STARDIT and Wikimedia Australia

Wednesday, 28 February 2024 12:00 UTC
STARDIT provides a way for anyone to collaborate on describing collective action.

Last year Wikimedia Australia agreed to support STARDIT, an innovative development in online open knowledge sharing. WMAU will provide hosting and technical support for STARDIT on our servers, alongside backing the ongoing development of the project.

Jack Nunn is Director of the not-for-profit education organisation Science for All, and developed the concept for STARDIT from his extensive experience and research on equitable and ethical ways for all people to actively engage in science. In this insightful guest blog post, Jack generously shares his perspective on STARDIT and its envisioned role as a trusted entity in the open data ecosystem.''

, Jack Nunn.

What on earth is going on? It’s a common question, and the truth is that often, no one knows.

As a species, I believe we can do better at collecting, reporting and learning from our collective human actions.

Standardised Data on Initiatives (STARDIT) is an attempt to build a way of answering this question, with anyone on Earth able to access, contribute, edit or verify information about collective human action (known as ‘initiatives’). The basic idea is that there should be a standard way to describe human actions, and any consequences, in a way that works across languages and cultures.

Think of STARDIT as a way of creating a Wikipedia page about something that wouldn’t normally have an entry. This could be anything from a clinical trial, a car or a community arts project.

STARDIT provides a way for anyone to collaborate on describing collective action. Crucially, it can be used across different areas of human knowledge, from health research, environmental research and education, to government policies, manufacturing or the arts.

“All major problems, including complex global problems such as air pollution and pandemics, require reliable data sharing between disciplines in order to respond effectively. Such problems require evidence-informed collaborative methods, multidisciplinary research and interventions in which the people who are affected are involved in every stage”

For example, educating women and girls has been highlighted as one of the most effective ways of preventing irreversible climate change. In environmental research, by using STARDIT to report data, this can then be used to help us understand what the most effective methods are for pausing mass extinction, preventing irreversible climate change or preventing sea levels rising any higher than they already will. The solutions will involve research, government policy, education interventions, manufacturing and the arts. People working in each one of these disciplines need to be able to communicate with each other, understand who did what, and any reported impacts or outcomes.

Trust[edit | edit source]

We know that there are vested interests with a lot of power working against everything that the data and evidence tells us we should be doing, if we want to prevent these things. It's easy to attack or blame individuals or even organizations and countries. Divide and conquer is an old tactic for a reason.

But what if humanity could unite around shared values which are codified in multiple languages? What if we had evidence-informed methods of achieving sustainable development goals which everyone can understand and act on, regardless of location, income or spoken language.

In a world where machine generated content is getting more sophisticated, and harder for the average person to identify, it is essential that we humans have tools to be able to collectively share information about who (or what) was involved in the creation of information such as media (videos), algorithms, molecules (such as drugs) and larger objects (like cars).

We can only do this by working together. We can only work together by understanding what on earth is going on, and what, collectively, we think we should do.

There will be no right or wrong answers, but with STARDIT, the intension is at least there will be data. This data can help us make more wise decisions, and be used by the self-correcting lens of the scientific method to save us from the greatest threat facing humanity and life on earth, ourselves.

How does it work Add short para on technical detail What now? Add in Information about: the STARDIT project, Science for All and why partnering with Wikimedia Australia Next steps for Version One Australian Genomics endorsement Get involved Ways of getting involved (steering committee, creating reports) Become a partner organisation

In closing, Wikimedia Australia is excited to support STARDIT's journey, a groundbreaking fusion of innovation and accessibility in the open knowledge landscape. Let's collectively champion equitable access to knowledge and pave the way for a more inclusive digital future.

References[edit | edit source]

Nunn, J.S., Shafee, T., Chang, S. et al. Standardised data on initiatives—STARDIT: Beta version. Res Involv Engagem 8, 31 (2022).

Celebrating Imbolc with Wiki Loves Folklore

Monday, 26 February 2024 12:09 UTC

By Dr Sara Thomas, Programme Manager for Scotland

Wiki Loves Folklore is an international Wiki competition celebrating Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) across the world – like Wiki Loves Monuments, or Wiki Loves Earth, but for folk culture: festivals, music, food, dances, customs, storytelling, mythology, and seasonal events.  

As someone with a keen interest in all things folklore and intangible cultural heritage, I’m really keen to participate this year. And, as the start of the competition (1st February) coincided with Imbolc, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to capture some images…

In my non-Wiki life I spend a fair bit of time volunteering with other charities, one of which is the Beltane Fire Society in Edinburgh. Most of our year is taken up with working towards the celebration of two of the Celtic quarter days (Beltane and Samhuinn) with large fire festivals, but we sometimes put on smaller, community-focussed events at other points on the wheel of the year, like Yule / winter solstice. This year, the woman currently embodying the role of May Queen led on the organisation of a community storytelling event at the Scottish Storytelling Centre for Imbolc / Imbolg / Brigid’s day, and as part of that, I helped to run a couple of workshops on how to make Brigid’s crosses (in this context, used as protection symbols for house and home) – capturing a few images for Wiki Loves Folklore as I went.

3 armed Brigid cross made at Imbolc by Lirazelf.
3 armed Brigid cross made at Imbolc by Lirazelf. CC BY-SA 4.0.

The UK Government is currently consulting on “some of the decisions regarding the first stage of implementing” the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the ratification of which is supported by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Scotland Partnership (which includes long-term Wikimedia UK partners Museums Galleries Scotland).  

Usually, when we talk about digital preservation of (cultural) heritage we’re discussing buildings, or physical artefacts like paintings. ICH can present some interesting challenges – how does an archivist approach a community tradition, or a way of life? One of the key points for me is reflected in the language of the UNESCO convention – the “safeguarding” of ICH, rather than the “preservation” – reflecting the fact that folk practices necessarily change over time, or location, for example. From a Wikimedia point of view, Wiki Loves Folklore is a wonderful opportunity to capture and share the culture of our communities.  

How to take part in Wiki Loves Folklore

You can find the landing page for the competition as a whole on Wikimedia Commons, as well as the individual upload pages for different countries. The competition runs 1st Feb – 31st March.

It’s a really simple process – just click on the “upload” button to upload images through the upload wizard, adding captions, descriptions, categories, and structured data. Remember also to enable email through your account, as this is how the international organisers would contact you if you win a prize!  

Scotland, Wales, and England pages for the international competition.

Ireland page for the competition run by Wikimedia Community Ireland.

To enable us to continue to preserve cultural heritage, you can support our Wikimedia UK’s work with a donation.

The post Celebrating Imbolc with Wiki Loves Folklore appeared first on WMUK.

What we have gained from Wikimedia

Monday, 26 February 2024 10:00 UTC

In this article, Wikimedians introduce what they gained from Wikimedia.


Eugene Ormandy (Tvcccp, CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • Wikimedia allowed me to collaborate with people from the geographies I saw in books and on the internet when I was a child, based on our common interests. It also allowed me to create an ecosystem that will enable young people in my country to contribute to Wikimedia projects. It also enabled me to contribute to the preservation of knowledge, the most important heritage of humanity, with projects such as Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. — User:Kurmanbek (Turkic Wikimedians, Wikimedia Turkey, and BİLGİ Wikipedia Student Club)
Caner (User: Kurmanbek) (Adem, CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • Many global wiki friends. Improved critical reading and writing skills. Sensitivity to copyrights. Ability to be more tolerant to different opinions. Feeling special -and sometines weird- . Optimism about making internet better. — Basak (Wikimedia Community User Group Türkiye)
Basak (Manavpreet Kaur, CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • Insight into an emerging career path and access to a growing truly global community………..Its almost like having work colleagues in every part of the world. — Wilson Oluoha (Igbo Wikimedians)
Wilson Oluoha (OtuNwachinemere, CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • The ideal that a tech utopia is still possible and can also be very democratic. — Saebou (Wikipedia Translation Project @Musashi University, Japanese Wikipedia)
Saebou (Wikimedia Foundation, CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Friendship all around the world, engaging with an important global movement, discover and enjoy the cultural diversity from my home country as well as different country around the world. — Joycewikiwiki (Wikimedia Taiwan, Wikidata Taiwan)
ESEAP Hub Interim Committee (Dody Ismoyo, CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • The powers of cooperation, research and collaboration. This is the first thing that we learn in our journey as Wikimedians. As the time passed, I also got acquainted with the importance of the open source movement, the free software and how this can be a component to make a better world. As I was a high school student when I began to mature my contributions in the project, it also satisfied my need to do something good for my classmates producing good articles related with the school curriculum, as well. In 2023 my involvement from Wikimedia showed how important is to incorporate it in the university curriculum, as an alternative to the university projects. It also allowed me to make friends from a lot of countries in the world, and meet hundreds of people from every side of the world. To sum up, Wikimedia teaches you the importance of collaboration, forging friendships with people from all the world, something that allows you to be more open-thinking, writing a neutral, good encyclopedic text, and being a better person in general who works in order to promote his language on the internet. The Wikimedian values, once you embrace them as a part of your life, make you better person as a whole, not only here, but in the real life as well. Wikimedia is an intangible part of humanity. This is a general summary of what I have learned so far. — Nikos Likomitros, Greek Wikimedian
Nikos Likomitros (Jan Beránek, CC-BY-SA, 4.0)
  • As a Wikimedian, knowing, meeting and learning from fellow volunteers across the globe has enriched not only my knowledge base but also solidified my advocacy to contribute to the open knowledge, open values, the commons and sharing them not only in our community or organization but to other channels that we engage with. It also enabled me to share my skills, capabilities and talent in building communities, collaboration and empowering women while dipping my hand in advocacy and public policy and sigital rights. — Lady01v (Shared Knowledge Asia Pacific)
Lady01v (Lady01v, CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • “Getting anything back” from Wikimedia is often frowned upon, at least in this part of the Wikimedia world.
    In the realm of Wikimedia outreach, my experience indicates that volunteer hours are never truly without reciprocity. While labeled as “volunteer hours” and inherently unpaid, they encompass various forms of reward. This might involve the satisfaction of contributing to the repository of human knowledge, the joy derived from knowing one’s work reaches a global audience of thousands or even millions, or the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. Especially when implementing Wikimedia in educational institutions, depending on the cultural context, it’s evident that you may need to convince numerous stakeholders about what students will gain from engaging with Wikimedia. If you claim there’s no benefit, be prepared to bid them farewell.

    Through my involvement in the movement, my achievements have been multifaceted. I’ve experienced substantial growth, ranging from building my critical thinking skills amidst the vast information influx we encounter daily to developing the ability to lead groups lacking traditional power structures. This journey has transformed me from an introverted individual into a confident one.

    Wikimedia has blessed me with the courage to address inconvenient truths that impact my work while also assessing potential outcomes. The gains I’ve made encompass a diverse spectrum, contributing significantly to my personal and professional development. — Mrb Rafi (NDEC Wikipedia Editorial and Research Team)
Mrb Rafi (Mrb Rafi, CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • Through my collaborative work with other editors on the English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, I have gained the ability to document history and amplify the voices of those who are often marginalized in the mainstream media. We need this ad-free, non-profit encyclopedia more than ever in these highly politicized, “post-truth” times. — Funcrunch (Wikimedia LGBT+ User Group, Media Contributor of the Year 2023)
Funcruch (Guinevere Park, CC BY-SA 4.0)
  • Connect me with friends from around the world who love to share knowledge and work together to promote equal intellectual rights — Jessie Mi (East Asia Regional Ambassador of Art and feminism, Director of Wikimedia Taiwan)
ESEAP Confernce 2022 – Sydney harbour cruise (Gnangarra, CC BY 2.5 AU DEED)
  • Connecting with other Wikimedians unlocks infinite opportunities for self-improvement and for the community.
  • Sharing our stories and successes to other fellow Wikimedians inspire people to do more for the movement.
  • Never stop trying and each of your contributions makes a different.— Taufik Rosman (Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia)
Malaysian Wikimedians in Wikimania 2023! (JjurieeeCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Besides the huge amount of reliable and diverse knowledge, from every corner and topics around the world, Wikimedia gave me…

  • opportunities to develop my interests and skills in a highly professional and international environment.
  • the chance to know more about the local communities around me and work together to share that knowledge with the rest of the world.
  • experiences to learn (and continue learning) to work collaboratively, with others who share a common broad goal but who may have diverse cultural backgrounds, opinions and ways of working.
  • friends from all over the world!
  • all in all, the joy and passion of participating in a worldwide community determined to change the world for good, making sure that everyone’s contribution counts in building knowledge together, and that everyone can have access to it. — Diego de la Hera (Wikimedia Argentina and Wikimedistas Calamuchita)
Diego de la Hera (BugWarp, CC BY-SA 4.0)

There is a building up of excitement as we approach the highly anticipated announcement of the winners of the Wiki Loves Monuments 2023! Right from its inception in 2010, the Wiki Loves Monuments competition has recorded an incredible array of submissions from photographers around the world, and towards the winners’ announcement ceremony, the anticipation is always at an all-time high.

In this 2023 edition, WLM received national #Top10s submissions from 43 countries which passed through the examining lenses of the Wiki Loves Monuments International Jury, thereby presenting displays of beautiful submissions which made the review and selection process an exciting and challenging task. In these submissions, one notices the retrace into the ancient antiquities and ruins, followed by a tentative but firm visit to the classical age and finally bringing us back into the present, resulting in varieties of the 21st-century monumental masterpiece which has been willingly deposited into the Wikimedia Commons repository for free and easy accessibility. Indeed, these submissions have truly illustrated the power and beauty of monumental photography.

As we prepare to unveil the winning images of the WLM 2023, we want to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude to all the photographers and Wiki Loves Monuments shutterbugs who participated in the 2023 edition of the Wiki Loves Monuments competition. Your passion, dedication, and talent have been truly inspiring, and we are honored to have had the opportunity to showcase your incredible work.

We also want to thank our sponsors, supporters, partnering organizations and the entire Wiki Loves Monuments photography community for their unwavering enthusiasm and support throughout the competition. Your collective efforts have played a crucial role in making WLM 2023 a resounding success.

The winners of WLM 2023 will not only receive recognition and accolades for their exceptional achievements but will also serve as ambassadors for the art of photography, inspiring countless others to pursue their creative vision and passion for monumental photography.

Stay tuned for the official announcement of the WLM 2023 winning images, as we prepare to celebrate the outstanding submissions that have risen to the top 25s of the Wiki Loves Monuments 2023. Join us in honoring their remarkable talent and the transformative power of photography via WLM-international social media channels – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mastodon and X (Twitter).

Image credit: Bruno Tamm Rabello – CC BY-SA 4.0 Brazil – WLM 2023

Could Wikipedia sue Neri Oxman?

Monday, 26 February 2024 05:00 UTC

Bill Ackman is rattling the sabres of his legal team in a 77-page “legal demand.” Bizarrely, he has doubled down on the claims that his wife’s verbatim copying of Wikipedia content was appropriate. I previously debunked this in an interview which was reported in Slate. Neri Oxman plagiarized from and violated Wikipedia’s copyright. (Oxman’s infractions, like Claudine Gay’s, look to be the result of sloppy and lazy scholarship rather than the wholesale theft of novel ideas.)

However, Ackman’s latest threat prompted me to wonder if the Wikimedia Foundation, on its own behalf or that of its contributors, has ever sued someone for violating its copyright?

Wikipedia is licensed under terms that requires attribution and that the resulting work be licensed similarly. Wikipedia adopted this “copyleft” principle from the software world. And in that domain we’ve seen The Software Freedom Law Center successfully prompt companies to comply with the GPL. In 2022, the Software Freedom Conservancy’s (SFC) sued Vizio for failing to abide by GPL’s requirements on behalf of all licensees/users of that software, not just its developers. The case is to begin next month, in March 2024, but some of the early pre-trial rulings were taken as positives for the SFC.

In the Wikipedia case, users retain their copyright, rather than assigning or transferring it to the Wikimedia Foundation. Therefore, those individual Wikipedians could sue Oxman. Might success by the SFC against Vizio mean that the Wikimedia Foundation, or any user of Wikipedia, could sue Oxman for infringement?

It was a dream to publish the 1st article on Wikipedia, but in September 2014 it happened on the English Wikipedia and then after a few days, my focus shifted to Odia Wikipedia. And I feel it is important to mention here that my first article was deleted from both English and Odia Wikipedia due to a lack of knowledge about notability (just the newcomer things), basically ignorance of the guided editing in wiki terms.

Since December 2014, the journey has continued on Odia Wikipedia and Wikisource. And then, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata became the apple of my eye. But the frequency of my writing got a boost, after I came to know about #100wikidays campaign from a fellow Wikimedian Sailesh Pattanaik in March 2017 and a beautiful journey started for 100 days to create and translate articles about 100 women. 

I took the first step on 8 March 2017 (International Women’s Day) and it ended on 15 June 2018. (Day-2 of Raja Parba that holds the most religious value in respect of femininity in my state.)

During that first round of #100wikidays, there was communal violence, that caused a ban on the internet in my district for 48 hours. During the Curfew-free time (2-3hrs max/day), I borrowed a bike from our neighbor and went to the borders to get an internet connection to write the article for those 2 days.

Going an extra mile, the evolution started after a break of 28 days. I started writing again on 13th July 2017 and it’s still continuing. This is my 10th year in the Wikimedia movement and on 6 February 2024, I completed this #100wikidays challenge successfully for the 25th time

Photo by Subhashish Panigrahi, Shared under CC BY-SA 4.0

Yes, 25 is the number to celebrate the silver jubilee in years, but I thought, why not 25 times? So, cheers to my #100wikidays silver jubilee round, with some highlights of my contributions below. 

  1.  #100WikiWomenDays

Yes, we often talk about the gender gap, so we were organizing article writing competitions in March. That’s why Sailesh suggested that I try creating articles on 100 notable women. After this, I participated in different writing competitions during February and March to write dedicatedly on women. Also, November is the month for Asian month and during that time, I had also created a few articles on Bangladeshi actresses.

  1. #1WikiYear

Restarting the writing again, I started writing articles on the Odia film industry (movies, actors, directors, musicians, singers, etc.). As per my plan, I had to complete everything within 1 year, but it took a few more days.

  1. Politicians

There are more than 1500 articles about Odia politicians on Odia Wikipedia and I have created  1209 (till 6 February 2024). Articles about the elected members of the Odisha Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and members representing Odisha at the Indian parliament are there with detailed information collected from the State Govt. of Odisha websites (shared under CC/SA 4.0), books, newspapers, etc. These articles not only enriched the wiki environment in terms of content but also in terms of readership. 

  1. Getting Recognition

Of course, writing is not my job, I do it out of my passion to read and know more about my culture, history, politics, movies, science, technology, etc. But, when someone recognizes me for this work, it inspires me to do it in a better way. In July 2019, I was talking with a journalist about my magazine, and she asked about my work and I explained about the #2WikiYears journey. She loved the idea and published an article in a regional English Newspaper. After that, a few local Odia language newspapers, and TV channels covered my literature journey along with Wikipedia experience.

Photo by Dolon Prova, Shared under CC BY-SA 4.0

This journey on Wiki has been more than just writing; it has been a valuable learning experience in time management. It has now become a part of my daily routine, and through the Wikimedia movement, I have had the opportunity to connect with remarkable individuals from diverse communities and countries at meetups, workshops, and conferences. The insights and wisdom shared by these individuals have left a lasting impact on my life. As I commemorate my decade-long involvement with Wiki, I look forward to the day when I can celebrate the true ‘Silver Jubilee’—my 25th year on this Wik journey. I am incredibly grateful for the support and encouragement from my friends across different communities.

Wikimedia World 3

Sunday, 25 February 2024 12:00 UTC

In the “Wikimedia World” series, I curate various archives of the Wikimedia Movement. I hope it will encourage Wikimedians to know more about the movement around the world, to compare other Wikimedians’ activities to their own, and to create archives of their experiences.

Uraniwa, CC0

Preserving Balinese culture by Wikimedia projects

Wikimedia projects are great tools for preserving indigenous languages and culture. Carma Citrawati is one of the enthusiastic Wikimedian who digitize and translate ancient Balinese manuscripts written on palm leaves.

Q: What is important about this project to your community and beyond?

“Many manuscript owners in Bali don’t have a catalog for their manuscript collections. I assist the Balinese people in preserving their manuscript data on a digital platform, and I have a chance to learn and create manuscript metadata, to retype and to proofread manuscripts. The benefits are intended for Balinese people in general; meanwhile, researchers can access the data collected into one digital platform. In the future, Wikipedia can be an important resource for storing and understanding manuscripts.”

Wikimedia Foundation (15 August 2021) “Meet Carma Citrawati: Wikimedian of the Year 2021 Newcomer of the Year winner” Diff.
Carma Citrawati (Carma Citrawati, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Carma also guides how to pronounce letters of Balinese language on Wikimedia Commons. See [[Category:Lingua Libre pronunciation by Carma citrawati]]!

Wikimedia Commons [[File:LL-Q33070 (ban)-Carma citrawati-aab.wav]] (Carma citrawati, CC BY-SA 4.0)

For the great achivements, Carma was selected as one of the Wikimedian of Year 2021 winners; Newcomer of the Year!

Wikimedian of the Year ceremony at Wikimania 2023 (Mike Peel, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Wikimedians interview Wikimedians

When I was interviewed by journalists or researchers, I sometimes felt a little frustrated because they don’t know much about Wikimedia Movement. Of course, I understand that it is one of my duties to explain the movement for beginners again and again, but I also think “Hey, if you are professional interviewer, please check basic information in advance!”

Me after the tiring interviews (Free Clip Art, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Such a case doesn’t happen when the interviewers are Wikimedians, too. Luckily, there are several good examples.

The article titled “A Glimpse into Wikimedia Estonia’s Journey: An interview with the face of Wikimedia Estonia, Ivo Kruusamägi” is a role model. In this article, Asmah Federico, a Malaysian Wikimedian interviewed Ivo Kruusamägi, a member of Wikimedia Estonia.

Question: How does Wikimedia Estonia engage with its local community and Wikimedia contributors? What strategies or initiatives have proven effective in fostering a sense of community and encouraging participation?

Answer: Engaging the predominantly introverted Wikimedians in Estonia was one of their biggest challenges. However, Wikimedia Estonia has devised ingenious strategies to nurture a sense of community through celebrations like the Wikimedia Estonia and global Wikimedia birthdays, Christmas meetups, and photography expeditions and it has provided opportunities for  Wikimedians to come together. The flagship event, Wikimedia Summer Days meetup since 2009, plays a pivotal role in fostering teamwork and camaraderie of their annual gathering. Physical gatherings aim to transcend the digital realm, allowing contributors to know each other beyond the virtual edit and allows everyone to understand the personalities of their fellow co-volunteers off screen.

AssFeder (18 January 2024) “A Glimpse into Wikimedia Estonia’s Journey: An interview with the face of Wikimedia Estonia, Ivo Kruusamägi” Diff.
Asmah Federico, a member of Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia visiting Wikimedia EESTI (Wikimedia Estonia) office
Ivo Kruusamägi in Wikimedia EESTI office (AssFeder, CC BY 4.0)

Staff members of Wikimedia Foundation also interview volunteer Wikimedians. Especially, Chris Koerner, a Senior Movement Communications Specialist created fabulous works on Diff. An article titled “From the Depths of Wikipedia: an interview with Wikimedian and influencer Annie Rauwerda” is undoubtedly one of the best Wikimedia-related essays I have read. This shows the wisdom of both users. I strongly recommend you to read entire article.

The content you create spans topics, but as you have mentioned, resonates with people. In your opinion, what is the value of trivia?

Like many of life’s delights, trivia is impractical. But that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant! I find endless joy in fun facts, and I hate the whole idea of ‘useless knowledge’ because even the most obscure facts inform your worldview. Why must learning have an end goal beyond quenching curiosity? I imagine that learning feels joyless when it’s part of the slog toward a series of acronyms (CEO, VP, etc). Plus, ‘trivial’ topics can have not-so-trivial implications. Open-ended research yields earth-shattering discoveries all the time!

So, sure, reading a Wikipedia page may not make you an expert— a researcher who has dedicated her life to studying an enzyme will know infinitely more than someone who simply read the enzyme’s Wikipedia page. But it’s preposterous to expect everyone to have a “deep understanding” of everything, and I don’t know why that would ever be an encyclopedia’s goal. 

Chris Koerner (7 December 2021) “From the Depths of Wikipedia: an interview with Wikimedian and influencer Annie Rauwerda” Diff.
Annie Rauwerda, who hosts Depth of Wikipedia. She was selected as Media Contributor of the Year 2022. (Annie Rauwerda, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Chris Koerner (Myleen Hollero, CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED)

Editors of Signpost, a community-written and -edited online newspaper covering various Wikimedia Movement, also interview Wikimedians and staff members of Wikimedia Foundation. Each article is interesting and I think some of them come to have historical value (Signpost was launched in January 2005) . Let’s read an interview article with Domas Mituzas, who became a member of the board of trustees of Wikimedia Foundation in 2008.

As a board member, how will you ensure a balance between openness and necessary privacy in board matters?

Since the last board meeting I was elected to Executive Secretary position – so it will be my role to make information public. We have been radically open in our operations – and I’d like to keep the threshold there. This is a community organization, and the board has representatives of community, so I firmly believe there are no ways for issues to stay hidden too long.

English Wikipedia [[Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-03-03/Domas Mituzas interview]] 00:50, 6 January 2024 (UTC)‎ 
Domas Mituzas (Lane Hartwell,, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Wikimedia Cuteness Association

Have you ever heard about Wikimedia Cuteness Association? It is a club consisting of cute toys to promote cuteness in Wikimedia Movement.

Cuties @WikidataCon 2017 (Rama, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Wikimedians taking photos of cuties @Wikimania2018 (Subhashish Panigrahi, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Jimmy Wales also loves cuties @Wikimania 2017 (Katie Chan, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Quokka, the official mascot of ESEAP @ESEAP Strategy Summit (Vanjpadilla, CC BY-SA 4.0)
The logo of Wikimedia Cuteness Association (Petit Tigre, CC0)

As you can see above, cuties sometimes gather at offline meetings. Needless to say, staff members of Wikimedia Foundation welcome them! Let’s take a look at a comment for Wikimania 2023 participants by Mehrdad Pourzaki.

Attention cuteness enthusiasts

Wikimania Singapore needs all the cuteness it can receive. If you’re coming in person, bring some plushies. If you’re not coming, send some plushies. For the opening event of Wikimania 2023, including the Wikimedian of the Year Awards, happening in the evening of Wednesday August 16, we want to fill the giant stage with as many plushies as possible. Imagine cuteness overload of only Wikimedian proportions. Will you take up this call? Rise to the challenge? Only softness will tell. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk16:22, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

MetaWiki [[Talk:Wikimedia Cuteness Association]] 16:22, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
With cuties @Wikimania 2023 opening ceremony (Gnangarra, CC BY 2.5 AU DEED)
With a cutie @Wikimania 2023 opening ceremony (Pedro J Pacheco, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Wikimedians with cuties @Wikimania 2023 opening ceremony (Jeromi Mikhael, CC0)

When you will join next offline meeting, why don’t you travel with cuties?

weeklyOSM 709

Sunday, 25 February 2024 10:30 UTC


lead picture

Updated version of potentially blocked changesets [1] | Copyright © HeiGIT | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors


  • [1] Benjamin Herfort, from HeiGIT, has updated his analysis of the OSM contributors who would have run into OSM upload limits between January and October 2023 if the limits had existed back then. The updated version takes the (self-)deleted user accounts (usually vandalism related to the Ukraine/Russia and Israel/Palestine conflicts) into account. There was also a discussion on the OSM Community forum.
  • Jiri Podhorecky has created an environmental thematic map of the town of Český Krumlov, Czechia, by using uMap.
  • Requests for comments have been made for the following proposals:


  • Courtney Cook provided a summary of the various activities suggested to commemorate the 20th anniversary of OpenStreetMap. The call for suggestions was covered previously.
  • Jimmyisawkward blogged on how he maps streams and wetlands.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • Courtney Williamson reported that in 2023, the OpenStreetMap Foundation received donations totalling £373,000. Aside from that, OSM also receives ‘in-kind‘ support through donated hardware and other infrastructure.
  • Arnalie Vicario blogged about the OSMF Membership Drive Campaign 2024, details of which can be found on the wiki. Updates were also provided on the OSM Community forum, where feedback is welcome.

Local chapter news


  • UN Maps is offering an online training workshop on validating OpenStreetMap data, intended for experienced OSM mappers, covering the following topics: the UN Maps programme, goals of OSM data validation, tools and techniques, interactions with other OSM contributors, and data validation workflows for various OSM map features. Experience in using JOSM is a prerequisite. Registration is open to all interested English-speaking people until 23:59 UTC on Thursday 29 February.



  • James Westman explained how he overhauled the map style in GNOME Maps by using the technology and artwork from the OpenStreetMap Americana project. This new style is currently available in the ‘Experimental Map’ mode in GNOME 46.
  • Kamil Monicz shared some of the tangible progress they have made on OpenStreetMap NextGen, an improved website and API developed in Python.
  • Placemark the SaaS business has closed, but Placemark the online geodata editor is now open source and starting to get its first contributors. The software can be used to run a self-hosted version or on Placemark Play, as an alternative to Mapbox’s
  • Ruben Lopez gave a presentation, at the last Mapping USA event, on using the Segment Anything Model (SAM) for mapping using DS-Annotate. The DevSeed and GeoCompas team have been integrating SAM into DS-Annotate, as a simple tool for accurate and automated annotation (we reported earlier).
  • Wille Marcel explained the process of moving the OSMCha website from Mapbox’s to OpenStreetMap US’s infrastructure. The migration was completed on Tuesday 13 February.


  • Mary Knize has developed a prototype map rendering engine based on WebAssembly, Rust, and HTML5 Canvas.


Did you know …

  • Wambacher’s OSM software list? Walter Nordmann’s compilation of the many software products that are important in the OSM environment.
  • … about Router Freedom Tracker? This map shows which European countries have implemented the ‘Router Freedom’ policy, which allows people to choose their own router to use with the internet services from their ISP.

Other “geo” things

  • OpenCage explored the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes that have been removed or changed throughout history, in another of their #geoweirdness series.
  • The Polish Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography announced the installation of three new reference stations for the ASG-EUPOS system. The reference stations monitor the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou satellite systems as part of Poland’s GNSS augmentation service.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
MapComplete Community Call 2024-01 2024-02-23
Localidad Teusaquillo OpenBeer Bogotá 2024 2024-02-24 flag
Bengaluru OSM Bengaluru Mapping Party 2024-02-24 flag
Karlsruhe Karlsruhe Hack Weekend February 2024 2024-02-24 – 2024-02-25 flag
Potsdam Radnetz Brandenburg Mapping Abend #1 2024-02-26 flag
Saint-Étienne Rencontre Saint-Étienne et sud Loire 2024-02-27 flag
iD Community Chat 2024-02-28
Potsdam Radnetz Brandenburg Mapping Abend #2 2024-02-28 flag
Düsseldorf Düsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen (online) 2024-02-28 flag
[Online] OpenStreetMap Foundation board of Directors – public videomeeting 2024-02-29
Žilina Missing Maps Mapathon Žilina #12 2024-02-29 flag
Comuna 7 OpenDataDay Villavicencio 2024 – Capturando datos de arbolado urbano 2024-03-02 flag
Essen Messe “Fahrrad Essen”: Digitale Radfahrkarten nutzen und aktualisieren (mit OpenStreetMap) 2024-03-02 flag
Localidad Teusaquillo OpenDataDay Bogotá 2024 – Capturando datos de arbolado urbano 2024-03-02 flag
Comuna 10 – La Candelaria OpenDataDay Medellín 2024 – Capturando datos de arbolado urbano 2024-03-02 flag
Essen Messe “Fahrrad Essen”: Digitale Radfahrkarten nutzen und aktualisieren (mit OpenStreetMap) 2024-03-03 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2024-03-06 flag
Missing Maps London Mapathon 2024-03-05
IJmuiden OSM Nederland bijeenkomst (online) 2024-03-06 flag
Camerino Open Data Day @ Informatica Unicam: OSM Mapping Party + Datathon 2024-03-07 flag
Amsterdam Maptime Amsterdam: Spring Mapping! 2024-03-07 flag
Windsor OpenStreetMap Windsor-Essex: Active Transportation Infrastructure Catalogue & Wishlist 2024-03-08 flag
Dresden OSM-Stammtisch Dresden 2024-03-07 flag
Bologna Open Data Pax 2024 2024-03-09 flag
臺北市 OpenStreetMap x Wikidata Taipei #62 2024-03-11 flag

If you like to see your event here, please put it into the OSM calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM.

This weeklyOSM was produced by MatthiasMatthias, Minh Nguyen, Strubbl, TheSwavu, YoViajo, barefootstache, derFred, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.

African Wikimedians have a rare opportunity to improve their technical proficiency, interact with the Wikimedia tech community, and support the growth of Wikimedia projects through the Wikimedia Tech Safari Program. The program’s workshops and sessions are designed to give participants practical experience and direction when navigating Wikimedia’s technical features.

I recently had the honor of taking part in the Tech Safari, an occasion that gathered together open knowledge activists, Wikimedia contributors, and tech lovers to share their vast knowledge. This blog post describes my experience and emphasizes how crucial the AWTC is to advancing technology and knowledge exchange in Africa. The Wikimedia Tech Safari Program’s schedule of events is listed below.

  • Kiwix Development & Localization: Contribute to this amazing offline Wikipedia reader and bring it to your local language!
  • Wikifunctions & Connecting the World: Master functions and bridge language barriers.
  • Toolhub Code & Smarter Wikis: Unleash your inner developer and make wikis even more awesome.
  • VideoCutTool & Wiki Videos: Explore the future of video on Wikimedia and contribute your skills.
  • Commons for Android App: Help build the app that empowers everyone to share their world.
  • Scribe’s Code & Language Magic: Contribute to Scribe and break down language barriers.
  • Wikimedia Cloud Services: Explore the powerful cloud tools that keep Wikimedia running.
  • WikiLambda Extensions: Discover the potential of WikiLambda and extend its functionality.

Experience and Learnings

1.Progress in technology and dissemination of knowledge:

This gathering helped to strengthen the advocacy for free knowledge in Africa and to advance the African technical focus. It will enable African communities to use technology to its full potential.

2. Empowering Communities:

Workshops on documention on equipped participants with the skills and knowledge needed to drive change in their respective communities. Through this project, participants were able to contribute to translatewiki, thereby giving their language visibility. 

3. Diversity and Inclusivity:

The occasion showcased the countless opportunities for information sharing that technology presents. Every participant, young and old, gave their all during the sessions.

With attendees from all nations and backgrounds, it was a meeting place for unique minds. The conversations and workshops were enhanced by the diversity of participants, who offered distinctive viewpoints on how technology may be used to improve Wikimedia projects and advance open information in Africa.

Here are some suggestions for upcoming tech attendees:

  1. Remain Curious: Since technology is always changing, it’s critical to keep an open mind and a curiosity about new things.
  2. Get Practice with Problem-Solving: Complex problem-solving is a common requirement for tech contests. Challenge yourself to solve problems by taking on challenges on sites such as LeetCode, HackerRank, or CodeSignal.
  3. Collaborate: Never be afraid to work together with people. Collaborating with others fosters creativity and allows you to gain insight from their viewpoints.
  4. Stay Up to Date: Participate in online forums, read tech blogs, and attend conferences to stay abreast of the newest developments in technology.
  5. Time Management: Use your time wisely during the competition to make sure you can finish assignments before the deadline.

Get to know Arbitration Committees

Saturday, 24 February 2024 18:00 UTC
Image of a scale put away in the wooden storage box.

In the latter half of 2023, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Committee Support team and Community Resilience and Sustainability Communication team thought it would be a great idea to highlight some of the committee work happening in the movement, especially as the appointment round and applications opened for various committees. Read about the Ombuds Commission, the Affiliations Committee and the Case Review Committee. These written pieces were created in collaboration with long-time Wikimedians and community leaders and published on Diff to reach a larger audience.

One group of committees left out of this initiative was ArbComs. In December 2023, invitations to participate in a blog series were sent to the ArbComs in the movement. Thank you to each ArbCom’s membership for taking the time to respond. This Diff post is the first in a series and focuses on the Ukrainian community ArbCom. 

 What are ArbCom responsibilities in your local community?

The main responsibility of ArbCom in our local community is to resolve the conflict between editors of Wikipedia that wasn’t resolved by any other possible methods. Also, ArbCom can give or remove CheckUser and Oversight permissions.

What was the process for developing an ArbCom and why did the community say they needed an ArbCom?

According to archives, it was around 2007 when Ukrainian Wikipedia had major conflicts between administrators, so some users started to question the need for a higher independent institution to resolve some conflicts. In general, the process of developing an ArbCom was a discussion and creation of the rules about different aspects of ArbCom, such as election, arbitration proceedings, etc. based on the best practices of other communities’ ArbCom.

What are the challenges for ArbComs or a sitting ArbCom member?

Sides of conflicts may never be fully satisfied with ArbComs’ decisions, so they may believe that their issues have not been adequately resolved thereby leading them to look for other ways to resolve the issues or provoke new conflicts.

What do you want to share about your experience as an Arbcom?

Being a member of ArbCom can help a person analyze conflicts, look at them from an independent point-of-view, or be quiet during conflicts. So, I want to say that someone being a member of ArbCom can get a unique experience that could help outside of Wikipedian life.

How has an ArbCom shaped your community?

After analyzing around 100 cases of our ArbCom it can be said that there are three major points in which ArbCom shaped our community. First, it helped to resolve ambiguous and conflicted problems and implement mechanisms to penalize violators. Second, it refined already active rules or recommended approving or developing new ones (e.g. Sockpuppetry in case #25). Third, it formed a group of users with special permissions (CheckUser and Oversight).

How do you feel you will connect with the UCoC in your community?

I feel that UCoC, in general, has some good points that ArbCom will take into account during its proceedings with cases. Also, ArbCom will cooperate with U4C if there are cases that involve our ArbCom.

If you are part of an arbitration committee and would like to share more about your ArbCom, please write to Jackie Koerner to get started.

The mother-tongue contribution month

Saturday, 24 February 2024 15:00 UTC

An online meeting was held on January 20, 2024 between different African communities leaders and WikiLinguila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to explore any possibility of collaboration for the mother-tongue contribution month.

A presentation of the mother-tongue contribution month was made, and the project was well received by the majority of African communities present at the online meeting with positive reviews and support, especially since Rwanda, Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville and the Central African Republic are ready to accompany this event in February 2025. Other communities have also expressed their interest in taking part, but promise to come back with their final decision at the next meeting on schedule.

This publishing competition coincides with the celebration of International Mother Language Day on February 21 each year (promulgated by UNESCO in 2000), and also with the movement’s strategies for the period to 2030 :

  • Increasing the sustainability of our Movement
  • Provide for safety and inclusion
  • Ensuring equity in decision-making
  • Coordinate Across Stakeholders
  • Manage Internal Knowledge

The pilot project can be customized for each community, using their local language to increase understanding and connect with more members. The goal is to strengthen bonds and collaboration among people who speak the same languages, fostering a sense of belonging. Each community should appoint an ambassador responsible for diversity, culture, and languages to coordinate activities related to the month of February within their community.

Considering the vast number of articles on major wikis, we believe it might take us 10 to 15 years to catch up. We’ve faced challenges while editing pages on these large wikis, so we realize it’s best to create our own wikis with our editing rules. We should support each other by taking on specific tasks, like being administrators, as they are scarce or hard to find. This way, we can effectively manage our wikis, which demand a lot of maintenance from those contributing to them.

The project remains open to any community that would like to join us in celebrating our languages, as we’re aiming big but we would like to start small and smart.

Public Domain Day is an annual event that raises awareness about the notion of the public domain and announces which works have become public domain in Indonesia that year. This year, Wikimedia Indonesia and the Goethe-Institut Jakarta collaborated to celebrate Indonesian Public Domain Day 2024 under “Copyright and Artificial Intelligence.”

The discussion, conducted in the Goethe-Institut Jakarta Library, explored and deepened knowledge of the issues posed by the emergence of AI tools. Starting with its impact on public audiences and its application within GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) institutions.

Dr. Eng. Ayu Purwarianti, S.T., M.T., a lecturer and researcher at Institut Teknologi Bandung, delivered the first session on Copyright and Artificial Intelligence, which Bhredipta Socarana, LLM, CIPP/E, of Creative Commons Indonesia moderated. During the workshop, Ayu Purwarianti discussed how AI works and the current issues that its users face. AI was designed to simplify and expedite human work by learning prompts, instructions, and directions from its users.

Brigitha Varrell untuk Goethe-Institut Jakarta, Pembicara di Perayaan Hari Domain Publik Indonesia 2024CC BY-SA 4.0

Today’s AI can perform various tasks ranging from text, images, programming, video, audio and more. However, there is no clear regulatory framework in Indonesia regarding AI works, therefore its copyright is still uncertain. Other consequences of AI include the misuse of personal data and the possible replacement of human jobs. However, as Ayu Purwarianti stated, “AI will not replace jobs entirely. People who do not use AI in their profession will probably be replaced by those who do, because AI makes labor easier and more efficient.”

Sonja Thiel, a curator and researcher from Karlsruhe, Germany, facilitated the second session on Artificial Intelligence and Museums. It was a hybrid session, with Sonja delivering her presentation online. She highlighted her experience scaling up the AI network for the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe in Germany using xCurator, a program that helps manage the museum’s contents. 

AI can help museums search and index collections more efficiently and effectively by providing diverse search options and filters. AI techniques facilitate image search by recognizing images and colors. AI also plays a role in the digitization process by providing manuscript transcription with OCR (optical character recognition), such as by using Transkribus, a platform that aids in the transcription, recognition, and search process for printed and handwritten historical documents. This software has also been implemented into Wikisource as an alternative OCR engine.

AI also helps the classification process and improves the metadata of the museum’s digital collections, connecting one collection to another to produce a more comprehensive network of information.

Brigitha Varrell untuk Goethe-Institut Jakarta, AI In Museum karya Sonja ThielCC BY-SA 4.0

These discussions brought various advancements and improvements offered by AI tools that will be utilized in assisting human work, including for GLAM institutions, to the fore. On the other hand, unclear legal regulations and policies pose a challenge to using AI in Indonesia. As users, we should be ethically aware and responsible, especially when creating works incorporating data or works from other sources. We would also need to reconsider who would benefit the most and who would not from the usage of AI tools, as well as how to make its usage more sustainable and equitable.

To keep updated on more events organized by Wikimedia Indonesia (and its partners), visit our social media on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, YouTube, and Telegram.

Wikimedia promotion in Lead City University was a project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, The main goal of the project is to initiate the first Wikimedia promotion campaign and training at Lead City University. This effort aims to nurture new editors, cultivate dedicated champions for Wikipedia projects, and ultimately raise awareness of Wikipedia and related initiatives within the university. The overarching objective is to establish a strong foundation for the widespread adoption and use of Wikimedia products among the student community.

The project held between 25th of November to 25th of December was led by Abdullahalaba and it kicked start with a physical training on 25th of November, 2023 at a hall in the university with 55 participants in attendance. at the training, participants who were majorly new editors were introduced to creating Wikipedia articles, creating wikidata items and uploading notable places in Lead city university and other places in Ibadan on Wikimedia commons

The inaugural online training, held on December 16, 2023, was organised for participants who couldn’t attend the program launch, offering them the opportunity to engage in live editing. Abdullahalaba, the project lead, introduced the online encyclopedia to the participants. Ibja055 facilitated a session on Wikipedia article creation, Taoheedah trained the participants how to translate to Yoruba Wikipedia, while Tesleemah guided participants in creating Wikidata items. Additionally, Taofeeq Abdulkareem conducted extensive training on uploading images to Wikimedia Commons.

Conducted on December 9, 2023, the second physical training served as a review and follow-up session. Facilitators addressed participants’ inquiries and concerns related to Wikimedia and its affiliated projects.

Concluding the project, a concluding virtual training took place, during which participating individuals expressed their satisfaction and delight in contributing to the documentation of Lead City University and noteworthy individuals and locations on Wikimedia.

Upon project completion, statistics and outreach dashboard data revealed that more than 1000 Wikipedia articles were edited, over 500 images were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, and 800 Wikidata items were generated. The project not only enriched participants’ digital literacy but also significantly increased the global visibility and accessibility of Lead City University, bridging information gaps on Wikipedia.

You can read more about the project on Meta-wiki.

Wiktionary: a valuable tool in language preservation

Friday, 23 February 2024 22:23 UTC

Wiktionary is a collaborative, multilingual, and freely available online dictionary that aims to document and preserve the vocabulary of all languages. Wiktionary serves as a powerful tool in language preservation by fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment for documenting and sharing the vocabulary of diverse languages, both widely spoken and endangered. It contributes to the ongoing effort to safeguard linguistic diversity and heritage in the digital age and also empowering communities to safeguard their linguistic heritage for generations to come.

Significance of Wiktionary in empowering language preservation

Wiktionary is a valuable tool that safeguards linguistic diversity. It supports:


Wiktionary gives users opportunity to contribute and document words and phrases from various languages, and this allows for a more comprehensive vocabulary, including regional dialect.


Wiktionary hosts entries in numerous languages. This inclusivity promotes linguistic diversity and serves as a valuable repository for both major languages and those on the edge of extinction.

Open access model

Wiktionary’s free accessibility is a key factor in its effectiveness as a language preservation tool. Anyone with an internet connection ( even without the internet “KIWIX) can access the vast repository of words and phrases, democratizing linguistic knowledge. This accessibility ensures that individuals, linguists, Researchers and language enthusiasts worldwide can contribute to and benefit from the preservation efforts.

Revitalize Endangered Languages

Wiktionary plays an important role in the preservation and Revitalization of endangered languages as speakers of these languages can document and share their linguistic heritage. This is of great importance as many languages are at risk of disappearing, and digital platforms like Wiktionary can help create a lasting record.

Documenting the Igbo Alphabets and Numerals on Wiktionary

Wiktionary is a valuable resource for documenting languages as it helps make information accessible to a wider audience. Wiktionary provided a platform for the Wikimedians Igbo community to contribute and document our linguistic heritage. It becomes another beacon of hope for Igbo Speakers to preserve our linguistic forms that may otherwise fade away. There were needs on documenting the Igbo numerals known as “Ọnụ ọgụgụ Igbo and Igbo alphabet known as Abịdịị Igbo”. We hosted an online and physical meet up to document these and we created tasks sheet to fully engage community members. We are happy to have added descriptions, explanations, pronunciations, and examples to enrich the Igbo Wiktionary. Now, we have the 36 Igbo alphabet on the Igbo wiktionary and that of the numerals is work in progress. The Lingua Libre, an online collaborative project and tool by the Wikimedia France association, which aims to build a collaborative, multilingual, audiovisual speech corpus under a free license was used in recording to preserve our language.

Wiktionary is not just a digital dictionary; it’s a testament to the power of collaboration, accessibility, and adaptability in language preservation. In an era where the digital landscape shapes the way we communicate and share information, Wiktionary stands as a beacon, fostering a sense of unity in diversity and empowering communities to safeguard their linguistic heritage for generations to come.

I was very excited when I saw my name on the list of those that will be sponsored to attend Wiki Indaba 2023 by the Igbo Wikimedians User Group as one of the top editors of the year 2022. The reality struck me more when I received the invitation to attend the Conference at Agadir in Morocco; I did not know what to expect. I am just but an editor in the Igbo Wikimedians User Group (my community User Group) and I saw this as an opportunity to connect with other editors from other Wiki communities across Africa. Indeed, the knowledge I gained from the number of days it took me to prepare for the conference and the number of days I spent at the conference was far above my expectations.

An image to celebrate the sponsorship to Wiki Indaba 2023 at Morocco

My Journey to Indaba

On 2nd November 2023 to be precise, I set out on my journey for Agadir. I was filled with the hope and excitement of meeting and connecting with people from different African countries and different parts of the world. Attending my first Wiki Indaba conference was an incredibly rewarding and eye-opening experience. Having been a member of Igbo Wikimedians User Group for a few years now, I had heard about the annual gathering of the Africa Wikimedia community but never had the opportunity to participate until this year’s event which was held at the scenic seaside city of Agadir.

Touching down in Morocco, I was greeted with the characteristic warmth and hospitality of the Moroccan culture. I was immediately struck by the beautiful sunset, the seaside city with its beaches, lively markets with a mix of Arab and European influences. The conference venue at the Les Dunes D’ior was world-class, with modern facilities along the scenic coastline.

The Conference and knowledge I acquired

Days passed very quickly. In a flurry of presentations, sessions during the Wiki Indaba conference dug deep into everything from increasing African representation in Wikimedia to bridging gender gaps. These sessions tackled everything from increasing African representation in Wikipedia to leveraging Wikidata to preserve intangible cultural heritage. For me, highlights of the event were those sessions focused on equipping young girls with digital skills, led by dynamic women like Stella and Joy. Strategic planning for User Groups was also thought-provoking, demonstrating ways we can grow local Wikimedia communities.I learnt a lot from presentations on bridging knowledge gaps on Wikipedia and using Creative Commons licenses. The insights from experienced African Wikimedians like Kemi, Obiorah, Jocelyn and others were invaluable.The campaign tools session with Georges, Euphemia, Essenam, Lucy, Juliet and Aristide was quite engaging. Collaborating to improve our outreach gave me new ideas to bring back to my local user group. I enjoyed sharing my experience as a participant who used this great tool to register for the event. Another inspiring moment was the Open Knowledge Journalism Awards, recognizing exceptional work in open knowledge and Wikimedia. It was motivating to see journalists honored for their contributions to free knowledge. The closing ceremony and tour of Agadir provided me the perfect finale. I am leaving WikiIndaba 2023 feeling motivated and connected to the pan-African Wikimedia community. The collaboration and knowledge-sharing at the Conference will help our movement continue to thrive across the continent.

My Cultural Experiences

Beyond the Wiki Indaba sessions, exploring Agadir with fellow attendees profoundly impacted me. We discovered vibrant markets brimming with handmade potteries and woven bags, tried harira soup, and toured the coastal Kasbah. Local Wikimedians explained their initiatives preserving Amazigh folktales and languages. Every new friend I met gave me a new hope and inspiration. I enjoyed exploring Agadir’s winding alleys, the dances at Café Restaurant Ibis Chauve, trying Moroccan tagines and mint tea, and learning about the Amazigh culture native to the region. The beach welcomed us as we played with glee and danced with the locals. The food was so amazing that I got lost in them. It was fun dipping bread in peanut butter which was quite a good combo and I was told that it is mostly taken for breakfast.

The People

The people? Oh! They were so hospitable that I felt safe and relaxed all through. The driver that conveyed me from the airport to the venue pointed out places and told me more stories about Agadir in the best way he could even though he could only speak Arabic and French. I learnt about the devastating effects of the earthquake in Agadir which destroyed the city and made them rebuild from the scratch, as well as the argan tree and argan oil production which is central to Agadir’s culture and economy. Spotlight Morocco’s famous “tree of life” and the process from orchards to co-ops. It was an amazing experience.

My experiences with other attendees

I felt sad when the last day of the conference was concluded. I was sad to leave my newly found community so soon. Attending my first Wiki Indaba opened my mind to challenges and innovations happening across Africa’s Wikimedia movement. I left the conference not just with a network of innovators, but I was also motivated to continue bridging knowledge gaps from my little corner of our African continent. Attending Wiki Indaba gave me renewed optimism about spreading free knowledge globally and bridging divides. I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me by Igbo Wikimedia User Group to participate and make new friends from around the world united by our passion for sharing free knowledge.

And this is my story

Returning home, residual moments stick, the sunset glow over the souks, the muezzin call to prayer echoing at dawn, and smiles worn by young refugee-activists. I traveled as an Igbo Wiki editor and returned as a Wikimedian emboldened to bridge divides of politics, language, and distance to move toward greater cultural awareness between peoples. God bless Igbo Wikimedians User Group, God bless Wikimedia Foundation!!!

February 13, 2024

Semantic MediaWiki at the MediaWiki Hackathon 2024

The MediaWiki Hackathon 2024 will occur on May 3 - 5, 2024 in Tallinn, Estonia. We will organize Semantic MediaWiki-related activities. You are welcome to propose an online or on-site activity. See hackathon page for more information and inscription.

Semantic MediaWiki 4.1.3 released

Friday, 23 February 2024 09:40 UTC

February 17, 2024

Semantic MediaWiki 4.1.3 (SMW 4.1.3) has been released today as a new version of Semantic MediaWiki.

It is a maintenance release that increases version compatibility with MediaWiki 1.39 and PHP 8.1, also provides bug fixes, and translation updates. Please refer to the help pages on installing or upgrading Semantic MediaWiki to get detailed instructions on how to do this.

Semantic MediaWiki 4.1.3 released

Friday, 23 February 2024 09:39 UTC

February 17, 2024

Semantic MediaWiki 4.1.3 (SMW 4.1.3) has been released today as a new version of Semantic MediaWiki.

It is a maintenance release that increases version compatibility with MediaWiki 1.39 and PHP 8.1, also provides bug fixes, and translation updates. Please refer to the help pages on installing or upgrading Semantic MediaWiki to get detailed instructions on how to do this.

February 15, 2024

MediaWiki Users and Developers Conference 2024

The first MediaWiki Users and Developers Conference 2024 will occur on April 17 - 19, 2024 in Portland, Oregon, USA. Semantic MediaWiki-related talks are welcome.

Originally posted on 17 January 2024 by Richard Gaines on Diff.

The Wikimedia Foundation has published an independent assessment to understand the impacts, risks, and opportunities posed to children who access and participate in Wikimedia projects.

After repeatedly reaching his school library’s weekly maximum for book checkouts, a curious 12 year-old student started his journey editing English Wikipedia in 2008. Having an insatiable appetite for knowledge about trains, he searched for information on the Wikimedia projects about technological marvels and achievements. The enterprising newcomer was only in middle school, but quickly began noticing gaps in important locomotive information. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, the novice Wikimedian launched a lifetime hobby of contributing his own knowledge to Wikipedia. 

As a young editor, he now explains, “I was learning how to write and express myself in a way that I wasn’t in school.” Within a few years, the promising newcomer mastered writing in an encyclopedic style, citing reliable sources, and navigating Wikipedia’s community-led processes so well that he was elected into a leadership role: an administrator for English Wikipedia at just 14 years of age. The now-veteran Wikimedian uses his professional legal expertise to help protect others in the Wikimedia communities. Describing his journey, he explains that working with other Wikipedians, “who had all kinds of backgrounds, opinions, and communication styles, was a humbling and eye-opening experience so early in my life.” 

The inspiring story of that young Wikimedian, whose name has been withheld for security and privacy reasons, isn’t unique. Joe Sutherland, a lead Trust and Safety specialist at the Wikimedia Foundation, began editing English Wikipedia when he was 13 years old. By age 15, drawn to the strong sense of community and the multitude of talented people contributing to free knowledge, he was elected as an administrator. Reflecting on how his work as a volunteer contributed to his education, Joe shares: “The process of researching a topic, identifying which sources were reliable and which weren’t, and how to gather the necessary information for a complete citation, really helped me to write my thesis during my final year of university.”

While the Wikimedia Foundation’s commitments to privacy and data minimization make it impossible to know just how many young readers and editors there are on Wikimedia projects, an untold number of people less than 18 years of age seek out verifiable, encyclopedic information on Wikipedia. As the above stories illustrate, some of them progress from readers to editors as they start to contribute their own knowledge to these pages. Protecting child safety, both of readers and editors, is a top priority not only for the Foundation, but also for Wikimedia community groups and affiliates around the globe. 

To this end, today the Foundation is publishing an independent assessment that explores the impacts, risks, and opportunities posed to children who access and participate in Wikimedia projects. This Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) is the latest initiative that we have undertaken in order to meet our commitment to protect and uphold the human rights of all those who interact with Wikimedia projects. In 2020, the Foundation carried out an organization-wide Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA), with a report and update on progress published in 2022. A key recommendation of that assessment was to conduct a targeted CRIA, which could help us to better understand the benefits to and risks to children participating in Wikimedia projects.

The Foundation—in partnership with Article One, a specialized strategy and management consultancy with expertise in human rights, responsible innovation, and sustainability—started work on the CRIA in late 2021, and completed it in March 2023. The publication of this report (redacted to protect security and privacy of volunteers, readers, and those who were interviewed for the report) represents both a continuation of the Foundation’s commitments to human rights, and an important opportunity to revitalize conversations across the Wikimedia movement around how to best protect children on Wikimedia projects.

About the Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA)

The purpose of the report is to identify and analyze the impacts, risks, and opportunities posed to children who access and participate in Wikimedia projects, and to propose concrete recommendations that the Foundation and Wikimedia communities can implement to mitigate those risks, so that children can fully benefit from participating in our projects.

Foundation staff, volunteers, affiliates, and external subject matter experts were consulted as a part of this assessment, including individuals who participated in Wikimedia projects as minors and continued their engagement into adulthood—activities which, they explain, offered them unique perspectives on the risks and opportunities posed to children. 

As a movement, we know that Wikimedia projects advance and support the right of every child, everywhere, to education and knowledge. Access to free knowledge also helps children to exercise a number of their human rights, including freedom of expression, the right to access factually accurate health information, and the right to participate in cultural and civic life, among other rights. These benefits are also realized by adults. This report affirms that children—and society at large—can benefit significantly from accessing and contributing to Wikimedia projects. 

The CRIA report identifies risks to children who interact with Wikimedia projects as editors, participants at in-person events, and as readers. Risks of concern included: possible harmful contact (such as bullying) and exploitation; threats to privacy and personal safety and security; exposure to harmful content; difficulty accessing processes to remedy when harms do occur; and, lack of voice within the Wikimedia movement. 

The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to ensuring safe participation for all, regardless of age. As the CRIA report notes, Wikimedia’s model does not present the same risks as that of for-profit platforms whose business models aim to maximize advertising revenue by targeting users with highly-engaging, but often unreliable or unsuitable, content. This report also underscores that existing community-led processes for identifying and removing the rare appearance of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) are effective. 

The report contains a number of recommendations that the Foundation can spearhead, such as developing and strengthening Foundation policies like an upcoming child protection policy, and proactively engaging with governments on regulation that affects children’s rights—as we have done in the UK around the Online Safety Act. Various teams within the Foundation have already made significant progress towards acting upon such recommendations.

The report also contains key recommendations for the Wikimedia Foundation and volunteer communities to collaborate more closely within existing areas of work. These include evaluating the Movement Governance Strategy through a child rights perspective, and empowering children to protect themselves by providing child-friendly resources and tools.

Importantly, implementation of other key recommendations are most appropriately led by Wikimedia volunteers. For instance, incorporating child rights considerations into project policies and guidelines, in addition to advancing efforts to identify and manage interactions that may be harmful to children—such as bullying, exposure to sexually exploitative images, or exposure to hate speech—on topics or pages that may be frequently accessed by minors on Wikimedia projects.

When reading the CRIA report’s findings and recommendations, it is important to keep in mind that the assessment was completed in March 2023. Since then the Foundation has already taken a number of concrete steps that aim to cohesively and sustainably address many of the report’s recommendations, including the finalization of a child protection policy to be published in the coming days, supporting the development of the Incident Reporting System, incorporating child rights considerations into recent reviews of grant applications, and more. It is also important to acknowledge that implementing the recommendations contained within this report will be a long-term endeavor, and not every recommendation may be feasible. 

How Wikimedians can learn more about, discuss, and provide feedback on the CRIA

We want to hear from you on this topic: What questions do you have? What are your thoughts on the risks and recommendations discussed in the report? What is your community already doing, or what would you like to do, to ensure the safety of children on Wikimedia projects? 

We know that many communities are already hard at work on activities related to this topic. For example, WikiVibrance hosted an event at Wikimania 2023, which discussed the challenges that youth face and overcome on the Wikimedia projects, seeking to build understanding of the importance of supporting and empowering young people within the volunteer community. Also during Wikimania, Wikimedia Korea shared their experiences of working with youth who are learning how to contribute to Wikipedia. Other chapters in attendance shared about their own work in this regard.

Finally, we would also like to know: How can we build on the momentum we already have and collaborate to make progress? Please leave a message on report’s Talk page or join us at either of the two community conversation hours scheduled for the following times:

If you prefer to ask questions or share information privately, you can also email us at We will take the information and feedback we gather across various channels to prepare a map of efforts happening across the movement, along with ideas for collaboration and implementation. 

We look forward to working together to ensure that every curious child, everywhere, can feel safe on the Wikimedia projects while accessing and contributing to the sum of all human knowledge.

Annika Trout leaning against brick building
Annika Trout.
Image courtesy Annika Trout, all rights reserved.

When Georgia Institute of Technology student Annika Trout learned she’d be improving a Wikipedia article for her Introduction to Environmental Sciences class this fall, she felt like it would be an interesting change from her typical research essay or presentation.

“I also felt daunted by the challenge – it seemed like a huge responsibility to deliver accurate, reliable, and objective information to the general public,” she says. “I remember being impressed by the examples of articles provided by my professor that past students had written, and I knew that I wanted to try to produce the best article that I could.”

Annika succeeded, substantially improving the stub article on non-aqueous phase liquid. Annika’s professor, Jennifer Glass, had created a list of “stub” articles in environmental sciences — short articles needing improvement — and asked Annika and her classmates to rank their interest in the topics. Annika ranked non-aqueous phase liquid first due to her interest in hydrology and the subsurface environment, so she was assigned it.

Annika says she likes to divide projects into smaller tasks and work over long periods of time, which she did for this project. She started researching, collating notes and identifying topics she needed to seek more information on. She began drafting, then re-organized her notes for a more natural flow, and finally began revisions.

Throughout the way, she learned not just about her topic, but also about the process of research and writing.

“I learned a lot about my capabilities as a student/researcher/writer. I learned that with dedication and patience, it is possible to produce a body of work to be proud of. I also learned how important it is to be intentional with organization when writing a research article. It’s important to keep track of the information gathered and what source it came from,” Annika says. “It’s also important to evaluate sources and corroborate ideas between sources. The revision process is also very important, as is peer review. It was important that I had friends and colleagues read and comment on my work so that I could revise parts of the article that needed more clarity.”

Annika attempted to submit her revision for a feature on Wikipedia’s home page, in the “Did you know?” section, but unfortunately she missed the cutoff window for submission. Still, she got great feedback from other Wikipedia editors on her article by engaging in the process.

Having other Wikipedia editors and the general public being able to read her work really motivated Annika.

“Its reliability as a source depends on the fact that the community works together to publish accurate and reliable information. For me, this provided a special incentive to do a good job because good work would invite more eyes to vet my work and make it even more useful for the public,” she says. “It was meaningful to me to be able to take information that might be inaccessible to the public and faithfully translate it into something that people could interact with and understand. Wikipedia assignments are a brilliant way to engage students in experiential learning by plunging them into the research process while simultaneously using their unique talents to make knowledge more accessible. “

Annika did struggle to find images relevant to her article. Being able to create her own images would have been helpful, but she felt stymied by a lack of graphic design skills. Nevertheless, she found the skills she gained from writing for Wikipedia valuable to her future career path. She aspires to a career addressing the global challenges posed by climate change.

“I don’t yet know what my professional role will look like, but for now, I’m focused on expanding my knowledge of the sciences as well as my unique skill set so that I can be a useful resource, whether that be through policymaking, conservation efforts, or development projects,” Annika says. “I absolutely think that my experience writing for Wikipedia helped me move closer to that ideal. It’s vitally important with a problem like climate change to be able to communicate reliable information, especially within a digital space. I learned about how information can be presented in different ways to achieve different effects and the value of objectivity in scientific writing.”

Annika intends to continue editing Wikipedia now that she’s learned how. She says this assignment shifted her perspective on Wikipedia, and she encourages other students editing as a class assignment to approach the assignment with enthusiasm.

“This assignment was one of my favorites I ever completed for school. It not only helped me expand my specific academic interests, but also provided me with a challenge that I could face and grow from,” Annika says. “Wiki Education is such a fantastic opportunity for students to pour their energy into a project with tangible positive impacts. I feel lucky and grateful that I was given that opportunity, and I encourage other students within Wiki Education to take pride in their work and give it their all!”

Wiki Education’s support for instructors who want to with Wikipedia are available at Our support for STEM classes like Annika’s is available thanks to the Guru Krupa Foundation.

Learning is a journey. Currently, Wikipedia is a great resource to support you in your learning journey. In this exploration, I illustrated how Wikipedia could support people through more parts of this journey.

The ideas presented in the video below were discussed and prototyped in unconference sessions at two consecutive recent events in Nairobi and San Francisco (and some airports in between).

Some key ideas illustrated in the video are detailed below:

  • Responding to different learning needs. Different people at different moments may follow a different learning process. From looking for a specific answer on Wikipedia, to getting immersed into the story from beginning to end (possibly with some rabbit holes in between).
  • Smaller and richer knowledge units. We can think of a Wikipedia article as an assembly of smaller information pieces that can be accessed and manipulated both as a whole or independently. This notion provides flexibility to support new possibilities. A visual overview can be provided with key information about the topic in a way that individuals and communities can customize it. For example, an individual can include an interactive map as they explore multiple articles on animals to understand their habitat. This can be useful for that user or proposed to be part of the default view of the article.
  • Explore and collect. Keeping all the great things people learned from Wikipedia at hand can be quite powerful to build a “second brain”. Not only to find them again, but also to keep track of updates, and contextualize them. Putting information in context helps to build an understanding. The elevation of Nairobi is just a number, comparing it to other cities of Kenya or your own city helps you to get a better idea.
  • Remix and share with traceability. Relevant pieces of knowledge can be reassembled by people for different purposes: a slide deck for school, a video for social media, an interactive graph to be embedded on a news site. This helps Wikipedia knowledge to reach where people are. More importantly, contents can be connected with the original pieces of information. In this way, people can verify where the information comes from, and check any updates or inconsistencies in the future.
  • Support active readers. Providing ways for readers to participate more blurs the lines between readers and editors. Active readers can participate in collecting the information they are interested in, following the updates on such information, and providing useful signals. Some example signals: indicate that they learned something new to surface a particularly relevant piece of information, flag content that lacks references (“citation needed”) to signal it may not be trustworthy, or propose possible changes as a lower bar into editing. This can be useful to distribute a bit of the load from editors to the larger reader group, as well as making readers more aware and familiar with participation to encourage them to try more active editing too.

The way the ideas are presented in the video is one possible way to execute the ideas for illustration purposes. With a quick prototype that skips over many details. This is not part of any ongoing project. The intention is to inspire others.

Wikidata & AI, together again

Monday, 19 February 2024 16:17 UTC

Leveraging the Wikidata knowledge graph with LangChain

With the growing popularity of large-language models (LLMs), researchers and hobbyists have been quick to tap into the power of Wikimedia projects using a new tool: generative artificial intelligence. In 2023, the Wikimedia Foundation launched the Wikipedia ChatGPT plugin, which lets ChatGPT use Wikipedia as a reference library to help answer questions. But until recently, no similar project has made use of Wikidata, whose wealth of structured information should be, if anything, easier for machines to process.

Now it’s Wikidata’s turn to be served by a new generative-AI platform: the recently launched LangChain offers support for interfacing Wikidata with LLMs. LangChain is an open-source framework for constructing applications that draw on LLM backends, allowing developers to hook LLMs of all kinds, including open-source models, into various tools, including Wikidata. Once integrated, these models gain the ability to retrieve data or even take actions.

With this new support, users can ask ChatGPT a question and have it reference data from the Wikidata knowledge graph before responding. For example, ChatGPT was given access to the new Wikidata tool, then given the following prompt:

Using just information found in Wikidata, answer this question: the author of the book I Am a Strange Loop attended two universities. Which is the older one?

Using Wikidata, ChatGPT performed a lookup of I Am a Strange Loop, its author and his alma maters and provided this answer:

The author of the book I Am a Strange Loop, Douglas Hofstadter, attended both Stanford University and the University of Oregon. Stanford University was founded in 1885, while the University of Oregon was founded in 1876. Therefore, the University of Oregon is the older of the two universities.

Data-driven results like this one contrast sharply with much of the LLM output seen in popular culture and media in recent months, which often contains “hallucinations”: responses that read as plausible but don’t line up with real-world facts or the user’s own input, and in some cases not even with assertions made within the same response. Results also tend to vary over time, even when the facts in question haven’t changed a bit. 

If a user asks ChatGPT the aforementioned question without giving it access to Wikidata, it often provides an answer that is not only wrong but somewhat disorienting: “Stanford University… was founded in 1885, while the University of Oregon was founded later, in 1876.” On the other hand, if ChatGPT has access to the aforementioned English Wikipedia tool, it gives no answer at all, owing to the fact that the relevant information doesn’t happen to appear in the first few paragraphs of the Wikipedia articles.

LangChain’s integration with Wikidata’s stockpile of thousands of properties and millions of items relies on the recently released Wikidata REST API, which smooths the way for applications to obtain information from Wikidata.

Support for Wikidata in LangChain is in its infancy, and there’s plenty of room and opportunity to obtain even more value from the platform using artificial intelligence. Eventually we may live in a world where an LLM can answer incredibly complicated questions by running SPARQL queries against Wikidata and interpreting the results.

Know My Name

Monday, 19 February 2024 12:00 UTC

“Making Women Count” at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
. Keywords: Know My Name

In 2019, just 18 per cent of biographies on Wikipedia were about women. When it comes to female artists and creators, that number was even lower.

Wikimedia Australia has partnered with the National Gallery of Australia since 2020 as part of its Know My Name gender equity campaign, to enhance the understanding and appreciation of work by Australian artists who identify as women.

Each year in March, we have co-hosted a series of edit-a-thons with galleries and libraries around Australia on the weekend of International Women's day, also as part of Art+Feminism.

Coordinated by Caddie Brain and her team in each state, the first weekend in 2020 saw 125 (mostly first time editors) create 69 new articles about female creators. Across the 7 edit-a-thons, 757 references were added to Wikipedia, and participants edited 223 articles. Read the full story here.

Know My Name Regional Gallery Tour[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia Australia are partnering with the NGA again in 2024 and 2025 to support the Know My Name Regional touring exhibition. The exhibition will visit five regional towns with the theme “Making Women Count”.

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery edit-a-thon highlights[edit | edit source]

10 Feb 2024 - See what we were able to achieve at the first stop on the exhibition and edit-a-thon tour with the Mornington Gallery event dashboard. We were also visited by Jan Randles, a Paralympic athletics competitor. We were able to add a photo to her Wikipedia page.

We would like to offer our sincerest thanks to our lovely hosts from the Gallery, Jane German (Public Programs Coordinator) and Danja Rmandic (Curator Exhibitions). We would also like to thank Pru Mitchell, one of our Wikimedia Australia members, for all of her help.

Know My Name Events[edit | edit source]

Related News[edit | edit source]

Related links[edit | edit source]

Partners[edit | edit source]

image_gap = 50 image_gap = 20 image_gap = 50

Tech News issue #8, 2024 (February 19, 2024)

Monday, 19 February 2024 00:00 UTC
previous 2024, week 08 (Monday 19 February 2024) next

Tech News: 2024-08

weeklyOSM 708

Sunday, 18 February 2024 12:15 UTC


lead picture

Ski pistes and aerialways in MapComplete [1] | © MapComplete, MapTiler | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Breaking news

  • The OpenStreetMap Engineering Working Group announced that 2024 will be the year of the OpenStreetMap vector map and that Paul Norman has been hired to work on the project. Vector tiles represent a significant advancement from the traditional raster tiles (static images). It will be possible to offer multilingual maps, interactive points of interest, more accessible maps for vision-impaired users, thematic styles, and better integration with other datasets.


  • Valerie Norton wondered how to map a mountain whose peak has a different name than the mountain itself. There are various solutions in use today and she described and justified the use of several of them.

Mapping campaigns

  • OpenStreetMap Bengaluru, India will be hosting a mapping party event on Saturday 24 February.


  • Anne-Karoline Distel shared her experiences of mapping while on holiday in Malta.
  • The question we asked last week as to whether this node was the one with the most tags, prompted Minh Nguyễn to provide an instructive reply. He showed how the SPARQL engine QLever, written by Hannah Bast and others and hosted by the University of Freiburg, can be used to easily determine the top ten most heavily tagged nodes in OSM.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • Arnalie Vicario reviewed the accomplishments of her tenure as a board member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation in 2023 and also outlined her future plans for 2024.


  • Raquel Dezidério Souto has created a workflow for beginner mappers to map POI data in OSM and display the results dynamically using uMap.
  • To find out more about the interest in possible training from the UN Mappers Validation Group and about the validation practices of the global OSM community in general, the UN Maps crowdsourcing team conducted a survey (we reported earlier). The first results have been presented graphically.
  • UMBRAOSM reported that there will be a free 60 hour mapping and geoprocessing online course using QGIS , as an extension project of the Geography Course at UNESPAR (State University of Paraná).

OSM research

  • The Instituto Virtual para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável is developing a collaborative mapping platform to help reduce the effect of disasters in the Municipality of Maricá (Brazil). The research is explained in Raquel Dezidério Souto’s diary entry.


  • The OpenStreetMap Operations team announced that OAuth 1.0a and HTTP basic authentication support for the OpenStreetMap website and API will be retired on Saturday 1 June. Users of these services are required to migrate to OAuth 2.0.


  • [1] MapComplete has released a thematic ski map that features a 3D visualisation of terrain contours. Thibault Molleman’s comment explains how to get the 3D view.
  • Osm2pgsql version 1.11.0 has been released.

Did you know …

  • … that you can explore visualisations of changes made to OpenStreetMap during the past 30 days?
  • … OpenStreetMap has implemented a rate limiting policy to address the issue of vandalism?
  • … these independent, non-commercial ‘wiki maps, based on OSM, that Aliya Kutueva lists in her blog post?

Other “geo” things

  • The Federal Office of Topography of Switzerland (Swisstopo) has recently updated its freely available app. Since the update, the app now has a base map. This base map is a continuously scalable map display, optimised for readability and smartphone use, with lots of information and real-time data from various sources (including OSM). The Swisstopo app has maps for Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
  • Alan McConchie tooted a linguistic map of North American English dialects.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
OSMF Membership Drive – 2nd Volunteers Meetup 2024-02-17
Chanakya Puri Tehsil 5th OSM Delhi Mapping Party 2024-02-18 flag
Hlavní město Praha Missing Maps mapathon at MSF Prague office 2024-02-19 flag
Görlitz 1. Stammtisch Görlitz 2024-02-19 flag
Lyon Réunion du groupe local de Lyon 2024-02-20 flag
Bonn 172. OSM-Stammtisch Bonn 2024-02-20 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2024-02-21 flag
City of Edinburgh OSM Edinburgh pub meetup 2024-02-20 flag
[Online] Map-py Wednesday 2024-02-21
Berlin Geomob Berlin 2024-02-21 flag
Windsor OSM WINDSOR-ESSEX: MAP NIGHT 2024-02-22 flag
MapComplete Community Call 2024-01 2024-02-23
Localidad Teusaquillo OpenBeer Bogotá 2024 2024-02-24 flag
Bengaluru OSM Bengaluru Mapping Party 2024-02-24 flag
Karlsruhe Karlsruhe Hack Weekend February 2024 2024-02-24 – 2024-02-25 flag
Saint-Étienne Rencontre Saint-Étienne et sud Loire 2024-02-27 flag
iD Community Chat 2024-02-28
Düsseldorf Düsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen (online) 2024-02-28 flag
[Online] OpenStreetMap Foundation board of Directors – public videomeeting 2024-02-29
Žilina Missing Maps Mapathon Žilina #12 2024-02-29 flag
Localidad Teusaquillo OpenDataDay Bogotá 2024 – Capturando datos de arbolado urbano 2024-03-02 flag

If you like to see your event here, please put it into the OSM calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM.

This weeklyOSM was produced by MatthiasMatthias, PierZen, SeverinGeo, Strubbl, TheSwavu, YoViajo, barefootstache, derFred, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.

Anthony G. Kafatos is a co-author on many papers that are part of the "Seven Countries Study". When you want to know about the many papers he was involved in, it helps when they are all linked. The papers known at Wikidata are linked to his item. When papers are still known as a string, an "author name string", they are hard to spot AND they may be spelled differently AND even be in a different script.

Anthony was also spelled as Antony.. Both work in the same department at the same University making it safe to consider them the same. Someone has to decide, this time it was me. That is not great because what do I know. One alternative is that nothing gets decided but it is much better when scientists themselves are involved.

Data is an ecosystem. Best is when any and all scientists have one ORCiD identifier and authorise the institutions they trust to update their profile with their latest and greatest work. This has profound implications. This data will now be available for many applications including Wikidata. It will become easier to understand what the neutral point of view on a subject is.

This is the Scholia for Mr Kafatos. At this time there are 18 links to papers on the "Seven Nations Study", four more than for Mr Ancel Keys the architect of the study. 

Thanks, GerardM

The lumberjacks in Karelia Finland got all the physical activity you can expect for lumberjacks, they looked the part and they died in droves before their fifties. This was as well known in the world of health scientists as well as the fact that in Japan people had the least problems with heart failure. Epidemiologists started one of the most famous studies, the "Seven Countries Study" to learn about these phenomenon. The Karelians ate a lot of meat and butter, this caused arthrosclerosis and it was identified as the cause of all these early demises. 

The Finish government wanted this to change, the lumberjacks loved their meat but their wives loved their hubbies more and they started them on a different diet. The government did a double blind research project and the fine Karelian gentlemen started to outperform their fellow Fins... As a consequence the Finnish government promoted healthy food to all Fins.

In Wikidata we have MANY scientific publications with "Seven Countries Study" in the name of the publications. With more than 100 such publications tagged, many authors, publications and subjects have become apparent. This can be seen in the Scholia for the Seven Countries Study. Statistically it is likely that when another 100 publications are added, the patterns found may slightly differ. Additional authors may be represented but the relative weight of existing authors is likely to remain the same. 

Ancel Keys is the architect of the Seven Countries Study, he authored both papers and books with many publications and publishers and he collaborated with many of the most prominent scientists in his time. The results of all these published studies are profound and not only for the Karelian lumberjacks. Not everybody is happy with the results. Influencers have us believe that Mr Keys misrepresented the facts of the study. However, when you look at the co-author graph, Mr Keys is not really central to all the collaborations. It is also obvious that there were many different publishers involved. 

The meat of the matter is obvious. Don't be a Karelian of centuries past, be smart, be there for your nearest and dearest and understand that a traditional Japanese diet or the Mediterranean diet gives you more mileage. The Seven Countries Study had a run for over fifty years, it knows about what people ate and the mortality that is the consequence of their diet. You can ignore this at your own peril :)

Thanks, GerardM

Alice Springs Wartime Heritage on Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 16 February 2024 12:00 UTC
The Dowling Collection is now on Wikimedia Commons

In a successful partnership between the Alice Springs Public Library and Wikimedia Australia, the Donald and Isabel Dowling Collection has been digitally preserved on Wikimedia Commons. This significant release marks the library's digital debut on the Wikimedia Commons platform, bringing the Central Australian Historical Images collection to an online audience for the first time.

Taken between 1938 and 1948 by Donald and Isabel Dowling, the photographs in the Dowling Collection capture the transformative impact of World War II on Alice Springs and the Northern Territory. Before the war, Alice Springs was an isolated town, of less than 1,000 people. During the war, and particularly after the Bombing of Darwin, it was an extremely active staging base and to population grew to over 8,000. Alice Springs even became the war-time capital of the Northern Territory after the civilian administration of the NT was evacuated there from Darwin.

Thanks to the amazing staff at Alice Springs Public Library (including Jordan Phillips, Ella Turner and Carl Mirtschin), and also to WMAU members Kerry Raymond and Gnangarra for their patient assistance and advice. Many of the 241 images that were uploaded for this project have already been linked to existing Wikipedia pages, and - we hope - will inspire a number more!

Featured Images from the Dowling Collection[edit | edit source]

These images are from the Central Australian Historical Images Collection (CAHI) held by the Alice Springs Public Library. They have been digitised on Wikimedia Commons and added to the category: Central Australian Historical Images.

For more information on the collection, contact Alice Springs Public Library at

Alice Springs Public Library, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons[edit | edit source]

Related Links[edit | edit source]

Ula Jones in front of a computer screen
Ula Jones
Image courtesy Ula Jones, all rights reserved.

Charles Darwin coined the term “warm little pond” to describe the potential origin of life. But the idea lacked a Wikipedia article until Ula Jones created it this fall as part of a class assignment to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of the origin of life.

Ula is a first-year graduate student in earth and space sciences and astrobiology at the University of Washington. Her astrobiology professor, David Catling, assigned Ula and her classmates to edit Wikipedia as part of the class through Wiki Education’s Wikipedia Student Program this fall.

“I wanted to write about the warm little pond (WLP) hypothesis for this project both because geologic settings for the origin of life are relevant to my scientific background and research, and I was interested in the opportunity to synthesize the interdisciplinary links between chemistry, geology, and biology that underlie the topic,” Ula says.

Ula admits she was intimidated by the idea of writing for Wikipedia at first. But once she dove into the project, she got more excited.

“I eventually came to particularly like the idea of making my own work publicly available, as well as being able to read other students’ work and learn about those subjects,” she says. “Scientific literacy and communication are important to me. Since most people get their information online today, I was happy to have an opportunity to help expand access to discussions of recent research in a place where a lot of people might come across it.”

Ula says in choosing her topic, she engaged with both modern research that was directly relevant to class readings and sources that revealed historical context. Her research led her to learn more about Charles Darwin, Alexander Oparin, and John Haldane’s works, lives, and beliefs.

“This was pretty neat, because historical background seems to often be brushed over when learning and communicating science. However, in this case it was necessary to present the whole context of the WLP hypothesis,” she explains.

While Ula has written many papers before, one thing she found particularly meaningful from learning to write for Wikipedia was the emphasis on citations.

“My favorite part about writing for Wikipedia was probably learning and applying good citation practices and reference management. While I had some knowledge about this already, the specific examples of best practices and ways to avoid unintentional plagiarism in the training were particularly useful,” she says of the online modules provided by Wiki Education. “It’s also pretty cool and unique to be able to share some of my classwork with friends and family just by sending them the link or telling them the phrase to look up.”

She found the experience valuable both for her current role as a student as well as her future career path. Science communication skills are core to any modern scientist, and this assignment helped her generate those.

“I would like to work as a professor someday, which involves educating students and typically public talks or outreach as well to some degree. In both cases it is important to be able to express and present scientific information in an accessible way. Because of this, the opportunity to practice scientific communication by writing for Wikipedia was valuable,” Ula says. “The assignment was both a great way of furthering my own understanding of what we covered in class, as well as expanding access to information about an important topic in origin of life research. I would be happy to contribute more to Wikipedia in future classes.”

Wiki Education’s support for instructors who want to with Wikipedia — including the trainings Ula highlights — are available at Our support for STEM classes like Ula’s is available thanks to the Guru Krupa Foundation.