimedia projects, as well as teach and assist library's staff to then continue to work in this direction autonomously.
BEIC focuses on producing top quality scans and metadata for a careful selection of works and authors considered (by panels of university experts) the most important of the last three millennia in the respective fields of science and humanities. Its currently available collections range from historical archives of Italian writer and patriot Carlo Cattaneo to digitised scientific and technical books from 16th to 18th century (e.g. the Biblioteca idraulica); from modern multimedial materials such as photographs (e.g. the Paolo Monti archive) to textual archives (e.g. the archive of the writer Giuseppe Pontiggia) and many others.
Federico Leva, being the first WIR of Italy contracted by Wikimedia Italia rather than by the target institution, is also fostering the creation of a stable, easily reusable and community-approved infrastructure for future WIRs in Italian language projects. While preparing for the work, he also updated the Wikipedian in Residence central registry.
The Lyon Declaration On Access to Information and Development
«Increased access to information and knowledge, underpinned by universal literacy, is an essential pillar of sustainable development. Greater availability of quality information and data and the involvement of communities in its creation will provide a fuller, more transparent allocation of resources.»
Wikimedia Italia signed the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Lyon Declaration, an advocacy document focused on the fundamental role of access to information and knowledge in sustainable development and «long-term socio-economic prosperity and well-being of people everywhere». The document is aimed to ask The United Nations to consider this issue in their new development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals. The list of signatories includes worldwide national library associations, national libraries of many countries, professional organizations, single libraries and no profit organizations.
Meeting with librarians in Florence
Andrea Zanni and Luca Martinelli, respectively President and Secretary of Wikimedia Italia, have met with several senior librarians in Florence on September 27, to discuss a pilot project involving Wikibase. The idea is to test the usage of the MediaWiki extension to store and manage libraries data and to connect those data to Wikidata and the related WMF projects. The meeting allowed to define the main characteristics of the project, which will enter active sperimentation in mid-October.
EAGLE 2014 International Conference
Luca Martinelli and Cristian Consonni, respectively Secretary and Treasurer of Wikimedia Italia, participated as speakers at the EAGLE 2014 International Conference, held in Paris, France from September 29 to October 1.
The former was invited to discuss the Eagle MediaWiki project, a database of Latin and Ancient Greek inscriptions run by a MediaWiki and Wikibase instance - the first known usage of the Wikibase extension outside the WMF perimeter. The presentation, with a brief explanation and data about the project, is available here (English).
The latter discussed the ArcheoWiki project (Italian), aimed at involving all people (with a particular focus on teenagers, elders and people with disabilities) new to the archaeological field in the least-known Lombardy archaeological heritage. The project involved six museums and cultural institutions in Lombardy, and produced a certain number of articles created or modified on Wikipedia (see related category on Italin Wikipedia) and 800+ free images for Wikimedia Commons (see Category:Archeowiki images and Category:WikiGite Archeowiki images).
50 hours of art in Wikipedia: the Museo Soumaya editathon
Between September 26 and 28, we literally lived in Museo Soumaya of Mexico City during a 50-hour editathon, surpassing the mark of 35 hours established by Amical Wikimedia in 2012. With the full support of the museum, we finished this great challenge achieving 64 new articles in Spanish Wikipedia and more in English, Catalan and Hebrew with editors outside Mexico City, in Uruguay, Venezuela and Israel. There were also editors who came from the States of Puebla, Jalisco and Aguascalientes just to be part of this wondrous occasion.
Museo Soumaya made a great effort as well: they developed a logistics plan that included the active participation of researchers, investigators and museum curators, offered unique support for the wikipedists' stay, established a small temporary library with references, created a complete program of cultural contents (including guided visits to the museum and its thematically divided halls), visits to the Inbursa Aquarium and UNOtv studios, and provided hot meals and beverages during the 50 hours of the event on top of it all.
The event began with the presentation of the new museum website, presented by Alfonso Miranda, head of Museo Soumaya, and followed by a special message of opening by Lila Tretikov, executive director of Wikimedia Foundation. "We are so proud to partner with institutions like Museo Soumaya as part of our ongoing relationships with the world’s leading galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. I want to thank the organizers of this event, the incredible team at Wikimedia Mexico. Your passion, enthusiasm, and energy are unsurpassed. You inspire me with your creativity and commitment", said Tretikov in her message.
We had special talks by Herminia Din, from the American Association of Museums, and Liam Wyatt, currently GLAM coordinator at Europeana and long-time GLAMmer.
At 10:01 PM Sunday 28th, everyone in the museum celebrated reaching 50 hours of continuous Wikipedia edits and we had a small cocktail celebration, and the ceremony award from the Museum to the people who wrote more articles.
The results of the activity are huge: 64 new articles in 5 languages, 1616 editions to the Wikimedia projects and 15 new and active registered users. We hope to continue working with the museum in our shared mission of free knowledge dissemination to the whole world, one art piece at a time.
Abraham Ortelius is one of the most important cartographers and geographers in the history of the world. His Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World) is considered by many to be the first modern atlas.
In August we celebrated the Finnish writer and artist Tove Jansson and her 100th anniversary with an edit-a-thon at the National Library in Oslo. The edit-a-thon was organized in cooperation with the Finnish embassy, the Finnish-Norwegian Institute of Culture and the National Library. The 25 participants at the workshop were both newcomers and staff from the library. We concentrated on writing new articles on Wikipedia about the Moomin family.
Wikipedian-in-Residence at the National Library
In January the National Library of Norway recruited a Wikipedian-in-Residence who has been exploring the many possibilities of data collection and outreach that are inherent in the National Library's role as a repository of all published books, printed material, Norwegian films, Norwegian photographs, and an enormous collection of manuscripts, maps, etc. Almost 10,000 images have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons since May, 2014. Hopefully especially the Nansen collection can come to good use on many Wikipedias. The WiR also succeeded during the summer to program an application in the national book directory www.bokhylla.no to refer to the book in an Wikipedia article (see lower left at the site, "Referere"). This lays the foundation for a very effective use of Bokhylla (English: Bookshelf) as a reference resource in Wikipedia articles.
Edit-a-thon at Biblioteca Nacional; Wiki Loves Monuments
On September 27, an edit-a-thon was organized at the Spanish National Library building by Biblioteca Nacional, Real Academia Española, Instituto Cervantes and Wikimedia España. These three institutions are three of the most important ones for the Spanish language in the world. This was the first edit-a-thon ever held in Madrid and the first one about Spanish language and literature in the world.
The edit-a-thon took place in the Patronato Room; an important room that is open only for special events. The eight-hour edit-a-thon started with an introduction to Wikipedia by Felipe Ortega. Thereafter, Ana Santos Aramburo, director of the National Library, José Manuel Blecua Perdices, director of RAE, and Víctor García de la Concha, director of Instituto Cervantes gave a presentation of the event and highlighted the relevance and importance of Wikipedia.
Participants edited mainly about Spanish language writers and the Spanish language itself. More than 50 articles were improved or created by editors, most of them newbies, with the support of more than ten volunteers from Wikimedia España. There were more than one hundred people enrolled and some more edited on-line. The institutions provided bibliography to use as references, as well as drinks and meals for all participants. The Biblioteca Nacional uploaded to Wikimedia Commons more than 20 images of title pages of books from its collection. Also many medias wrote about this event and it appeared on national TV news on Saturday night.
This September Wikimedia Spain organized the 4th edition of Wiki Loves Monuments in Spain. This year there were two different partners, Paradores, who was the main partner, and the Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Jaca. In addition to the first places prizes, there are three special ones: for the participant with pictures from more different monuments, the best photo of a Parador, and the best photo of St. James's Way in Aragon.
More than 13000 photos were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons in September by almost 500 participants. But people were able to participate uploading photos to Flickr using free licenses. The Flickr group for Wiki Loves Monuments Spain 2014 had more than 10000 images, and more than 100 members. That provided more than 23000 photos for this contest in Spain.
In order to improve not only Wikimedia Commons, but also Wikipedia, Wikimedia Spain organizes a writing contest, the Monuments of Spain Challenge. In this challenge people can improve or create articles about Spanish monuments, in every language.
Imagine a museum from which the visitors can bring any object home and do whatever they want with it. Dismantle the object, assemble it in their own way, change it and even sell it for money. That’s the museum project Work With Sounds!
Work With Sounds (WWS) is a cooperation between six museums in Europe. We are recording the endangered or disappearing sounds of industrial society – including sounds people try/tried to protect themselves from. From September 1, 2013 to September 31, 2015 we will record at least 600 sounds in their original settings. Every sound will also be documented: What and where is it? And how did we record it? Every sounding object is documented with text, picture and when needed a short video. All sounds are stored in our database and when we upload them we at the same time export them to Wikimedia Commons.
The videos are stored on our own channel on YouTube. Through analytics we can see what people find interesting and we have to admit that people are strange. Until now 5,200 persons have seen and listened to our most popular sound on YouTube. 1,481 minutes of dental drilling! And as number two, 1,275 minutes of tattoo machine sound. The trip hammer in the forge in Olofsfors that can create a sound from 1840 is not as famous as the Belgian dental drill, but really cool.
If you are interested in contributing with your own recorded material feel free to contact project leader Torsten Nilsson, Museum of Work, Norrköping, Sweden.
WWS will be creating a soundscape of industrial Europe!
The photo competition Då och nu (Then and now) has come to an end. The idea was to retake an older photo already available at Europeana. Strangely enough, the photo competition almost had as many media mentions as participating photos, 44 media mentions vs. 59 uploaded photos. The jury is still out but participating images can be seen on Commons.
The collaboration between the Council of the Central Museums and Wikimedia Sweden continues. During September Axel Pettersson gave a presentation to the directors of the central museums as a follow up to a presentation two years ago when the collaboration started. All of the attending directors admitted that they had not edited Wikipedia them selves, some of them even feeling guilty about it. But when they saw some examples of what their staff had done they were impressed and happy with both the contributions and finding out that they could see the number of pageviews on articles and use of images in different projects. Later on a workshop for beginners were hosted at Nordiska museet as new staff at the Central museums had asked for training and help to get started on editing. To the workshop a flyer was made that promotes wikiproject GLAM and gives shortcuts to tools and other good resources.
During October two more workshops are planned and on November 5th an edit-a-thon on the topic Swedish Empire will be hosted at the Vasa museum as a collaboration between several museums. At the edit-a-thon one of the tasks will be to improve the coverage of articles shown in the touch table used in the exhibition. Feel free to join from home, or come to the Vasa museum to participate, and improve articles by adding coordinates.
Batch upload meeting
The Royal Armoury, Skokloster Castle and the Hallwyl Museum invited staff at several museums in Sweden to participate in a meeting where they, together with Wikimedia Sverige, shared what they have learned during their batch upload of more than 20,000 images to Wikimedia Commons. The meeting went into details on what to think of before the upload, how to prepare your metadata and what to expect after the upload. It was also a chance for us to introduce our check-list (work in progress) for institutions wanting to make their material available on Wikimedia projects. With more than 30 participants from at least 15 institutions the meeting was definitely a success and we hope that this will result in many new batch uploads.
The Swedish National Heritage Board are updating their web strategy. In their review of external stakeholders Wikimedia Sverige was identified as one of them and external consultants made an interview with us on how we experience our relationship. This was a signal of our importance in the sector and also an excellent chance to give them credit for the good work they have done for the Wikimedia projects and also steer them to enable more collaboration in the future.
Four days at the largest book fair in Northern Europe
At the end of each September, Gothenburg stands host to the largest book fair in Northern Europe. Originally it was mainly a library fair, but it is now a combination, and the Swedish name, Bok- & Bibliotek, is reflecting that. Each year about 100.000 persons attend the four day event.
This year is the ninth year running that Swedish Wikipedia is represented at the Gothenburg Book Fair. And ever since Wikimedia Sverige was founded in 2007, we've considered it one of the major cultural events of the year. That's why we've had a small stand there several times before. We've talked to thousands of people about Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, free licenses, and related stuff. But the book fair is also a good place to take pictures of authors (domestic and international), comic book artists, publishers, politicians, journalists and so on. Finally, the book fair is a good meeting place. We've met with many of the organisations at the book fair that we've later collaborated with.
This year was a bit special in two regards:
First, we shared a stand with the union DIK (for academics working with culture and communication mainly). They had the stand the first two days, when the book fair is reserved for people in the book and library businesses, and we had the stand during the last two days, which are open to the public. This made a big difference for us, since our stand was much larger than it usually is. We had plenty of space to demonstrate Wikipedia and other things. People could enter our stand and ask us questions instead of walking past us.
Secondly, the reaction from the public has changed a lot during the nine years that I can look back on. Before we've had to spend some of the time explaining what Wikipedia is. This happened very few times this book fair. People know what Wikipedia is, even if they still have some questions about who runs it and where the money comes from. Meeting the public at the book fair is a good barometer on how they look at Wikipedia, and this year the barometer points to good weather. Our biggest surprise was that so many had already written on Wikipedia.
we can through just talking change people's insecurities about Wikipedia into curiosity or even enthusiasm. Showing the Recent Changes and the View History pages are usually enough to convince people that there is a system in place to deal with bad edits. There are some exceptions. The hardest ones to convince are the people who see themselves as consumers of information and cannot imagine being producers.
most authors and other celebrities attending are mostly very accommodating when it comes to posing ”for Wikipedia” (as we've seen before. That is why we had t-shirts with the text ”I take photographs for Wikipedia”. (Some celebrities even wanted to take selfies with a Wikipedian.) We have encouraged the Wikipedians present to use that fact to get closer in order to take better pictures.
many of the attendees passing by asked us for help about other things. So we got a map and posted it where we could show people where to find people. It served to remind people that Wikipedia is a great service.
most of the librarians attended during the first days of the book fair, and sharing a stand made us miss some of them. But we have become something of an institution at the book fair, and the librarians looking for us could easily find us in our blue or red Wikipedia t-shirts.
we decided early on not to ask for donations or focus on getting new members for Wikimedia Sverige. This would have diverted from the other activities, and indeed that was one of the things that made the stand look ”clean” and inviting.
We hope to be back for our tenth year, next year. That time the focus is on Hungary and Iceland.
This section by Roberta Wedge who is working on the gender gap for Wikimedia UK
Not new: a group of scholars gathering to discuss their chosen subject use the opportunity to expand and update the relevant Wikipedia page.
New: a group of scholars gathering to discuss their chosen subject use the opportunity to make contact with WMUK. Together we set up an editathon to work on the relevant page, hosted in our central London office, and joined by virtual colleagues.
Last Thursday saw the Anna Kavan Symposium, a day of discussion about this twentieth century novelist, organised by the Institute of English Studies (part of the University of London) in association with Liverpool John Moores University Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History and Peter Owen Publishers.
Friday the 12th September 2014 saw the Anna Kavan editathon, a morning of editing the Wikipedia page about her. This collaboration was the brainchild of en:User:Cathsign, a French writer whose first edit was a year ago at the Ada Lovelace Day event in Brussels. London is an expensive place to stay, so many of the symposium attendees left immediately afterwards, but remote participation in the editathon was made easier by an etherpad.
Wikimedia UK has that precious resource, meeting space in central London. Our office is near Silicon Roundabout, aka Old Street, on numerous bus routes, and at the junction of two cycle paths. We have coffee and wifi, and laptops to loan and expertise on tap. We extend an invitation to other experts coming to London: give us notice, and let’s see if we can help you improve your subject area on Wikipedia.
The Public Catalogue Foundation has agreed to donate some of its catalogues to Wikipedians. These are impressive large books which together form a huge catalogue of the publicly owned oil paintings in the UK.
I got down to using the volume today. As always, I concentrated on women artists. As always, I immediately found a case of a significant female artist who had no Wikipedia entry at all. So, thanks to the Public Catalogue Foundation's excellent volume, Wikipedia now has an entry on Kate Downie. I then moved to use other sources to fill in biographical detail, but had it not been for the coverage in the reference book, I would not have started this item.
And yes, more than willing for you to quote me in the writeups. Anything that encourages awareness of our work, and for it to be taken seriously. Hamiltonstone
We still have more PCF books available, editors who could make good use of them are welcome to email Jonathan Cardy. Editors who are Wikimedia UK members and who need access to other specialist books may like to know that the microgrant program currently has budget available.
Wiki Loves Monuments
September is the month for Wiki Loves Monuments, and in 2014 the UK took part for the second year running. This year due to popular demand we extended the contest to include Scheduled Ancient Monuments and hundreds of thousands of Grade II listed buildings and their equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The extension of Wiki Loves Monuments to Grade II listed buildings has had some interesting results, including improved coverage of Listed War Memorials.
More than 500 people took part in the UK branch of the competition, together adding 35GB of photos. In a departure from last year, the competition relied on the contents of Wikidata, with Magnus Manske helping by adding thousands of entries on listed buildings, and creating a tool to display them on a map, making them easier to find in person.
This year we are extremely pleased to have secured the support of the Royal Photographic Society and English Heritage, and we hope that our work with them this year on WLM will mature into a longer-term relationship. Both organisations have kindly agreed to provide professional photographers for our judging panel.
—Michael Maggs, Chair, Wikimedia UK
The competition in the UK finished with 7,300 images uploaded, of which:
66% were of monuments in England
20% in Wales
10% in Scotland
1% in Northern Ireland
Women in classicism
This section by Roberta Wedge who is working on the gender gap for Wikimedia UK
The Institute of Classical Studies, part of the University of London, opened its doors to an editathon on women in classicism and archaeology. I've been to several such events and this was one of the best. It was co-organised by Richard Nevell, who works at WMUK, and Claire Millington of the ICS. WMUK brought the trainers, the lunch, and a couple of loaner laptops. The ICS provided layers of resources: the meeting room, coffee, and wifi, without which nothing could happen; a big screen and a flipchart to demonstrate; suitcases of books laboriously borrowed from several specialist libraries; a targeted list of articles to work on, generated at a previous conference; and a dozen or so classicists and friends who wanted to cut their teeth on Wikipedia.
User:Fæ and I were there to assist the people learning to edit, and I found myself guiding two participants by Skype, which was a new experience, and not without international technical teething trouble, but persistence won the day. Mary Beard, the Cambridge classicist and telly don whose talk on "The Public Voice of Women" is rich with implications for my role, gave the editathon her blessing by tweeting the link and calling the event "much needed". I asked her if, as a thank you, she'd like us to improve or indeed create any particular biography. She suggested Eugenie Sellers Strong, which at the beginning of the day ran to all of four sentences. That Wikipedia's article about a long-dead woman was merely a stub didn't surprise me; what surprised me is that there is in fact a full-length biography, published a decade ago, ripe for the reading. By end of the editathon, Strong was much stronger, and days later, her health continues to improve, thanks to an enthusiastic and meticulous new editor.
Attendees at September's GLAM Café were sad to say good-bye to organizer Jeff Guin, who is leaving the Chemical Heritage Foundation for the Wolfsonian in Miami Beach, Florida. The GLAM Café will continue to be hosted by co-organizer Mary Mark Ockerbloom, Wikipedian in Residence at CHF. The next GLAM Café will be held Tuesday October 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. Wikipedians can celebrate Ada Lovelace Day by editing information about woman scientists!
September and early October saw a number of Wikipedia events in New York, with several more recently added to the fall and winter schedule.
Guggenheim Museum hosts first Edit-a-thon
The Guggenheim Museum hosted its first Edit-a-thon on Tuesday October 7th, in the Sackler Center for Arts Education auditorium and co-working rooms at the Guggenheim building. Staff from across the Museum's departments, including; library and archives, education, curatorial, architectural projects, social media, and external affairs departments made the event a truly collaborative experience for the institution, with around 35 total participants dropping in to edit and learn about Wikipedia and Museum Architecture throughout the day.
Commons Machinery is an initiative by the Shuttleworth Foundation that works to persistently associate the context of an image -- like the images found on Commons -- with the image itself. The context of an image, such as who authored it, the license attached to it and where it originally comes from, is important to establish some meaning or value to images that would otherwise be purely random work of art spread around the vast Internet.
Without any additional information about this image (right) of some cats, the image is just that - a picture of cats. And we all know how many cats there are on the Internet today! But knowing that this is the HMS Hawkins ship's cats peering out of the muzzle of a 7.5 inch gun, that it's from the National Maritime Museum collection and that it has no known copyright restrictions means that we can place the image in the cultural context it belongs. We relate to it differently when we know, and more importantly, we get enough information to know that we can re-use this on our own blog if we wish, and can find enough details to attribute it correctly. What more is, if our computers can read and interpret this information for us, as it mostly can from Commons and Flickr, we can even get some help to attribute automatically. And this is where the CommonsHasher and Elog.io comes in.
The CommonsHasher & Elog.io
The CommonsHasher is a bot that currently runs on all images on Commons. Every hour, it takes about 9000 images (at current speed), gets the basic metadata about those images, and computes what is known as a perceptual hash. A perceptual hash can be seen as a very large number that can uniquely identify an image. If you run the same computation on an image, even after it has been resized, or changed from a png to a jpg, it should result in the same big number. Or a number that's very close to it. Commons Machinery is using a very simple blockhash algorithm for this, which can run both in a browser and in standalone applications.
Having a database of such hashes means that we can relate an image to an image from Commons, even if it's found on another web site, and even if it's been resized or re-coded to a different image format. Over time, the hashes we calculate will be contributed back to Wikidata, once Wikidata starts including more and more information about images from Commons. In the mean time, Commons Machinery is hosting our own API to that data, which will soon be published on Elog.io. The latter will also include a browser plugin for Firefox and Chrome which looks at images that you encounter while browsing and provides a visual mark on the images that come from Wikimedia Commons, and provides a way to find your way back to Wikimedia Commons to get more information about them.
You can find a sneak preview of the plugin, and the current roadmap is to publish a first version sometime in November. Feel free to join the discussions by commenting below, joining us on IRC in #commonsmachinery on Freenode, or just signing up for Elog.io to get more information as we make it available.
Open Access Reader; New Topic Page; Open Access File of the Day suspended
This month, the Open Access Reader started, which aims to bring significant information contained in Open Access publications over to relevant Wikimedia platforms.
Cite-o-Meter got facelift
The Cite-o-Meter is a tool to visualize how many Wikipedia pages are citing CrossRef DOIs that have been issued by different publishers (examples: PLOS, Elsevier). It also allows to rank publishers by citations from a given Wikipedia (examples: en, vi) or from Wikimedia Commons. It got a facelift this month using D3 for better visualization.
Since December 1, 2011, an Open Access File of the Day has been posted on a daily basis to highlight the variety of open access materials that are being used on Wikimedia projects. Due to limited volunteer time, this activity has been suspended this month until further notice. If you see a way to take this up again, please contact WikiProject Open Access. The following files have been featured as Open Access File of the Day this month:
The following represents a selection of the files that have been uploaded by the Open Access Media Importer this month, bringing the total to about 17,500. If you can think of wiki pages where these files could be useful, please put them in there or let us know.