Episode 147: Tricia Burmeister

Tuesday, 26 September 2023 18:21 UTC

🕑 1 hour 23 minutes

Tricia Burmeister is a senior technical writer at the Wikimedia Foundation, and part of the (relatively new) WMF Technical Documentation Team.

Links for some of the topics discussed:

Project Korikath celebrates its first birthday!

Tuesday, 26 September 2023 17:34 UTC

The first image of Project Korikath was uploaded by a 17 years old Wikimedian on August 16, 2022 who was going to attend his high school classes. He randomly clicked a photo of one of the tallest building of Bangladesh on his way, noticed that the building has very few images on Wikimedia Commons comparing to its fame among the local people, and he uploaded it. He found it rewarding, kept clicking and uploading images from his surroundings, added them to Wikimedia project pages, brought his non-Wikimedian friends to Wikimedia Commons, named this initiative as Project Korikath and thus the project came into light! Phew!!

The amazing logo of Project Korikath was designed by User:Meghmollar2017 and it is now available under CC BY SA 4.0.

Now the project has 17.5k+ images and videos, 350+ of them are quality images on Commons, three of them are valued, one is featured (also commons POTD), and one video was used as the “media of the day” on 5 March, 2023. The media files have been used in over 3k Wikimedia project pages and received a total view count of an overwhelming number of over 6 million so far. The project has over 50 members from seven countries who collectively can communicate in 11 languages. And the best part is, most of them are young and high schoolers. The members have together conducted more than 50 photo walks, 3 photo tours and one Wikipedia editing campaign – everything without any grant support from the Wikimedia Foundation.

The motto is simple, bring frames from your surroundings to Wikimedia Commons and help the world see them. We try to bridge the gap in visual knowledge in Wikimedia Projects regarding local topics. Our work is extending very fast and we are also doing spin offs! “Project Mowrossih“, “Project Shoili” are just two of them who are going to come public at any moment – stay tuned to learn more!

If you’re reading this part of the short (!) blog, congratulations! You’ve survived the quick fire round.

If you want to know more (In the tranquil embrace of our surroundings, perchance cradling steaming cups of coffee in our gentle grasp!), you can mail us at contact@korikath.org.

Or if you’re more of a person of action, just push the bright blue button at the bottom of this page and make your hands dirty!


Tuesday, 26 September 2023 16:50 UTC

Other languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Deutsch, English, Tiếng Việt, français, italiano, norsk bokmål, polski, português do Brasil, suomi, svenska, čeština, русский, українська, עברית, العربية, বাংলা, ಕನ್ನಡ, 中文, 日本語, ꯃꯤꯇꯩ ꯂꯣꯟ

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available.

Recent changes

  • The Vector 2022 skin will now remember the pinned/unpinned status for the Table of Contents for all logged-out users. [1]

Changes later this week

  • The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis and MediaWiki.org from 26 September. It will be on non-Wikipedia wikis and some Wikipedias from 27 September. It will be on all wikis from 28 September (calendar).
  • The ResourceLoader mediawiki.ui modules are now deprecated as part of the move to Vue.js and Codex. There is a guide for migrating from MediaWiki UI to Codex for any tools that use it. More details are available in the task and your questions are welcome there.
  • Gadget definitions will have a new “namespaces” option. The option takes a list of namespace IDs. Gadgets that use this option will only load on pages in the given namespaces.

Future changes

  • New variables will be added to AbuseFilter: global_account_groups and global_account_editcount. They are available only when an account is being created. You can use them to prevent blocking automatic creation of accounts when users with many edits elsewhere visit your wiki for the first time. [2][3]


Tech news prepared by Tech News writers and posted by bot • Contribute • Translate • Get help • Give feedback • Subscribe or unsubscribe.

Tech News issue #39, 2023 (September 25, 2023)

Monday, 25 September 2023 00:00 UTC
previous 2023, week 39 (Monday 25 September 2023) next

Tech News: 2023-39

Announcing the Locations of Wikimania 2025 and 2026

Sunday, 24 September 2023 15:00 UTC

Wikimania is a rare opportunity for Wikimedia contributors from around the world to come together to celebrate, share, connect, and grow. Wikimania 2023 – whether we participated virtually or in person – was a great reminder of this and so much more. The event piloted a regional model of collaboration for the volunteer core organizing team with excellent results. We also witnessed the benefits of future organizers participating and learning from current ones, as with the 2023 ESEAP and the 2024 CEE teams.

In this spirit, we announce the organizers of Wikimania in 2025 and 2026.

Greetings East Africa

A cradle of history, biodiversity, art and architecture, and a hub for intergovernmental collaboration, technology, and so much more, East Africa is full of possibilities for Wikimedia. Wikimania 2025 will be hosted by a dynamic collaboration of volunteers and affiliates in East Africa. We were delighted to receive multiple expressions of interest from Wikimedians in the region to collaborate and host Wikimania. This will mark the 20th Wikimania and a significant milestone as the third Wikimania in Africa, only the second in Africa south of the Sahara, and the first in East Africa. We believe in the impact of this Wikimania in further energizing new and active communities in the region and fostering growth for content and contributions where we currently have large gaps. This Wikimania will also present a novel opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of Wikimedians in the region and across the continent of Africa. The exact city will be decided in the coming months based on political and safety assessments as well as input from experienced organizers, Wikimedia stakeholders, and local partners.

Bonjour Paris!

The 2026 Wikimania will be hosted in Paris by Wikimédia France in partnership with WikiFranca, the international association bringing together francophone individuals and groups in the movement. This will be the first Wikimania in France and a first for the global collaboration of French-speaking Wikimedia communities. Paris will be the perfect setting for this special Wikimania, marking the 25th anniversary of multiple editions of Wikipedia, such as Basque, Catalan, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and others, including English. From the banks of the Seine to the tops of hills and towers, from world class museums to historic libraries and cafés where philosophers once debated, we will usher in the next 25 years of open content and free knowledge collaboration when we come together in 2026 – in Paris or online – to celebrate this great milestone.

The Wikimania Steering Committee is pleased to make this announcement in partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the East Africa Regional and Thematic Hub (EARTH), the Wiki Indaba Steering Committee (WISCom), WikiFranca, and Wikimédia France.

Wikimania 2024 and 2027

Wikimania is co-created with Wikimedians from around the world. Whether you’re an experienced editor, a newcomer that just connected with the movement at a Wikimania, a passionate advocate for open knowledge, or a curious organizer, Wikimania is a chance to shape our movement’s ecosystem. Wikimania 2024 will take place in Poland – preparations are already under way and a call for volunteers will be launched soon. Please take part in on-wiki discussions, contribute a session whether in-person or online, or join a sub-committee to support the regional organizing team. There is something for everyone at Wikimania.

Participating at events has drastically changed over the past few years. Wikimania is experiencing more participants than ever thanks to virtual means and we will continue to support organizing teams to improve hybrid and virtual participation and expand on-demand content for everyone, everywhere. 

Selecting locations years in advance means less pressure for organizers and better choices of venues, more time for visa processes, and greater learning and collaboration opportunities. For Wikimania 2027, we hope to put out a call for expressions of interest next year, particularly welcoming interest from regions we have not been to for a long time, like Latin America, or those we are yet to bring Wikimania to, like South Asia.

The Wikimania Steering Committee – welcoming new members

The Wikimedia movement is a beacon of inspiration, a platform for innovation, and a celebration of human collaboration, and Wikimania is its annual conference. Organized by volunteers and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimania is a celebration of the diversity of our people and our contributions. It features a wide range of programming, including lectures, workshops, keynotes, hackathons, and of course, social events. Wikimania has great potential for local impact – whether for welcoming newcomers or energizing existing contributors, or for host cities, countries, and regions where content naturally improves and considerably expands when Wikimedians have explored – the 2023 Wikimania is a great example. 

As the stewards of Wikimania, the Steering Committee puts much care and consideration in selecting locations for the conference. This includes opportunities for impact, growth potential for the movement, ease of travel, safety, visa access, venues, logistics, and more. There is no perfect location. That is why in making our decision, we consult with the Wikimedia Foundation, community organizing teams, and event experts. Please let us know if you would like to join such conversations. We are looking for new community members with Wikimania or other event organizing experience to join the Steering Committee. Please reach out to us on wiki or at wikimania@wikimedia.org.

weeklyOSM 687

Sunday, 24 September 2023 11:44 UTC


lead picture

Before and after the floods in Libya [1] © Microsoft @ Planet Sky | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors


  • Citrula wrote about how to use OSMCha’s RSS feed and filter features to review changesets for which a review has been requested.
  • Anne-Karoline Distel is seeking comments on a proposal to add vandalised to lifecycle prefixes.


  • OpenStreetMap mapper Jasper wanted an OSM shirt and there wasn’t one. So he made one and is offering it on Etsy, in case you are interested.
  • nabilersyad blogged about his aims to map every street in Kuala Lumpur CBD and to add satellite visible data in all of the Kuala Selangor District.
  • There are 30 videos from the SotM US 2023 on YouTube.
  • Antti blogged about how to use OsmAnd for driving the TET (Trans Euro Trail), an 80,000 km GPX route, from the edge of Africa to the Arctic Circle, created by the TET adventure motorcycle community.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • The current status of the OSMF fundraising campaign can be viewed online. The comments made by donors are interesting.
  • You are welcome to join the next monthly video-meeting of the OSMF Board that will take place on Thursday 28 September at 15:00 UTC. The video room opens 20 minutes before the meeting starts. The preliminary agenda is on the wiki and this is also where the draft minutes will be added.
  • The OpenStreetMap Foundation reported the addition of a new render server in the US. It will be used for rendering and updating the default map style.

Humanitarian OSM

  • [1] Pete Masters (pedrito1414), Head of the Community staff at HOT, provided an update on the disaster response activations for Morocco and Libya, providing statistics and other information about this response.
  • ABDURAHMAN AL FURJANI from OSM Libya, supported by UN Mappers and HOT, has launched a disaster response activation, following the devastating floods in Darnah, Libya. There are mapping tasks ready for contribution on the HOT Tasking Manager and pre- and post-event imagery available on OpenAerialMap, provided by Maxar.


Open Data

  • Qiusheng Wu’s interactive web app for visualising Maxar’s open data has been improved. By just clicking on the map, you may now select images interactively.


  • jarmokivekas released, on GitHub, an overview tool that he developed for tracking Tasking Manager activity by campaign, project, country, or organisation. This is a preliminary version. It is not yet clear how easy it will be working with this API (no dropdown list for selection) compared to working directly in the Tasking Manager explore function.
  • Answerquest listed the steps to convert boundary shapefiles, using Mapshaper and QGIS, in order to use them in OpenStreetMap.
  • Allan Mustard has figured out how to get mkgmap to produce fully customised, routable Garmin-compatible IMG files for his nüvi GPS navigator. He posted a tutorial so you can also produce custom IMG files to your own specifications.
  • After more than 9 years of work, a group of students from the Salesian College of Duitama (Colombia) has launched a mobile application called ‘BusBoy App’, already available on the Google Play Store and soon on the Apple App Store. The creators are seeking to expand the use of the application, so that more users of urban transport will know the names of the routes, places of travel, points of interest, transport companies, and schedules.
  • MapComplete has changed its internet domain from mapcomplete.osm.be to mapcomplete.org after a short survey on the Mastodon server en.osm.town.
  • Geopaparazzi has released ‘Smart Mobile App for Surveyor Happiness’ (SMASH), a mobile application for taking notes on mapping survey activities. The app can be downloaded via F-droid and Google Play Store.
  • Sam Woodcock gave a high level overview of the Field Mapping Tasking Manager (FMTM), which is software for coordinating field mapping efforts.
  • vorpalblade reported that JOSM’s MapWithAI plug-in now supports PMTiles and Mapbox Vector Tiles as data sources and showed how to use it. PMTiles is a web-first tile storage format, which allows the provider to have a single file containing all the tiles they want to share.


  • An Australian family refused to sell their farmland, even though the entire neighbourhood was being converted into a new housing estate. The location of the property was unclear. This challenge was taken up by Dean Marchiori to locate, as he describes, Sydney’s strangest property using osrm and the Overpass API. There is a nice ‘movie’ at the end of the article.
  • Sam Woodcock gave an overview of the different vector tile file formats available and described their differences.

Did you know …

  • … that you can explore places on OpenStreetMap using the OpenStreetBrowser app?
  • … that you can participate in an OSMFight?

Other “geo” things

  • Felix von Leitner , a German IT security expert, comments on current affairs in their blog . Our market ‘competitor’ is looking for ‘volunteers’ to record streets for them. Felix asked ironically, ‘Are you also considering volunteering for the fourth richest company in the world? I hope not. But if you are, it would be better to volunteer for OpenStreetMap’.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Rouen Rencontre Groupe local Rouen 2023-09-22 flag
Saint-Barthélemy-de-Séchilienne Mapping Party in Saint-Barthélemy-de-Séchilienne 38220 France 2023-09-23 flag
Localidad Teusaquillo Bici Ruta Geek en Bogotá 2023-09-24 flag
Град Кикинда OpenStreetMap x Pionir #2 2023-09-24 flag
Maricá Mapathon – Maricá City 2023-09-24 – 2023-09-30 flag
Chambéry Mapathon débutant saison 23/24 CartONG 2023-09-25 flag
Gent OpenStreetMap meetup 2023-09-26 flag
Delft IHE Delft / HOTOSM – IHEUrgentAction Mapathon for Morocco and Libya 2023-09-26 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2023-09-27 flag
Berlin Missing Maps Mapathon Berlin 2023-09-27 flag
City of Westminster London pub meet-up 2023-09-27 flag
Aachen 4. Treffen Aachener Stammtisch 2.0 2023-09-28 flag
Lübeck 135. OSM-Stammtisch für Lübeck und Umgebung 2023-09-28 flag
Düsseldorf Düsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen 2023-09-29 flag
Curitiba Pré-Conferência – State of the Map Brasil 2023 2023-09-30 flag
Karlsruhe Karlsruhe Hack Weekend September 2023 2023-09-30 – 2023-10-01 flag
Portland A Synesthete’s Atlas + Some 3d Color/Light/Motion Experiments 2023-10-02 flag
Curitiba State of the Map Brasil 2023 🙂 2023-10-02 – 2023-10-04 flag
Missing Maps London Mapathon 2023-10-03
OSMF Engineering Working Group meeting 2023-10-04

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

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

Wikimedia Indonesia is pleased to announce that the 2023–2027 strategic plan has been finally approved. This post will dive into this plan and see what it means for Wikimedia Indonesia’s future.

Rachmat04, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Indonesia is a non-profit organization promoting free knowledge in Indonesian and local languages in Indonesia. We envision a future where every Indonesian can freely access, share, and contribute to knowledge. This vision aligns with the principles of the Wikimedia movement: emphasizing openness, collaboration, and resilience.

The strategic plan outlines six key focus areas that will guide Wikimedia Indonesia’s efforts over the next five years:

  1. Expanding access to knowledge: One of the central missions of the Wikimedia movement is to make knowledge accessible to all. We aim to break down barriers to access by improving the availability of content in the Indonesian language and local languages, such as Minangkabau, Banjarese, and Gorontalo. This includes increasing the number of Wikipedia articles, multimedia resources on Wikimedia Commons, and Wikidata items.
  2. Strengthening community engagement: Our strategic plan stresses the importance of caring for and growing our Wikimedia communities in Indonesia. This means helping out our community members and ensuring everyone feels welcome and supported in our environment.
  3. Understanding public needs: In this direction, we aim to engage more closely with existing partners who have been working with us since their early days by conducting targeted research on public needs. We are also working to learn more about audience preferences by providing multiple forms of social media content to enable more people to connect with our organization and participate in our programs.
  4. Advancing education and outreach: We are committed to collaborating with educational institutions, libraries, and other GLAM organizations to promote the use of Wikimedia projects in education and the cultural sector. This includes training educators, students, and the public on effectively using and contributing to Wikimedia platforms. 
  5. Advocating for open knowledge: Wikimedia Indonesia will actively promote practices championing open knowledge and free access to information. This effort entails socializing and collaborating with policymakers, stakeholders, and the public to highlight the significance of open knowledge accessibility.
  6. Strengthening organizational resilience: Wikimedia Indonesia has established organizational structures and governance to grow in management and internal capacity over the past few years. We look to provide opportunities for our staff to develop themselves and unlock other funding streams.

Any strategic plan must have mechanisms to measure its success, and our plan is no exception. The organization will track its progress through various metrics, including the number of articles, contributors, events, partnerships, and the impact of advocacy efforts. Regular evaluations help ensure the plan remains on track and adapts to changing circumstances.

As supporters of open knowledge and collaborative information sharing, we eagerly anticipate the positive impact that this strategic plan will have on Wikimedia projects in Indonesia and beyond. To learn more about our strategic plan, visit this page. Together, we can help shape a brighter future for information sharing and access to knowledge.

What is a Wikimedian life without a first Wikimania!

Wednesday, 20 September 2023 16:39 UTC
From right to left: Me, Chinmayee, and Antoni Mtavangu after the first learning clinc: Networking for introverts: How to make the most of this conference

While numerous in-person events were shut by COVID-19, and non-closing virtual meetings were opened via Zoom, Jitsi, etc. Does this portend the end of Wikimania? Well, in 2021 and 2022, our movement was able to host two online Wikimanias. I’m Nada, a Wikimedian from Gaza, and here is my journey to attend Wikimania Singapore. I feel a sense of belonging to this community and a greater understanding of the huge universe of free knowledge as a result of having the opportunity to participate in Wikimania online for two years in a row. I participated more in global discussions, created interactive sessions about movement strategy for my community, and became more involved in leadership in our movement. 

I need 24 hours to get to Cairo in order to leave Gaza; I can only travel by car; I must wait a long time for my documents to be checked; and I must remember that Rafah, our exit point from Gaza, is blocked for two days over the weekend. I crossed the Sinai Desert 4 days prior to my departure to Singapore to attend my first in-person Wikimania, which is known later to be the biggest edition ever, but what makes it special to me is that it is my first time to travel, and a future note for first-time travelers: make sure to chew something during takeoff and landing; your ears will thank me later. 

While fighting jet lag, my first Wikimania activity was at Google, where we are minding the gap not only in content in sister projects but also in indexing it. Thank you, Google and Wiki organizers. Now I have to run to prepare for a learning clinic hosted by Let’s Connect and the Leadership Development Working Group (LDWG).

I am a member of the Leadership Development Working Group. A community-driven working group of 15 diverse members from the 8 regions has been selected to draft a shared definition of leadership and a leadership development plan and to advise on community development’s role in the implementation of the leadership development plan (LDP). In Wikimedia’s definition of leadership, it is a collective effort that can be supported by communication skills and practices delivered during our second learning clinics. I had fun co-facilitating the learning clinic with Jan-Bart de Vreede, Chinmayee Mishra, and Beverly Jiang.

I have also presented our LDWG work in a session, and in a very excited, unbiased tone, I ENCOURAGE you to join the Telegram group for Kickstarting a Leadership Development Network to help implement the leadership development plan and exchange stories, experiences, and efforts in this domain.

A trivial fact about me, aside from my leadership work, is that I am a doctor, and I am super fascinated by Wikicite, Scholia, upgrading medical practice using Wikidata, and enriching Wikidata with scholarly publications.

I had the pleasure of attending a meetup at Wikimania Singapore organized by Manar, specifically for the Arabic-speaking community. It was an enlightening experience, filled with engaging discussions about the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing within our community. What made the event even more memorable was the karaoke session where we sang an Arabic song.

Wikimania was the place to discover the hidden gems in our movement. It also joined me with friends whom I have known online for years. I have got to make new ones too. I talked about Gaza a lot instead of providing a Wiki link. And finally,  I attended a Wiki wedding. Nassima and Yamen are married in the eyes of Wikidata. I was the lucky girl to get the wedding bouquet, and yes I still have it.    

Nanour, Nassima, Yamen, Manar, Jan-Bart, Chinmayee, Beverly, Domenika, Florence, Euphemia, Sky ex, and many more. Thank you for making my first Wikimania a great one.

Pause here and play my journey to attend Wikimania over and over again; it makes me happy. On the other hand, I will go to finish the Gardens by the Bay puzzle, my souvenir from Singapore.

Wikis read-only: Datacenter switchover

Wednesday, 20 September 2023 14:22 UTC

Sep 20, 14:22 UTC
Completed - Editing is back to normal. We will continue monitoring the systems. Read-only time was 2min 21.68s (14:00:32 - 14:02:54).

Sep 20, 14:00 UTC
In progress - Scheduled maintenance is currently in progress. We will provide updates as necessary.

Sep 20, 13:28 UTC
Scheduled - The SRE team will run a planned data center switchover, moving all wikis from our data center in Virginia to the data center in Texas. This is an important periodic test of our tools and procedures, to ensure the wikis will continue to be available even in the event of major technical issues.
The switchover process requires a brief read-only period for all Foundation-hosted wikis, which will start at 14:00 UTC on Wednesday September 20, and will last for a few minutes while we execute the migration as efficiently as possible. All our public and private wikis will be continuously available for reading as usual, but no one will be able to save edits during the process.

Two years with Govdirectory

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 20:08 UTC

It is now over two years ago Albin Larsson and I started the Govdirectory. Not soon thereafter, we got the honor to present it in a Code for all lightning talk. Today, we were honored again and got to do a follow-up lightning talk.

The growth of Govdirectory: 2 years and 10,000 contact points later

In this talk (slides), we mention some statistics.

One aspect that I love about this project is that it is not static, but is building all the time. So since we recorded the video, we have already grown substantially.

As you can see, the coverage is just over 10% of the countries in the world, and of the countries we have, only one is complete and a handful more have great coverage. If you want to help with the data, head over to the project page on Wikidata. If you have want to help improve the website, head over to the repository on GitHub. And, of course, you are also welcome to just explore what is on the website at govdirectory.org.

UNITED KINGDOM, 19 SEPTEMBER 2023 — The Wikimedia Foundation — the nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects — is calling on the UK government and independent regulator to ensure the implementation of the Online Safety Bill does not harm Wikipedia, and other projects that the public relies on to create and access free, reliable knowledge. The Bill today completed all parliamentary stages and will soon become the United Kingdom’s latest addition to a growing body of internet regulation.

In the years since the Bill was first introduced, the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia UK — the national charity for open knowledge, bringing together practical and policy expertise about Wikimedia and other Wikimedia projects — have strongly warned of the tremendous threat the Bill posed to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Wikipedia is available in more than 300 languages; its 61 million articles are created by a global community of volunteer editors, who determine the online encyclopedia’s editorial policies and guidelines that ensure content is neutral and based on reliable, published sources. The Bill also poses risks to other public interest projects such as open science initiatives, crowdsourced UK heritage repositories, and online archives. 

Unfortunately, although these concerns were elevated in numerous forums — including meetings with the government, Parliamentary debates, prominent media outlets, and an open letter — Wikipedia and its sister projects, as well as other public interest projects, were not exempted from the Online Safety Bill. 

“It is simply inconceivable to imagine the UK without access to Wikipedia, the world’s largest online knowledge repository. The Online Safety Bill’s passage may be the end of a chapter, but we are determined that it will not be the end of our story in the UK,” said Rebecca MacKinnon, Vice President of Global Advocacy at the Wikimedia Foundation. “The Bill includes requirements that invalidate Wikipedia’s volunteer-led model of creating and moderating content, threatening the encyclopedia’s ability to function in the UK.

We will continue to voice our concerns to the UK government and engage the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), to ensure that the law’s implementation acknowledges Wikipedia’s value and safeguards its unique collaborative model. We are firm in our commitment to protect the best of the internet for future generations.”

In recent months, the Foundation has publicly highlighted how the Bill directly interferes with Wikipedia’s community content moderation model, which allows volunteer editors to share verified, well-sourced information on the encyclopedia. The Bill does not distinguish between public interest sites that rely on community decision-making and large for-profit technology companies, which the Bill was originally designed to address, that have employees who moderate content. It also imposes age verification, which is incompatible with the website’s commitment to user privacy and freedom of speech.

“At a time when powerful forces are seeking to erase and manipulate the world’s knowledge around many topics, the UK government’s failure to exempt Wikipedia from the Online Safety Bill is harmful to the global community of Wikipedia volunteers and readers, as well as to the Foundation’s work to support them,” said MacKinnon. 

Wikipedia is an essential tool for sharing and consuming knowledge. In August 2023, while the Bill was in its final stages in Parliament, people in the UK viewed English Wikipedia more than 836 million times. Wikipedia is also used to preserve and promote cultural heritage in the UK, including Indigenous and minority languages such as Welsh. The Welsh language version of Wikipedia is the single most popular Welsh language website in the world, with over 7.5 million views every month, and is an official component of the curriculum in Wales.

As the Bill now heads to Royal Assent, we remain deeply concerned about its impact on the future of Wikipedia in the UK. We hope the UK Government and Ofcom will protect the best parts of the internet — public interest projects like Wikipedia that uplift civil society and promote access to knowledge online.

For more information on the Wikimedia Foundation’s position on the Online Safety Bill, read our blog posts from Sept. 2023, June 2023, May 2023 Nov. 2022, and March 2022.   

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 calls for protection and fair treatment of Wikipedia as UK Online Safety Bill becomes law appeared first on Wikimedia Foundation.

I wrote about the exploration on Natural language querying for wikipedia in previous three blog posts. In Part 1, I was suggesting that building such a collection of question and answers can help natural language answering. One missing piece was actually suggesting an answer for a new question that is not part of QA set for article. In Part 2, I tried using distilbert-base-cased-distilled-squad with ONNX optimization to answer the questions.

By Rupal Karia, Outreach and Community Coordinator at Wikimedia UK

I am really excited to join Wikimedia UK and am looking forward to making a meaningful impact on Wikimedia’s engagement and support of volunteers as well as increasing participation across under-represented communities within the WMUK movement. 

I have spent the last 15 years working in the charity sector, managing teams of volunteers and supporting grassroots organisations and charities with implementing best practices within their volunteer teams. My last roles were with the Volunteer Centres in Camden and Hackney supporting grassroots organisations with their volunteer management including support with increasing diversity and representation within their volunteer teams.  

I am passionate about community engagement and eliminating barriers to participation of groups that have previously been marginalised. I am keen to explore ways we can include and collaborate with these communities, to have a voice within Wikimedia and its projects.

If you have any ideas or would like to talk to me more about this please do say hello, I’d love to hear from you rupal.karia@wikimedia.org.uk 

The post Wikimedia UK welcomes Rupal Karia as Outreach and Community Coordinator appeared first on WMUK.


Monday, 18 September 2023 19:23 UTC

Other languages: Afrikaans, Bahasa Indonesia, Deutsch, English, Hausa, Tiếng Việt, Türkçe, français, italiano, norsk bokmål, polski, suomi, svenska, čeština, русский, українська, עברית, العربية, हिन्दी, বাংলা, ಕನ್ನಡ, 中文, 日本語

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available.

Recent changes

  • MediaWiki now has a stable interface policy for frontend code that more clearly defines how we deprecate MediaWiki code and wiki-based code (e.g. gadgets and user scripts). Thank you to everyone who contributed to the content and discussions. [1][2]

Changes later this week

  • The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis and MediaWiki.org from 19 September. It will be on non-Wikipedia wikis and some Wikipedias from 20 September. It will be on all wikis from 21 September (calendar).
  • All wikis will be read-only for a few minutes on September 20. This is planned at 14:00 UTC. [3]
  • All wikis will have a link in the sidebar that provides a short URL of that page, using the Wikimedia URL Shortener. [4]

Future changes

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This is probably a situation familiar to many of us: while reading Wikipedia, we stumble upon an unexpected red link, indicating that there is an article missing. The majority of us just keep reading on, but some just can’t resist filling that knowledge gap. This is how the Wikipedia adventure started for Vera, also known as Pinky sl, a Slovenian Wikipedia editor, tech contributor, administrator and our Celebrated Wikimedian for September. She was reading Slovenian Wikipedia and noticed a red link, where a link for an article about a Hygrometer. So she decided to write that missing Wikipedia entry. And that decision made her a Wikimedian. 17 years later she is a dedicated contributor with more than 100 000 edits, a template and module creator, and an active community member for the Central and Eastern European region.

Today we celebrate her dedication to free knowledge and the Wikimedia movement. 

Vera at the CEE Meeting 2023. Wojciech Pędzich, CC BY-SA 4.0

The project she is most engaged in is Slovenian Wikipedia. She makes sure that this project, despite struggling with the limited pool of technical editors, stays in touch with technological advancements happening in the Wikimedia movement. She works on templates, modules and takes care of pages dedicated to guidelines and assisting users. But her main goal is achieving a better integration of Wikidata, into the Slovenian Wikipedia. 

Wikidata is a multilingual knowledge base that can be edited by both humans and machines. It helps to maintain information across Wikimedia projects. Thanks to good Wikidata integration, an information addition or update doesn’t need to be done in many Wikipedia language versions separately, but can just be done once, in Wikidata. 

Pinky sl has done a lot of Wikidata related work in Slovenian Wikipedia, including creating the first ever infobox using Wikidata – a challenging and responsible technical task, she is very proud of. 

Vera is also an author of Featured Articles and a media contributor, uploading pictures of monuments, sites, and nature. Including her favorite picture of a roman snail which made it as a candidate to the Picture of the Year in 2007. And which, as she jokingly mentions, reflects the gradual, thorough work she does as a Wikimedian.

As with everything in the Wikimedia movement, Pinky’s work benefits strongly from cooperation. She had learned through past experience that whenever she had lacked the technical knowledge needed to complete certain tasks, she could count on guidance and support from more experienced editors from different corners of the world. She enjoys being a part of the global community and connecting with her peers. As she says: “I love being part of the extended Wikimedia family, and I eagerly participate in international events whenever possible, hoping to bring back new knowledge and insights about how Wikimedia operates. And, of course, be part of each locally organized event!”

For her, Wikimedia is a constant learning experience. Whether it is from other contributors or from tutorials and help pages, she keeps finding new and better ways to contribute. “It’s a continuous learning process that takes time and I believe that with dedication and the support of the Wikimedia community, anyone can improve their technical skills and contribute effectively”, she says. 

Her motivation comes from the Wikimedia mission and the bold dream of compiling the entirety of human knowledge into a single, accessible database. “Knowledge has never been so easily accessible to so many people, and it’s this collective goal that keeps me inspired and driven to continue my contributions”. – she says. 

Pinky knows that there are challenges ahead. One of them being ensuring a healthy and respectful community environment, in which arising conflicts are well addressed and a positive atmosphere for collaboration is maintained. If she could give advice to her fellow longtime Wikimedians, it would be: “Set a positive example as a veteran contributor. Show respect for others and engage in constructive discussions, inspiring others to do the same”.

When it comes to Wikipedia’s future, she is optimistic. In her own words: “I’m excited to see how we can continue to make knowledge accessible to all. And you know what’s really tickling my curiosity? How on earth are we going to let AI join the Wikimedia party?”.

Jan Beranek and Wojciech Pędzich at volunteer retention workshop

Wikimania is an annual international conference hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Topics of presentations and discussions include Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia and its sister projects, open-source software, free knowledge, free content, and socio-technical aspects related to these topics. Jan Beránek, long-time Wikipedian and coordinator of Programs for editors represented Wikimedia Czech Republic at the conference.

My journey to attend Wikimania Singapore started in February when I filled out the Wikimedia Foundation’s scholarship application. I was surprised when I found out that I was successful with my application. However, the real surprise was to find out that I was the only person from the Czech Republic to receive the scholarship.

Czech footprint at Wikimania

Wikimedia Czech Repulic brought two sessions to this year’s Wikimania:

The first session, presented by Jan Beránek in person, was warmly received by the audience. The Czech Senior Citizens Write Wikipedia programme has a good reputation in the wiki world, especially thanks to its long history and well-developed methodology. After subsequent discussion, a group was established to bring together leaders and trainers of senior programs around the world – from Europe to Asia to Africa – to share know-how together even further. If you have any questions, feel free to reach Jan using his email.

Wikimania allowed me to get to know other members of the international wiki community in person. Only here does one realise the cultural diversity and the obstacles that editors in other countries have to face. I am looking forward to using this newly gained knowledge and new collaborations in my work.

Which sessionss should you not miss out?

This year’s Wikimania was a hybrid event, most of the talks were broadcasted live. Recordings are available, and the list below presents a selection of three talks that are definitely worth watching.

  • An overview of the research work focusing on Wikipedia was presented in the State of Wikimedia Research 2022-2023 talk. In just one hour, various research papers on artificial intelligence, misinformation, and other topics were shown.
  • Patrollers (editors who monitor the recent changes on Wikipedia and remove vandal edits) will be interested in the lecture and discussion Supporting moderators at the Wikimedia Foundation. In this session, various WMF teams presented their work. In particular, newcomers, automatic moderation of edits using artificial intelligence, and improvements to the mobile app for patrol were discussed.
  • The discussion was also sparked by The Case for NC Commons presentation – what would it be like if we allowed non-commercial images on Wikipedia? Is it only our rules that prevent this, or are there legal constraints as well?

Diversity. Collaboration. Future.

The video below shows the atmosphere of the conference. The organizers managed to create a safe and inspiring environment for all participants. This year’s event was the biggest so far – next time the Wikimedia community will meet in Krakow, are you going to be there?

Tech News issue #38, 2023 (September 18, 2023)

Monday, 18 September 2023 00:00 UTC
previous 2023, week 38 (Monday 18 September 2023) next

Tech News: 2023-38

Investigate a PHP segmentation fault

Sunday, 17 September 2023 21:37 UTC


The Beta-Cluster-Infrastructure is a farm of wikis we use for experimentation and integration testing. It is updated continuously: new code is every ten minutes and the databases every hour by running MediaWiki maintenance/update.php. The scheduling and running are driven by Jenkins jobs which statuses can be seen on the Beta view:

On top of that, Jenkins will emit notification messages to IRC as long as one of the update job fails. One of them started failing on July 25th and this is how I was seeing it the alarm (times are for France, UTC+2):

(wmf-insecte is the Jenkins bot, insecte is french for bug (animals), and the wmf- prefix identifies it as a Wikimedia Foundation robot).

Clicking on the link gives the output of the update script which eventually fails with:

+ /usr/local/bin/mwscript update.php --wiki=wikifunctionswiki --quick --skip-config-validation
20:31:09 ...wikilambda_zlanguages table already exists.
20:31:09 ...have wlzl_label_primary field in wikilambda_zobject_labels table.
20:31:09 ...have wlzl_return_type field in wikilambda_zobject_labels table.
20:31:09 /usr/local/bin/mwscript: line 27:  1822 Segmentation fault      sudo -u "$MEDIAWIKI_WEB_USER" $PHP "$MEDIAWIKI_DEPLOYMENT_DIR_DIR_USE/multiversion/MWScript.php" "$@"

The important bit is Segmentation fault which indicates the program (php) had a fatal fault and it got rightfully killed by the Linux Kernel. Looking at the instance Linux Kernel messages via dmesg -T:

[Mon Jul 24 23:33:55 2023] php[28392]: segfault at 7ffe374f5db8 ip 00007f8dc59fc807 sp 00007ffe374f5da0 error 6 in libpcre2-8.so.0.7.1[7f8dc59b9000+5d000]
[Mon Jul 24 23:33:55 2023] Code: ff ff 31 ed e9 74 fb ff ff 66 2e 0f 1f 84 00 00 00 00 00 41 57 41 56 41 55 41 54 55 48 89 d5 53 44 89 c3 48 81 ec 98 52 00 00 <48> 89 7c 24 18 4c 8b a4 24 d0 52 00 00 48 89 74 24 10 48 89 4c 24
[Mon Jul 24 23:33:55 2023] Core dump to |/usr/lib/systemd/systemd-coredump 28392 33 33 11 1690242166 0 php pipe failed

With those data, I had enough to the most urgent step: file a task (T342769) which can be used as an audit trail and reference for the future. It is the single most important step I am doing whenever I am debugging an issue, since if I have to stop due to time constraint or lack of technical abilities, others can step in and continue. It also provides an historical record that can be looked up in the future, and indeed this specific problem already got investigated and fully documented a couple years ago. Having a task is the most important thing one must do whenever debugging, it is invaluable. For PHP segmentation fault, we even have a dedicated project php-segfault

With the task filed, I have continued the investigation. The previous successful build had:

19:30:18 ...have wlzl_label_primary field in wikilambda_zobject_labels table.
19:30:18 ...have wlzl_return_type field in wikilambda_zobject_labels table.
19:30:18        ❌ Unable to make a page for Z7138: The provided content's label clashes with Object 'Z10138' for the label in 'Z1002'.
19:30:18        ❌ Unable to make a page for Z7139: The provided content's label clashes with Object 'Z10139' for the label in 'Z1002'.
19:30:18        ❌ Unable to make a page for Z7140: The provided content's label clashes with Object 'Z10140' for the label in 'Z1002'.
19:30:18 ...site_stats is populated...done.

The successful build started at 19:20 UTC and the failing one finished at 20:30 UTC which gives us a short time window to investigate. Since the failure seems to happen after updating the WikiLambda MediaWiki extension, I went to inspect the few commits that got merged at that time. I took advantage of Gerrit adding review actions as git notes, notably the exact time a change got submitted and subsequently merged. The process:

Clone the suspect repository:

git clone https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/extensions/WikiLambda
cd WikiLambda

Fetch the Gerrit review notes:

git fetch origin refs/notes/review:refs/notes/review

The review notes can be shown below the commit by passing --notes=review to git log or git show, an example for the current HEAD of the repository:

$ git show -q --notes=review
commit c7f8071647a1aeb2cef6b9310ccbf3a87af2755b (HEAD -> master, origin/master, origin/HEAD)
Author: Genoveva Galarza <ggalarzaheredero@wikimedia.org>
Date:   Thu Jul 27 00:34:03 2023 +0200

    Initialize blank function when redirecting to FunctionEditor from DefaultView
    Bug: T342802
    Change-Id: I09d3400db21983ac3176a0bc325dcfe2ddf23238

Notes (review):
    Verified+1: SonarQube Bot <kharlan+sonarqubebot@wikimedia.org>
    Verified+2: jenkins-bot
    Code-Review+2: Jforrester <jforrester@wikimedia.org>
    Submitted-by: jenkins-bot
    Submitted-at: Wed, 26 Jul 2023 22:47:59 +0000
    Reviewed-on: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/c/mediawiki/extensions/WikiLambda/+/942026
    Project: mediawiki/extensions/WikiLambda
    Branch: refs/heads/master

Which shows this change has been approved by Jforrester and entered the repository on Wed, 26 Jul 2023 22:47:59 UTC. Then to find the commits in that range, I ask git log to list:

  • anything that has a commit date for the day (it is not necessarily correct but in this case it is a good enough approximation)
  • from oldest to newest
  • sorted by topology order (aka in the order the commit entered the repository rather than based on the commit date)
  • show the review notes to get the Submitted-at field

I can then scroll to the commits having a Submitted-at in the time window of 19:20 UTC - 20:30 UTC. I have amended the below output to remove most of the review notes except for the first commit:

$ git log --oneline --since=2023/07/25 --reverse --notes=review --no-merges --topo-order
653ea81a Handle oldid url param to view a particular revision
Notes (review):
    Verified+1: SonarQube Bot <kharlan+sonarqubebot@wikimedia.org>
    Verified+2: jenkins-bot
    Code-Review+2: Jforrester <jforrester@wikimedia.org>
    Submitted-by: jenkins-bot
    Submitted-at: Tue, 25 Jul 2023 19:26:53 +0000
    Reviewed-on: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/c/mediawiki/extensions/WikiLambda/+/941482
    Project: mediawiki/extensions/WikiLambda
    Branch: refs/heads/master

fe4b0446 AUTHORS: Update for July 2023
Notes (review):
    Submitted-at: Tue, 25 Jul 2023 19:49:43 +0000
    Reviewed-on: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/c/mediawiki/extensions/WikiLambda/+/941507

73fcb4a4 Update function-schemata sub-module to HEAD (1c01f22)
Notes (review):
    Submitted-at: Tue, 25 Jul 2023 19:59:23 +0000
    Reviewed-on: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/c/mediawiki/extensions/WikiLambda/+/941384

598f5fcc PageRenderingHandler: Don't make 'read' selected if we're on the edit tab
Notes (review):
    Submitted-at: Tue, 25 Jul 2023 20:16:05 +0000
    Reviewed-on: https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/c/mediawiki/extensions/WikiLambda/+/941456

Or in a Phabricator task and human friendly way:

The Update function-schemata sub-module to HEAD (1c01f22) has a short log of changes it introduces:

  • New changes:
  • abc4aa6 definitions: Add Z1908/bug-bugi and Z1909/bug-lant ZNaturalLanguages
  • 0f1941e definitions: Add Z1910/piu ZNaturalLanguage
  • 1c01f22 definitions: Re-label all objects to drop the 'Z' per Amin

Since the update script fail on WikiLambda I have reached out to its developers so they can investigate their code and maybe find what can trigger the issue.

On the PHP side we need a trace. That can be done by configuring the Linux Kernel to take a dump of the program before terminating it and having it stored on disk, it did not quite work due to a configuration issue on the machine and in the first attempt we forgot to run the command by asking bash to allow the dump generation (ulimit -c unlimited). From a past debugging session, I went to run the command directly under the GNU debugger: gdb.

There are a few preliminary step to debug the PHP program, at first one needs to install the debug symbols which lets the debugger map the binary entries to lines of the original source code. Since error mentions libpcre2 I also installed its debugging symbols:

$ sudo apt-get -y install php7.4-common-dbgsym php7.4-cli-dbgsym libpcre2-dbg

I then used gdb to start a debugging session:

sudo  -s -u www-data gdb --args /usr/bin/php /srv/mediawiki-staging/multiversion/MWScript.php update.php --wiki=wikifunctionswiki --quick --skip-config-validation

Then ask gdb to start the program by entering in the input prompt: run . After several minutes, it caught the segmentation fault:

gdb> run
<output freeze for several minutes while update.php is doing something>

Thread 1 "php" received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
0x00007ffff789e807 in pcre2_match_8 (code=0x555555ce1fb0, 
    subject=subject@entry=0x7fffcb410a98 "Z1002", length=length@entry=5, 
    start_offset=start_offset@entry=0, options=0, 
    match_data=match_data@entry=0x555555b023e0, mcontext=0x555555ad5870)
    at src/pcre2_match.c:6001
6001    src/pcre2_match.c: No such file or directory.

I could not find a debugging symbol package containing src/pcre2_match.c but that was not needed afterall.

To retrieve the stacktrace enter to the gdb prompt bt :

gdb> bt
#0  0x00007ffff789e807 in pcre2_match_8 (code=0x555555ce1fb0, 
    subject=subject@entry=0x7fffcb410a98 "Z1002", length=length@entry=5, 
    start_offset=start_offset@entry=0, options=0, 
    match_data=match_data@entry=0x555555b023e0, mcontext=0x555555ad5870)
    at src/pcre2_match.c:6001
#1  0x00005555556a3b24 in php_pcre_match_impl (pce=0x7fffe83685a0, 
    subject_str=0x7fffcb410a80, return_value=0x7fffcb44b220, subpats=0x0, global=0, 
    use_flags=<optimized out>, flags=0, start_offset=0) at ./ext/pcre/php_pcre.c:1300
#2  0x00005555556a493b in php_do_pcre_match (execute_data=0x7fffcb44b710, 
    return_value=0x7fffcb44b220, global=0) at ./ext/pcre/php_pcre.c:1149
#3  0x00007ffff216a3cb in tideways_xhprof_execute_internal ()
   from /usr/lib/php/20190902/tideways_xhprof.so
#4  0x000055555587ddee in ZEND_DO_FCALL_SPEC_RETVAL_USED_HANDLER ()
    at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:1732
#5  execute_ex (ex=0x555555ce1fb0) at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:53539
#6  0x00007ffff2169c89 in tideways_xhprof_execute_ex ()
   from /usr/lib/php/20190902/tideways_xhprof.so
#7  0x000055555587de4b in ZEND_DO_FCALL_SPEC_RETVAL_USED_HANDLER ()
    at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:1714
#8  execute_ex (ex=0x555555ce1fb0) at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:53539
#9  0x00007ffff2169c89 in tideways_xhprof_execute_ex ()
   from /usr/lib/php/20190902/tideways_xhprof.so
#10 0x000055555587de4b in ZEND_DO_FCALL_SPEC_RETVAL_USED_HANDLER ()
    at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:1714
#11 execute_ex (ex=0x555555ce1fb0) at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:53539
#12 0x00007ffff2169c89 in tideways_xhprof_execute_ex ()
   from /usr/lib/php/20190902/tideways_xhprof.so
#13 0x000055555587de4b in ZEND_DO_FCALL_SPEC_RETVAL_USED_HANDLER ()
    at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:1714
#14 execute_ex (ex=0x555555ce1fb0) at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:53539
#15 0x00007ffff2169c89 in tideways_xhprof_execute_ex ()
   from /usr/lib/php/20190902/tideways_xhprof.so
#16 0x000055555587c63c in ZEND_DO_FCALL_SPEC_RETVAL_UNUSED_HANDLER ()
    at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:1602
#17 execute_ex (ex=0x555555ce1fb0) at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:53535
#18 0x00007ffff2169c89 in tideways_xhprof_execute_ex ()
   from /usr/lib/php/20190902/tideways_xhprof.so
#19 0x000055555587de4b in ZEND_DO_FCALL_SPEC_RETVAL_USED_HANDLER ()
    at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:1714
#20 execute_ex (ex=0x555555ce1fb0) at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:53539
#21 0x00007ffff2169c89 in tideways_xhprof_execute_ex ()
   from /usr/lib/php/20190902/tideways_xhprof.so
#22 0x000055555587de4b in ZEND_DO_FCALL_SPEC_RETVAL_USED_HANDLER ()
    at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:1714
#23 execute_ex (ex=0x555555ce1fb0) at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.h:53539
#24 0x00007ffff2169c89 in tideways_xhprof_execute_ex ()
   from /usr/lib/php/20190902/tideways_xhprof.so
#25 0x000055555587de4b in ZEND_DO_FCALL_SPEC_RETVAL_USED_HANDLER ()
 at ./Zend/zend_vm_execute.Quit

Which is not that helpful. Thankfully the PHP project provides a set of macro for gdb which lets one map the low level C code to the PHP code that was expected. It is provided in their source repository /.gdbinit and one should use the version from the PHP branch being debugged, since we use php 7.4 I went to use the version from the latest 7.4 series (7.4.30 at the time of this writing): https://raw.githubusercontent.com/php/php-src/php-7.4.30/.gdbinit

Download the file to your home directory (ex: /home/hashar/gdbinit) and ask gdb to import it with, for example, source /home/hashar/gdbinit :

(gdb) source /home/hashar/gdbinit

This provides a few new commands to show PHP Zend values and to generate a very helpfull stacktrace (zbacktrace):

(gdb) zbacktrace
[0x7fffcb44b710] preg_match("\7^Z[1-9]\d*$\7u", "Z1002") [internal function]
[0x7fffcb44aba0] Opis\JsonSchema\Validator->validateString(reference, reference, array(0)[0x7fffcb44ac10], array(7)[0x7fffcb44ac20], object[0x7fffcb44ac30], object[0x7fffcb44ac40], object[0x7fffcb44ac50]) /srv/mediawiki-staging/php-master/vendor/opis/json-schema/src/Validator.php:1219 
[0x7fffcb44a760] Opis\JsonSchema\Validator->validateProperties(reference, reference, array(0)[0x7fffcb44a7d0], array(7)[0x7fffcb44a7e0], object[0x7fffcb44a7f0], object[0x7fffcb44a800], object[0x7fffcb44a810], NULL) /srv/mediawiki-staging/php-master/vendor/opis/json-schema/src/Validator.php:943 
[0x7fffcb44a4c0] Opis\JsonSchema\Validator->validateKeywords(reference, reference, array(0)[0x7fffcb44a530], array(7)[0x7fffcb44a540], object[0x7fffcb44a550], object[0x7fffcb44a560], object[0x7fffcb44a570]) /srv/mediawiki-staging/php-master/vendor/opis/json-schema/src/Validator.php:519 
[0x7fffcb44a310] Opis\JsonSchema\Validator->validateSchema(reference, reference, array(0)[0x7fffcb44a380], array(7)[0x7fffcb44a390], object[0x7fffcb44a3a0], object[0x7fffcb44a3b0], object[0x7fffcb44a3c0]) /srv/mediawiki-staging/php-master/vendor/opis/json-schema/src/Validator.php:332 
[0x7fffcb449350] Opis\JsonSchema\Validator->validateConditionals(reference, reference, array(0)[0x7fffcb4493c0], array(7)[0x7fffcb4493d0], object[0x7fffcb4493e0], object[0x7fffcb4493f0], object[0x7fffcb449400]) /srv/mediawiki-staging/php-master/vendor/opis/json-schema/src/Validator.php:703 
[0x7fffcb4490b0] Opis\JsonSchema\Validator->validateKeywords(reference, reference, array(0)[0x7fffcb449120], array(7)[0x7fffcb449130], object[0x7fffcb449140], object[0x7fffcb449150], object[0x7fffcb449160]) /srv/mediawiki-staging/php-master/vendor/opis/json-schema/src/Validator.php:523 
[0x7fffcb448f00] Opis\JsonSchema\Validator->validateSchema(reference, reference, array(0)[0x7fffcb448f70], array(7)[0x7fffcb448f80], object[0x7fffcb448f90], object[0x7fffcb448fa0], object[0x7fffcb448fb0]) /srv/mediawiki-staging/php-master/vendor/opis/json-schema/src/Validator.php:332 

The stacktrace shows the code entered an infinite loop while validating a Json schema up to a point it is being stopped.

The arguments can be further inspected by using printz and giving it as argument an object reference. For the line:

For [0x7fffcb44aba0] Opis\JsonSchema\Validator->validateString(reference, reference, array(0)[0x7fffcb44ac10], array(7)[0x7fffcb44ac20], object[0x7fffcb44ac30], object[0x7fffcb44ac40], object[0x7fffcb44ac50]) /srv/mediawiki-staging/php-master/vendor/opis/json-schema/src/Validator.php:1219
(gdb) printzv 0x7fffcb44ac10
[0x7fffcb44ac10] (refcount=2) array:     Hash(0)[0x5555559d7f00]: {
(gdb) printzv 0x7fffcb44ac20
[0x7fffcb44ac20] (refcount=21) array:     Packed(7)[0x7fffcb486118]: {
      [0] 0 => [0x7fffcb445748] (refcount=17) string: Z2K2
      [1] 1 => [0x7fffcb445768] (refcount=18) string: Z4K2
      [2] 2 => [0x7fffcb445788] long: 1
      [3] 3 => [0x7fffcb4457a8] (refcount=15) string: Z3K3
      [4] 4 => [0x7fffcb4457c8] (refcount=10) string: Z12K1
      [5] 5 => [0x7fffcb4457e8] long: 1
      [6] 6 => [0x7fffcb445808] (refcount=6) string: Z11K1
(gdb) printzv 0x7fffcb44ac30
[0x7fffcb44ac30] (refcount=22) object(Opis\JsonSchema\Schema) #485450 {
id => [0x7fffcb40f508] (refcount=3) string: /Z6#
draft => [0x7fffcb40f518] (refcount=1) string: 07
internal => [0x7fffcb40f528] (refcount=1) reference: [0x7fffcb6704e8] (refcount=1) array:     Hash(1)[0x7fffcb4110e0]: {
      [0] "/Z6#" => [0x7fffcb71d280] (refcount=1) object(stdClass) #480576
(gdb) printzv 0x7fffcb44ac40
[0x7fffcb44ac40] (refcount=5) object(stdClass) #483827
Properties     Hash(1)[0x7fffcb6aa2a0]: {
      [0] "pattern" => [0x7fffcb67e3c0] (refcount=1) string: ^Z[1-9]\d*$
(gdb) printzv 0x7fffcb44ac50
[0x7fffcb44ac50] (refcount=5) object(Opis\JsonSchema\ValidationResult) #486348 {
maxErrors => [0x7fffcb4393e8] long: 1
errors => [0x7fffcb4393f8] (refcount=2) array:     Hash(0)[0x5555559d7f00]: {

Extracting the parameters was enough for WikiLambda developers to find the immediate root cause, they have removed some definitions which triggered the infinite loop and manually ran a script to reload the data in the Database. Eventually the Jenkins job managed to update the wiki database:

16:30:26 <wmf-insecte> Project beta-update-databases-eqiad build #69029: FIXED in 10 min: https://integration.wikimedia.org/ci/job/beta-update-databases-eqiad/69029/

One problem solved!


weeklyOSM 686

Sunday, 17 September 2023 10:02 UTC


lead picture

Group mapping activity organised by OSM Bengaluru [1] © Photo by Aman Bagrecha


  • Black Diamond shared his experience of using USGS 3D Elevation data, which is available as a background layer in iD and JOSM for most US territories, to more easily map geographic features.


  • Deus Figendi called on friends and acquaintances to motivate them to map their houses in OpenStreetMap in detail. He described for beginners how to do this and hopes to attract new mappers.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • Courtney Williamson has released an update on the OpenStreetMap fundraising programme. As of 8 September 2023, €50,450.85 had been raised from 1425 donors. These funds will go towards data centre infrastructure maintenance and site reliability engineering.
  • Courtney wrote about the new guidelines for companies who use OpenStreetMap data in their products and services. All corporate members will now have a seat on the OSMF advisory committee and the fee for an annual membership has increased by 50% for the top tiers.


  • [1] Aman Bagrecha shared his experience of participating in a community mapping activity organised by OSM Bengaluru, India, on 9 September 2023.
  • The schedule for the State Of The Map 2023 Brazil (2 to 4 October in Curitiba) has been published.

Humanitarian OSM

  • OSM Morocco and HOT’s Open Mapping Hub – West and Northern Africa have collaboratively launched the Morocco Earthquake activation of HOT in response to the disaster. They are asking for help from mappers (and validators) to fill out OpenStreetMap data in the affected areas and support the response. Mapping tasks are available at tasks.hotosm.org


Open Data

  • Miroff has published software for converting the State Catalogue of Geographical Names of Russia into a GeoJSON format that is supported by JOSM. The latest version of the dataset contains 730,738 names of rivers, lakes, mountains, hamlets, and other place names.In response to this, freeExec has made an updated list of the top 20 longest currently unnamed rivers and river basins that can be named from the catalogue, while rtnf has made a simple guide on how to use this tool.
  • Junior Flores, from DevSeed, has created an interactive 3D visualisation tool using OSM data showing the mobile signal coverage at educational institutions in Ayacucho, Peru, and the location of the antennas of different telecommunication companies. It shows that of the 1,960 educational institutions in Ayacucho, 670 have no mobile coverage at all, and only 122 enjoy high signal quality.
  • Daniel O’Donohue, from the Mapscaping Podcast team, interviewed Jennings Anderson, a researcher at Meta, about Meta’s Daylight Map Distribution and the Overture Maps Foundation.
  • Raquel Dezidério Souto, from OSMBrasil, reported that Fidelis Assis has, among other things , captured the data of the 2022 Brazilian Census.


  • HeiGIT reported that their openrouteservice (ORS) for Disaster Management is expanding its coverage to include Africa, Central and South America, and South-East Asia. Using OSM data, ORS for Disaster Management updates frequently to ensure first responders are able to circumnavigate critical infrastructure that is blocked or damaged.


  • osm2pgsql announced the concept of Themepark. It can be used to create a configuration file by reusing existing building blocks.
  • Alexandre Donciu-Julin described how he used OpenStreetMap and Python to create a map showing his runs.


  • HeiGIT reported that the ohsome dashboard has now been integrated with taginfo.
  • HeiGIT reported that version 1.0 of their ohsome quality API and ohsome dashboard is now online. The new version includes an overhauled currentness indicator and the integration of the ohsome quality API into the ohsome dashboard. The tool allows easy access to aggregated statistics on the evolution of OSM elements since 2020.

Did you know …

  • GeoVisio, also known as Panoramax, is a Street View gallery server software that is libre and open source and that you can host on your own server?
  • … that machine learning is being used to create 3D digital models of past neighbourhoods? These provide valuable tools for studying economic losses incurred from demolishing historic areas.
  • … MapTiler labs offers a variety of proofs-of-concept showcasing OpenStreetMap data, including an elevation profile calculator, a digital elevation model, a bathymetric map, a map of the Roman Empire, a wind simulator, and sea routes?
  • … Pieter Fiers has released an app named OSMfocus Reborn? It is an Android app, based on OSMFocus, to help view the details of object tags on OpenStreetMap.

Other “geo” things

  • Justin O’Beirne reviewed Google Maps’ new map style.
  • The Royal Navy is testing a quantum navigation system. It wants to use it to determine the exact position of a ship worldwide without relying on GPS.
  • literan collects funny images from various street-views in their Telegram channel .
  • Alexey Radchenko has analysed public and open data from users of Yandex’s geo-services about road accidents in Moscow and found that only 2% of road accidents reported by users were officially registered.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
London Borough of Camden Mobile mapping training session and workshop 2023-09-19 flag
Lyon Réunion du groupe local de Lyon 2023-09-19 flag
167. Treffen des OSM-Stammtisches Bonn 2023-09-19
City of Edinburgh OSM Edinburgh Social 2023-09-19 flag
Lüneburg Lüneburger Mappertreffen (online) 2023-09-19 flag
OSMF Engineering Working Group meeting 2023-09-20
IJmuiden OSM Nederland bijeenkomst (online) 2023-09-20 flag
The Municipal District of Kilkenny City Kilkenny History Mappers MeetUp 2023-09-21 flag
Saint-Barthélemy-de-Séchilienne Mapping Party in Saint-Barthélemy-de-Séchilienne 38220 France 2023-09-23 flag
Град Кикинда OpenStreetMap x Pionir #2 2023-09-23 – 2023-09-24 flag
Localidad Teusaquillo Bici Ruta Geek en Bogotá 2023-09-24 flag
Maricá Mapathon – Maricá City 2023-09-24 – 2023-09-30 flag
Chambéry Mapathon débutant saison 23/24 CartONG 2023-09-25 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2023-09-27 flag
Berlin Missing Maps Mapathon Berlin 2023-09-27 flag
City of Westminster London pub meet-up 2023-09-27 flag
Aachen 4. Treffen Aachener Stammtisch 2.0 2023-09-28 flag
Lübeck 135. OSM-Stammtisch für Lübeck und Umgebung 2023-09-28 flag
Düsseldorf Düsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen 2023-09-29 flag
Curitiba Pré-Conferência – State of the Map Brasil 2023 2023-09-30 flag
Karlsruhe Karlsruhe Hack Weekend September 2023 2023-09-30 – 2023-10-01 flag

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

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

Atlassian has partnered with Wiki Education to support the creation of more biographies for women in STEM and help close the site’s gender content gap. Only 19% of Wikipedia’s biographies on English Wikipedia are about women. Systemic issues continue to prevent women in STEM from receiving due recognition for their significant contributions to their fields and beyond. Not only does this mean we’re not hearing and learning from a huge cohort of the STEM community, it also means aspiring women in STEM cannot be what they cannot see. 

Wiki Education is helping close the gap across disciplines. For example, in 2012, geneticist Jennifer Doudna helped make one of the most remarkable breakthroughs in biology — the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system, which changed editing genomes from science fiction to science. While Doudna’s Wikipedia biography looked substantial, a lot of her research was missing or contextualized in relation to her male colleagues. In 2018, one of our Wiki Scientists transformed the page so that it emphasized Doudna’s scientific achievements.

Then, on October 7, 2020, Jennifer Doudna was awarded the Nobel Prize for her work on CRISPR. Thanks to the Wiki Scientist’s work, her biography on Wikipedia explains the revolutionary potential of CRISPR and Doudna’s role in this research. Had she not added this content, millions of readers who came to Doudna’s Wikipedia biography to learn why she was awarded the Nobel Prize might have left with more questions than answers. This work reminds the public of women’s scientific contributions, inspiring new generations to pursue careers in science.

As a leading provider of team collaboration and productivity software, Atlassian believes in collaborating with like-minded organizations to tackle the inequities in STEM. So for their first cohort of Wiki Scientists, they invited their employees, members of 500 Women Scientists, and other experts to work together in our virtual Wikipedia training courses. 

The results speak for themselves. In the 4 months since the course wrapped up, the work participants added to Wikipedia (more than 17K words!) has already reached 170K readers. As Atlassian’s Event Content Operations Manager, Lauryn Yacubich thought the experience would be a great way to expand her skill set while contributing to the common good. She chose to write a biography for Eve Lipchik, an Austrian-American psychologist.

Headshot of Lauryn Yacubich
Atlassian Wiki Scientist Lauryn Yacubich. Image courtesy Lauryn Yacubich, all rights reserved

“I always had an interest in psychology and relationship therapy and when I googled her name, I thought she did some significant research that certainly changes the way therapists approach their patients now,” Lauryn reflected. “So I was surprised the biography did not exist. You don’t usually think about Wikipedia lacking in that department but I was glad I was able to contribute something. I wanted to make sure I got her background and her approach to research correct.”

Lauryn said the experience definitely invigorated new aspects of her work. Not only did it give her a chance to expand her copywriting skills, it was also a nice reminder of what drew her to Atlassian’s mission in the first place. 

“In regards to STEM, I never really considered it a part of my job, but I quickly realized that I am part of a much larger movement and the sooner I see my impact, the better I am able to contribute to the industry more.”

She’s also newly inspired to get back into some personal writing and blogging. “I feel refreshed and I also now know where I could potentially put my interest in psychology energy into – updating Wikipedia articles.”

Editing Wikipedia is a powerful, high-impact way to amplify public knowledge, but the barriers to entry into the Wikipedia ecosystem deter many. With hands-on support from Wiki Education’s Wikipedia experts, plus learning together in a cohort, these Atlassian Wiki Scientists were able to reach 170K readers so far with their work. This exposure for women in STEM who didn’t have a Wikipedia biography before could benefit their careers and the field in general.

A Wikipedia biography recognizes a scientist’s contributions in real time. It surfaces her expertise to journalists and panel organizers, humanizes her beyond her CV or university profile, and shows young people interested in STEM what career paths are possible for them. It also does the important work of boosting a scientist’s credibility, changing stereotypes about who gets to be a scientist, and fostering trust in scientific research. 

Together, we can increase public awareness of women in STEM while bringing more diverse voices to the writing of our living history. 

Interested in joining this initiative or starting one of your own? Send an email to partner@wikiedu.org. We’d love to help more companies achieve their missions of elevating women in STEM and other fields through this important work.

Residency at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Friday, 15 September 2023 13:45 UTC

By Dr Lucy Hinnie, Resident at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Connected Heritage Project Lead

Since early 2023 I have been working with the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) and GLAM-E Lab in Exeter as their Wikimedian in Residence. These so-called ‘mini’ residencies are a key part of the Connected Heritage project: you can read all about Leah Emary’s experience as Wikimedian in Residence at the Mixed Museum here.

About RAMM and GLAM-E

The RAMM is the largest museum and art gallery in Exeter. It was founded in 1868 and holds over one million items. It was Museum of the Year in 2012. I have been working with Research Assistant Dr Francesca Farmer: Francesca is based within the GLAM-E Lab, part of The Centre for Science, Culture and the Law (SCuLE) at the University of Exeter. We have received support and guidance from Dr Andrea Wallace, Co-Director of the GLAM-E Lab. GLAM-E is ‘a joint initiative between the Centre for Science, Culture and the Law at the University of Exeter and the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law to work with smaller and less well-resourced UK and US cultural institutions and community organizations to build open access capacity and expertise’.

So what have we been doing? Our aim at the outset was for the Residency to scale up current open knowledge practice at RAMM. Dr Richard Nevell, Project Manager, had worked with Dr Wallace previously on the Cast In Stone project, and it was from this collaboration that ideas grew.

Supporting Image Uploads

As part of the Lab’s ongoing work with postgraduate students, earlier this year we supported the upload of a selection of images from the University of Exeter Special Collections. 

They are images from Christopher Saxton‘s 16th century atlas of England and Wales, and are of incredible quality. If you enjoy cartography and/or having a peek at old names for places, these will definitely be of interest to you. You can see the full selection here. If you live in England, you may even be able to spot where you live now.

By integrating these images more widely across Wiki platforms, we have been able to drive more traffic towards Special Collections, and increase viewer numbers.

Upskilling Volunteers

From April 2023, we worked with a group of digital volunteers at the Museum, providing a three-week introductory course to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Volunteers ranged from school leavers to those of retirement age, and had a vast array of experience and interests. Over the course of three weeks, we covered the basics of editing, common questions about Wiki and cultural heritage, and how to plan and formulate impactful edits. This course culminated in an online editing event in May 2023.

We were so taken with the material that we uncovered during this editing session, particularly the work of local historians on Devon Women in Public and Professional Life, 1900–1950: Votes, Voices and Vocations (available via Open Access here) that we have arranged another, larger-scale event in September: Devon in Red!

Devon in Red

Devon in Red is a public facing Wikithon in which authors of Devon Women in Public and Professional Life, 1900–1950: Votes, Voices and Vocations will speak to local volunteers and interested members of the public about their experience of researching this book, with an aim of adding even more information about these exceptional women to Wiki. Many of the women featured in this book do not have their own Wiki pages, and provide fascinating insight into Exeter’s history. 

If you are local to Exeter, you can register for the event here. Please note that some small bursaries are available to enable attendance for those who would otherwise be unable to attend. Please contact us at connectedheritage@wikimedia.org.uk for further information.

Photo of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum
File:Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter – geograph.org.uk – 375965.jpg

Establishing a Legacy

As we move towards the end of the project and the residency, I am working closely with RAMM to develop and circulate materials for volunteers and staff in the future to take charge of their own Wiki training, and to embed digital practice in the Museum going forward. Working with RAMM on this project has been a great pleasure and I am confident that exciting things are on the horizon for both RAMM and GLAM-E in terms of Wiki activity and collection access.

The post Residency at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum appeared first on WMUK.

In the resplendent month of October, India comes alive with a breathtaking symphony of festivals that embrace the essence of womanhood, radiating a sense of unity and celebration across the country. 

As the nation rejoices in the spirit of these festivals, a momentous event, the WikiWomenCamp 2023, will unfold in tandem, uniting women from diverse backgrounds to inspire, empower, and celebrate each other’s achievements. 

In this blog post, we embark on a journey through the heartwarming festivities of October, beautifully interwoven with the empowering vision of the WikiWomenCamp.

Navratri – A Melody of Unity

As the WikiWomenCamp commences, India joyously welcomes the nine nights of Navratri, epitomizing the indomitable strength and unity of women. This grand festival commemorates the triumph of good over evil, with each night devoted to celebrating the nine forms of Goddess Durga. 

आर्या जोशी, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In parallel, the WikiWomenCamp unites women from various walks of life, mirroring the spirit of Navratri as they collaborate, share knowledge, and embrace their shared passion for empowering change.

Durga Puja – Embracing Femininity and Wisdom

The vibrant festivities of Durga Puja echo the essence of the WikiWomenCamp, honoring the divine feminine and celebrating the wisdom that women bring to the forefront. 

Mukerjee, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As grand pandals adorn the cityscape, WikiWomenCamp participants embark on a similar journey of illumination, unlocking their potential, and uplifting each other as they delve into discussions on gender equity, digital innovation, and the power of women’s voices.

Karva Chauth – A Ritual of Love and Resilience

In North India, the poignant festival of Karva Chauth exemplifies the profound bond of love and resilience that women share. 

CSG-Info, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

WikiWomenCamp participants, through heartfelt interactions, forge similar connections, supporting each other in their endeavors and pledging solidarity in the pursuit of gender equality and social change.

Kanya Puja

Kanya Puja, a Hindu ritual during Navratri, venerates the divine feminine through a young girl embodying goddess Durga. This tradition underscores the strength and purity associated with women from a young age. 

At WikiWomenCamp, we draw parallels between this reverence for young girls and the potential of women to be influential figures in society, emphasising the celebration and recognition of women’s contributions and strength.

Blvrsngh80540, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sharad Purnima – Embracing Abundance

As Sharad Purnima blesses the land with a mesmerizing full moon, women revel in its abundant glow. Emulating the moon’s luminance, WikiWomenCamp participants shine brightly, sharing their experiences, achievements, and aspirations, paving the way for a brighter, more equitable future.

Museum of Asian Art, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In this harmonious fusion of festivals and the WikiWomenCamp, India resonates with the vibrant spirit of womanhood. The month of October becomes a testament to the strength, resilience, and unity of women, celebrating their achievements and nurturing their aspirations.

As WikiWomenCamp will bloom alongside these remarkable festivals, a powerful transformation occurs—a transformation that echoes the indomitable spirit of women coming together, bound by a shared vision of empowering change.

As participants arrive in India, we are in the midst of the festive season, and participants will find celebrations not only across the country but maybe also within our hotel premises.

Through Navratri’s unity, Durga Puja’s wisdom, Karva Chauth’s love, and Sharad Purnima’s abundance, these festivals and the WikiWomenCamp mirror the profound reverence for women, igniting a movement of empowerment and collective progress.

Join us in this captivating journey, where traditions and innovation converge, where celebrations and empowerment intertwine, and where October transforms into a transformative period for women in India and beyond. 

Together, let us embrace womanhood, celebrate achievements, and weave a brighter tapestry of hope and change for generations to come. 

Wikipedia Mobile App articles interruption

Thursday, 14 September 2023 12:34 UTC

Sep 14, 12:34 UTC
Resolved - This incident has been resolved.

Sep 14, 12:26 UTC
Monitoring - A fix has been implemented and we are monitoring the results.

Sep 14, 12:17 UTC
Update - We are continuing to investigate this issue.

Sep 14, 12:12 UTC
Investigating - We are currently investigating an issue that is preventing articles to load on the mobile apps.

Episode 146: BTB Digest 23

Wednesday, 13 September 2023 16:56 UTC

🕑 21 minutes

Clips from five recent episodes! Danielle Batson thinks about the future of genealogy, Ike Hecht considers the effect of AI on software, Tom Harriman describes the contents of Nuclepedia, Rita Ho praises the Content Translation tool, Allan Lim talks about becoming an amateur archaelogist, and more!

Experts are becoming Wikipedia editors in efforts to put the latest climate research in front of public audiences.

When it comes to experts’ understanding of climate science and the public’s understanding, there are some well-documented differences. American Physical Society members have been closing the gaps with impactful work on Wikipedia. With 18 billion page views per month, Wikipedia content has a proven track record for affecting collective behavior across a wide range of sectors. 

Since 2019, the American Physical Society (APS) has empowered 110 members—from a high school student to a Nobel Prize laureate—to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of physics and physicists. These scientists practice their science communication on a worldwide stage, write biographies of historically excluded physicists, leverage Wikidata—the open data repository behind Wikipedia—and are now correcting content gaps related to climate mitigation.

Dr. Allie Lau, the APS Public Engagement Sr. Programs Manager, has been instrumental in advancing the work.

“APS was excited about a Wikipedia training course focused on energy and climate science as this is an area of importance to the Society and its members,” Dr. Lau shared. 

The virtual courses, seven of them so far including the latest climate-focused iteration, present an opportunity for APS members to connect across disciplines and countries like never before. 

“APS recognizes the serious consequences of climate change and urges physicists to contribute to interdisciplinary climate research collaborations and efforts to design solutions to mitigate the human impact on climate,” Dr. Lau added. “The Society is committed to actions that will reduce greenhouse gas concentration and advocates for research and development of carbon-neutral and carbon-free energy technologies.”

Facilitating this chance for physicists to contribute accurate energy research to the public dialogue has been meaningful for the Society. As their Chief External Affairs Officer, Francis Slakey explains, “The Wiki Scientists course is a great tool for achieving our mission of diffusing the knowledge of physics for the benefit of humanity and amplifying the voice for science.” 

Correcting well-documented knowledge gaps

By adding up-to-date climate research to Wikipedia, APS Wiki Scientists supported by Wiki Education are helping correct the following gaps in public understanding: 

People misunderstand climate science and mitigation. 

The public often cites recycling and limiting trash pollution as the actions they think are most impactful for addressing climate change, whereas climate scientists focus on reducing carbon dioxide emissions on a much larger scale and across all sectors of society. 

APS Wiki Scientist Morgaine Mandigo-Stoba. Image courtesy Morgaine Mandigo-Stoba, all rights reserved

Advances in renewable energy production, like solar* and wind, are some such mitigation strategies that physicists improved on Wikipedia as Wiki Scientists. Morgaine Mandigo-Stoba, one of these physicists, expanded the Wikipedia page about thin-film solar cells, which covers a variety of established and developing thin-film photovoltaic technologies for an audience of 5,000 readers every month. She wrote about what these types of solar cells are made out of; how they work; how they’re produced and the costs of production; their advantages over first-generation silicon solar cells (including being cheaper and safer to produce); recent advancements in how efficient they are for electricity production; their durability and lifetime; how widely used they are in new utility development; and their potential role in meeting international renewable energy goals. She even included a diagram of her own design to illustrate a solar cell I-V curve. 

“Adding good data visualizations was really important to me in terms of making this page accessible to a wide audience,” Mandigo-Stoba shared. “Of course, I hope that this exposure can lead to people making more informed energy choices. One thing we talked about in the course is that people can feel a lot of anxiety around taking action against climate change and one way to alleviate that is to simply expose them to possible solutions. I hope that this page can help alleviate some of that worry that people have about finding the ‘perfect’ energy solution and help them feel empowered to explore new green energy technology.”

Another physicist improved the Wikipedia page on wind power, adding the physics at work in the power transfer from wind into energy. This page receives even more readers per month: close to 30,000! 

As Mandigo-Stoba explains, the exercise of writing a Wikipedia page is one of science translation. “Taking a topic that at its core is very technical and making it useful and interesting to a broad audience like this is a really fun challenge,” she shared.

People don’t connect the effects of climate change to their daily lives.

Many researchers have long assumed that the public doesn’t feel the urgency around mitigating climate change that scientists do. But according to new research, 61% of Americans say global climate change is affecting their local community and 70% are alarmed, concerned, or cautious. However, many still struggle to explain the connection between their lived experiences and the science behind global warming. Fewer understand how they can help. 

Headshot of Maggie Geppert
APS Wiki Scientist Maggie Geppert. Image courtesy Maggie Geppert, all rights reserved

That’s why adding regional-specific climate information to Wikipedia pages like climate change in Illinois, as one Wiki Scientist did, is so impactful. This page now explains that, because of climate change, Illinois is likely to experience more frequent flooding, harmful algae blooms on Lake Michigan, and higher temperatures that may harm humans and agriculture. The page also illustrates local mitigation efforts, including strategies to reduce the effects of heat islands, as well as information about the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act–a job retraining program for workers impacted by the transition to renewables.

“When I came across this page for the first time, it was in bad shape,” says APS member Maggie Geppert who tackled the updates. “It was a series of long quotes from a single source from 2016, which is not appropriate for a Wikipedia page. I originally thought about simply going back to the original source and rephrasing the quotes. In that sense, my original goal was to make the page better by just bringing it to some baseline standards. However, a topic like climate change really does need current information, and a single seven-year-old article as a source is not nearly enough. I decided to update the information and expand it from projected effects to current actions people in Illinois are taking to mitigate climate change. People need to know that there is political will in the United States to fight climate change. This is not an impossible task. It’s really, really big and really, really hard, but there are people who are willing to take action now. I chose to edit the Climate Change in Illinois page because it’s about where I live. My students will be able to read it and relate to the places and climate conditions it describes.”

Contributing up-to-date information on this topic in particular counteracts much of the popular mis-narratives circulating about climate science. Wikipedia is nicknamed the “last best place on the internet”, after all.

“When it comes to climate change, there is a lot of misinformation on social media,” Geppert added. “Wikipedia stands as a beacon of truth in an area riddled with lies and misrepresentations.”

People struggle to see where they might pursue climate-related work or they may even distrust scientists.

A Wikipedia biography recognizes a scientist’s contributions in real time. It surfaces her expertise to journalists and panel organizers, humanizes her beyond her CV or university profile, and shows young people interested in STEM what career paths are possible for them. It also does the important work of boosting a scientist’s credibility, changing stereotypes about who gets to be a scientist, and fostering trust in scientific research. This visibility is especially important for climate scientists, who–like other scientists in politicized fields–often encounter pushback in the public sector about how they know what they know.

Wiki Scientists in our courses are putting faces to climate work by writing biographies of scientists. The biographies for Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Hayhoe are much more comprehensive now. And Kate Marvel even has a new photo! Thousands of Wikipedia readers are being exposed to the scientific contributions of these scientists and others like them, every day.

Wiki Education kicked off our 8th APS Wiki Scientists course last week, and participating members will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by adding or expanding Wikipedia biographies of Hispanic and Latinx physicists. We’re thrilled at the commitment APS has made toward their mission of providing a welcome and supportive professional home for an active, engaged, and diverse membership, and we look forward to the ongoing work from their dedicated members.

The work lives on.

These are just some of the many examples of helping close the gap between expert and public understanding of climate science.

“Once you get over the fear of editing something which potentially will be read by many people, editing Wikipedia is not that difficult,” one APS Wiki Scientist shared. “Improvements can be made at all levels, from fixing grammar/readability to adding new content. And the benefit is that you are making real contributions to pages that are read by many, helping them make informed perspectives.”

For Geppert, the Wiki Scientists experience was also a new way to interact with her APS membership. “This class was an opportunity for me to mix with physicists in all different places around the world at many different stages in their career,” she added. “It was a lot of fun.”

* Links will direct you to Wiki Education’s Dashboard tool, which highlights the parts of Wikipedia articles that scientists in our program are responsible for writing. You also have the option in that window to navigate to the actual Wikipedia article, where you will see the same content. This tool is available to all of Wiki Education’s partners.

Wiki Education is looking to expand its impact on the public’s access to high-quality climate science. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit partner.wikiedu.org to start building your own Wikipedia Initiative with our support.



This Month in GLAM: August 2023

Tuesday, 12 September 2023 11:02 UTC

Welcome, Megan and Melissa!

Monday, 11 September 2023 21:38 UTC

Wiki Education is pleased to welcome two new staff to our team. Megan Newsome and Melissa Joseph have both recently joined us for one-year positions.

Megan Newsome in front of bookshelves
Megan Newsome

Megan Newsome joins Wiki Education as our Data Scientist for the Visualizing Impact project. Over the next year, she will develop an AI system for building lists of Wikipedia articles within a specific topic, so that we can show the aggregate impact our programs are making in topics of interest. As an astrophysics PhD student at UC Santa Barbara, Megan has been putting her data science skills to use studying black holes and supernovae. She’s also a passionate advocate for civic engagement and voting rights, and a triathlete.

Melissa Joseph outside
Melissa Joseph

Melissa Joseph is serving as our part-time Scholars & Scientists Outreach Coordinator. She’ll be working to recruit subject matter experts to take part in a series of courses on Wikipedia and Wikidata. Melissa’s honed her outreach skills in past work as a college affordability advisor for a nonprofit. When she’s not working for Wiki Education, Melissa is a professional opera singer who recently made her debut at Opera Philadelphia as Musetta in La Boheme, then went on to cover the title role of Treemonisha at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and was a Steans Fellow at the Ravinia Music Festival in Highland Park, IL. She has bachelor’s and master’s degree in Music from Georgia State University. Outside of singing, Melissa enjoys spending time with friends and family, discovering new food/bubble tea spots, and traveling.

Welcome, Megan and Melissa!

Tech News issue #37, 2023 (September 11, 2023)

Monday, 11 September 2023 00:00 UTC
previous 2023, week 37 (Monday 11 September 2023) next

Tech News: 2023-37

weeklyOSM 685

Sunday, 10 September 2023 10:22 UTC


lead picture

The OpenStreetMap Standard Tile Layer user map. Each light represents an area that was accessed by an OSM user. [1] © Paul Norman | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors


  • The YouTube channel ‘OSM for History Buffs’ has released a video explaining how to do hedgerow mapping using Field Papers paper maps.
  • Włodzimierz Bartczak (Cristoffs) blogged about an AI revolution in mapping OSM. He described the tool created by Kamil Monicz (NorthCrab) that uses AI to map pedestrian crossings.
  • Christoph Hormann proposed several alternative solutions to overcome the problem of OpenStreetMap’s dependence on a limited number of proprietary sources of aerial imagery.
  • Mateusz Konieczny has documented the shop=safety_equipment tag, for shops selling only or primarily this specific type of products.


OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • The members of the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) will vote to elect three new board members in December. You can read everything about this election in the OSMF blog, for example who has the right to vote, and the eligibility criteria for board candidates.


  • Geomob is holding three meetings in September:

    The topics for 4 October in Lisbon are also already fixed. Speakers for 9 November in Helsinki can still register.

  • umbraosmbr reported that the State of The Map Brazil 2023 has entered the registration period. Confirm your attendance by Sunday 17 September.


  • OpenChargeMap provides a map of electric vehicle charging station locations.

Open Data

  • Oliver Roick reviewed an analysis of the quality of Overture’s places dataset. He agrees with the conclusion of the analysis that a good ‘minimum confidence threshold’ for filtering data is 0.6.


  • Kamil Monicz has published the code for a mass-revert extension designed for osm-revert on GitHub.
  • Kaligule blogged about his first experience with StreetComplete.


  • [1] Paul Norman has made improvements to the OpenStreetMap tile server user statistics calculation system. Thanks to these improvements, the statistics file size was reduced from 136 GB/day to 8 GB/day.


  • Eugene, from OsmAnd, blogged about their app’s new terrain map type.

Did you know …

  • … that you can create road routes based on OpenStreetMap maps using the plotaroute.com app?
  • … that the OSM Queries project is collecting Overpass API queries to use as learning material?

Other “geo” things

  • Are you a drone pilot? Do you miss practising? If so, you’ll love the offer from Château des Boulard near Chartres, which has converted a golf course into a drone training ground.
  • Tyler Vigen went to great lengths to investigate why a footbridge crosses a motorway at a seemingly arbitrary location near Minneapolis. Mappers have responded by updating both OpenStreetMap and OpenHistoricalMap with the bridge and its surroundings.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Maricá Mapathon – Maricá City 2023-08-24 – 2023-09-24 flag
Bayonne Rencontre Groupe local Pays basque – Sud Landes 2023-09-08 flag
Amsterdam Maptime Amsterdam 2.0 2023-09-08 flag
Bengaluru OSM Bengaluru Mapping Party 2023-09-09 flag
København OSMmapperCPH 2023-09-10 flag
Chambéry Mapathon débutant saison 23/24 CartONG 2023-09-11 flag
Zürich OSM-Stammtisch 2023-09-11 flag
Hannover OSM-Stammtisch Hannover 2023-09-11 flag
臺北市 OpenStreetMap x Wikidata 月聚會 #56 2023-09-11 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2023-09-13 flag
Middelburg FOSS4G-NL 2023-09-13 – 2023-09-14 flag
Sogamoso Launch of BusBoy APP: The Public Transport Revolution in Boyacá, Powered by Trufi and OpenStreetMap 2023-09-13 flag
종로1·2·3·4가동 톰톰코리아 제1회 한국 OSM 커뮤니티 대면 모임 2023-09-13 flag
Lorain County OpenStreetMap Ohio+Michigan Meetup 2023-09-14 flag
Stainach-Pürgg 10. Österreichischer OSM-Stammtisch (online) 2023-09-13 flag
Potsdam 183. Berlin-Brandenburg OpenStreetMap Stammtisch 2023-09-14 flag
München Münchner OSM-Treffen 2023-09-14 flag
167. Treffen des OSM-Stammtisches Bonn 2023-09-19
City of Edinburgh OSM Edinburgh Social 2023-09-19 flag
Lüneburg Lüneburger Mappertreffen (online) 2023-09-19 flag
OSMF Engineering Working Group meeting 2023-09-20
IJmuiden OSM Nederland bijeenkomst (online) 2023-09-20 flag
The Municipal District of Kilkenny City Kilkenny History Mappers MeetUp 2023-09-21 flag
Saint-Barthélemy-de-Séchilienne Mapping Party in Saint-Barthélemy-de-Séchilienne 38220 France 2023-09-23 flag

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

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

Starting fresh: the Wikibase REST API

Thursday, 7 September 2023 10:35 UTC
Build data-driven applications more easily using modern standards

The MediaWiki Action API has been around for almost two decades. Countless developers have used it to create all sorts of helpful applications that take advantage of the data inside MediaWiki-powered projects, such as Wikidata Skim and Monumental

Wikidata has 10 years under its big belt; Wikibase, the free knowledge graph software that powers Wikidata, has been a product in its own right for almost half that time. But despite Wikidata’s footprint and Wikibase’s powerful functionality, the various API calls for both products have been shoehorned for almost all that time into the venerable Action API. 

That state of affairs has recently changed—for the better. Starting in 2022, Wikimedia Deutschland began work on a Wikibase-specific REST API. Why? We saw a growing need to expose Wikibase’s functionality through a modern, RESTful, OpenAPI-compliant interface that’s fully dedicated to Wikibase. As of this writing, we’ve made a promising start and implemented a lot of basic calls already, as you can see in our OpenAPI documentation. If you’re running your own Wikibase, you can easily enable the new REST API for your Wikibase instance.

One big question looms in the minds of many developers: why should we use the new API? For starters, using the Wikibase REST API means cleaner, flatter, more easily parseable output. Developers who are just beginning to acquaint themselves with our API will have a much easier time getting started, whereas developers who’ve become all too familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the Action API will find the Wikibase REST API experience a dramatic improvement for each call we implement. Check out this simple table or this more in-depth comparison to see how things are changing.

Importantly, the new REST API will also eventually be versioned—so as we grow and improve its scope, we’ll eliminate the risk of functionality changing out from under existing projects. With API versioning you can rely on a call working the same way it always has for that version; we’ll only add or change functionality in later versions. 

It feels good doing API work in a context that’s more current as well as being specifically dedicated to Wikibase functionality. We’re making great progress in recreating the core Wikibase calls currently implemented in the Action API, in large part thanks to our dedicated developer team. To get a greater insight into what we’ve already done, what we’re working on and what’s still to come, take a walk through our work board.

As the project moves forward, we hope that our work will inspire the large and talented Wikidata and Wikibase communities to create more, more powerful apps built on top of the new API. We’ve already seen community members stepping up to create libraries for the Wikibase API in Python and Ruby, and we know there’s more where that came from.

We call on all developers, both the well established mainstays and those new to the community, to take a look at what we’ve done so far. We’ve done a lot already, and we want your feedback on what’s coming next. Specifically, we’d like to hear about the pieces you’re missing in the REST API that would allow you to build the applications you want to build. You can make your voice heard and help us prioritize the next steps by leaving a comment on the Talk page.