Teaching AI in Schools

Saturday, 13 July 2024 03:30 UTC

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot topic these days, and it’s natural to wonder how it fits into education. In this article, we will explore the best practices, concerns, and recommendations for integrating AI into school curriculums. I will also provide references to useful tools and learning materials. Importance of AI education at schools Why is there a growing interest in teaching AI in schools? AI has become deeply integrated into society, creating new applications and possibilities while also introducing ethical concerns.

Women in yellow and orange garb


In alignment with our commitment to communicate our funding outcomes, this article provides an overview of the direct support provided by the Wikimedia Foundation through grantmaking towards the Movement in the fiscal year of 2023/24. Our focus will be on the Wikimedia Community Fund program, which includes the regional budgets for General Support Funds (unrestricted and multi-year funding) and Rapid Fund programs, as well as the Conference and Event Fund.

This link showcases the list of all funded grantees across all regions with the General Support Fund and Conference Funds.

We will highlight trends observed across all of our funding regions and share lessons learned from experimenting with various funding options offered to the communities. The regions discussed are East, Southeast Asia and Pacific [ ESEAP], South Asia [SA], Northern and Western European Region [NWE], North America [NA], Middle East and North Africa [ MENA], Sub-Saharan Africa [SSA] and Latin America and the Caribbean [ LAC].

Main Takeaways – Trends

Alignment with the Movement Strategy

The Regional Funds Committee members and the Thematic Experts evaluating the General Support Fund proposals found that 92% of all applications globally were in line with the 2030 Movement Strategy, and only 8% required clarifications on their contribution to the strategy. 

Newcomers Funded in the GSF [General Support Funding]

In this fiscal year, Regional Funding Committees approved a total of 20 first-time applications to the General Support Fund; 4 from the East, Southeast Asia and Pacific Regions, 4 from South Asia, 1 from the Northern and Western European Region, 2 from North America, 5 from the Middle East and North Africa, 4 from Sub-Saharan Africa. The rest of the grants were approved as returning annual and multi-year grants.

Trends in GSF [General Support Funding] 

  • Increased Demand for Multi-Year Grant Funding: There’s increased uptake of multi-year grant funding in multiple regions: NWE, ESEAP, NA, MENA, LAC, CEE and slightly in SSA. Regional Funds Committees conducted a careful evaluation of each grantee’s strategic strength, organizational stability, reporting strength and previous impact, as well as budget restrictions before awarding multi-annual proposals in this fiscal year. 
  • Programming: In most regions (SA, ESEAP, NWE, LAC, CEECA, NA) proposals showed more intentional and consistent programming, focusing on consolidating ongoing activities and deepening partnerships rather than innovating. An observed trend was a lack of new or innovative strategies. For some grantees, this was due to the practicality of aligning new strategies with multi-year grant applications, or a commitment to continuing successful programs from the previous year, as these efforts have proven to be reliable.
  • Compared to last year, there was an increase in cases where Regional Funds Committees provided conditional funding to support strategic reviews of grantee partner programming and organizational or group structures, to enable the proposed work.
  • Professionalization Efforts: In some regions (esp. NWE, ESEAP, SA, SSA) the grantee community showed increased effort in professionalization, including improved practices for financial management, robust and innovative governance structures, embarking on or improving fundraising initiatives and efforts, as well as working on becoming an autonomous registered entity in their country. 
  • Addressing Volunteer Burnout: There is a global trend of addressing volunteer burnout by bringing on board-paid staff to hold roles typically held by volunteers. 
  • Thematic Focus: Culture and heritage remain the main thematic focus in NWE and ESEAP, while education and climate change were leading in MENA and LAC. Grantees in these last regions are expanding to education, technology, and indigenous communities. Youth engagement remains a priority in the ESEAP region and is becoming a central focus in the CEE region through robust educational initiatives.

    Additionally, some regions are targeting niche audiences. In South Asia, there is a focus on documenting local fauna and indigenous languages and developing technical communities. Meanwhile, in North America, newly funded organizations are concentrating on language revitalization and providing access to high-quality medical information for practitioners and patients.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: This fiscal year was a win for Diversity and Inclusion: across all regions, applications showed a deep reflection on equity and inclusion. All affiliates have identified content and representation gaps to actively work on bridging these gaps. We see a continued focus in grantees on bringing on board women as part of their efforts to diversify the participant and governance demographic, as well as bringing in rural and remote communities and minority groups (e.g. indigenous, neurodivergent, or gender-diverse groups). 
  • Focus on communities beyond domestic borders: Many grantees in the NA and NWE regions extend their support to communities outside their regions. For example, Whose Knowledge’s outreach work with Dalit, queer, and indigenous communities in Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. WM Sverige (Sweden) provides global support for GLAM initiatives, while WM France and Les sans PagEs focus on supporting francophone communities worldwide.
  • Strengthened Regional Funding Committees: This financial year, Regional Funds Committees exercised greater agency in their decision-making, reflecting on their experiences and clearly articulating their support needs. In collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation’s DEI team, the Committee members enhanced their skills in diversity, inclusion and equity, and improved their use of language around neurodiversity. Additionally, opportunities were identified for their inclusion in the regional grants budgeting process, further empowering their role.

Identified areas of improvement 

  • Enhancing the visibility of the work being done by grantee partners to multiple stakeholders for different purposes, utilizing existing tools and platforms such as the outreach dashboard, Diff, Meta, and social media.
  • Fostering a Sense of Collaboration: Committees recommended grantees pursue opportunities for collaborative work amongst each other and with external partners. This includes working together on programs, campaigns, projects, communication efforts, and institutional learning.
  • Focus on Sustainability: Financial and organizational/programming sustainability were key areas of focus in all regions. Committees often questioned the sustainability of certain approaches proposed by applicants, leading to recommendations on deepening existing efforts rather than scaling up. This included diversifying activities, developing necessary capacities (including on-wiki skills), leveraging volunteers to support organizational efforts, and utilizing leadership development tools.
  • Capacity Building in Fundraising: A clearly defined area for capacity building was to support external fundraising for affiliates, including assessing grantee skills, capacity building and defining the appropriate level of WMF interventions in this area. There are current efforts by the Wikimedia Foundation to get a contractor to support affiliates directly in building this capacity. 

Trends in Rapid Funds

The SSA region continued to have the highest uptake of rapid funds, while the ESEAP, LAC, and SA regions saw a steady increase. In contrast, NA and MENA showed less interest, partly due to government restrictions in Egypt and Sudan and a lack of awareness about funding cycles. In NWE, applications were predominantly from high-income countries, prompting the Committee to prioritize applications from lower-income countries in the future. 

Trends in Conference Fund

About 36% of the grantee partners this year were first-time applicants to the Conference Fund program. We have funded 5 regional events; 5 Thematic; and 6 ‘Growth’ events. Many of them were new initiatives that were never organized before such as the WikiOutdoor Training; Climate Justice, Indigenous Voices and Open Knowledge, and the Global Wiki Advocacy Meet-up.

Building a better support system for community events organizers continues to be a priority, therefore, one of the most impactful changes that were piloted and will be fully implemented starting this fiscal year is that the Travel and Convening team will now handle communication and contracting for all travel and accommodation arrangements for all the regional events and some of the Thematic events as well. We expect this to not only maximize the budget allocated to community events but also take much of the organizing burden off the community Organizing teams so they can focus more on the core wiki- work and programming.

Within this link, you will find a detailed list of every funded grantee partner, including the level of funding requested and whether they are newcomers or returning grantees.

We trust that this review of our funding outcomes and lessons learned has been insightful. As we move into FY24/25, we remain committed to continue supporting the movement, informed by the insights we’ve gathered across the years. Next week, we will share another update on the FY24/25 budget, outlining the process used and lessons learned, particularly from involving regional funding committees and the executive director’s working group.

For any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at communityresources@wikimedia.org.

Coordinate Me: free data in competition

Friday, 12 July 2024 07:00 UTC

3228 registered participants and 129,102 edited Wikidata items: that’s the result of Coordinate Me 2024, the largest international Wikidata contest to date. The competition took place in May 2024 and was organized by Wikimedia Austria. What did we learn?

What was it about?

The goal of the competition was to improve Wikidata items that contained geodata and were assigned to one of the 16 focus countries. People from all over the world were invited to take part. When selecting the focus countries, we aimed for diversity: both geographically and in terms of the size of the local Wikimedia communities. In Africa, we opted for Niger, Nigeria and Senegal, and in South America for Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. In Europe, we chose Austria, Germany, France, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain. Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India were also included.

To automatically count the masses of contributions, we used the Programs & Events Dashboards by Wiki Education in combination with PetScan and SPARQL. (We had already talked about the technical specifications in a Volunteer Supporters Network training in 2022). Despite dedicated efforts on the part of Wiki Education, the Dashboards repeatedly failed completely. As a result, we were only able to carry out the final evaluation two and a half weeks later than planned.

Wikidata Workshop in Vienna 2018
Wikidata workshop supported by Wikimedia Österreich in Vienna 2018

Local anchoring

As part of a global movement, we were able to benefit from local knowledge and networks. In addition to Wikimedia Austria, eleven Wikimedia partner organizations were involved. Wikimedia Deutschland provided translations of the competition pages into German and a grant of one ninth of the prize money, the rest of which was covered by Wikimedia Austria. Wikimédia France, Wikimedia España and Wikimedia Nederland were responsible for translating the competition pages into their main national languages. Wikimedia Argentina, Wikimedia Canada, Wikimedia Chile, Wikimédiens du Niger User Group, Wikimedia User Group Nigeria, Wikimedia Community User Group Sénégal and Wikimedistas de Uruguay were also involved, particularly in the promotion in their local communities.

For all focus countries, we provided lists with suggestions on what the competition participants could work on. In addition to better links to external databases and the promotion of multilingualism, the geolocalization of objects was naturally a priority. Wikimedia Argentina used this opportunity to suggest improving recently uploaded datasets on more than 500 sculptures in the city of Resistencia. 

Of the 129,102 edited Wikidata items, 15,261 were new items. Most items were edited for India, Australia and Germany – but even Malta, the country with the fewest edits, had more than 100 improved items. So there was interest in all focus countries.

Who was reached?

The decisive factor in promoting the competition was a central notice in the Wikimedia projects that could be seen in the focus countries. The target pages linked in the central notice recorded a total of four million page views. However, organizing the banner placement proved to be particularly nerve-wracking this time – not only for us, but also for some volunteers who we had to ask for help late into the night. We need a reliable and fair process for our central notice system, probably our most important outreach tool.

Of the 3228 registered participants, 1449 (45 %) had new user accounts. The proportion of new participants is therefore higher than in some photo competitions, which we know are also of interest to newcomers. We were prepared for this with appropriate additional support.

Wikidata as event

The competition was accompanied by a series of online and hybrid events. There were free workshops for Wikidata newcomers in German, French and Spanish. We organized these with the support of the international Volunteer Supporters Network. The three workshops were attended by a total of 37 interested people. 

The Wikimedistas de Uruguay also offered a workshop in Spanish for the OpenRefine tool, which can be used to edit Wikidata on a massive scale. At a Datathon, a group spent an afternoon editing data sets on the Upper Austrian municipality of Molln. This also supported a photo project for Wikimedia Commons, which will take place in Molln this summer.

The most diligent at the end

In the end, prizes with a total value of 4,500 euros were awarded to the 30 participants with the most edited Wikidata items. These are (in alphabetical order): 99of9, Abike25, Akintundedaniel, Arjunaraoc, Brookschofield, Canley, Cookroach, Geiserich77, Gnoeee, GPSLeo, Gwanki, Isiwal, Jessephu, JFVoll, Kalepom, Lodewicus de Honsvels, Madamebiblio, Michael w, Prosperosity, Pymouss, Rudermeister, Saiphani02, Salil Kumar Mukherjee, Sriveenkat, Uniwah, Vanbasten 23, Werthercito, Z thomas, আফতাবুজ্জামান and ᱤᱧ ᱢᱟᱛᱟᱞ.

Congratulations and good recovery until our next Wikidata competition!

Wikidata logo in heart shape

A number of tools hosted on Toolforge rely on the replicated MediaWiki databases, dubbed "Wiki Replicas".

Every so often these servers have replication lag, which affects the data returned as well as the performance of the queries. And when this happens, users get confused and start reporting bugs that aren't solvable.

This actually used to be way worse during the Toolserver era (sometimes replag would be on the scale of months!), and users were well educated to the potential problems. Most tools would display a banner if there was lag and there were even bots that would update an on-wiki template every hour.

A lot of these practices have been lost since the move to Toolforge since replag has been basically zero the whole time. Now that more database maintenance is happening (yay), replag is happening slightly more often.

So to make it easier for tool authors to display replag status to users with a minimal amount of effort, I've developed a new tool: replag-embed.toolforge.org

It provides an iframe that automatically displays a small banner if there's more than 30 seconds of lag and nothing otherwise.

As an example, as I write this, the current replag for commons.wikimedia.org looks like:

The replica database (s4) is currently lagged by 1762.9987 seconds (00:29:22), you may see outdated results or slowness. See the replag tool for more details.

Of course, you can use CSS to style it differently if you'd like.

I've integrated this into my Wiki streaks tool, where the banner appears/disappears depending on what wiki you select and whether it's lagged. The actual code required to do this was pretty simple.

replag-embed is written in Rust of course, (source code) and leverages in-memory caching to quickly serve responses.

Currently I'd consider this tool to be beta quality - I think it is promising and ready for other people to give it a try, but know there are probably some kinks that need to be worked out.

The Phabricator task tracking this work is T321640; comments there would be appreciated if you try it out.

ഭാഷ തടസ്സമാകാതിരിക്കാൻ സഞ്ചാരികളെ സഹായിക്കാൻ AI Kiosk കൾ സ്ഥാപിക്കും എന്ന മന്ത്രി മുഹമ്മദ് റിയാസ് നിയമസഭയിൽ പറഞ്ഞെന്ന് പത്രത്തിൽ വായിച്ചു. നിർമിതബുദ്ധിയിൽ പ്രവർത്തിക്കുന്ന കിയോസ്കുകൾ അവർക്ക് അവരുടെ ഭാഷയിൽ മറുപടി കൊടുക്കുമെന്നാണ് മന്ത്രി പറഞ്ഞത്. ഭാഷ തടസ്സമാകാതിരിക്കാൻ സഞ്ചാരികളെ സഹായിക്കാൻ AI Kiosk കൾ സ്ഥാപിക്കും -ദേശാഭിമാനി പത്രം - ജൂലൈ 12, 2024 ചില ചോദ്യങ്ങൾ ഏതെങ്കിലും വിനോദസഞ്ചാരകേന്ദ്രത്തെക്കുറിച്ച് നിലവിൽ സഞ്ചാരികൾ അറിയുന്നതും സംശയങ്ങൾ തീർക്കുന്നതും എങ്ങനെയാണ്? അതിൽ എന്ത് പോരായ്മകളാണ് ഉള്ളത്? ഇന്റർനെറ്റ് കണക്ഷനുള്ള മൊബൈൽ ഫോണുകളിൽ ലഭ്യമല്ലാത്ത എന്തു സൗകര്യമാണ് ഈ കിയോസ്കുകളിൽ ഉണ്ടാകുക? ഇന്റർനെറ്റിൽ ലഭ്യമല്ലാതിരിക്കുകയും എന്നാൽ കിയോസ്കുകളിൽനിന്നു മാത്രം അറിയാൻ കഴിയുന്നതുമായ എന്തെങ്കിലും വിവരങ്ങൾ ഉണ്ടോ?

This Month in GLAM: June 2024

Friday, 12 July 2024 02:31 UTC

Wikipedia Town Inazawa

Thursday, 11 July 2024 19:20 UTC

July 7, 2024, I (User:Asturio Cantabrio) participated in “Wikipedia Town Inazawa”, held at the Inazawa City Central Library in Inazawa City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

Organizers and Participants

The event was organized by the Inazawa City Hall Commerce and Tourism Division. The lecturer was Professor Kazuto Aoki from the Fukui Prefectural University Regional Economic Research Institute.

There were 16 participants, and in addition to residents of Inazawa City, there were also participants from Ama City and Nagoya City. The participants were Inazawa City Hall staff, Aichi Prefectural Government staff, Tourism Association staff, public library librarians, university librarians, and school librarians.

The destinations on the walk were the Chuko Memorial Hall, the Owari Kokuga Site, Akazomeemon Poetry Monument Park, and the Owari School Site. The Chuko Memorial Hall is a modern Western-style building completed in 1880, while the other three are historical sites related to Akazomeemon, a poet of the Heian period, and his husband, Oe no Masahira.

Chuko Memorial Hall

The Chuko Memorial Hall is the oldest modern Western-style building in Inazawa City, and “Chuko” means Nakajima County Higher Elementary School.
The interior of the Chuko Memorial Hall is open to the public about once a year, so even modern architecture fans rarely have the opportunity to enter the building.

The Chuko Memorial Hall was completed in 1880, but it is unclear what purpose it served in the seven years before it became Nakajima County Higher Elementary School in 1887.

In addition, this building was first built near Zengen-ji Temple, and then moved three times, in 1912, 1940, and 1960, before settling in its current location. Over the course of 144 years, it has been used for various purposes, including a school, town hall, agricultural association, and board of education.

There is no page on the web that summarizes this complex history. Also, the explanations in the paper versions of “Repair Work Report for Chuko Memorial Hall” and “History of Inazawa City” are somewhat difficult to understand. In that sense, I think that creating an article on Chuko Memorial Hall on Wikipedia at this event was very meaningful.

Editing Workshop

After discussing the topic in advance, the organizers and instructors decided to split into three groups to edit Wikipedia articles: “Chuko Memorial Hall” (new article), “Akazoemon Poetry Monument Park” (new article), and “Owari Province” (addition to text). I acted as the facilitator for the Chuko Memorial Hall group.

However, the three Wikipedians in each group agreed that “creating a new article for Akazomeemon Poetry Monument Park would be difficult from the perspective of the guidelines for creating independent articles.” Therefore, the “Akazomeemon Poetry Monument Park” group added articles to “Akazome Emon” rather than creating a new article for the park. The “Owari Province” group focused on adding articles to “Oe no Masahira” rather than adding articles to Owari Province.

Literature used in editing

The Inazawa City Central Library, which was also the venue, prepared the literature used for editing. However, I assumed that the library would only prepare stiff books, so I personally printed out newspaper articles related to the topic from the Chunichi Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun databases and brought them to the event.

Such newspaper articles provide a concise and easy-to-understand summary of the subject. They are also useful for understanding the influence of the subject in modern times. For example, in the book, the Junior and Senior High School Memorial Hall is only described as a building that was once used as an elementary school, but when we read the newspaper article, we learn that it is a building that is still used for exhibitions and other events.

It seems that some groups viewed documents in the National Diet Library Digital Collection during the event and added sources. I don’t know if the Inazawa City Central Library will read the edited article, but it was an interesting event in which many documents that the organizers did not prepare in advance were used.

Geneva, Switzerland — Yesterday, the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that hosts and supports Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, was again denied accreditation as a permanent observer to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) — the specialized United Nations (UN) agency that determines global policies on copyright, patents, and trademarks for its 193 Member States. 

Observer status would enable the Wikimedia Foundation to participate and contribute to WIPO committees where intellectual property norms are set. For the fourth time, China opposed the Foundation’s request for observer status, based, once again, on false accusations that the Foundation is complicit in spreading disinformation. China misrepresented Wikipedia’s volunteer-driven policies and practices, all of which are rooted in accuracy and neutrality and help effectively counter misinformation and disinformation online.

As the host of the world’s largest online encyclopedia, the Wikimedia Foundation has a material interest and deep, practical expertise in many of the issues of interest being discussed at WIPO, including traditional knowledge, copyright, access to knowledge during times of crises, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Foundation’s presence at WIPO would help to ensure that the future of copyright truly reflects the global and diverse needs of the internet. Given that the content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects also play an essential role in training almost every large language model (LLM), the Foundation can offer valuable recommendations and unique insights as WIPO strives to understand and respond to the impact of AI on intellectual property rights.

“In the age of AI, Wikipedia is at the forefront of global copyright debates. Our experience at the Wikimedia Foundation can help WIPO Member States achieve meaningful policy transformations to protect open knowledge and content creation for the public interest,” said Stephen LaPorte, General Counsel of the Wikimedia Foundation. “We regret that the Foundation has once again been denied the opportunity to participate as observers at WIPO, especially on the basis of erroneous statements. We call on WIPO leadership to find a solution that can resolve this deadlock. Until then, we will continue to seek opportunities to represent open knowledge and the public interest at WIPO and beyond. Since 2022, our consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has allowed us to actively contribute to global initiatives like the Global Digital Compact, and we hope to one day share our expertise with WIPO as well.”

For 21 years, the Wikimedia Foundation has continuously contributed to country-level legislative processes on intellectual property, stressing the importance of balanced copyright laws for hosting content on Wikipedia and any other free and open online spaces designed for the public interest. Moreover, in times of crisis, conflicts, and pandemics, Wikimedia projects provide critical and reliable information that must remain available and be protected in forums like WIPO. 

The Foundation applied as a permanent observer to WIPO in 2020, 2021, 2023, and again this year, 2024. Our application was once again denied during WIPO’s General Assembly meeting based on a lack of consensus caused by China’s opposition. China has also previously blocked applications from Wikimedia affiliate groups and chapters seeking permanent or ad hoc observer status in WIPO. The Netherlands, as coordinator of the WIPO group of industrialized countries (which includes Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Turkey, the Holy See, and many European Union member states), the United States (US), France, Canada, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (UK) expressed public support for the Foundation’s application. Supporting countries highlighted the Foundation’s valuable insights and experiences, demonstrating its involvement in global copyright issues and relevance to WIPO’s work. 

The Wikimedia Foundation is an active and respected contributor and shaper of policies and practices concerning access to knowledge and information around the world. We hope that UN Member States and WIPO leadership will act to help advance global access to free knowledge by enabling the Foundation’s observer status application to move forward in the near future.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia and other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge freely. We host Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content; support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

For media inquiries, please contact press@wikimedia.org

The post Wikimedia Foundation’s Accreditation to World Intellectual Property Organization Blocked for a Fourth Time by China appeared first on Wikimedia Foundation.

Snapshot from the training session on Wikisource under the WILMA program

The successful Wikisource Loves Manuscripts (WILMA) pilot project conducted last year in Indonesia is not the end of our engagement with the Indonesian public. By using the remaining funds from the pilot project, we continued our engagement with the Indonesian public. This time, we aim to bring the rescued manuscript into the educational system to support student learning. With the help of Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat (PPIM) at UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, we conducted the WILMA Proofread-A-Thon event, focusing on an Arabic manuscript rescued in West Sumatra province.

The manuscript, taken from the private collection of the descendants of Syekh Abdul Latif Syakur, a prominent progressive Islamic scholar from West Sumatra, is unique as it is written by Islamic scholars from Indonesia in the Arabic language. Students from the Department of Tarjamah (Arabic Translation Studies) Islamic State University of Jakarta and the Institute for Quranic Studies Jakarta, who studied Arabic literature, manually transliterated the Arabic manuscripts on Da’wa (Islamic preaching) and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) onto the Wikisource platform using Arabic keyboards.

The event attracted 25 students from both universities who are interested in becoming new Wikisource contributors.

We hope that the students who participated in this event are also interested in continuing their work as a part of the Wikimedia Indonesia community

Hardiansyah, the representative from the Wikimedia Indonesia community who was also present at the event.

Throughout the one-day event, the students successfully transliterated 50 pages of Syekh Abdul Latif Syakur’s work.

The Proofread-A-Thon event is crucial for opening the door to learning valuable Indonesian manuscripts written in Arabic.

Abdullah Maulani, a lecturer at the Islamic State University of Jakarta and a PPIM staff member.

He also mentioned that the event would raise awareness among students about how open knowledge platforms, such as Wikisource, can be beneficial for the teaching and learning process in the classroom.

Keynote from Ms Marije Plomp, Leiden University Library

“By using Wikisource, we aim to show students that their work is beneficial not only for them but also for others who want to research manuscripts from around the world,”

said Ilham Nurwansah,  WILMA project leader

Ilham also mentioned that this is not the end of student engagement, as he and PPIM plan to conduct the event in other cities in Indonesia.

This Proofread-A-Thon event was made even more special with the participation of Ms. Marije Plomp, subject librarian for Southeast Asia at the Leiden University Library. She acknowledged WILMA as an organic movement emerging from community initiatives to preserve Indonesia’s documented heritage. During her presentation, she also highlighted how the Leiden University Library has expanded access and improved the findability of Indonesian manuscripts, opening up numerous collaboration opportunities to bring more Indonesian manuscripts to Wikisource.

In line with the spirit of the WILMA Learning Partners Network, we hope the event demonstrates how Wikisource can be an excellent platform for enhancing the study of ancient manuscripts, not just for safeguarding them. If you are interested in being a part of the WILMA Learning Partners Network, sign up here to join the network and contribute.

Jjurieee, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

WikiKaamatan 2024 was held on the 30th and 31st of May 2024 at Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA), Penampang, Sabah, Malaysia. This is the second year Kent Wiki Club has held a programme like this. The objectives of this programme are as follows:

  • Provide exposure and encourage the community in contributing knowledge related to Kadazandusun cultural heritage through the Wikimedia platform.
  • Elevate the Kadazandusun language so that it is recognized at the global level.
  • Preserving and documenting the culture of the Kadazandusun community.
  • Promoting the launch of the Kadazandusun Language Wikipedia to the Kadazandusun community.
Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A total of 35 members of the Kent Wiki Club and 2 volunteers from the Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia (WCUGM) who acted as guides and monitors were involved in this programme.

Activities held

The WikiKaamatan 2024 programme primarily focused on two Wikimedia projects which are Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary. Nine members of the Kent Wiki Club were dedicated to hosting a Wikimedia Commons workshop for visitors. They guided new users in creating accounts and taught them how to upload images to Wikimedia Commons and also policies of contributing to Wikimedia Commons. The Kent Wiki Club also encouraged participants to document activities around the KDCA area. Other club members were tasked with moving around KDCA to document existing cultural elements for Wikimedia Commons as well.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Regarding the Wiktionary project, workshops were held for new visitors. Those who contributed five words to the Malay or English Wiktionary received goodies from the Kent Wiki Club. In addition to the focus on the Kadazandusun language, the event successfully included many lesser-known indigenous languages in Wiktionary, such as Kimaragang and Rumanau.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A quiz game in the Kadazandusun language, prepared by the Kent Wiki Club, was held to engage visitors and increase participation. Additionally, a mini exhibition showcasing traditional Kadazandusun games and culture was also part of the event.

result & lesson learnt

WikiKaamatan 2024 has achieved more than the target set in the programme with a total of 1788 uploads on Wikimedia Commons. The pictures relate to traditional aspects of local culture such as clothing, dance, musical instruments, tools, food and art. The programme has also added 313 new pages and 501 pages on Wiktionary. The added vocabulary is from Kadazandusun, Kimaragang, Rumanau and many other local languages. This initiative successfully attracted 390 visitors who came within two days, offering a high interest in documenting the digital culture of Kadazandusun.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In addition, as many as 70 editors participated throughout the programme, showing the community’s commitment to preserving and honouring their cultural heritage on the world stage. This active participation helps in popularising the use of the Wikimedia projects for the purposes of education and cultural preservation. In particular, the introduction to the birth of the Kadazandusun Wikipedia, which is seen as the originator of articles in the mother tongue.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Overall, WikiKaamatan 2024 has successfully achieved its objectives by introducing and encouraging the Kadazandusun community to be involved in the production of digital content related to local culture in the wikimedia project. This not only helps in preserving the cultural heritage but also in introducing the culture to the global level.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learning from WikiKaamatan 2024

  1. Importance of Digital Documentation: Through the achievement of 1788 uploads on Wikimedia Commons, Kent Wiki Club can understand how important digital documentation is in preserving and promoting cultural heritage. This digital documentation not only facilitates access to information but also ensures that the cultural heritage can be inherited by future generations.
  2. Community Response: With the active participation of 70 editors and 390 visitors, it is clear that there is a high interest among the community in the digitisation of culture. This shows that this kind of programme is well received and should be continued and expanded in the future.
  3. Increased Language Awareness: An additional 313 new pages and 501 edited pages on Wiktionary show awareness and interest in the use and preservation of local languages ​​such as Kadazandusun, Kimaragang, and Rumanau. The Kent Wiki Club needs to continue to focus on activities that can increase awareness and use of the local language in the community.
Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Broader Community Involvement: The WikiKaamatan programme needs to increase the involvement of more community groups such as schools, universities, and local cultural associations. This can be achieved through a wider outreach programme, including briefing sessions and workshops in various locations. By involving more educational institutions and cultural organisations, the programme can attract more participants who may not be able to attend KDCA. This move not only expands the reach of the programme but also ensures that more individuals and groups benefit from Kadazandusun’s cultural digitization initiative.
  2. Wider Promotion: To increase public awareness of the WikiKaamatan programme, promotional efforts need to be intensified through social media, newspapers, and local radio. Attractive promotional videos can be distributed through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to attract the attention of young people and digital users. Effective promotion can ensure that more people are aware of the existence of this programme and participate in it, while increasing the number of visitors and participants involved in the activities held.
  3. Content Quality and Sustainability: The quality of images and information uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary needs to be high and relevant. To achieve this, content review and evaluation sessions by cultural experts and linguists should be held before the content is uploaded. This will ensure that the information disseminated is accurate and informative. By ensuring high quality, this programme can preserve and document Kadazandusun culture in a more effective and meaningful way.
  4. Volunteer Capacity Development: Training and support for volunteers should be increased to make them more skilled and competitive. Regular training sessions and capacity building workshops can help volunteers better understand their duties and carry out their responsibilities more effectively. By improving the skills and knowledge of volunteers, the WikiKaamatan programme can run more smoothly and achieve better results.
Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Feedbacks received during WikiKaamatan 2024 from visitors were overwhelmingly positive, demonstrated by the significant increase in uploads and page edits. This indicates the programme’s effectiveness and the community’s enthusiastic response. Activities like quizzes and interactive workshops were particularly appreciated for successfully engaging visitors and promoting the digitalisation of culture. These positive feedbacks confirm that the programme is heading in the right direction and should be continued and enhanced in the future.

Blusjai, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Kent Wiki Club aspires to attract global interest through the digitisation of Kadazandusun culture, aiding in its preservation and international promotion. The goal is for the Kadazandusun Wikipedia to grow rapidly and be widely utilized, not only within Malaysia but also by the Kadazandusun diaspora worldwide. This would help the culture gain global recognition and appreciation, supporting broader cultural preservation efforts. Additionally, the club aims to involve more young people in these digitisation efforts to ensure the programme’s continuity and relevance. Engaging the youth will help guarantee that cultural preservation efforts persist and are passed down to future generations. The WikiKaamatan programme plans to offer more activities and programmes, such as creative workshops and digital competitions, to attract young participants and encourage their involvement in preserving cultural heritage.

Other link:

Wikikaamatan meta Page: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Event:WikiKaamatan_2024 

Meta KWK: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Kelab_Wiki_Kent

Okon nopo ko yati, isai po?

Kent Wiki Club’s slogan

Wikimedia Indonesia just held its fourth annual conference for Wikimedia project volunteers from May 2nd to 5th in Bogor, West Java. Contributors from across the nation, ranging from the westernmost Aceh to the easternmost Papua attended the meeting. Overall, the sessions provided me an insight into the amount of effort that has been done to liberate knowledge in Indonesia, and how much is still needed.

For starters, due to personal issues, I haven’t been able to fully attend the conference due to personal issues. I was only able to attend the first and last day of the conference. The main event for the first day of the conference, which was called the pre-conference, was either the photo walk, workshop, and the WikiCendekia training for Wikimedia projects trainers. I picked the WikiCendekia, which lasted for two days. Due to the aforementioned personal issues, I was only able to attend the first day.

Prior to WikiCendekia, participants of the programme had already been prepared through two WikiLatih online sessions. The first online session, which was brought by the Wikimedia Indonesia Education Team and GLAM, provided participants a general overview of the WikiLatih (Wikimedia project training) six main Wikimedia Projects (Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikisource, Wikibooks, and Wiktionary). Through this first online session, I gained a more in-depth understanding of these projects, as I’ve only been active in Wikipedia. The next online session was more complex, as I was brought to study the heart of every WikiLatih, which were the paperwork and financial administration. The entire session baffled me a bit, and thus I asked a lot of questions, especially regarding the financial aspect. Although the entire session was a bit difficult to understand, I’ve managed to capture the essentials.

The offline session of WikiCendekia began on the 2nd of May. The first part of the session talked about the general rules and policy in the Indonesian Wikipedia, as well as the five pillars that built Wikipedia as it is now. My key takeaway from the first part is the sheer amount of governance that goes in ensuring Wikipedia as it is today. As an admin, it has to be admitted that there are still a lot of problems in enforcement of these general rules and policy, which was mostly due to a lack of manpower and willpower. At the end of the first part, the participants were divided into the several groups, with each group writing about an article that complies to Wikipedia’s standards. The interesting part is the fact that almost all groups did some mistakes, either major or minor, in their article.

The next part of the session discussed combatting disinformation and hoaxes, which has plagued Wikipedia since its inception. The speaker for this session was Wikipedia editors played a major role in this war against hoax, as editors need to filter and vet public sources to ensure its reliability and validity before using it as a source in articles. At the end of this part, participants were divided into groups and are instructed to verify the accuracy of several faux headlines, as well as deciding whether or not the headline is a hoax. Each group has to present the reasoning behind their decision. After several hours of break, the first offline session of WikiCendekia ended, with the final session being a brief introduction on Wikimedia projects other than Wikimedia.

After attending the first day of WikiNusantara, I was unable to attend the next two days, and was only able to attend the last day of WikiNusantara, on the 5th of May. The last day began with unconference. The unconference was divided into three sessions, with each session hosting eight to nine different unconference separately. The participants were free to attend any unconference in each of the sessions. All of the unconferences that I attended focused on the development of Wikipedia on higher education. The first unconference that I attended was Suardi Sahid, a lecturer from the University of Papua, and discussed the cooperation between Wikimedia and students. In the next session, I led an unconference about the implementation of the skills obtained through Wikimedia projects in daily life. The last session of the conference was also led by a lecturer, Kanya Prasetyo from the Brawijaya University, and discussed about the establishment of Wiki Clubs in Indonesian universities. The unconferences provided an insight into the potential of Wikimedia projects to further the academic cause and improve daily performance. The realization of this potential, however, was hindered due to a lack of interest and resources. More effort should be concentrated in establishing Wiki Clubs and develop interest among students to contribute to Wikimedia projects.

After lunch, WikiNusantara continued with seminar sessions. In the first round of the sessions, I attended a seminar on editing articles related to intelligence and military by Muhammad Nafis Athallah and another on providing media resources to Wikimedia projects by Muhamad Izzul Fiqih. The first round gives us an insight into the effort needed to develop this kind of article and media, especially with the lack of awareness and knowledge from the public regarding the technical part behind the military articles and media materials. The next round focuses on local languages in Indonesia, with a presentation on the recent development and challenges of the Betawi language by Rafif Aufa Nanda and the usage of Lingua Libre on the Gorontalo language from Supardi Sahabu. This language round mostly highlights the successes of the incorporation of the language to Wikipedia, as well as the obstacles and future prospects. The final round of the seminar, which brought up the topic of digital initiatives for indigenous languages, was presented by Ester Dina Sihombing from UNESCO. Ester highlights the similarities between the end goal of Wikimedia and UNESCO and delivered some tips in improving the coverage of endangered and local languages.

Overall, WikiNusantara provided me with an insight into how far the movement has come to further the goal of the Wikimedia movement itself. The developments in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects were actively demonstrated through the presentations and seminars. Initiatives launched by the communities also helped to built the free knowledge compendium as envisioned. However, the current effort is hampered by the lack of various aspects. There are still a huge gap that needs to be crossed to fully liberate the knowledge. Cooperation with key stakeholders such as ministries, NGOs, and institutions with the same goal as the Wikimedia Movement is an important point to reach this final destination.

Wiki Movimento Brasil/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the strategic directions of Wiki Movimento Brasil (WMB) seeks to collaborate within the Wikimedia Movement and with external agents for the development of open technologies that act on the broader strategic direction of knowledge as a service. In 2024, WMB is developing Wiki Infographics, a tool that will leverage structured data from Wikimedia projects to create informative, interactive, and visually engaging infographics. These infographics will present themselves as different ways of visualizing Wikimedia’s quality content and have great potential for engagement. Our goal is to create an efficient and modular platform that allows the production of quality infographics, encouraging the use of educational materials.

We kicked off this project in May of this year through a partnership with Outreachy. This initiative, to which WMB has been contributing for some years now, offers mentorship for developers from underrepresented communities in the world of technology to be introduced to the practice of developing open-source tools. WMB proposed Wiki Infographics as a mentoring project for Outreachy this year, and was accepted!

DevJames1/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0

The Outreachy intern chosen for the project is James Okolie, a Nigerian Civil Engineering graduate and Software developer, qualified in several programming languages ​​and stacks, such as C, Ruby, Python, MERN, and AWS. James values ​​Compassion, Friendships, and Loyalty in his interactions and this is the first real in-depth journey into open source.

In the first month of the project, which started on May 27, James has been deepening his knowledge of Wiki Movimento Brazil’s development process, and identifying and learning the essential infrastructure tech of this project in particular. One of those topics James has learned in this period is SPARQL queries. He shared in his blog his experience learning SPARQL through the Wikidata Query Service Tutorial, developed by Wikimedia Israel. You can check that post here. Flask is another technology James has become familiar with; He has worked with Django before, but not Flask.

Another milestone of this project, with a great contribution from James, is the creation and publication of the Technical Plan for Wiki Infographics. Technical plans are an essential part of the development process; They guide us through the necessary steps, set a feasible timeline, and provide a risk assessment for the project at hand. This document has twenty-four pages and nine sections, touching from documentation, and technical stack to the deployment plan and beyond.

The next steps are the implementation of the prototype and gathering community feedback. We will have an update on how everything is going by next month, but in the meantime, you can check James’ blog posts here, and follow the updates of the project on its ticket on Phabricator.

Have you ever wished monitoring and fighting vandalism was easier from your mobile device?

For quite some time Product teams at the Wikimedia Foundation have heard requests to add more tools for protecting against vandalism on mobile devices. The majority of editors who edit on desktops use visual and source editor, edit summary, watchlists, talk pages, templates, recent changes, and may have access to various patrolling tools such as SWViewer, Twinkle, and Huggle. However, for editors who edit through their mobile devices, there has been increasing interest in anti-vandalism tools, especially on Wikipedia’s mobile apps. Starting in August 2023 as a result of the annual plan, the Android team at the Wikimedia Foundation has been working on an anti-vandalism / patrol feature in the Wikipedia Android mobile application.

Over the past six years, the Android team has been working to strengthen editing tools available to mobile users, such as image recommendations, which was a new suggested edits feature that allows users to add images to articles based on machine recommendation (it’s available now on the iOS Wikipedia app too). These features are especially important for Android because the majority of people in mobile-only markets use Android over iOS.

By introducing the Edit Patrol feature to the Wikipedia Android mobile application, the team aimed not only to address the immediate need for enhanced vandalism control for this important group, but also to improve editor workflows and content moderation across all language wikis. 

The new feature offers users with rollback rights several new capabilities within the App:

  • Swipe through a feed of recent changes
  • Review diffs and take action through the toolbar to Thank, Watch page, Send a talk page message to the user, or Undo or Rollback the edit
  • Learn more about the editor you are reviewing, such as how long they’ve been an editor
  • Create and save a personal library of user talk messages to use while patrolling

How did the Android team build this feature?

Improve experience of editors with extended rights” is an objective of the Wikimedia Foundation’s 2023-2024 fiscal year plan that the Android team. It aligns with requests from various language communities, especially medium size wikis, for improvements in the quality of edits made through the app.

Community members emphasized the need for moderation tools that are fair and unbiased across different language wikis, and this was a specific request from the Wishlist.

Following a structured process outlined in the Wikimedia Foundation’s Inclusive Development Playbook, we aim to improve the quality of edits made through the app. This included research, user engagement, and planning. Clear goals were set and feedback was collected to guide the process ensuring a focus on enhancing both Wikipedia’s content quality and overall user experience.

Data is key in the decision-making process 

The Android team decided to focus on specific Wikipedia languages based on user data. We found that there were twice as many users with Rollback rights on Android (371) compared to iOS (176), so we prioritized developing the feature for Android first. Then, we identified which Wikipedia languages had users with Rollback rights using the apps.

Using data shared by our analyst (T322065), we selected Indonesian, Spanish, French, Chinese, and English Wikipedia as our target languages, and made sure to meet with current patrollers before working on designing the feature. We started with Indonesian Wikipedia as our pilot and collaborated throughout the development process with the help of Bonaventura Aditya Perdana, the Indonesian Product Ambassador.

Our aim was to assist wikis that faced challenges with existing monitoring tools, which is primarily small and medium sized wikis. We are also engaging with Igbo Wikipedia to understand the experience of a smaller wikis that do not have standard patrolling policies. With the input of small and medium-sized wikis, we were able to create saved warning messages that could be use as a type of template for communities that lack them.

Incorporating feedback

After presenting at Wikimania 2023 and sharing our initial V1 of the tool, the Android team heard requests from English, Indonesian, and French Wikipedians that they would like to be able to access and insert existing user talk warning templates while using this feature and Saved Messages. In response, the team built V2 to include a significant improvement: Templates.

Editors in the app can now access existing community templates from the editing toolbar, search for existing templates, fill out template data, insert a template, and preview it before posting. Adding this functionality allows patrollers to continue using the existing warning templates they are used to from their wikis while using this tool.

One of the Android team’s goals was to ensure our patrolling solution supported all users regardless of language. We noticed that many language wikis do not have existing user talk warning templates, so we prepared a set of 10 example messages from 5 Wikipedias that have templates, which come pre-loaded into the app and can be used as a key point. We consulted with Igbo Wikipedians on how the links within the messages should be presented, when policy pages are not yet created.

In the first 30 days after release, we saw 63 unique users engage with the tool. All editors who opened the feature swiped through edits to review them, and opened an edit in diff view. 23.8% of those who used the tool completed an undo, and 12.7% completed a rollback. 38.1% of users returned to engage with the tool again on another day.

Additionally, 63.6% of users who provided feedback about the feature, expressed feeling satisfied and 22.7% expressed feeling neutral about Edit Patrol.

What’s next?

We have heard requests to make a few elements of this feature community configurable, and we are exploring that possibility in partnership with the Growth team.The feature is now available for all Wikipedias. To access the feature, download the Android App and set your primary language.

If you have rollback rights on that language wiki, the “Edit Patrol” option will appear in the “Edits” tab. However, if a community decides they want to make the feature available to users who do not have rollback rights but have reached a certain edit threshold, they can contact us via our support emails: android-support@wikimedia.org

As a global rollbacker, you will be able to perform patrols in all the languages where you hold global rollbacker rights through your mobile device.

Are you interested in more about the Mobile Apps team? Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter, try out our mobile app if you haven’t already, and join in contributing to human knowledge on the go!

Anne-Christine Hoff is an associate professor of English at Jarvis Christian University.

Back in January of this year, I took a three-week, six-hour introductory course on Wikidata through the nonprofit Wiki Education. Before the course’s start, I knew little to nothing about Wikidata, and I had several preconceived notions about the database and its uses before I began the course.

My first impression about Wikidata was that AI bots ran the system by sweeping Wikipedia pages and then used that information to create data sets under various pre-defined headings. In my conception, Wikidata’s information updated only when editors on Wikipedia changed or added pages. I thought of Wikidata as a closed system, and I thought the point of the course would be to learn how to run queries, so that we students could figure out how to access the data collected through Wikipedia. 

I remember asking my Wiki Education instructor about the role of AI in Wikidata, and he very pointedly responded that bots cannot program anything on their own. Instead, humans program Wikidata, and through this programming capability, both humans and machines can read and edit the system.

Anne-Christine Hoff
Anne-Christine Hoff
Image courtesy Anne-Christine Hoff, all rights reserved.

Wired writer Tom Simonite provided an example of this phenomenon in his article “Inside the Alexa Friendly World of Wikidata”:

“Some information is piped in automatically from other databases, as when biologists backed by the National Institutes of Health unleashed Wikidata bots to add details of all human and mouse genes and proteins.” 

This same article also discusses a further example, published in a paper by Amazon in 2018, of Wikidata teaching Alexa to recognize the pronunciation of song titles in different languages.

Both of these examples do a good job of illustrating another one of my misconceptions about Wikidata. As mentioned before, I thought the system was centralized and, apart from periodic updates, static. I did not conceive of the difference between data collected through documents (like Wikipedia) and a database with an open and flexible, relational communication system. 

What I discovered was vastly more interesting and complex than what I imagined. It was not a bot-driven data collecting system drawn from Wikipedia entries, but instead Wikidata was a communication system that can use multiple languages to add data. An editor in Beijing may enter information in Chinese, and that data will immediately be available in all the languages used by Wikidata. This feature allows for a self-structuring repository of data by users adding localized data from all over the world.

In 2013, Wikidata’s founder, Denny Vrandečić, wrote about the advantages that a database like Wikidata has over documents because “the information is stored centrally from where it can be accessed and reused independently and simultaneously by multiple websites without duplication.” In his article “The Rise of Wikidata,” Vrandečić made clear that Wikidata is not just a database for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. It can also be used “for many different services and applications, from reusing identifiers to facilitate data integration, providing labels for multilingual maps and services, to intelligent agents answering queries and using background knowledge” (Vrandecic, 2013, p. 90). 

This raises the question as to how Wikidata intelligently reads the information stored on its platform. My first misconception had to do with my belief that Wikidata was a flat collection of data based on Wikipedia’s entries. What I didn’t understand is that the crux of Wikidata’s intelligence comes from its ability to understand data in a relational way. As noted in “Familiar Wikidata: The Case for Building a Data Source We Can Trust,” Wikidata’s semantic structure is based on rules, also known as Wikidata ontology. According to this ontology, a person may have a relationship to a “born in” place, but a place cannot have a “born in” relationship to other entities. For example, Marie Curie can be born in Warsaw, but Warsaw cannot be born in Marie Curie. 

This knowledge-based structure is the key to understanding how Wikidata’s identifiers are used to connect to one another. In Wikidata’s logical grammar, two entities connect to one another by a relationship, also known as a “triple.”  It is this triple structure that creates the structural metadata that allows for intelligent mapping.  A fourth item, a citation, turns each triple into a “quad.” The fourth item is crucial to Wikidata’s ability to further arrange the data relationally, by making clear where the data in the triple originates, then arranging the data hierarchically based on its number of citations. 

Having access to the Wiki Education dashboard, I was able to see the edits of the other students taking the class. One student whom I’ll call Miguel was adding missing information about Uruguayan writers on Biblioteca Nacional de Uruguay’s catalog. As of this writing, he has completed more than 500 edits on this and other subjects, such as the classification of the word “anathema” as a religious concept. Two Dutch archivists were adding material on Dutch puppet theater companies in Amsterdam and Dutch women in politics. An Irish student was updating information on a twelfth century Irish vellum manuscript and an English translation of the Old Irish Táin Bó Cúailnge by Thomas Kinsella. 

What I saw when I perused the subjects of edits was exactly what the article “Much more than a mere technology” mentions, that is, that Wikidata is capable of linking local metadata with a network of global metadata. This capability makes Wikidata an attractive option for libraries wanting to “improve the global reach and access of their unique and prominent collectors and scholars” (Tharani, 2021). 

Multiple sources contend that Wikidata is, in fact, a centralized storage database, and yet the intelligence of Wikidata makes this description ring hollow. It is not a database like the old databases for documents. Its ontological structure allows for it to understand the syntax of data and arrange that information relationally into comprehensible language. Like the example of the biologists from the National Institutes of Health who programmed bots who programmed Wikidata bots to add genetic details about humans, mice and proteins to external databases, it can also be programmed for uses on external databases. Its linking capabilities make it possible for librarians and archivists from around the world to connect their metadata to a network of global metadata. Its multilingual abilities have a similar decentralizing effect, allowing users to create structured knowledge about their own cultures, histories, and literature in their own languages. 

If you are interested in taking a Wikidata course, visit Wiki Education’s course offerings page to get started.

Explore the upcoming Wikidata Institute, Wikidata Salon, and other opportunities to engage with Wikidata at learn.wikiedu.org.

Trouble with some wikis

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 15:26 UTC

Jul 10, 15:26 UTC
Resolved - This incident has been resolved.

Jul 10, 15:18 UTC
Monitoring - A fix has been implemented and we are monitoring the results.

Jul 10, 15:05 UTC
Investigating - We are aware of issues with accessing some wikis, and we are investigating.

A banana is on a table and the image of a banana is on the screen of a laptop, both are framed and labeled as "banana"
Bounding boxes are drawn around both a physical and an on-screen banana as a metaphor for computer vision (Max Gruber, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Today, our lives are fully connected to the digital environment, through social media, mobile apps, and for those who participate, the complex ecosystem of the Wikimedia projects. In these online surroundings, images are increasingly present and becoming a predominant way of communicating. On English Wikipedia, for example, there are more than five million distinct images and research that investigated readers’ interactions found that images on Wikipedia “drive 10 times the engagement that citations do.” (See Rama, D., Piccardi, T., Redi, M. et al. (2022) A large scale study of reader interactions with images on Wikipedia – EPJ Data Sci. 11, 1).

For this reason, visual and media literacy is more important than ever and, in Wikimedia projects, visual knowledge is both its own form of knowledge, and a necessary support for encyclopedic knowledge. To ensure visual knowledge is available to everyone, it must be made findable and accessible through alt text and additional description and data.
With all of this in mind, in October 2023, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Culture and Heritage team supported a second edition of the “Image Description” initiative, extending it from a week to a month. During this Image Description Month, we had a total of nine events organized by seven different communities and partners spread across four different continents (North America, South America, Europe, and Asia): Digital Public Library of America and Wikimedians of Indiana, CIS-A2K India, Biodiversity Heritage Library and OpenRefine, Wikimedia Colombia, Wikimedia Argentina, and Wikimedistas de Uruguay.

To document the initiative and shine a light on the events organized, as well as the communities who participated in and delivered them, we have gathered first-hand reports. When available, links for recordings and information pages are also included.

Events by the Digital Public Library of America and Wikimedians of Indiana

WikiWednesday @ IUPUI and the DPLA Network Coffee Chat

The Digital Public Library of America organized two events for the IDM. WikiWednesday @ IUPUI was organized with Wikimedians of Indiana and held in person at the university library. Here’s an account from Jamie, one of the organizers of the event:

“WikiWednesdays are on the first Wednesday of every month, when the user group gets together with librarians at the University Library at Indiana University to teach Wikipedia-related topics. October’s theme was around Image Description, where we used digital items from Wikimedia Commons that had been digitized by the library and uploaded through the DPLA pipeline to talk about improving image description and “thinking outside the box” for how to use images across Wikipedia. For example, using an image of a girl’s worsted wool dress to illustrate the Worsted article. The dress comes from the Conner Prairie digital collection in Indiana Memory.” – Jamie Flood, Wikimedians of Indiana User Group member, DPLA Wikimedia working group member, and Senior Wikipedian and Outreach Specialist, National Agricultural Library.

DPLA’s second event, DPLA Coffee Chat: A Wikimedia Case Study with Ohio Digital Network and Columbus Metropolitan Library, was organized by its Wikimedia working group. In this online event, participants shared their experiences contributing over 350,000 images from the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s digital collections using the Digital Public Library of America’s pipeline to Wikimedia Commons.

After the presentation, there was a group discussion and interactive editing session to add images, captions, and Depicts statements to DPLA files on Wikimedia Commons. This part was not recorded, but participants were able to edit several files, ask questions, and request help from members of the Wikimedia working group. The recording of the first part of the event is available on YouTube:

Recording of the DPLA Coffee Chat organized by the Wikimedia Working Group

Events by Wikimedia Colombia

Abrir la Cultura y el Patrimonio: seminars 3 and 4 

“Abrir la Cultura y el Patrimonio” (in English, “Opening up Culture and Heritage”) was a series of four seminars to provide an overview of the possibilities for collaboration between cultural institutions in Colombia and the Wikimedia movement. For Image Description Month, Wikimedia Colombia contributed their third and fourth seminars: one about how to open collections and digitization projects, and another about how to make collections visible through metadata.

Here’s a translated first-hand report from Paula, the main organizer:

“The seminars arose from the need to create spaces for meetings, learnings, and reflections about the possibilities of cultural action in Colombia. Each seminar followed the sequence Problem → Wikimedia Tool→ Solution→ Impact, allowing participants to find commonalities or points of connection in each presentation. Over 60 people participated and 32 were certified due to their dedication and interest. This experience has also created momentum in cultural institutions, generating interest and anticipation for a future edition and potential collaborations and support from Wikimedia Colombia.

Recording of the third session with Wikimedia Argentina

For the 3rd session, Angie Cervellera and Mauricio Genta from Wikimedia Argentina shared their experience with cultural institutions. The session explored the concept of open collections and activities that extend beyond Open Access. Mauricio then delved into the challenges Wikimedia Argentina faced when the project was initially proposed and detailed each phase that a Wikimedia and digitization project needs to consider: planning, preparation, capture, and treatment. Mauricio concluded by delving into the legal frameworks that must be considered when uploading collections to Commons. The main objective of this session was to raise questions about the link between digitization and dissemination of heritage images and it attracted 27 managers from cultural institutions across the country.

Recording of the fourth session with Silvia Gutierrez

For the 4th session, Silvia Gutierrez created a series of interactive exercises to promote reflections on collective knowledge production. Silvia delved into an explanation of Wikidata, emphasizing how it’s collectively constructed. After the presentation, participants were invited to explore the Wikidata Query service. With Silvia’s guidance, they constructed queries with the objective of discovering essential information about museums, libraries, and cultural institutions in Colombia. This exercise allowed the participants to identify content gaps and understand how they could engage with them on the Wikimedia projects.” – Paula Durán, Culture Program Officer, Wikimedia Colombia.

Events by CIS-A2K India

Image Description Month in India (SDC and CIS-A2K sessions)

CIS-A2K India organized two events. The first was an online event (recording) introducing Structured Data on Commons, where participants edited and added data to images. 

The second was a month-long invitation for each Indian language community to describe images on their local Wikipedia, plus Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons (report).

Here’s a first-hand report from Nitesh, the main organizer: 

“Regarding the recent Image Description Month campaign, I wish to highlight its significance in enhancing the accessibility and usability of visual content on Wikimedia Commons across all languages. In collaboration with CIS-A2K and the Image Description Month organizing team, we aimed to promote this campaign within Indian communities. Our efforts resulted in the participation of 21 Indian Wikimedians in the content creation or development. There was also an engaging advanced structured data training session conducted led by Giovanna Fontelle (WMF), which garnered positive feedback and valuable suggestions from some attendees.

I’m pleased to report the significant contributions made by editors during the campaign:

  • 243 captions were meticulously edited
  • 1 caption received significant modifications
  • 3007 depictions were thoughtfully added
  • 54 depictions were updated for accuracy
  • 215 new uploads enriched Wikimedia Commons
  • 607 categories were thoughtfully curated to enhance discoverability

Buoyed by the overwhelmingly positive response from the Indian community, I’m eager to sustain this collaboration for the future and expand upon the achievements. If there are plans underway to organize a similar event this year, I would make a step forward with a renewed focus on innovation and inclusivity. Indeed, campaigns of this nature not only provide a platform for volunteers to collaborate but also ignite a spirit of collective action on both national and global scales. As the journey continues, the possibilities for growth and impact are boundless, fueled by a shared commitment to knowledge accessibility and community empowerment.” – Nitesh Gill, Program Officer, Centre for Internet and Society.

Event by the Biodiversity Heritage Library

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) organized an event titled Transforming Biodiversity Heritage Library Images – Data Modeling with OpenRefine (recording). This event’s objective was to develop a Structured Sata on Commons model for BHL. The event was supported by Sandra Fauconnier, as part of her work with OpenRefine. 

Here’s a first-hand report from JJ, one of the event’s organizers:

The BHL-Wiki working group has been scaling up the BHL to Structured Data on Commons pipeline to improve image search across the vast biodiversity image collection

“In collaboration with Wikimedia Foundation’s Giovanna Fontenelle, Wikimedian Sandra Fauconnier, and BHL Data Manager JJ Dearborn, the workshop united BHL Staff, Wikimedians, Flickr staff, and biodiversity image enthusiasts. The primary focus was on mapping and loading BHL Flickr image data to Structured Data on Commons (SDC), a key initiative by Wikimedia Commons. This project, identified as the second top-voted priority in the BHL Wikimedia Whitepaper, “Unifying Biodiversity Knowledge to Support Life on a Sustainable Planet,” made significant progress, covering 60% of the mapping work for 27 out of 45 fields. Sandra provided an exciting preview of the Wiki Commons extension for OpenRefine.

Looking ahead, there was much enthusiasm to sustain momentum from the 16 participants who attended, prompting plans for Part 2 of the workshop. The aim is to complete the mapping work collectively while delving deeper into OpenRefine, exploring its capability to load image data into the Structured Data Commons ecosystem. This effort not only establishes a SPARQL endpoint for BHL’s Image Collection but also unlocks potential data harvesting back into the BHL data ecosystem. The ultimate goal is to enhance the accessibility and utilization of public domain images for users across Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, and BHL. Stay tuned for updates on Part 2.” – JJ Dearborn, Data Manager, Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Event by Wikimedia Argentina

Poster of the “Experiencias culturales accesibles: del territorio a la pantalla” event by Wikimedia Argentina (Angie Cervellera (WMAR), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The event with Wikimedia Argentina was called “Experiencias culturales accesibles: del territorio a la pantalla” (in English, “Accessible cultural experiences: from the territory to the screen”). The recording is available.

Here’s a translated first-hand report from Angie, the main event organizer:

“Wikimedia Argentina’s Culture and Open Knowledge program held a virtual meeting addressing accessibility as a transversal perspective in cultural spaces. As part of the Image Description Month, the session titled “Accessible cultural experiences: from the territory to the screen” aimed not only to raise awareness about the issue but also to encourage participants to take action on the matter, in this case, by learning how to edit Wikipedia’s alternative texts. There were 30 participants, mostly Spanish speakers, and they improved the alt texts in 5 articles.

The presentation was given by Gladys Benítez, scriptwriter, narrator of audio descriptions for series and films, and member of TNC (the accessible program of the Teatro Nacional Cervantes). In it, different accessible resources for blind or visually impaired people were covered.

After, a space for practice and exchange was set up so that participants could collectively produce alt texts for images on Wikipedia. We divided ourselves into groups of five and worked on different local articles with images. Each group collaboratively discussed what would be the best description for each image and the edits were made.

We believe that these types of proposals are especially interesting for all cultural workers. It’s important that they understand that accessibility is a collective commitment and that it largely depends on small actions that, when added together, lead to practices that are increasingly accessible to everyone. We emphasize, along with Gladys, that accessibility makes people feel part of a space and want to stay (or return), and we think that the same happens with Wikipedia, understood as a global community based on the voluntary participation of people. We, therefore, emphasize the importance of small actions such as editing ALT texts so that Wikipedia becomes increasingly a more friendly space, where everyone can feel welcome.” – Angie Cervellera, Culture and Open Knowledge, Wikimedia Argentina.

Recording of the “Accessible cultural experiences: from the territory to the screen” organized by Wikimedia Argentina

Event by Wikimedistas de Uruguay

Wikimedistas de Uruguay organized the month-long initiative “Click a la escuela” (in English, “Flash to the school”). Here’s the on-wiki description by Fede, one of the organizers: 

In the framework of Heritage Day 2023, Wikimedians of Uruguay proposed a photography contest to document school buildings throughout the country. The call was open from October 1 to 31 inclusive. During this period, people could upload photographs of schools and school buildings through the WikiShootMe tool, which allowed them to easily upload photographs with geographic coordinates. – Fede Colman, Wikimedia and Heritage Institutions Fellow, Wikimedistas de Uruguay.

A statement from Wikimedia Australia

Wikimedia Australia (WMAU) and the WMAU Board would like to acknowledge and give thanks to the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC) for their hard work over many years to produce the current Movement Charter and the Supplementary Documents. WMAU strongly supports the need for a Movement Charter as a Movement Strategy priority and appreciates the huge contribution the MCDC have made towards achieving this.

WMAU strongly endorses the aims of the Movement Strategy to increase diversity and equity in representation and inclusive decision-making across the global Wikimedia community. Current centralisation of power in the Wikimedia Foundation and the 12 WMF Board of Trustees Members is not representative or equitable, and is no longer appropriate for a global public interest platform.

Despite the significant time and effort already invested in the Charter process, the WMAU Board does not believe this is reason enough to ratify the proposed model as is. Although the Movement Charter is moving in the right direction, the WMAU Board is concerned that the model as proposed leaves open too much potential for unintended consequences.

WMAU’s chief concerns are that the proposed model:

  • is complex and bureaucratic
  • does not provide appropriate mechanisms for review, evaluation and iteration
  • does not provide adequate mechanisms for oversight and ensuring transparency and accountability
  • does not make it clear how diversity, inclusion and representation will be achieved
  • does not adequately communicate the separation of responsibilities between the Global Council, Global Council Board, the Wikimedia Foundation and the WMF Board of Trustees, resulting in a lack of clarity in relation to the operation of the Global Council and the Global Council Board.

As a result the WMAU Board feel they cannot vote yes in good conscience. It is for these reasons the WMAU Committee has opted to abstain by making a blank vote.

We did not come to this decision lightly. We discussed the proposed model at length within the Board and with our Chapter membership at a public meeting. In reaching this decision, the WMAU Board wants to make it clear that we and the Chapter remain committed to supporting and promoting diversity, inclusion and representation in the Wikimedia community, and we support ongoing moves towards more equitable and inclusive decision-making with respect to all Wikimedia Movement Organisations. We support a renewed effort to improve the current Charter. To that end, we recommend the MCDC consider separating ratification of the Principles and the parts of the Charter outlining the roles of existing Movement Bodies from the far more ambitious proposal to set up a Global Council and Global Council Board. The WMAU Board endorses the Charter Principles and Values and welcomes the clarity the Charter provides on the roles of various Movement Bodies. Our concerns relate to the need for more consideration of the constitution, representation, resourcing, voting, transparency, accountability and amendment processes of the Global Council and the Global Council Board.

In particular, we are extremely concerned that the model is deliberately difficult to amend, with unclear review or evaluation processes. This is a major issue given the complexity of the structure that is being proposed. As others have noted, this directly contradicts the Recommendation of the Movement Strategy #10 Evaluate, iterate, and adapt. We would like to see a model that is more adaptable and open to oversight, evaluation and review to reduce the risks associated with introducing a complex and bureaucratic new layer of governance such as the Global Council.

Beyond the proposed Charter itself, the WMAU Board wishes to flag concerns with the ratification process as well. Legitimate questions can be raised as to the role of the WMF Board of Trustees in the ratification process. Specifically, we note that the voting arrangement effectively gives the WMF Board of Trustees a veto over the passage of the Charter. Regardless of how that is wielded, it undermines the legitimacy of the spirit of community based decision-making the Charter seeks to enact.

We are also concerned that the Board Liaisons Reflections published on Friday 21 June 2024 had a negative impact on the Charter ratification process. Whether intended or not, the Board Liaisons unduly influenced community discussion of the Charter (and likely how votes were cast) by publicly stating their recommendation that the WMF Board of Trustees not ratify the Charter because the release of that recommendation could reasonably be read as an announcement of how the WMF Board of Trustees intended to vote (whether their vote followed the recommendation or not does not matter). This action was counter to the MCDC’s request that the WMF Board of Trustee’s vote not be shared until after the vote of individuals and affiliates had concluded to avoid influencing the voting. Unfortunately, the release of the Board Liaisons' recommendation has been widely construed as a deliberate attempt to influence the vote. Whether that was the intention, it has been both the effect and the perception.

WMAU looks forward to working together with the different stakeholders on next steps in the ongoing journey towards better governance and decision-making for the global Wikimedia community.  

Wikimedia Australia Board

This is an English translation of my book entitled “A 70-year-old Wikipedian talks about the charm of libraries.” Chapter 1, The Road to Wikipedia. Previously, click here.

“Labyrinth” by Yaeko Nogami (Chapter 1-5)

Yaeko Nogami, Japanese writer

I had only heard of Yaeko Nogami (1885-1985) through essays she wrote for magazines and newspapers, and had never read any of her novels. I was interested to read in a newspaper that Nogami visited China for the first time when she was over 70 years old and went to Yan’an, where Mao Zedong had his base of operations. My father had been to northern China during the war, but I had never heard anything about the battlefield, so I thought there might be some clues there. In 2014, I found a book titled “Critique of Yaeko Nogami: Through the Labyrinth to the Forest” (Shinchosha, 2011) and read it. 

The book told that Nogami came to Tokyo from Usuki, Oita Prefecture, and entered the Meiji Girl’s School; that her husband, Toyoichiro Nogami, was the president of Hosei University and a Noh scholar; that she went to Yan’an because it was the setting of “Labyrinth”; her relationship with Eiichi Shibusawa and his family; and so on. Nogami continued to write until the end of her life at the age of 99. 

Two years later, in 2016, I applied for the Library Exhibition Forum to be held in Oita in September and picked up Nogami’s “Labyrinth” to read a novel with a connection to Oita. It is a large work of nearly 1,300 pages in two volumes in the Iwanami Bunko collection, set in Tokyo, Karuizawa, her hometown Oita, and the battlefields of China, during the 1910s. I continued reading the book throughout my trip to Oita, I visited the memorial museum that had been renovated from Nogami’s birthplace to take a closer look. I finished reading the book after I returned to Tokyo. I was impressed by the power of the writing style of Soseki Natsume‘s disciple: the conception and development of the story on a large scale, the detailed coverage of the historical background, and the accurate portrayal of the characters.

I thought that an author of Nogami’s caliber would have an article on Wikipedia, but when I looked at it, I found a detailed article but only the titles of individual works. So, I decided to put “Labyrinth,” one of her best-known works, on Wikipedia. Based on the pages of famous works by other authors, I compiled a “synopsis,” “main characters,” “publication and release chronology,” and so on. If there was something I did not understand from the materials I had on hand, I went to the local library and researched this or that. In the process of researching, I came across many things that I had not noticed when reading the novel, and I enjoyed the process.

Once the manuscript was completed, it was time to edit the draft on Wikipedia. The title of the article was initially “Labyrinth,” but there was already an article titled “Labyrinth,” which described the labyrinth itself, as well as several songs with that title. Therefore, I decided to change the title of the article to “Labyrinth (Novel by Yaeko Nogami).” Thinking that I could prepare the content of the article later, I first wrote and published a definition, a synopsis, and the main characters. To my surprise, within an hour or so, I received corrections from many Wikipedians, not about the contents, but about various formatting mistakes. I was surprised that so many people had checked my first submission as a newcomer. I then enhanced the content of the article, and other Wikipedians made corrections as well. All of the edit history remains public, so you can see who made the changes, when, and how.

I managed to make my debut, but it took me two years to start working on the next article. I was able to read the novel in depth and writing the article was a fun experience, but I must have been too enthusiastic because it took a lot of energy to get it published, and I was exhausted. I didn’t have anyone I could easily ask small questions to, and the hurdles were still high.

Documenting manhole covers in Spain

Tuesday, 9 July 2024 05:13 UTC


· Wikimedia · photography ·

A fascinating journey: 10 years of manhole cover photography from our community, 8 July 2024 by Sara Santamaria:

Documenting a manhole cover has become an essential part of the community’s trips and outings. Over the years, some members have developed an affinity for certain covers that they consider particularly representative. Mentxu Ramilo, for example, found a 1925 manhole cover in Vitoria-Gasteiz that she found fascinating. “I let myself be infected by the Wikimedian spirit and passions, and by everything that forms part of the graphic heritage and deserves to be documented,” explains Mentxu.

I think we of WikiClubWest are going to have to up our game of cataloguing of all the street things! :-)

Tech News issue #28, 2024 (July 8, 2024)

Monday, 8 July 2024 00:00 UTC
previous 2024, week 28 (Monday 08 July 2024) next

Tech News: 2024-28

weeklyOSM 728

Sunday, 7 July 2024 10:03 UTC


lead picture

SotM France 2024 – Lyon [1] | © OSM-France


  • Marco Antonio mapped El Cardón National Park in Bolivia using official boundary data from PROMETA, an environmental conservation organization of Tarija, Bolivia.
  • Roxystar is currently mapping street lamps in Munich, complete with additional details such as the lamp’s height, to simulate the light coverage by using OSMStreetLight.
  • rtnf on Mastodon emphasised the importance of mapping building entrances to help people avoid getting lost, citing personal experience of having to circle a building to find the entrance. znrgl points out in the conversation that it is easy to record entrances with the Every Door at any time while traveling.
  • DENelson83 has completed a project to manually map all the forested areas on Vancouver Island from aerial imagery, improving the detail and accuracy of the island’s forested regions on OpenStreetMap.
  • Comments were requested on the following:
    • The proposal to deprecate crossing=zebra in favour of crossing:markings.
    • The proposal to introduce the volunteers: prefix for locations/features that have need of volunteers, including whether new volunteers are accepted, urgency of need, signup information, and benefits for volunteers.

Mapping campaigns

  • The Open Mapping Hub – Asia Pacific from HOT celebrated the winners of the Climate Change Challenge, recognising the efforts to generate valuable data through OpenStreetMap in 14 Asia Pacific countries. Special thanks were given to Open Mapping Gurus from Nigeria, Peru, and Niger, and the winning teams will soon receive their prizes. Countries mapped include Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Nepal, and more.
  • Pavy_555 visited JNTU Hyderabad, to promote smart mobile mapping using the Every Door app, emphasising community engagement and the importance of updating OpenStreetMap data with local amenities and micro-mapping efforts.
  • IVIDES.org is promoting a campaign > for the collaborative mapping of the Brazilian coastal and marine zones. The project uses OpenStreetMap and will be carried out to evaluate aspects related to the sustainability of this strategic region. Registration is open for participation in the pilot mapping and the research coordinator presents the initiative in her diary > .


  • The OpenStreetMap community is invited to participate in WikiCon 2024, taking place from 4 to 6 October in Wiesbaden, Germany. Volunteers are needed to staff the OSM booth and promote the project to a wider audience. Travel and accommodation costs can be covered by FOSSGIS e.V. for participants from outside the Wiesbaden or Rhein-Main area. If you are interested, you can note this directly on the wiki page.


  • [1] Bristow presents a photo retrospective of the 10th SotM France conference, held in Lyon from 28 to 30 June 2024. Attendance records were broken, with over 300 people taking part. Recordings of the presentations will soon be available online on PeerTube.
  • The deadline for early bird pricing for the 2024 State of the Map from 6 to 8 September has been extended till 31 July.
  • The FOSS4G Perth 2024 conference, scheduled for 23 October in conjunction with the ISPRS TC IV Mid-Term Symposium, has opened its Call for Presentations, inviting the open geospatial community to share insights on tools such as QGIS, PostGIS, and OpenStreetMap.
  • The State of the Map 2024 programme offers a diverse range of sessions, workshops, and lectures. The event will occur from 6-8 September, in Nairobi, Kenya, covering topics such as sustainable transport, local mapping initiatives, integration into academic curricula, and innovative data collection methods.


  • OpenStreetMap contributor Denis_Helfer is organising an introduction to OSM on the 15 July in Strasbourg, France. This will likely be followed by a series of workshops in autumn.


  • JveuxDuSoleil is a web application that simulates urban shadows to help users find sunny terraces in cities such as Paris, Marseille, and Nantes. Users can zoom in on the map to see where terraces will be sunny at certain times. However, the project faces functionality issues as building models and their shadows are no longer generated due to maintenance issues.

OSM in action

  • The ‘Los Pueblos más Bonitos de España’ website offers a guide to the most beautiful villages in Spain, with resources such as an OpenStreetMap-based village map application for geolocalised travel and a guidebook for sale to help organise trips to these charming places.
  • The GLOBE programme’s data visualisation tool allows users to explore environmental data collected around the world, filtering by protocol, date range, and geographical location, with options to download and analyse specific datasets for educational and scientific purposes.
  • The Toll/ST Ceritapeta tool allows users to visualise and measure driving distances from various toll gates and train station in Jakarta, Indonesia on an OpenStreetMap background. This tool is utilized to aid decision-making when choosing a residential complex in the suburbs of the Jakarta Metropolitan Area, as driving distances to the nearest transportation infrastructures serve as a good indicator of connectivity.
  • The Naturkalender ZAMG map allows users to explore various natural observations, such as plant and animal phenology data. It provides detailed visualisations of seasonal changes and species distribution, supporting citizen science, and ecological research.
  • The Mosquito Alert map displays real-time reports of mosquito sightings and breeding sites submitted by users on an OSM background, contributing to public health research and control efforts. The interactive map allows users to explore mosquito data geographically, helping to track the spread and presence of different mosquito species.
  • Norbert Tretkowski navigated > around Norway using Organic Maps on a Google Pixel 3, detailing the app’s performance and challenges with features such as tunnel navigation, estimated arrival times, and ferry integration.
  • velowire.com displays the routes of the most important cycle races on OpenStreetMap maps and offers them for download.
  • NNG and Dacia have partnered to offer Dacia drivers OSM based navigation maps, providing a community-driven, frequently updated, and feature-rich map solution to enhance the driving experience.

Open Data

  • The Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) has made OSM land use data available on HeiData, providing TIFF tiles for EU countries and the UK. This data is derived from Sentinel-2 imagery and OpenStreetMap, which is classified into categories such as agricultural areas and urban regions using a deep learning model. The datasets can be used by urban planners, environmental researchers, and others for various applications.


  • Badge(r)s is a location-based GPS game where players collect virtual items, quadrants, and regions, acting as both creators and collectors. Badges, the primary virtual items, appear on the map at specific coordinates or in players’ collections.
  • The June 2024 MapLibre newsletter announced two minor releases of MapLibre GL JS, progress on a Vulkan backend for MapLibre Native, and the release of Martin Tile Server v0.14. It welcomed new sponsors and highlights upcoming events including FOSS4G EU and State of the Map Europe.
  • Amanda details improvements and ongoing issues with WaterwayMap.org, including a new flow direction grouping feature, bugs in river bifurcation calculations, and gaps caused by geojson-to-vector tile conversion, and invites feedback and discussion from the community.


  • emersonveenstra introduced the ‘Rapid Power User Extension’, a new Chrome/Firefox extension that integrates with OpenStreetMap to redirect edit buttons to Rapid and add Strava heatmap support as overlay imagery. The extension is in early development, and users are encouraged to report issues and suggestions on GitHub.
  • Mark Stosberg explored the optimisation of Minneapolis’ low-stress bicycle network connectivity using spatial analysis for generating isochrones to measure bicycle travel distances within the network. He described his process using QGIS, JOSM, and Valhalla to create a customised routing network and generate multiple isochrones. The aim is to prioritise segments for improvement based on their impact on overall connectivity.
  • The new osmapiR package is now published at CRAN, the official repository for R packages. After almost one year of development and polishing, the package implements all API calls and includes a complete documentation with examples for all functions. With this publication and existing packages osmdata (implementing overpass calls) and osmextract (work with .pbf files), R is now a first class language to work with OpenStreetMap.

Did you know …

  • … the map 1NITE TENT, where private individuals offer overnight accommodation with a tent on their property? This is particularly useful in countries where wild camping is prohibited.
  • … about the different tools to convert opening hours into OSM syntax, display them, and fix any errors?

Other “geo” things

  • Robin Wilson has created a demo app for searching an aerial image using text queries like “tennis courts” or “swimming pool”. Under the hood, it extracts embedding vectors from the SkyCLIP AI model for small chips of the image and compares them using vector similarity metrics.
  • Cameroon and Nigeria have agreed to resolve their long-standing border dispute through joint on-the-ground verification and demarcation, with the aim of completing the process by the end of 2025 without recourse to the courts. The agreement, facilitated by the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, focuses on areas such as Rumsiki, Tourou, and Koche, and addresses the challenges posed by Boko Haram terrorism in the region.
  • tlohde discussed the concept and application of average colors in digital maps, highlighting how averaging colors can simplify images while maintaining their recognisable features.
  • Grant Slater shared that he has updated the ZA-aerial with all the latest 25 cm resolution aerial photos, related to the national coverage of South Africa, provided by the South African National Geo-spatial Information (NGI). The full announcement can be found in the mailing list of the OSGeo Africa.
  • The initial release of the Panoramax Android app, announced at the State of the Map France 2024, offers an alpha/beta version available for download as an APK, and will be published on the Play Store and F-Droid. The app allows users to contribute geolocated photos to the Panoramax database, a free alternative to Google Street View for OpenStreetMap.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Tartu linn FOSS4G Europe 2024 2024-06-30 – 2024-07-07 flag
中正區 OpenStreetMap x Wikidata Taipei #66 2024-07-08 flag
Lyon Pique-nique OpenStreetMap 2024-07-09 flag
München Münchner OSM-Treffen 2024-07-09 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2024-07-10 flag
Salt Lake City OSM Utah Monthly Map Night 2024-07-11 flag
Bochum Bochumer OSM Treffen 2024-07-10 flag
Lorain County OpenStreetMap Midwest Meetup 2024-07-11 flag
Amsterdam Maptime Amsterdam: Summertime Meetup 2024-07-11 flag
Berlin DRK Online Road Mapathon 2024-07-11 flag
Wildau 193. Berlin-Brandenburg OpenStreetMap Stammtisch 2024-07-11 flag
Zürich 165. OSM-Stammtisch Zürich 2024-07-11 flag
Portsmouth Introduction to OpenStreetMap at Port City Makerspace 2024-07-13 – 2024-07-14 flag
København OSMmapperCPH 2024-07-14 flag
Strasbourg découverte d’OpenStreetMap 2024-07-15 flag
Richmond MapRVA – Bike Lane Surveying & Mapping Meetup 2024-07-16 flag
England OSM UK Online Chat 2024-07-15 flag
Missing Maps London: (Online) Mid-Month Mapathon 2024-07-16
Bonn 177. OSM-Stammtisch Bonn 2024-07-16 flag
Hannover OSM-Stammtisch Hannover 2024-07-17 flag
Łódź State of the Map Europe 2024 2024-07-18 – 2024-07-21 flag
Zürich Missing Maps Zürich Mapathon 2024-07-18 flag
OSMF Engineering Working Group meeting 2024-07-19
Cocody OSM Africa July Mapathon – Map Ivory Cost 2024-07-20 flag
Stadtgebiet Bremen Bremer Mappertreffen 2024-07-22 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 Raquel Dezidério Souto, SeverinGeo, Strubbl, barefootstache, derFred, euroPathfinder, mcliquid, muramototomoya, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.

Rewriting feed URLs

Sunday, 7 July 2024 05:41 UTC


· MediaWiki · Wikimedia · RSS · indieweb ·

I've finally got my RSS feeds back up and running. The issue ended up being the fact that I'm running my wikis in the site root directory, i.e. without the /wiki/ in the URL like Wikimedia sites have. I've never liked the redundancy of it, and especially with .wiki domains it looks a bit silly (e.g. freo.wiki/wiki/…).

I thought for ages that it was because of the precedence of RewriteRules within Directory sections vs those within VirtualHost sections, but that was a red goose chase. It was actually that MediaWiki prioritises the title it finds in PATH_INFO over one supplied in the query string, so /Foo?title=Bar is seen as having a title of Foo instead of Bar.

To fix it, I turned off $wgUsePathInfo, set the $wgArticlePath to include the full domain name (bad, perhaps; this might come back to bite me), and then appended the path info as {{{1}}} in a rewrite rule. So the Apache config looks like this:

<Directory "/var/www/mediawiki">
        RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}%{REQUEST_URI} !-f
        RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}%{REQUEST_URI} !-d
        RewriteRule ^(.*)$ %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/index.php?title=$1 [L,QSA]
<VirtualHost *:443>
        DocumentRoot /var/www/mediawiki
        RewriteRule ^/news.rss /index.php?title=Special:CargoExport&table=posts&… [NC,QSA]

And the MediaWiki config like this:

$wgScriptPath = '';
$wgArticlePath = 'https://' . $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] . '/$1';
$wgUsePathInfo = false;

Is Wikibase Right for Your Project?

Saturday, 6 July 2024 00:00 UTC

Wikibase, the powerful open-source software behind Wikipedia, offers robust features for structured data management. But is it the right choice for your project? Let's explore when Wikibase shines and when you might want to consider alternatives.

We also have a comparison between Wikibase and Semantic MediaWiki.

When to Consider Alternatives to Wikibase

1. Access Restriction Requirements

Wikibase is designed for either fully open or fully closed data environments. While editing restrictions can be implemented, viewing permissions are all-or-nothing: users who can access some data can access all data. Wikibase is thus less suitable for projects requiring granular access controls or a mix of open and restricted data within the same instance.

2. Real-time Data Processing

Wikibase is not suitable for real-time data processing or high-frequency updates. Stream processing systems or time-series databases are more appropriate for such cases. Wikibase's update speed limit is about 30 edits per second, depending on the underlying system resources.

When editing a Wikibase Item, the entire old version is kept. Thus, if you make many edits to large items, Wikibase ends up being wasteful with storage space.

Related: Fast Bulk Import Into Wikibase

3. Domain-Specific UIs

If your project requires forms or user interfaces with special restrictions or complex business logic for editing or viewing data, something other than Wikibase's standard interface may be required. However, custom development can address many of these needs.

At Professional Wiki, we've developed extensions like Wikibase Export for domain-specific data export and Automated Values for encoding business rules. If you wish to use Wikibase and need such customizations, check out our Wikibase software development services.

You might also wish to consider Semantic MediaWiki, a MediaWiki extension somewhat similar to Wikibase, that supports data-entry via domain-specific forms and more UI customization options. You can also check out our Wikibase vs. Semantic MediaWiki comparison.

4. Limited System Resources

Wikibase requires a relatively powerful server to run efficiently, especially for larger datasets or high-traffic scenarios. It's unsuitable for environments with minimal computing resources, such as serving data from a Raspberry Pi.

At Professional Wiki, we offer Wikibase hosting services that ensure optimal performance and reliability.

When Wikibase Excels

1. Collaborative Knowledge Creation

Because Wikibase is a layer on top of MediaWiki, the software developed for Wikipedia, it is fantastic for collaborative knowledge curation. Let your team(s) build and maintain your knowledge base together, or even open up your wiki to public editing. Wikibase comes with change logs, anti-vandalism tools, approval flows, and the ability to roll back changes.

2. Flexible Data Modeling

Create and evolve your own data model with Wikibase. Because Wikibase is built on top of a graph database, you avoid the artificial restriction of database tables. Define your properties and choose which ones you use on each item. Describe special cases, or do rapid prototyping without forcing your future self to live with a sub-optimal schema.

3. Interconnected Knowledge Representation

Wikibase excels at representing interconnected data. Its linked data model allows the creation of rich information networks with meaningfully connected entities. This structure enables intuitive navigation through complex datasets and supports powerful querying capabilities. By using external identifiers, you can connect your data to other data sets, such as Wikidata. Such connections enable federated queries that combine information from your and other Wikibases.

4. Multilingual and International Projects

With built-in support for multiple languages, Wikibase is ideal for international projects. It allows for seamless content management in various languages, including right-to-left scripts. Labels, descriptions, and aliases can be added in multiple languages for each entity, facilitating global collaboration and access.

5. Qualified and Referenced Data

Wikibase supports the addition of qualifiers and references to statements, providing context and provenance for each piece of information. This feature enhances data reliability and allows for a nuanced representation of complex or time-dependent facts, which is crucial for scientific, historical, or evolving datasets.

6. Version Control for Your Data

Every change in Wikibase is tracked and reversible. The system maintains a complete history of edits, allowing users to review past versions, compare changes, and revert to previous states if needed. This robust version control ensures data integrity and supports accountability in collaborative environments.

Common Wikibase Usecases

Wikibase's versatility makes it an ideal solution for various knowledge management needs. Here are some of the most common and impactful use cases we've seen among our clients:

Organizational Knowledge Management

Businesses increasingly turn to Wikibase to create flexible internal knowledge bases that can describe complex attributes and relationships. These knowledge bases can serve as a single source of truth for the entire organization and support analytics via complex queries against the knowledge graph.

Open Data Initiatives

Organizations leveraging Wikibase for open data initiatives benefit from its powerful combination of structured data management and accessibility. Government agencies, research institutions, and forward-thinking companies use Wikibase to create comprehensive data portals that foster transparency and innovation. A key advantage is Wikibase's adherence to open standards: through its Web API and SPARQL endpoint, data is easily retrievable in formats like JSON, RDF, and CSV, enabling seamless integration into various projects and applications.

Wikibase's structured data model facilitates complex queries, allowing users to uncover insights hidden in traditional databases. For instance, a city government could use Wikibase to publish urban planning data, enabling citizens to create custom visualizations of zoning changes or track infrastructure projects. Researchers might combine this with other sources to analyze urban development trends, while businesses could integrate it into location-based services.

Cultural Heritage Cataloging

GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) and historical research projects are harnessing Wikibase to revolutionize how cultural heritage is cataloged, linked, and explored. This versatile platform enables these organizations to create rich, interconnected knowledge bases that serve internal management needs and public engagement goals.

Libraries and archives use Wikibase to manage bibliographic records and metadata for diverse media, from ancient manuscripts to digital publications. For instance, a national library consortium might employ Wikibase to create a unified catalog that links books to authors and subjects to historical events, geographical locations, and related archival materials. This approach enhances resource discovery and facilitates advanced research by revealing hidden connections within collections.

Museums and galleries leverage Wikibase to catalog and manage their collections, including artworks, artifacts, and exhibits. A museum network could use the platform to build a comprehensive digital inventory that links objects across institutions, connecting them to their historical context, artistic movements, and conservation records. This linking streamlines curation processes and enables compelling narratives for public exhibitions and educational programs.

In historical research, Wikibase excels at managing and linking complex data. Projects focused on genealogy or local history can create vast information networks, connecting historical figures to events, places, and primary source documents. For example, a city archive might use Wikibase to organize and link historical photographs, census records, and maps, allowing researchers to trace the evolution of neighborhoods over time or track family histories over generations.

Research Data Management

Universities and research institutions harness Wikibase to create integrated research ecosystems. For example, a university might use Wikibase to build a repository that stores research outputs and maps the relationships between publications, datasets, researchers, and funding sources. This interconnected approach facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration, helps demonstrate research impact, and supports compliance with data management requirements from funding bodies.


Wikibase is a powerful solution for organizations dealing with complex, interconnected data requiring a flexible and robust management system. Its strengths in adaptable data modeling, support for qualified and referenced information, and comprehensive version control make it well-suited for cultural heritage projects, research data management, and open data initiatives.

However, Wikibase isn't the right fit for every project. Organizations needing real-time data processing, highly specific user interfaces, or granular access controls may need to look elsewhere or consider custom development on top of Wikibase.

If you're considering Wikibase for your project or looking to optimize your existing Wikibase implementation, Professional Wiki offers comprehensive Wikibase services to support your needs. Our team of Wikibase experts can guide you through the decision-making process, assist with importing into Wikibase, host your Wikibase, and even develop new Wikibase features.

WikiCon Australia 2024

Thursday, 4 July 2024 12:00 UTC
Submissions are open for WikiCon
. Keywords: WikiCon Australia, WikiCon

WikiCon 2024 will be held on Saturday 23rd of November 2024 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Submissions are now invited for WikiCon Australia 2024. We encourage submissions from anyone interested in Wikipedia and its sister projects, with special consideration given to the work of Wikimedians in Australian, South East Asia and the Pacific regions. Closing date for submissions is 31 July 2024.

Further information about the submission process and travel scholarships are available on meta-wiki.

It is also anticipated that a number of pre-conference activities will be available for those arriving in Adelaide on Friday, November 22nd. Please register your interest for activities and catering on Humanitix.

Date: Saturday 23rd November

Venue: Ibis Adelaide

Contacts: contact@wikimedia.org.au

Conference Website: Visit the Conference webpage on Meta-Wiki

Summary: this article shares the experience and learnings of migrating away from Kubernetes PodSecurityPolicy into Kyverno in the Wikimedia Toolforge platform.

Christian David, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Toolforge is a Platform-as-a-Service, built with Kubernetes, and maintained by the Wikimedia Cloud Services team (WMCS). It is completely free and open, and we welcome anyone to use it to build and host tools (bots, webservices, scheduled jobs, etc) in support of Wikimedia projects. 

We provide a set of platform-specific services, command line interfaces, and shortcuts to help in the task of setting up webservices, jobs, and stuff like building container images, or using databases. Using these interfaces makes the underlying Kubernetes system pretty much invisible to users. We also allow direct access to the Kubernetes API, and some advanced users do directly interact with it.

Each account has a Kubernetes namespace where they can freely deploy their workloads. We have a number of controls in place to ensure performance, stability, and fairness of the system, including quotas, RBAC permissions, and up until recently PodSecurityPolicies (PSP). At the time of this writing, we had around 3.500 Toolforge tool accounts in the system.
We early adopted PSP in 2019 as a way to make sure Pods had the correct runtime configuration. We needed Pods to stay within the safe boundaries of a set of pre-defined parameters. Back when we adopted PSP there was already the option to use 3rd party agents, like  OpenPolicyAgent Gatekeeper, but we decided not to invest in them, and went with a native, built-in mechanism instead.

In 2021 it was announced that the PSP mechanism would be deprecated, and removed in Kubernetes 1.25. Even though we had been warned years in advance, we did not prioritize the migration of PSP until we were in Kubernetes 1.24, and blocked, unable to upgrade forward without taking actions.

The WMCS team explored different alternatives for this migration, but eventually we decided to go with Kyverno as a replacement for PSP. And so with that decision it began the journey described in this blog post.

First, we needed a source code refactor for one of the key components of our Toolforge Kubernetes: maintain-kubeusers. This custom piece of software that we built in-house, contains the logic to fetch accounts from LDAP and do the necessary instrumentation on Kubernetes to accommodate each one: create namespace, RBAC, quota, a kubeconfig file, etc. With the refactor, we introduced a proper reconciliation loop, in a way that the software would have a notion of what needs to be done for each account, what would be missing, what to delete, upgrade, and so on. This would allow us to easily deploy new resources for each account, or iterate on their definitions. 

The initial version of the refactor had a number of problems, though. For one, the new version of maintain-kubeusers was doing more filesystem interaction than the previous version, resulting in a slow reconciliation loop over all the accounts. We used NFS as the underlying storage system for Toolforge, and it could be very slow because of reasons beyond this blog post. This was corrected in the next few days after the initial refactor rollout. A side note with an implementation detail: we stored a configmap on each account namespace with the state of each resource. Storing more state on this configmap was our solution to avoid additional NFS latency.

I initially estimated this refactor would take me a week to complete, but unfortunately it took me around three weeks instead. Previous to the refactor, there were several manual steps and cleanups required to be done when updating the definition of a resource. The process is now automated, more robust, performant, efficient and clean. So in my opinion it was worth it, even if it took more time than expected.

Then, we worked on the Kyverno policies themselves. Because we had a very particular PSP setting, in order to ease the transition, we tried to replicate their semantics on a 1:1 basis as much as possible. This involved things like transparent mutation of Pod resources, then validation. Additionally, we had one different PSP definition for each account, so we decided to create one different Kyverno namespaced policy resource for each account namespace — remember, we had 3.5k accounts.

We created a Kyverno policy template that we would then render and inject for each account.

For developing and testing all this, maintain-kubeusers and the Kyverno bits, we had a project called lima-kilo, which was a local Kubernetes setup replicating production Toolforge. This was used by each engineer in their laptop as a common development environment.

We had planned the migration from PSP to Kyverno policies in stages, like this:

  1. update our internal template generators to make Pod security settings explicit
  2. introduce Kyverno policies in Audit mode
  3. see how the cluster would behave with them, and if we had any offending resources reported by the new policies, and correct them
  4. modify Kyverno policies and set them in Enforce mode
  5. drop PSP

In stage 1, we updated things like the toolforge-jobs-framework and tools-webservice.

In stage 2, when we deployed the 3.5k Kyverno policy resources, our production cluster died almost immediately. Surprise. All the monitoring went red, the Kubernetes apiserver became irresponsibe, and we were unable to perform any administrative actions in the Kubernetes control plane, or even the underlying virtual machines. All Toolforge users were impacted. This was a full scale outage that required the energy of the whole WMCS team to recover from. We temporarily disabled Kyverno until we could learn what had occurred.

This incident happened despite having tested before in lima-kilo and in another pre-production cluster we had, called Toolsbeta. But we had not tested that many policy resources. Clearly, this was something scale-related. After the incident, I went on and created 3.5k Kyverno policy resources on lima-kilo, and indeed I was able to reproduce the outage. We took a number of measures, corrected a few errors in our infrastructure,  reached out to the Kyverno upstream developers, asking for advice, and at the end we did the following to accommodate the setup to our needs.:

  • corrected the external HAproxy kubernetes apiserver health checks, from checking just for open TCP ports, to actually checking the /healthz HTTP endpoint, which more accurately reflected the health of each k8s apiserver.
  • having a more realistic development environment. In lima-kilo, we created a couple of helper scripts to create/delete 4000 policy resources, each on a different namespace.
  • greatly over-provisioned memory in the Kubernetes control plane servers. This is, bigger memory in the base virtual machine hosting the control plane. Scaling the memory headroom of the apiserver would prevent it from running out of memory, and therefore crashing the whole system. We went from 8GB RAM per virtual machine to 32GB.  In our cluster, a single apiserver pod could eat 7GB of memory on a normal day, so having 8GB on the base virtual machine was clearly not enough. I also sent a patch proposal to Kyverno upstream documentation suggesting they clarify the additional memory pressure on the apiserver.
  • corrected resource requests and limits of Kyverno, to more accurately describe our actual usage.
  • increased the number of replicas of the Kyverno admission controller to 7, so admission requests could be handled more timely by Kyverno.

I have to admit, I was briefly tempted to drop Kyverno, and even stop pursuing using an external policy agent entirely, and write our own custom admission controller out of concerns over performance of this architecture. However, after applying all the measures listed above, the system became very stable, so we decided to move forward. The second attempt at deploying it all went through just fine. No outage this time 🙂

When we were in stage 4 we detected another bug. We had been following the Kubernetes upstream documentation for setting securityContext to the right values. In particular, we were enforcing the procMount to be set to the default value, which per the docs it was ‘DefaultProcMount’. However, that string is the name of the internal variable in the source code, whereas the actual default value is the string ‘Default’. This caused pods to be rightfully rejected by Kyverno while we figured the problem. We sent a patch upstream to fix this problem.

We finally had everything in place, reached stage 5, and we were able to disable PSP. We unloaded the PSP controller from the kubernetes apiserver, and deleted every individual PSP definition. Everything was very smooth in this last step of the migration.

This whole PSP project, including the maintain-kubeusers refactor, the outage, and all the different migration stages took roughly three months to complete.

For me there are a number of valuable reasons to learn from this project. For one, the scale is something to consider, and test, when evaluating a new architecture or software component. Not doing so can lead to service outages, or unexpectedly poor performances. This is in the first chapter of the SRE handbook, but we got a reminder the hard way 🙂

Debby Kurti is a professor of Computer Information Systems at Victor Valley College in Victorville, CA. She incorporated the Wikipedia assignment into her classroom for the first time in spring 2024.

1. This is your first time teaching with the Wikipedia assignment, and you knocked it out of the park! Why did you decide to incorporate the assignment into your course?

With nearly three decades of experience teaching Computer Information Systems and a background in linguistics, my focus has always been on exploring technology’s impact on communication, fostering creativity, facilitating knowledge sharing, and cultivating communities of practice across diverse contexts. The Wikipedia assignment seamlessly integrated into my curriculum, offering a real-world application using a resource I’m personally passionate about. After engaging with the Wiki Education team, I was convinced it was an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of. I am glad that I did!

2. How would you describe the power of Wikipedia in shaping people’s awareness and understanding of information?

When I was a kid, I had a set (or two) of encyclopedias that I would read just for fun (yes, I was THAT kid) or when I was curious about a subject. Wikipedia is a modern version of that, a first-line knowledge source that people go to when they wonder about something. It is usually the top search result when looking for information about someone. Wikipedia is more accessible than my old set of Britannicas because most people have a cell phone in their pockets and access to the internet. They can use that to find out what they need to, and want to, know. The power of Wikipedia lies in the credibility of the sources used to create the knowledgebase and in the transparency of the process where anyone can verify and validate the information presented.

Debby Kurti and Wiki Education’s Brianda Felix, Irvine, CA.
Debby Kurti and Wiki Education’s Brianda Felix. Irvine, CA. Image courtesy Debby Kurti, all rights reserved.

3. What are your students’ top learning outcomes from this experience?

My students learned that they can be valuable contributors to the global knowledgebase and not just passive consumers of information. They learned project management skills and how to break a large project into attainable, measurable goals. Students learned what a reliable source looks like and how to make a case for notability in a professional and unbiased manner. They were equipped with knowledge and the ability to respond intelligently to the question ‘Why use Wikipedia?’. Most importantly, however, they gained the capacity to critically analyze the content they encounter, discerning its authenticity, truthfulness, and relevance.

Students also found inspiration in the chance to showcase influential figures who mirrored their own identities. Early in the semester a student shared her frustration with the lack of positive role models for her daughters. She felt disheartened by the narrow portrayals of Latinx individuals in mainstream media, often confined to stereotypes of crime or poverty. The Wikipedia project sparked her excitement as it directly addressed this issue close to her heart. As she immersed herself in her assigned biographies, her confidence grew, empowering her to reach out directly to her subjects. I believe that their responses affirmed her belief in her capacity to make a tangible impact, fostered a sense of empowerment, and provided validation in her ability to enact positive change for her community.

4. What are your biggest takeaways from teaching with Wikipedia?

This project confirmed what I already believed about Wikipedia and increased my level of respect for the resource by an order of magnitude. Because of my background in linguistics and CIS, I really enjoyed getting a “behind the scenes” look at how articles are created and the entire editorial process. I was extremely impressed with the Wiki Education team and the underlying process-oriented educational philosophy driving the organization. Honestly, in an era of standards-based, testing-focused, high-stakes learning environments, working with Wiki Education was a breath of fresh air. They put the focus squarely where I strongly believe it belongs – collaborative, open-source knowledge creation and sharing.  

5. Would you recommend the Wikipedia assignment to other post-secondary instructors? If so, why?

This is a cross-curricular project that has applications in any discipline and can be customized to any subject area. On a practical level, students will develop baseline digital literacy skills with a relevant outcome. They will learn how to find, validate, and use information to create content that informs others in a neutral and unbiased manner. Their work jumps outside the classroom walls and into the real world of readers and editors that will see what they do, add on to what they do, and maybe even edit what they do. They learn that no matter how hard they work, sometimes another editor sees something they missed and reverts their efforts pending more supporting evidence. The ability to participate in distributed work environments while collaborating with classmates and mentors is a valuable skill that will benefit students in very real ways in the world of work we find ourselves in today.

Interested in incorporating a Wikipedia assignment into your course? Visit teach.wikiedu.org to learn more about the free resources, digital tools, and staff support that Wiki Education offers to instructors in the United States and Canada.

Paths to Knowledge Equity – collection of essays

Wednesday, 3 July 2024 15:14 UTC

The four essays touch on foundational questions but also some very real problems that need to be looked at within the Wikimedia community if it comes to knowledge equity. One key aspect of this inward gaze is a deep reflection how to start this work with the communities that are silent (or silenced) at the centre – not just by them or for them.

Read the publication here

Knowledge equity is both an attractive and elusive concept. In our society, governed by meritocracy, knowledge is deemed of value, though with rates varying significantly: be it university education or street smarts. Knowledge is a non-exclusive resource; learning does not take it away from our peers or teachers. Often to the contrary, an act of learning can educate all involved.

Equity is surely a worthwhile endeavor in liberal democracy as it resonates with capital, investment, powerful people taking decisions with profit as their objective. Material profit can be an exclusive resource, often unevenly distributed. In a liberal economy it is considered a good thing, motivating its participants towards development and growth.

But what comes out of putting the two together: something that is intangible and something that is measurable, into one asset?

“Knowledge equity is based on a transformation. It is more than accepting others to the table – it is deciding that the table itself needs to be changed to accommodate all the people that should be sitting at it”

Wikimedia Movement, a nebula of volunteers, organisations, cultures, and languages that support and maintain Wikipedia, put knowledge equity on its banner. It is one of the values underpinning its 2030 Movement Strategy. Wikipedia defines knowledge equity as a concept referring to social change concerning both expanding what is valued as knowledge and seeking to include communities that may have been excluded from knowledge production and sharing through imbalanced structures of power and privilege. So, in fact knowledge equity is based on a transformation. It is more than simply accepting others to the table – it is deciding that the table itself needs to be changed to accommodate all the people that should be sitting at it. Maybe the people who didn’t mind the table as it always was, will now have less room. But thanks to the change, everyone will not only fit but also be comfortable participating. There will be no business as usual.

Flipping a table like that is not a change that many boardrooms with people in power would approve of. Not coincidentally do we engage with this metaphor: both knowledge and access are power. If we achieve equity in the boardroom for just one meeting but the next day all chairs are occupied as usual, we have failed. If we only half-open our Wikimedia projects, performatively include diversity in our documents, put beautiful values in our preambles, but do not dare to imagine what this power sharing should look like today and every day, we have failed. We have failed not only those who are silent at the table or very far away from it. We fail on the path to our vision of a world where every human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

“Knowledge equity is, like any worthwhile value, a path to walk on, not merely a destination”

So how do we get to that task? Bringing more knowledge equity has conceptual, strategic, practical, and regulatory aspects, and more. Strategizing, conceptualising, planning, and finally doing – have no end: knowledge equity is, like any worthwhile value, a path to walk on, not merely a destination. This collection of four essays is a sample of this approach as seen by the four authors.

The essays touch on the foundational concepts of Wikipedia, such as objectivity of the editors and neutrality of the content. But neutrality and objectivity source from connectedness and joint human experience, argues Marie-Luise Guhl. Marie is rereading female philosophers and demonstrating that Hannah Arendt was, in fact, a Wikipedian at heart. Nikki Zeuner investigates the effort of collective work and refracts it through the geographical, economic, and racial lenses to point out when and how a fun spare-time activity of adding to the sum of human knowledge becomes free labour. Naphsica Papanicolaou tells a story of her volunteering in a refugee camp in Greece and reflects on the role that the Wikimedia Movement can play – in both on-the-ground activities supporting refugees in their journey from despair to a new life, and as an agent of systemic change in policies that is necessary to alleviate the migrant crises. Systemic change is also at the core of my proposal to the readers. In exploring European policymaking of the internet that so often prompts regulatory changes in other parts of the globe, I propose ways in which we can influence European policies to be less colour-blind and more responsive to the intersectional nature of problems that they are trying to solve.

This collection’s all-over-the-placeness in terms of topics and levels of reflection is, to us, the feature of our project. It is an invitation for our colleagues, friends, and allies to “start where you are, use what you have, do what you can” in imagining a more equitable world, enriched by various protocols and facets of knowledge. We are offering snapshots on what transforming the Wikimedia ecosystem into an equitable space could entail. Our hope is that these thoughts and proposals will be taken on and critiqued, nuanced, made better, and supplemented. This attempt should not be misinterpreted, though, as a self-serving exercise by four white women from Europe – we never intended for that. We simply start where we are, and use our platform, access, and resources to be of service to those who need to take a seat at the table.

Read “Paths to Knowledge Equity” here

My sustainability June 2024

Monday, 1 July 2024 18:43 UTC

June was busy and fun! Just check all the things that happened.


WikiAfrica Hour had the theme: #36: Does the Wikimedia movement contribute to the SDGs? and I was a guest representing the user group. It went well in my opinion and I think it might be an inspiring episode for people who see it.

User group meeting

We had a good and productive meeting, and another member of the user group organized it. That was a lovely feeling. Minutes are published.

Affiliate health

The Affiliations Committee published new criteria for judging the health of the affiliates, and based on that I made a table to see how well Wikimedians for Sustainable Development meet them. The table makes it clear that we have some room for improvement, and makes it very actionable what we need to do.

Goals and strategy

One very concrete thing we are missing are measurable goals. So I started a page for us to collect them. When doing that, I thought it would be necessary to connect them to the movement strategy, and set up a strategy page for the user group to do that connection. Of course, both of these are just empty placeholders for now, but at least we have some concrete things for the agenda for our upcoming meetings.

Voting on the Movement Charter

The user group may vote on the adoption of the Movement Charter, so I started a page for our vote and got nominated as the person to submit it on the behalf of the user group.


I sent another monthly newsletter, and this one was full of stuff, both from the user group and from around the movement.

This is the first half of my sixth monthly report of my New Year’s resolutions.

Tech News issue #27, 2024 (July 1, 2024)

Monday, 1 July 2024 00:00 UTC
previous 2024, week 27 (Monday 01 July 2024) next

Tech News: 2024-27

Enhance Your Wiki Security with 2FA

Monday, 1 July 2024 00:00 UTC

Enhance the security of your wiki with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).

We take security seriously at ProWiki. That's why we're excited to announce the release of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for your wiki. 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring a second form of verification in addition to your password. This feature helps protect your account from unauthorized access, even if your password is compromised.

2FA login challenge

2FA is available for all users on ProWiki. To enable 2FA, go to your user preferences and click the "Manage" button next to "Two-Factor Authentication". You can then set up 2FA with an authenticator app like Google Authenticator or Authy by scanning the QR code or entering the secret key.

2FA setup screen with a QR code and secret key

Administrators can mandate 2FA for users with elevated permissions or for all users via the MediaWiki admin panel.

2FA configuration that forces users to set up 2FA

Get Started With 2FA

2FA is one of the many features included in ProWiki. Create your wiki today.