Temple of Athena, Paestum, Italy (March 2023). © Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0

Wikipedia’s photographers are enthusiastic volunteers, who spend endless hours of their free time taking pictures. While these photo enthusiasts reach a massive audience with their images, many people outside of the online encyclopedia’s community don’t even know that “taking photos for Wikipedia” is a thing.

A subset of Wikipedia’s photographers is dedicated to attaining the utmost quality in capturing images for the encyclopedia. Those volunteers gather in places like “Featured Picture Candidates” on a daily basis and critique each other’s work. In an open and collaborative process they determine whether or not an image will be highlighted as one of the finest.

Diego Delso, known as User:Poco a poco, has achieved a significant milestone, with the community recognizing 1,000 of his photographs as “Featured Pictures”. Knowing how difficult it is to achieve Featured Picture status, I am awestruck by Diego’s achievement. That’s why I invited him to do an interview with me and talk about his motivation and also about his learnings during his years-long journey.

Frank Schulenburg

Diego, you just reached an incredible achievement: 1,000 Featured Pictures. Can you share what this milestone means to you?

Diego Delso

Yes, crazy, isn’t it? I had my first Featured Picture in January 2012. When I reached 100 Featured Pictures in 2014, I believed that reaching 1,000 would be a kind of challenging lifetime target for my engagement in the project. Back then I didn’t know whether I would ever manage it and in that case whether it would take 10 or 30 years. Being the first one to achieve this milestone and realizing that nobody else so far has managed to even get 500 Featured Pictures makes me more proud. It was not easy to make it, there were phases where I got demotivated and was about to give up but here I’m. Happy to have managed it. I will continue to contribute, also with Featured Pictures, hopefully, but without any target anymore in front of my eyes. Btw, I am also about to reach 20,000 Quality Images (QI), too. Quality Images is the place where I’ve spent most time, so it’s also an important milestone to me.

Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus), an endangered species, Almuradiel, Ciudad Real, Spain (December 2021). © Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0

FS

When did your personal photography journey start? Do you remember your first camera?

DD

My first cameras back in 1990 were analog and inexpensive. I used such cameras until 2002 including my first trips abroad beginning in 1998 (when I was 24). In 2002 I bought my first digital camera in Japan, a Casio Exilim EX-S1 (1 Mpx). It was slim enough to have it always with me and enjoy photography anytime (think of  smartphones today). I didn’t buy my first DSLR camera until 2008, a Canon EOS 450D (a so-called “entry level camera”). Since then I’ve been loyal to Canon. It was followed by a 5D Mark II, a 5DS and as soon as it will be out (somewhen this year), the mirrorless R5 Mark II.

FS

In June 2009 you uploaded your first photograph to Commons, Wikipedia’s media repository. The image shows the mountain group Cordillera Paine in Chile and it is still in use on some Wikipedia language versions today. What motivated you back then to start uploading your work under a free license?

DD

Well, I enjoy traveling a lot and had a decent camera with me, so I felt that I could really make a difference to Commons with my contributions. In fact, I consider myself a bit adventurous and also enjoy visiting places which are not mainstream, images from those places are not frequent and valuable to the project.

I started scuba diving five years ago not because I wanted to try it out but rather because I realized that we have important gaps in high quality images of marine life. During my certificate dives I already took the camera with me and I cannot imagine diving without it. In the meanwhile about 13% of my Featured Pictures and Quality Images were taken underwater.

The Taj Mahal in Agra (India), one of Diego’s first Featured Pictures (December 2009). © Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0

FS

What were the most significant challenges you faced on your journey to this milestone?

DD

My Featured Pictures are diverse: underwater, architecture, wildlife, plants, macro, objects, studio,… I spent a lot of time and money on traveling and on professional equipment, while living in a small rented apartment. Still, sometimes the results were not the expected and that could become frustrating. A big blow was also the loss of my whole camera equipment (along with the pictures) in 2014 after a long trip in South America. The crowdfunding campaign started by fellow Wikimedians and backed by 70 people was a great morale boost that made me forget that loss very quickly. I bought a better camera and repeated the trip to Chile and Bolivia to document everything again.

Still I guess that these kinds of things happen to many photographers, what makes things different on Commons is the community and the interaction with so many people. That’s not always easy and when you feel being treated unfairly or even targeted by some people you can get very frustrated. Many people have left the project because of this and I’ve to say that I had periods of time where I didn’t upload material and/or was about to give up for good.

Sunset view from the back of the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Suðurland, Iceland. (August 2014). © Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0

FS

Some people say “Don’t buy new camera gear if you’d like to improve your photography. Rather spend the money on traveling and on shooting more interesting subjects.” – Would you agree?

DD

Surely, both things are major ingredients to get a nice portfolio of images, that’s why I try to do both. Apart from traveling I don’t know of any other activity where you get richer spending money. As a proof of that, at least one of my pictures has been selected among the last 10 in Wiki Loves Monuments in 22 different countries. I love detail in images and good equipment makes a big difference here. At the same time I get more focused and motivated if I travel to unknown areas with the purpose to get nice captures of the spots there that I find more interesting. It’s funny, but even if I know that there are nice motifs around the place where I live, I never make a priority to photograph those. 

A geometric moray (Gymnothorax griseus) in the Red Sea (April 2023). © Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0

FS

Over the years, you’ve done landscape, architecture, wildlife, people, and underwater photography. What’s your favorite genre of photography and why?

DD

That’s easy! For 45 years I’ve seen – and later photographed – what I encounter above earth’s surface, and surely I’ve enjoyed great landscapes and wildlife. I had seen documentaries and had been to some aquariums before but experiencing marine life at zero gravity is a different animal. I’ve also seen underwater creatures that I didn’t even know would exist. Every dive is to me an adventure and having the opportunity to document it a privilege. When you go down there you never know what you will find and it makes it exciting. Furthermore it is really challenging to get quality material under water. I use the same camera under water and above it, but lighting, loss of colors, shy animals, water currents, visibility,… make it hard to get similar quality to the one you can get above the surface.

FS

How have your style and approach to photography evolved during your journey to this achievement?

DD

Well, first of all Wikimedia Commons has been an inspiration to try out different things, like studio or macro photography. Not only seeing examples of these kinds of photography but also reading feedback about what could be improved encouraged me to try it out. I’ve surely learned lots of things about how to improve the composition, how to find a better light, the POV, the moment, … I’d say the first Featured Pictures were lucky punches and also the rate of successful nominations was pretty low, I tried many approaches of what could become a Featured Picture. After 1,000 I still get surprised from time to time but I can usually recognize a strong candidate to become Featured Picture. So, before I take the shot I know whether it has potential to wow people or not. In fact, when I feel it (the wow?) myself when I take the shoot that’s when I get best results.

A 5 millimeters (0,20 in) long leaf sheep nudibranch (Costasiella kuroshimae) taken with a macro lens underwater, Anilao, Philippines (August 2023). © Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0

FS

Were there any unexpected lessons you learned along the way?

DD

There have been many lessons, but I wouldn’t say they were unexpected, since I didn’t have any concrete expectation of what I could learn. What I can say is that we have very experienced users from whom you can learn a lot and the spectrum is huge, from camera settings, to processing, software tools, editing, composition, sharpness, lighting, …everything. I learned “step by step” (that’s my username “Poco a poco”, by the way) almost without realizing it. Now I’m very happy about my portfolio of images, something I couldn’t have managed without Commons. This is something I realized a long time ago and on Wikimania in London back in 2012 I held a talk about Commons as a learning platform with the title: How Wikimedia Commons made a quality photographer out of me

Dunes and shadows in Sossusvlei, Namibia (August 2018). © Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0

FS

Can you share a piece of advice with aspiring Commons photographers who look up to you and your achievements?

DD

If you nominate images to Featured Pictures or Quality Images what you are doing, in other words, is asking for feedback about your work, so you have to be ready to get and accept this feedback, especially if it isn’t the one you expect. People don’t usually decline or oppose images for fun, there is a good reason for it, so you have to take note of that feedback and don’t just get angry at the result. That path wouldn’t help you to get better and improve your skills and photographer eye. So, be patient and understand feedback as a treasure, and use it as a stimulus to get better. I know this from experience. If you participate with this mindset it’s a matter of time that you get better and better. It’s like many other things in life. You may not realize that you are progressing, but when you look back at the pictures you took years ago and compare them with the pictures you take today, you will have the evidence. Everything else will come step by step.

FS

Thanks so much for the interview, Diego! And for the amazing photos you’re sharing with millions of people through Wikipedia! 

Frank Schulenburg is a California-based Wikipedia photographer and the founder of the Commons Photographers User Group. In 2023, the Museum of Northern California Art displayed a selection of his works in the first ever solo museum exhibition of a Wikipedia photographer.

The Hindi Wikimedians User Group, which is working on furthering content on the 4th most spoken language in the world, has been focussing our efforts on new editor engagement, article creation, and partnerships with academic institutions through which we can bring in new users and editors to certain Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia, Wikisource etc in India. 

More recently, through our efforts we have been successful in establishing a sustained partnership with Google India, supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, through which we aim to take our projects to new audiences, users and potential editors. 

These specific initiatives have been zeroed in by the Hindi Wikimedians User Group based on our need to bring in new editors and users to the movement in an attempt to create, preserve and present knowledge to a wider audience.

Here is a snapshot of some of the initial activities we have executed under the partnership and our own activities (in the last quarter of 2023).

PILOT PROJECT

Through Google’s support we have been given key search trends on Google (in Hindi) for which there was no Hindi Wikipedia page. The group then focussed on the topics relevant to our audiences and editors and launched an Editathon on Hindi Wikipedia in June, 2023 through which we saw over 40 sign ups and 900+ new articles on Hindi Wikipedia. 

We also hosted a Hindi Wikisource Edithathon in July where 15 participants proofread selected works including the Constitution of India, Hindi Grammar and more.

These projects gave us a lot of understanding on the current engagement trends of our community and also on the need to focus on bringing in more contributors to the projects. 

OUTREACH AND ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

Following the learning and impact of the Pilot Project we regrouped as a team to focus on our outreach and engagement activities that inspire new contributors to the projects. The focus and approach were regularly shared on the Hindi Community Village Pump for community input, discussion and for transparency. 

Some of the key activities were

All of the activities above were focused on new editor outreach and engagement to bring in new contributors to our efforts and activities as a user group. 

KEY LEARNINGS

While the timelines are very short for conclusive outcomes, the following are some of the trends we are monitoring as we proceed further with our engagement activities. 

For Eg: In December, 2023 we saw over 90 millon page views on Hindi Wikipedia making it one of the most active months in 2023. 

  • Increased Engagement and Viewership: We are seeing positive engagement, increasing viewership and interest from Hindi Wikipedia due to our recent activities.
  • Editor Growth:  There is a keen focus on increasing the current base of editors through the partnership which will enable an incremental yet sustained increase in our editors and content.
  • Ground Level Partnerships: We have been focussing on establishing new and sustained partnerships with educational institutions through which we can bring in new members to the Wikimedia ecosystem (Delhi, West Bengal, UP, and Mizoram)
  • Beyond Wikipedia: While there is a keen focus on increasing the number of articles/editors on Hindi Wikipedia we are also focussing on the enhancement of Wikisource as well. 
  • Mixing Online and Offline: Keeping in mind timelines and resources we are seeing the benefits of establishing a good mix of meet-ups, edit-a-thons and online contests with a focus on increasing engagement but also avoiding editor burnout. 

To know more or engage with us, please contact on our meta page or the Hindi Wikipedia Village Pump

This blog has been written by the author(s) on behalf of the Hindi Wikimedians User Group

Trouble with some wikis

Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:25 UTC

Apr 17, 10:58 UTC
Resolved - This incident has been resolved.

Apr 17, 10:10 UTC
Monitoring - A fix has been implemented and we are monitoring the results.

Apr 17, 09:38 UTC
Identified - The issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented.

Apr 17, 09:38 UTC
Update - We are continuing to investigate this issue.

Apr 17, 09:26 UTC
Investigating - We are aware of issues with accessing some wikis, and we are investigating.

The project was focused on mitigating systematic bias and bridging content discrepancies on Wikipedia regarding Niger Delta region with focus on Akwa-Ibom and Bayelsa States. The project was spearheaded by Ugwulebo and Omorodion, who are both dedicated wikimedians in the wiki space. The primary objective was to enhance the representation of the culture, traditions, and noteworthy information pertaining to the region, thereby augmenting its visibility on the world’s largest online encyclopedia.

Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states are significant regions in Nigeria, each with its unique cultural heritage, natural resources, and socio-economic dynamics. Akwa Ibom, located in the South-South geopolitical zone, is known for its rich cultural festivals, such as the annual Ibibio Festival of Arts and Culture, as well as its vast oil reserves, which contribute significantly to Nigeria’s oil production.

Bayelsa, also situated in the South-South region, is notable for being the home of the Ogbia and Ijaw ethnic groups, its mangrove swamps, and its pivotal role in Nigeria’s oil industry, as it is home to several oil-producing communities.

It is crucial to have comprehensive information about these regions and bridge the knowledge gap on platforms like Wikipedia to ensure that the cultural, historical, and geographical significance of these regions are accurately represented and accessible to a global audience. Bridging the content gap on Wikipedia regarding Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states allows for the preservation and dissemination of their unique cultural identities, histories, and contributions to Nigeria and the world at large. Moreover, it promotes a more inclusive and diverse representation of Nigeria’s cultural landscape on a widely accessed platform, fostering greater understanding and appreciation of these regions’ importance

The project sought to rectify the insufficient documentation of the diverse ethnic groups, cultural heritage, and notable landmarks in Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states on Wikipedia. Despite the abundance of cultural events and significant locations in these regions, such as the Ekombi dance, Usoro Ekoon Festival, and Itam Industrial Area, there remains a gap in documentation about these activities By bridging this content gap, the initiative aimed to enhance the visibility of these regions and their rich cultural tapestry, thereby facilitating broader access to the reservoir of knowledge about Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa, and to also foster the spirit of community amongst Wikimedians in these regions by creating awareness to residents to improve contributions made on Wikipedia. 

Editors improving and creating articles during the Akwa-Ibom and Bayelsa history write-a-thon

Goals and objectives

The project successfully achieved several key objectives:

  • It attracted participants from historically underrepresented demographics, thereby fostering greater diversity within the community.
  • By fostering collaboration and communication, it cultivated a more inclusive and tightly-knit culture within our community.
  • It generated comprehensive content addressing topics and groups that had been previously overlooked or marginalized.
  • It amplified voices from underrepresented perspectives, enriching the overall diversity of content on the platform.
  • Through various engagement strategies, it promoted the continued involvement of editors, ensuring their ongoing contribution to the project.
  • It also facilitated the continued participation of organizers, bolstering the sustainability of the project over time.
  • Notably, it heightened participants’ sense of belonging and connection to the broader movement, fostering a more profound and enduring commitment to its goals and values

Activities

Publicity Campaign

Efforts were made to raise awareness about Wikipedia and its sister projects among the residents of Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa state. This involved disseminating E-posters across various communication channels to attract potential participants.

TRAINING SESSIONS 

  • Online Training:
    • An online onboarding and training session was conducted, guiding participants through the process of creating Wikipedia accounts, crafting articles, and incorporating Wikilinks and citations.
    • The session was recorded for future reference, ensuring accessibility and continuous learning opportunities for participants.
  • Physical Training:
    • In-person training sessions were organized to complement online learning, offering participants hands-on experience and the opportunity to address any challenges they encountered.
    • Discussions during these sessions allowed for the resolution of queries and the reinforcement of knowledge gained from online training.

Facilitator putting participants through during the physical session 

Edit-a-thon 

 The edit-a-thon/write-a-thon yielded a significant impact, showcasing the valuable contributions of its participants throughout the project’s duration. Leveraging the outreach dashboard as a monitoring tool, approximately 398 Wikipedia articles were authored during the write-a-thon, while over 3,790 articles received enhancements. These efforts notably bolstered awareness and visibility of the regions by incorporating info boxes, citations, categories, and wiki links, among other enhancements. Such activities not only refined the editing prowess of both novice and seasoned contributors but also enriched the overall quality of content on Wikipedia.

List Building and Development of project page

 A list of notable subjects or topics pertaining to the regions was created for the project. This list served to assist editors in identifying topics aligned with the project’s goals, as well as to provide a catalogue of existing Wikipedia articles in need of improvement. A documentation page was also established, featuring a comprehensive list of articles to be created or improved. This resource proved invaluable in assisting participants in identifying content gaps on Wikipedia and prioritising their contributions

Communication and Personalised Support

Dedicated efforts were made to establish effective communication channels and provide personalised support to participants throughout the project with the help of experienced facilitators 

Regular communication via email, messaging platforms, and virtual meetings ensured that participants felt supported and engaged.

Individual assistance was offered to address specific challenges or questions raised by participants, fostering a supportive learning environment.

METRICS 

Number of articles created and improved  4188
Number of participants recruited  94
Number of article views  1.55 Million 

Outcome

  • Editor Recruitment:
    • A total of 94 editors were recruited, including – new participants, enriching the diversity and engagement of contributors to the project.
  • Raising Awareness of Wikipedia:
    • The project successfully raised awareness of Wikipedia among the residents of Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa state resulting in increased participation and contributions to the platform, bridging the contributor gap in the community.
  • Significant Impact on Wikipedia and sister projects:
    • Participants made a significant impact by generating over 4188 edits on Wikipedia, 511 uploads on Wikicommons and generated over 1.55 million article views during the project’s implementation, which was tracked using the outreach dashboard. .

Group picture showing participants at the end of the physical session 

  • Increased Participation from Underrepresented Groups:
    • We successfully attracted participants from underrepresented demographics, ensuring a more diverse and inclusive community.
  • Fostering a Culture of Inclusivity and Connectivity:
    • Through various activities and initiatives, we have cultivated an environment of inclusivity and connectedness, where participants feel valued, supported, and connected with one another.
  • Addressing Content Gaps and Representing Underrepresented Topics:
    • Our efforts have led to the development of content about underrepresented topics and groups, contributing to a more comprehensive and inclusive representation of data about the regions on Wikipedia.
  • Amplifying Underrepresented Perspectives:
    • We have actively worked to amplify the voices and perspectives of underrepresented groups within our community, challenging dominant narratives and promoting greater understanding and empathy

Facilitators:

Facilitators at the Physical event of the Akwa-Ibom and Bayelsa history write-a-thon

Conclusion

Prior to the implementation of this project, significant gaps in data existed regarding Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa, resulting in limited international visibility for these regions. Throughout the project, efforts have been made to document the rich culture and traditions of the people of Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa. While progress has been made, there remains much more work to be done. Wikipedia has emerged as a valuable resource for storing our collective knowledge and preserving it for future generations

An old fishing trip

Tuesday, 16 April 2024 13:36 UTC
 
Tranquebar, the Danish version of Tharangambadi had long been on my list of places to visit. So many species from India have the scientific epithet of tranquebaricus, all because of the Danish settlement from where specimens were carted off to Europe to be given binomial names. So on a visit to the place in December 2022 I checked out some of the big names including Christoph Samuel John who I had been researching both for his Wikipedia entry and for a little chapter on fishes that has recently been published by McGill University Press (see here). I was rather disappointed to see that C.S. John's grave had either no markings or was possibly damaged a long time ago.
 

 


John collaborated with the German fish specialist Marcus Bloch in Berlin, sending him fishes in spirit by the ship load. His notes on the difficulties with finding containers, arrack, and corks is worth examining! Remarkably many of his specimens are still held at the Natural History Museum in Berlin. Bloch named some fishes after John (including the genus Johnius) and it would appear that John had a native artist draw some specimens. Unfortunately there appears to be no trace of any original drawings by Indians in the archives of the museum in Berlin.

The New Jerusalem Church with
the monogram of the Danish King Frederik IV


Another collector who worked in this colonial Danish region was a man with the impressive name of Dagobert Karl de Daldorff. Daldorff died somewhere in Calcutta, I doubt anyone has found much about his life there... Interestingly Fabricius named a dragonfly species collected by Daldorff as Tholymis tillarga - people looking at the etymology of "Tillarga" have apparently drawn a blank - given its abdomen colour I wonder if it is from Thilak - thilaka - somehow Latinized as tillarga

Here is a comment from Endersby and Fliedner (2015) :

The genus Tholymis seems to be an amalgam of parts of other genus names. The species name was capitalised and, at the time of its naming, the practice of capitalising proper nouns used as species names was still in vogue, so Tillarga was probably the name of a place or possibly a person. No amount of searching has revealed its origin -

 
Tholymis tillarga - photo by Rison Thumboor



Useful sources


Identifying and filling gaps in library and information science (LIS)-related content on Wikimedia platforms
, Mary Coe.


Mary Coe, Wikimedian in Residence at ANZSI

The Library and Information Science WikiProject is a partner project between Wikimedia Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers (ANZSI) and the School of Information and Communication Studies at Charles Sturt University (CSU SICS).

The project has established Mary Coe as the first Wikimedian in Residence at ANZSI. She is supported by Pru Mitchell from Wikimedia Australia. Mary and Pru are also Adjunct Lecturers at CSU SICS who share a love of metadata and a passion for sharing knowledge. They bumped into each other at the 2023 ANZSI Conference, where they were presenting separate sessions on Wikipedia and Wikidata, and quickly decided that working together would be even better!

The project launched with an online event in February and has continued with regular ‘Wikithons’ throughout March and April that are providing ANZSI members and CSU SICS students with opportunities to develop their skills and confidence in Wiki editing.

Our project page on Wikidata provides a central place for participants to collaborate, including a Work in Progress subpage to keep track of items that we are working on and a Resources subpage to share useful sources. Our overall goal is to identify and fill gaps in library and information science (LIS)-related content on Wikimedia platforms, but this is a huge scope, so we are narrowing our focus based on participants’ interests. Much of our early work has been on notable indexers, but since many of these also have backgrounds as librarians, we have quickly discovered that ANZSI and CSU SICS participants have a joint interest in the history of libraries in Australia.

We started by creating and editing items in the English version of Wikidata, which provides structured data for Wikimedia platforms and beyond. Pru Mitchell describes it as ‘the index to Wikipedia’, but it’s an index on steroids! Not surprisingly, working in Wikidata has been a natural fit for ANZSI members, who are taking to it like ducks to water. Our plan is to use the Wikidata items that we are building as the basis for Wikipedia articles. Starting with Wikidata enables us to gather our sources and content first before we start to write.

CSU SICS students from across the range of bachelor’s and master’s degree courses have been invited to join the project. Students just beginning their Bachelor of Information Studies course were particularly interested. A few of them said that they had done some work on Wikipedia before, but the majority had not, so it was a great opportunity not only to get them involved in the project but to introduce them to the various Wikimedia platforms. Even if they don’t get into Wiki editing, learning about how Wikipedia and Wikidata work will benefit them as they start on their careers as information professionals. The students also had questions about indexing, which provided a nice opportunity to explain what indexers do and share details about ANZSI.

Sherrey Quinn, an ANZSI member who is an active participant and is quickly becoming an excellent Wikidata editor, describes the work as ‘a reference librarian’s dream’ because she is enjoying going down the rabbitholes of research looking for sources to back up the items she is creating.

If you would like to join the project and become a modern-day ‘alice-in-wonderland’ too, contact Mary Coe at for more information. You’re welcome to join our next drop-in session to see what it’s all about!

Related Links[edit | edit source]

By Rupal Karia, Outreach and Community Coordinator at Wikimedia UK

The UK has a thriving Wiki community, and coming together informally, in-person, can be an important opportunity for Wikipedians who enjoy interacting with people in real life as well as online.

Meet-ups are a space where you can connect with fellow Wikimedians, chat about Wikipedia and its sister projects, exchange ideas and support, meet other people who are passionate about open knowledge and feel part of the UK Wiki community. All meet-ups observe the Friendly Spaces Policy; commiting to providing a welcoming experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, appearance, race, and religion (and not limited to those aspects). 

Whether you are new to Wiki projects or a long-time Wikimedian, there are meet-ups happening up and down the country where you can connect with fellow Wikimedians. Currently there are meet-ups in Leeds, Edinburgh, Brighton, Oxford and London.

You can find out more details about all the meet-ups here. If you would like to set up a Wikimedian meet-up in your area and would like some support from WMUK, please get in touch with us at volunteering@wikimedia.org.uk

The post Ways to connect – Wikimedian meet-ups across the UK appeared first on WMUK.

Tech/News/2024/16

Tuesday, 16 April 2024 01:11 UTC

Other languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Deutsch, English, Ghanaian Pidgin, Tiếng Việt, español, français, italiano, magyar, norsk bokmål, polski, português, português do Brasil, suomi, svenska, čeština, русский, українська, עברית, العربية, فارسی, বাংলা, ಕನ್ನಡ, 中文

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

Problems

  • Between 2 April and 8 April, on wikis using Flagged Revisions, the “Reverted” tag was not applied to undone edits. In addition, page moves, protections and imports were not autoreviewed. This problem is now fixed. [1][2]

Changes later this week

  •  The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis and MediaWiki.org from 16 April. It will be on non-Wikipedia wikis and some Wikipedias from 17 April. It will be on all wikis from 18 April (calendar). [3][4]
  • Default category sort keys will now affect categories added by templates placed in footnotes. Previously footnotes used the page title as the default sort key even if a different default sort key was specified (category-specific sort keys already worked). [5]
  • A new variable page_last_edit_age will be added to abuse filters. It tells how many seconds ago the last edit to a page was made. [6]

Future changes

  • Volunteer developers are kindly asked to update the code of their tools and features to handle temporary accountsLearn more.
  •  Four database fields will be removed from database replicas (including Quarry). This affects only the abuse_filter and abuse_filter_history tables. Some queries might need to be updated. [7]

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

Kaffzz CC-BY-SA- 4.0

In celebration of African women’s achievements and contributions to society, Open Foundation West Africa launched the Shine Her Light Campaign, an initiative that focused on highlighting their stories and accomplishments. The Shine Her Light Campaign consisted of two main events: The Shine Her Light Writing Contest and the Shine Her Light Webinar.

The writing contest aimed to bridge the gender gap on Wikipedia by increasing the representation of African women on the platform. As the contest came to a close, the Shine Her Light Webinar, which featured inspiring women from diverse fields was organized. Through it, our community got to learn from the shared experiences and insights of these notable women. Aside from these two main programs, the Shine Her Light Campaign included a one month social media drive that featured awareness creation and publicity of the profiles and biographies of some prominent African women, particularly those who were active in the women and youth empowerment space.

Celebrating African Women’s Voices on Wikipedia

The campaign began with the Shine Her Light Writing Contest which was unveiled on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, and ran through March with both the writing contest and campaign coming to a close on the 31st of March. Throughout the contest, participants delved into the lives and achievements of African women, creating and editing Wikipedia articles to ensure their stories were accurately represented. With the goal of proper representation in mind, the contest was directed at creating new articles for biographies of the prominent African women who were included in the social media drive, specifically those who do not have existing Wikipedia articles. A call has been put out to our community for the creation of a jury that will evaluate the contributions made and decide on the winners by the end of April 2024. The reward list for the contest’s winners allotted $70 to the top contributor, $50 and $30 for the second and third place respectively, with a special prize of $50 for the top female contributor.

The Power of Collaboration

One of the most remarkable aspects of the contest was the realization of the impact of a spirit of collaboration. As editors collaborated to research, write, and edit articles, they shared knowledge and built connections. Through collaborative efforts, participants were able to amplify the voices of African women and create a lasting impact on the platform. As a testament to this sentiment, the contest saw a total of 60 registered participants with 35 editors and by the 31st of March, the program dashboard displayed 4,490 total edits, 705,000 words added, and 5480 references added. Here is a link to the contest dashboard

Telling the Untold Story in the Shine Her Light Webinar

To culminate the contest, we organized a webinar where women from various fields of work came together to share their stories and insights. From a journalist’s perspective, Adwoa Tenkoramaa of Citi FM/Citi TV shared her story on how she navigates the media space as a woman. A climate enthusiast and activist, Stephanie Nkansah of A Rocha Ghana discussed the relational cycle between women, the environment, and society. Finally, a corporate manager, Jael Serwaa Boateng, Executive Director of Open Foundation West Africa described the struggles of a woman in the corporate world. Each speaker offered valuable perspectives on empowerment, leadership, and breaking barriers, and the webinar provided a platform for dialogue, inspiration, and networking between community members, further amplifying the voices of African women and fostering connections across diverse sectors. Did you miss our webinar? Catch up now on YouTube and dive into insightful discussions!

Reflections, Future Directions, and Conclusion

As we think back on the success of the Shine Her Light Writing Contest, webinar, and campaign as a whole, we recognize the importance of ongoing efforts to empower African women and ensure their voices are heard and valued. Moving forward, we are committed to continuing our work to bridge the gender gap on Wikipedia and empower women to share their stories, expertise, and achievements with the world. By celebrating the achievements of women and amplifying their presence on platforms like Wikipedia, we can inspire change, foster inclusivity, and create a more equitable world for all.

Stop! Women are making history from Bolivia!

Monday, 15 April 2024 16:13 UTC
Toma de la plaza de la mujer

From Bolivia, we joined the regional campaign “Alto! Mujeres haciendo historia” (Stop! Women making history) through two activities with the main objective to encourage more women to get involved in the edition of articles and to get to know the wiki world. This objective, which may seem very simple, responds to the reality of the country in which the digital street replicates daily offline violence and complicates the participation of women in spaces for free knowledge.

As part of the global initiative, several chapters from the south promoted this campaign. The call resulted in the registration of 400 people who were part of an editing marathon and in this way we had a large number of photographic records in Wikimedia Commons. These actions are part of a constant effort to reduce the gender gap in Wikimedia projects. Precisely the cover of this article is the photographic record of the reclaiming of a public space during the 8M marches in Bolivia. This photograph won an award in the contest “Arden las calles” , Wikimedia Mexico held last November.

The digital street

Until a few years ago the marches for 8M gathered about a hundred women. That has changed. Women’s conditions in the face of digital harassment have also changed; however, the digital street is still a space in which daily gender-based violence is reproduced and sometimes amplified.

The poor quality of internet services is one of the various characteristics of the digital street. Another characteristic is the notorious lack of regulations to protect the integrity of people in these spaces. Due to their importance, some of these topics have been addressed in the Leamos Wikipedia (Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom) sessions in municipal environments where it has been identified that it is important to support surfing the Internet by understanding notions of safety and self-care.

There are valuable initiatives of institutions in the country that, from the most basic principles, are expanding their work towards the care of identity and digital security. In this sense, since last year we have been strengthening an alliance with Internet.org that works on these issues in already consolidated areas.

What did we do from Bolivia?

In 2024 we consolidated five years as a user group recognized by AFFCOM, 2 years of work through an annual grant, and more than ten years of volunteer work. Building on our previous learning, this year we joined the regional campaign with two activities: an editing workshop and a discussion with renowned local figures in literature. The focus was on exploring the concepts of the female gaze and the male gaze.

We held an editing workshop at the Flavio Machicado Viscarra Foundation. In this event we made a brief explanation with general information about Wikipedia in Spanish and we shared a guide with the first steps on how to edit; finally we put hands on the deck and improved and started articles about relevant Bolivian women in the history of the country. 

As a result of this event, we now have articles on laws such as the Integral Law to guarantee women a life free of violence and Bolivian women such as Barbarella and Wara Vargas. On the other hand, we consider that this type of event consolidates the alliance we have with spaces such as the one that hosts the Flaviadas.

It also made it possible for people with different interests to connect and to prioritize the participation of women of different ages. We were even joined by the journalist Lupe Cajías, who collaborated in the edition of an article. 

Conversation on the Bolivian women’s perspective in literature

We also held a discussion on the representation of women in literature. We invited curator Tatiana Suarez, writer Vicky Ayllón from La Paz and writer Quya Reyna from El Alto. Emphasis is placed on the place from which these women construct their gaze. 

In this space we shared some analyses that we consider pertinent to share: 

How knowledge is constructed matters. Tatiana Suarez invited us to work from the contrast of sources and complementing perspectives. She suggested avoiding androcentric gender bias and female gaze. In this way she shared five suggestions for reconstructing the memory of women.

Virginia Ayllón gave a strong argument about women co-opted by the system, now we are talking about the super woman. And she triggered the conversation with the question: “if language is patriarchal, how do we use it to write about ourselves”. She also pointed out the need to recover our genealogies and recognize the voice of our grandmothers.

Quya Reyna worked on language from otherness for the reconstruction of the historical figure of Aymara women. In this way, she pointed out that the political representation of women is developed as a figure of accompaniment next to a man. That is to say that women are understood as cultural subjects before political subjects, the merit is always the link with a man or a characteristic of clothing and culture.

Naturally the conversation turned to the use of Artificial Intelligence and from the team we gave a brief introduction to how the topic is approached from the movement. This is summarized in what Coordinator Olga Paredes said: “for the movement, knowledge is human”.

Finally, we closed the team’s activities with a dialogue with domestic workers to establish a way of working for a face-to-face session with topics of interest that were identified.

On r/AmItheAsshole, you tell your story about an interpersonal conflict, and, after 18 hours, a bot tallies the comments and labels the post as:

  • YTA (you are the asshole)
  • NTA (not the asshole)
  • ESH (everyone sucks here)
  • NAH (no asshole here)
  • or INFO (more information needed)

The Redditor who issued the top (most voted for) judgment receives a point toward their user flair rank. A user with the “Pooperintendant” flair has been the highest-voted top-level commenter fifty times!

Thanks to bot data from u/phteven_j, I’ve tabulated the number of the ranks on the subreddit. These ranks are cumulative: a higher rank is counted in all lower ranks. Note that these ranks span the history of the subreddit, which has revised the system over that time (in 2019, five new ranks were added) ([deleted] 2019). This explains why, for a couple of higher ranks, there are more of them than a preceding rank.

Rank Points needed Number of Percent
Partassipant 1 114,265 82.69
Asshole Enthusiast 5 13,039 9.44
Asshole Aficionado 10 5,882 4.26
Certified Proctologist 20 1,919 1.39
Colo-rectal Surgeon 30 1,494 1.08
Pooperintendant 50 582 0.42
Professor Emeritass 70 368 0.27
Supreme Court Just-ass 100 257 0.19
Craptain 150 86 0.06
Commander in Cheeks 200 64 0.05
Judge, Jury, and Excretioner 300 18 0.01
Prime Ministurd 400 22 0.02
Sultan of Sphincter 600 23 0.02
His Holiness the Poop 1000 5 0.00
Galasstic Overlord 1500 1 0.00

References

[deleted]. 2019. “One Million Subscribers: State of the Subreddit (Ft. Community Awards and Updated User Flairs).” r/AmItheAsshole. https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/cclfpw/one_million_subscribers_state_of_the_subreddit_ft/.

Tech News issue #16, 2024 (April 15, 2024)

Monday, 15 April 2024 00:00 UTC
previous 2024, week 16 (Monday 15 April 2024) next

Tech News: 2024-16

weeklyOSM 716

Sunday, 14 April 2024 10:37 UTC

04/04/2024-10/04/2024

lead picture

Meeting of the GeoSDS team on the response time of the emergency ambulance service in Jakarta [1] | © Akrim, GeoSDS

Mapping

  • Suresh Devalapalli described how to improve the quality of OpenStreetMap data by identifying and correcting untagged pedestrian crossings, which are critical to improving the accuracy of pedestrian networks in urban areas such as Los Angeles. Using algorithms, they have automated the detection and correction of mapping inconsistencies, significantly improving the utility of the data for navigation and planning.
  • PineappleSkip has written a diary entry on tagging rural roads in Queensland, Australia.
  • Minh Nguyễn has mapped all the time zones of the United States and their history going back to 1919, when time zones were first established in the US.
  • Take part in the vote and discussion on the interpretation of maxwidth:physical for gates and doors, debating whether it refers to the passable width without opening or after the gate/door is fully opened.

Community

  • Arjunaraoc shared his efforts at improving the accuracy of geospatial data on OpenStreetMap and Wikidata for Indian locations, focusing on correcting mismatches in the locations of villages in Andhra Pradesh.
  • In the second week of their EU Camera Grant project Anne-Karoline Distel has uploaded around 30,000 images, using a GoPro Max, experimenting with different modes of transportation including cycling, walking, and taking the bus to capture imagery. Despite weather challenges, their efforts were enhanced by using an e-bike, allowing for broader coverage. They also discussed the project in a local radio interview and began testing uploads to Panoramax.
  • bkil is calling for developers to help contribute to an OSM accessibility initiative. They want to aid blind editors and others with a disability through micro-mapping and documentation.
  • In Timor-Leste, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, in collaboration with local and international partners, is pioneering anticipatory action mapping to mitigate climate-related risks. This project uses satellite imagery to map critical infrastructure and is complemented by community knowledge of flood history and early warning mechanisms.
  • GovernorKeagan continued his mapping efforts in Gqeberha, South Africa, focusing on adding missing buildings, micro-mapping schools and shopping centres, and making small corrections. His detailed work included correcting misalignments and improving data quality through local knowledge and aerial photography, making a significant contribution to the OpenStreetMap project in South Africa from Ireland.
  • The UN Mappers of the Month for April are the extraordinary team of Chinese translators who translated the UN Maps Learning Hub courses: OSM Basics and OSM Advanced. Their dedication helps overcome language barriers, allowing future Chinese mappers to gain skills directly in their native language.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • The OpenstreetMap Foundation’s Communication Working Group tweeted about weeklyOSM.
  • The OSMF announced that the York Region Open Data provided under the Open Data Licence and OGL 1.0 Toronto have been deemed compatible with OSM by the LWG. It lists several licences, such as OGL Canada 2.0 and various local variants, and notes their compatibility with specific standards. The list is a work in progress and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Events

  • The Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology will release Sketch Map Tool 2.0 on Tuesday 16 April. The new version will offer enhancements for participatory mapping with offline data collection, digitisation, and georeferencing. Join the launch event in the first session at 9 am or the second session at 5 pm (UTC+2).
  • The call for academic track abstracts for the State of The Map 2024 is open until Friday 10 May.
  • On Thursday 25 April the Trufi Association will host a webinar exploring GTFS-Flex’s potential. This extension to the General Transit Feed Specification can represent real-world dynamic conditions, including informal transport in the global South and services for communities supported by small urban, rural, and tribal transit agencies.

Education

  • Zeke Farwell explored the art of mapping rural forests in JOSM by demonstrating how to efficiently outline forest areas using existing road maps. This tutorial reveals handy techniques, including the time-saving tip of using the ‘alt’ key for tagless copying, which makes forest mapping easier and more accurate.
  • The IVIDES Institute have hosted a workshop on the collaborative mapping of points of interest (POI) with OpenStreetMap. Dr Raquel Souto commented about it in her diary, sharing that she presented on how to map coastal and marine POIs.

OSM research

  • [1] GeoSDS team have analysed the emergency response time of ambulances in Jakarta, Indonesia, by using the emergency=ambulance_station tag in OpenStreetMap.
  • A new study from Qi Zhou, Zixian Liu, and Zesheng Huang presented a method integrating OpenStreetMap and Google satellite imagery to map the road surface types (paved or unpaved) in Kenya, addressing the challenge of large-scale, accurate road surface identification. The dataset created contains over 1.2 million road segments, with the method proving highly accurate, offering valuable insights for improving local infrastructure and economic development.
  • Rhett Butler discussed the significant effect of illegal ‘ghost roads’ on rainforests, focusing on their role in facilitating unauthorised access and deforestation. The article highlights the use of OpenStreetMap data to show how technology and mapping data can reveal the vast network of these roads and draw attention to the urgent need for conservation efforts in these critical areas. The study highlights the value of geospatial data in environmental conservation strategies.

Maps

  • Berliner Badeseen (Berlin Bathing Lakes) puts the places in Berlin where you can swim (like beaches and lakes) on a map, indicating water quality with coloured umbrella icons and offering filters for personalised searches. It was created using Maperitive, OpenStreetMap data, and Leaflet.js, with water quality data from daten.berlin.de and swimming pool data from the municipal pool operator Berliner Bäderbetriebe.
  • OSM India community member sahilister has started a thread on the OSM Community forum highlighting places in India that have highly detailed and beautiful looking maps on OSM. #NicelyMappedIndia places will be showcased on OSM India’s Mastodon and X handles.
  • Nat Henry has launched Close, an interactive map that shows walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly neighbourhoods across every block in the United States.
  • Matt Whilden has created a map of the US state of Washington based on OSM data that can be searched using filters without having to follow Overpass syntax. Using an example, he shows how he can easily visualise Indian and Thai takeaway restaurants on the map with a very simple search query.

OSM in action

  • ‘Infection Free Zone’, a post-apocalyptic strategy game, was launched on Steam Early Access on Thursday 11 April. The game features integration with OpenStreetMap, allowing players to rebuild cities in any real-world location, facing threats from the infected and resource scarcity. Players must make strategic decisions to ensure survival, using the game’s detailed replication of real-world topography to plan defences and resource gathering efficiently.
  • The Russian marketplace Ozon is testing transitioning from Yandex Maps to its own geoplatform based on OSM data. Now OSM maps can be found on the page of order pick-up points and the website for selecting a location for opening pick-up points. The company is also testing a platform for filling in missing buildings and addresses in OSM based on messages from couriers.
  • Bobropiton noticed that the public transport information boards in St. Petersburg are using an OpenStreetMap map.

Software

  • Starting with version 19030, JOSM now builds for macOS, with native support for Apple Silicon.
  • Mapilio has integrated OpenStreetMap login functionality, a significant step towards improving accessibility and map quality. This development allows users to seamlessly connect their OpenStreetMap accounts, making it easier to contribute and use Mapilio’s tools for a better mapping experience.
  • Kamil Monicz discussed his progress in the development of OpenStreetMap’s NextGen, highlighting enhancements such as client-side SVG rendering for trace images for faster uploads and improved UI, and updates to deployment scripts, while thanking project sponsors and contributors.
  • AlexandrPS has made a dark theme user style for osm.org and has improved the visibility of building outlines in the iD editor. By the way, there is documentation for the iD editor, which makes it easier to create your own styles.

Programming

  • overturemaps-py is the official Python command-line tool of the Overture Maps Foundation, designed to download Overture Maps data in various formats, with features currently in the experimental phase.
  • Alexander Nozik talked about the creation of maps-kt, a cartographic library for Compose Multiplatform.
  • William Edmisten’s docker-openstreetmap-stack provides a set of Docker services to serve OpenStreetMap (OSM) tiles, routing, and geocoding. It includes detailed instructions on setting up the environment, prerequisites, hardware requirements, and steps to build the demo application, import data, and run the applications.
  • Igor Sukhorukov spoke about openstreetmap_h3, a tool to help analyse OSM data, at the PGConf.Russia conference.

Did you know …

OSM in the media

  • Elias Probst has discovered and Paketda! reported that the Post and DHL Group now use OpenStreetMap instead of the previous Google Maps service for the display of branches and packing stations on their website and in the Post and DHL app . A step that, according to CHIP, was probably motivated by financial considerations.

Other “geo” things

  • Students from the University of Stralsund, in collaboration with the Störtebeker Brewery, have developed a ‘beer map’ comparing 13 different types of beer in a project that combines scientific analysis with beer tasting. Guided by statistical standards, the project aims to help beer lovers identify their favourite beers more easily, using multi-dimensional statistics to map the similarities and differences in flavour profiles.
  • OpenCage’s last #geoweirdness toot was about Finland to celebrate the GeoMob event held on 9 April in Turku.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Berlin 190. Berlin-Brandenburg OpenStreetMap Stammtisch 2024-04-12 flag
OSMF Membership Campaign Webinar 2024-04-13
Dover Beer and Mapping! 2024-04-13 – 2024-04-14 flag
Delhi Cantonment 7th OSM Delhi Mapping Party 2024-04-13 flag
OpenStreetMap visual impaired accessibility initiative – kickoff (online) 2024-04-13
City of Belmont Social Mapping Sunday: Ascot Bridge 2024-04-14 flag
København OSMmapperCPH 2024-04-14 flag
Žilina Missing Maps mapathon Žilina #13 2024-04-15 flag
Amsterdam Maptime Amsterdam – Spring Mapping! 2024-04-15 flag
Budapest 2024.04 – OSM találkozó 2024-04-15 flag
Hannover OSM-Stammtisch Hannover 2024-04-15 flag
Berlin DRK Beginner Online Mapathon 2024-04-15 flag
England OSM UK Online Chat 2024-04-15 flag
Tagbilaran OSM-PH outreach in Tagbilaran, with UB-YMC 2024-04-16 flag
Lyon Réunion du groupe local de Lyon 2024-04-16 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2024-04-17 flag
Bonn 174. OSM-Stammtisch Bonn 2024-04-16 flag
City of Edinburgh OSM Edinburgh pub meetup 2024-04-16 flag
[Online] Map-py Wednesday 2024-04-17
Bielefeld OSM Ostwestfalen-Lippe 2024-04-17 flag
Kiel Mapping-Party “Surveillance under surveillance” Kiel 2024-04-17 flag
Karlsruhe Stammtisch Karlsruhe 2024-04-17 flag
iD Community Chat 2024-04-24
Düsseldorf Düsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen (online) 2024-04-24 flag
Wien 71. Wiener OSM-Stammtisch 2024-04-24 flag
Aachen 5. Treffen Aachener Stammtisch 2.0 2024-04-25 flag
Potsdam Radnetz Brandenburg Mapping Abend #6 2024-04-25 flag
Fianarantsoa State of the Map Madagascar 2024-04-28 – 2024-04-29 flag

Note:
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, Strubbl, TheSwavu, TrickyFoxy, YoViajo, barefootstache, derFred, euroPathfinder, mcliquid, muramototomoya, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.

In my most recent email in late February, I shared themes from an initiative called Talking: 2024 in which Foundation leadership, staff, and Trustees spoke with many of you in conversations intended to shape our planning process. Earlier today, the Wikimedia Foundation published the draft Annual Plan for the upcoming 2024-2025 fiscal year.

This year’s Annual Plan comes at a time of growing uncertainty, volatility and complexity for the world and for the Wikimedia movement. Globally, the role of trusted information online is increasingly important and more under threat than ever before. Organizations and online platforms must navigate a changing internet that is more polarized and fragmented. New ways of searching for information, including chat-based search, are gaining traction. The ease of creating AI machine-generated content creates both opportunity and risk for Wikimedia’s role as a human-led, tech-enabled knowledge system, as well as for Wikimedia’s financial model.

A few observations about this year’s draft Annual Plan:

  • 2030 Strategy:  As we face into these headwinds, the Foundation’s annual and multi-year planning continues to be guided by the movement’s 2030 Strategic Direction. Changes in the world around us make this direction more relevant than ever.  A call to become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge is more than just an inspirational statement – it is a mandate to continually assess the sustainability of our projects and organizations in response to the shifting landscape around us.
  • Multi-year to multigenerational planning:  And we must plan even further ahead. Looking beyond 2030 is vital to our mission, which requires the Foundation to help “make and keep useful information … available on the internet free of charge, in perpetuity.”  The shift from a link-based search architecture – which has served our projects and financial model well up to this point – to a chat-based search architecture is in its early days but is likely here to stay. We believe this is part of a generational shift in how people create and consume information online. What emerges is a strategic paradox: Wikimedia projects are becoming more vital to the knowledge infrastructure of the internet while simultaneously becoming less visible to internet users.  To ensure the success of the Wikimedia projects into the future, we must consider a multigenerational approach across key areas of future planning.
  • Trends: As we did last year, the Foundation started planning by asking, “What does the world need from us and the Wikimedia projects now?” We conducted research into external trends that are impacting our work, including a larger focus on immediate, bite-sized information; increasing presence of incentives, financial and otherwise, to attract contributors to some platforms; legal and regulatory threats, including platform regulations that can be weaponized against us and our contributors, as well as opportunities to positively advance the public interest; and issues of content veracity and the effect of AI on the information ecosystem.
  • Technology support:  This year’s plan also remains focused on the central importance of technology, given the Foundation’s role as platform provider for volunteers and readers around the world. The Foundation’s Product & Technology department shared their objectives last month before the full plan was ready, to signal how their priorities for the coming year are developing and invite feedback and questions. At a high level, our work for the coming year is focused on improving user experience on Wikimedia projects, providing the ongoing maintenance needed to support a top 10 global website and making future-focused investments to meet a changing internet.
  • Consistent goals, iterative work:  The four overarching goals of this year’s plan also remain consistent with last year’s (Infrastructure, Equity, Safety & Integrity, and Effectiveness), while the work and deliverables within each goal iterate on the progress made in the current year.  Together, the four goals are a blueprint to improve the technology that makes Wikimedia projects possible, support and enable our global communities, protect our values, and do so effectively and efficiently over the coming year.
  • Finances and budget: The plan also includes details about the Foundation’s financial model and our budget. The Foundation’s budget reflects ongoing trade-offs, as we see a slowing rate of new revenue growth. To meet this new reality, the Foundation has slowed its growth significantly over the past two years and made reductions in staffing and expenses last year. Since 2022, funding to other movement entities has outpaced the Foundation’s growth rate, which remains the case for this year’s plan.

Finally, this draft plan arrives during community conversations about a proposed Movement Charter, which will undergo a community vote in June 2024. In alignment with the principles of subsidiarity and efficiency, the Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to sharing and transferring responsibilities that other Wikimedia organizations are better equipped to own.

The Foundation has benefited from regular and direct engagement with the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC), and conversations with many stakeholders worldwide to inform and shape its perspectives on future responsibilities. The Board of Trustees and leadership also discussed different scenarios, including with the MCDC, to assess the readiness of the Foundation to make changes to the status quo from now – and independently of the ratification results. We are already preparing these functions to be overseen jointly with volunteers as sustained change takes time, and to do it well, structural changes will need to begin with careful deliberation from now:

  • Participatory resource allocation:  In 2020, we created the Regional Funds Committees to advise the Foundation on regional resource allocation and make funding decisions about community grants. This year, we will ask the committees to partner with the Foundation to advise on regional allocations, bringing us closer to participatory resource allocation and ensuring greater equity in grants decision making.
  • A pilot Product and Technology Advisory Council: This concept builds on the existing Wikimedia Foundation Product and Technology Committee and follows the Technology Council’s movement strategy initiative. This year, we will try out a pilot to review and advise the Wikimedia Foundation’s Product and technology work.
  • Improved Affiliate Strategy: In the previous year, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustee liaisons worked with the Affiliations Committee, affiliates, and Foundation staff to improve the Wikimedia Foundation Affiliate Strategy. This year, we will take forward the learnings and answer some key questions from the process.

The narrative long-form draft Annual Plan is a lengthy 23,000 words to ensure that it can serve as a comprehensive overview and also source material for other presentations and shorter summaries. We invite your input and questions over the coming weeks in whatever form you prefer: on-wiki on Meta, project village pumps, and by joining virtual community calls hosted by communities worldwide.

For Jessica Allison of the Detroit Institute of Arts, participating in Wiki Education’s recent Art History Wiki Scholars course presented the opportunity to improve Wikipedia articles using sources at her fingertips – the works housed in her museum’s own collection.

To find her starting point, Allison assembled a comprehensive list of works in the museum’s collection that related to the course themes and then explored Wikipedia to discover which of the works were already featured as articles. Her search led to the Wikipedia article about “The Jewish Cemetery”, a 17th century oil painting by the Dutch artist Jacob van Ruisdael.

Jessica Allison works on computer.
Jessica Allison
Image courtesy Jessica Allison, all rights reserved.

“I came across the article for the Jewish Cemetery and noticed that some of the information, especially around provenance, was not accurate or as clearly described as what we had in our database,” said Allison, Collections Database Manager. “I wanted to check the sources and make sure we could update the article to share a clearer timeline of how the painting made its way into our collection.”

Allison did just that and more, tackling the project head-on. During her participation in the Wiki Scholars course, she added nearly 3,500 words and 36 references to the article, completely transforming several existing sections and adding a new section featuring the exhibition history of the painting.

Allison, along with her colleagues, continues to engage with and learn about Wikipedia and Wikidata to understand how to make accurate and robust information about their collections more accessible to the public. She encourages other professionals across all disciplines to lend their unique expertise, noting how the awareness of and immediate access to sources can save significant research time.

“Wikipedia can be a really great source of information for users looking to know more on certain subjects, but the articles are only as good as the sources and information that someone is able to provide,” said Allison. “Having resources and professional knowledge on a subject and being able to share it in this way helps everyone.”

When reflecting on her participation in the course, Allison noted the fun of rediscovering practices she hasn’t employed since her time as an art history student.

“My favorite part about editing Wikipedia is getting to spend some time researching and writing about works in our collection and using skills I don’t often get to utilize since finishing school,” said Allison. “It is nice to slow down and learn more about a work and be able to turn that knowledge into something accessible and easy to read for the public so that they can learn more about the work as well, and maybe they’ll decide to come check out the collection in person.”

Funded by Samuel H. Kress Foundation and led by Wiki Education in fall 2023, the 10-week Art History Wiki Scholars course focused on training scholars in pre-modern European art and architecture how to add their expertise to this underdeveloped subject area on Wikipedia. The collective contributions of Allison and the other 19 course participants have been viewed on Wikipedia nearly 3 million times.

2023 marked the 20th year that the Wikimedia Foundation has supported online projects to advance the goal of supporting free access to all knowledge. In those 20 years, these free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wiktionary, and more have become an important world-wide resource for knowledge. Many Wikimedia project users can scarcely remember a time before information was so freely and easily available. Indeed, some of today’s young adults have grown up in a world where free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia are nearly ubiquitous. Central to the Foundation’s goal of promoting such free access to knowledge is supporting the Wikimedia community, which includes editors, admins, and other volunteers. These volunteers contribute their valuable time and effort to provide services for the projects such as finding and removing harmful material, stopping damage caused by misinformation, and creating policies to enable the smooth running of Wikimedia projects on a global scale. 

We publish a transparency report biannually to further these principles and provide insight into our work. Specifically, the report details the number of requests we received during the reporting period, their types, countries of origin, and other pertinent information. The report also contains stories about a selected sample of interesting cases from the reporting period and an FAQ. This release covering July to December 2023 marks the inclusion of the EU’s Digital Services Act information in the Foundation’s regular report.

Of course, Wikimedia’s platform for freely accessible information can sometimes come into conflict with governments and private entities. These parties may wish to alter or delete data hosted by our projects. They may also attempt to use Wikimedia projects to acquire nonpublic information. The Foundation operates from first principles when evaluating requests from entities requesting changes or deletions of information. Among the principles the Foundation champions, the most important is supporting the volunteer communities’ right to determine what educational content should be available on the projects in accordance with community policies. Protecting user privacy and freedom of expression are also bedrock values the Foundation uses to evaluate incoming requests. 

Below, we present some high-level information from the latest transparency report. 

Takedown requests (including content alteration). From July to December of 2023, we received 348 requests to alter or remove project content. Ten of these requests were Right to Erasure-based requests related to user accounts. When we receive such a request, we provide the user information on the community-driven vanishing process.

Copyright requests. The Wikimedia volunteer communities work diligently to ensure that copyrighted material is not uploaded to the projects without an appropriate free license or exception, such as fair use. Most Wikimedia project content is therefore freely licensed or in the public domain. When we receive Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices asking us to remove allegedly infringing material, we conduct thorough investigations to make sure the claims are valid. From July to December of 2023, we received 12 DMCA requests, and granted only one. Some stories in the Transparency Report share more about the kinds of DMCA requests we received and how they were handled. With projects as large in scope as ours, the low number of DMCA requests we receive is due to the hard work of community volunteers who ensure that content on the projects is properly licensed.

Requests for user information. The Wikimedia Foundation only grants requests for user data that comply with our requests for user information procedures and guidelines (which includes a provision for emergency conditions). Moreover, the Foundation collects very little nonpublic user information as part of our commitment to user privacy. Any information we do collect is retained for a short amount of time. Of the 32 user data requests we received, five resulted in disclosure of nonpublic user information


This transparency report reaffirms the Wikimedia Foundation’s commitment to the principles of transparency, privacy, and freedom of expression. It also represents the diligent work of Wikimedia volunteers, who build Wikimedia projects and the knowledge available on them. If you are interested in learning about the requests sent to the Foundation in greater depth, please access the comprehensive July-December 2023 transparency report. You can also see past reports by viewing previous blog posts.

The transparency report would not be possible without the contributions of Julianne Alberto, Aly Marino, Lukas Ruthes Goncalves, George (Zhiwen) Chen, Jim Buatti, Leighanna Mixter, Sara Campos, Laura Pulecio Duarte, and Lauren Dickinson. 

WikiMelayu: North Sumatra Malay Audio Visual Heritage

Thursday, 11 April 2024 21:30 UTC

The WikiMelayu project has become an important milestone in efforts to preserve and disseminate the Malay cultural riches of North Sumatra, Indonesia. Before continuing our discussion about this project, let’s delve a little into the background of Malay culture in the region. North Sumatran Malay culture, which has grown since prehistoric times, reflects influences from various cultures, such as Indian, Chinese, and Islamic, especially during the Deli Sultanate in the 17th century. The Malays, the indigenous and majority tribe in this region, have been the custodians of valuable cultural heritage.

WikiMelayu, an audio-visual documentation initiative of Malay culture on Wikimedia Commons, was born as a response to the unequal situation in maintaining Malay culture, which is increasingly being eroded by the flow of globalization. One of the main challenges is the lack of audio-visual documentation under the Creative Commons license. However, this project focuses on more than just documentation; it also includes workshops on Indonesian Wikipedia and Wiktionary Lingua Libre with the theme of Malay culture, particularly in North Sumatra.

The timeline for implementing this project begins with submitting a proposal in June 2023, followed by implementation from September to December 2023, and finally reporting in January 2024. Support from the Wikimedia Foundation is the main pillar in realizing the success of this project, which involves 10 partners, including resource persons and Malay figures, photo and sound studios, Malay dance studios, traditional clothing models, and traditional music performers. Apart from that, the active participation of 14 volunteers from the Wikimedia Medan Community, part of Wikimedia Indonesia, also provided an invaluable contribution.

However, as with any project, challenges arise in its implementation. Difficulties finding valid literary sources, obtaining copyright permission, and unsynchronized schedules between the parties involved are some of the obstacles faced in audio-visual documentation of North Sumatra Malay culture. Apart from that, contributing to Indonesian Wikipedia and Wiktionary Lingua Libre also encounters obstacles, such as difficulty following instructions and using the features on these platforms.

However, the results of the WikiMelayu project are truly encouraging. The project has produced no fewer than 333 audiovisual documents, 85 articles on Wikipedia, 50 words on Wiktionary Lingua Libre, and 36 items on Wikidata. This experience makes it clear that continuous reflection and adjustment are key to designing more effective training activities in the future. The need to form a more structured documentation team, better time management strategies, and reorganizing training with more comprehensive material are valuable suggestions for future project continuity.

Join the regional Wiki for Human Rights campaign

Thursday, 11 April 2024 16:17 UTC


From April 15 to June 15 will be held the 2024 edition of the regional campaign Wiki for Human Rights: The knowledge we need for a sustainable future.

This initiative is driven by different Wikimedia groups in Latin America, with the aim of promoting access to quality information on climate change, environment, sustainable development and environmental activism in our territories. This campaign is an opportunity to position Wikimedia projects as key allies in disseminating relevant, useful and updated knowledge about the climate and environmental crisis.

From April 15 to June 15, we invite you to:

  • Edit articles related to this topic in a Wikipedia in a language of our region,
  • Participate in face-to-face activities such as photo tours to upload photos to Wikimedia Commons, and
  • Participate in courses and panels with experts from all over Latin America on topics related to sustainability, environment and climate change.

We invite you to visit the campaign page and participate in the different activities that will be carried out online and in person.

Organizers: Wikimedia Argentina, Wikimedistas de Bolivia, Wikimedia Chile, Wikimedia Colombia, Wikimedistas de la Universidad Nacional de la Plata, WikiAcción Perú, Wikimedistas de Uruguay.

See also:

This Month in GLAM: March 2024

Thursday, 11 April 2024 02:01 UTC

Episode 160: Megan Cutrofello

Tuesday, 9 April 2024 19:36 UTC

🕑 1 hour 43 minutes

Megan Cutrofello, better known as River, returns to the podcast. She is a freelance wiki developer who has worked with Gamepedia, Fandom and wiki.gg, among others.

Links for some of the topics discussed:

Wikipedia Citation Needed AI Tool

Tuesday, 9 April 2024 12:00 UTC


A Chrome extension for finding citations in Wikipedia by using ChatGPT
, Ali Smith.


Concerned about the accuracy of the information you come across on the internet?

The Wikimedia Foundation's Future Audiences team has developed a new AI Chrome Extension that can verify the accuracy of the content you are reading, regardless of the website you are on, by checking it against Wikipedia.

Attendees at our last community meeting had a short demo of the extension and were impressed by its simplicity and ease of use. Go to the Chrome store to add the extension.

The Future Audiences team would love to hear your feedback!

Tech News issue #15, 2024 (April 8, 2024)

Monday, 8 April 2024 00:00 UTC
previous 2024, week 15 (Monday 08 April 2024) next

Tech News: 2024-15

weeklyOSM 715

Sunday, 7 April 2024 10:34 UTC

28/03/2024-03/04/2024

lead picture

Route planned, obstacles found and then bridge, bench, ditch, etc. mapped [1] | © barfootstache & OsmAnd | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Mapping

  • [1] barefootstache explored the Croatian countryside, not hesitating while being soaked traversing waterway crossings.
  • GovernorKeagan has shared his journey of detailed mapping in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), focusing on adding buildings and details missing in his hometown, highlighting the therapeutic aspect of the task and plans for more structured updates and screenshots to document progress.
  • Jfd553 has documented his detailed mapping project on the Magdalen Islands. The project involved correcting existing data and enriching the map with new features based on local knowledge over a nine-month period.
  • OMNIBUS, from ReDHumus , has written a diary entry regarding his participation in the #UNMappers validation training. In particular he shares how he uses the ‘Who did it’ RSS generator to track changes in the map for his area of interest, and how to publish the timeline on a website for non-techy users.
  • Supaplex described in detail a successful mapping workshop, organised by OpenStreetMap Taiwan and TomTom, held at the National Cheng Kung University, focusing on local project creation with the HOT Tasking Manager. The workshop trained 22 students, who contributed to mapping 369 buildings in the Xiejie District of Tainan City.
  • Voting on the extended tagging of traffic_sign proposal is open until Monday 15 April.

Mapping campaigns

Community

  • Anne-Karoline Distel discussed her initial week with a camera grant for EU mapping, capturing over 12,643 images on bike and foot, including mapping a new bus route to St. Mullin’s and adding new features to OSM.
  • April Fools:
    • On 1 April Osm2pgsql went AI with a new cool AI generated logo. Amanda McCann reacted by saying ‘we shouldn’t let #AI anywhere near the code section’.
    • StreetComplete showed a 🌈 rainbow #EasterEgg to replace the direction logo. Ludovic realised a rainbow nyan cat follows his edits and gislars felt followed by a rainbow trace.
    • TrickFoxy proposed ⚡⚡⚡ OSM API v1.0⁴. This proposal was stamped and approved by Kamil Monicz. This ignited some serious discussion regarding future improvements for OSM API.
  • Kamil Monicz’s third development diary for OpenStreetMap NextGen detailed updates such as the integration of features, a refreshed changeset user interface, support for the Rapid editor, a new icon system, improved pagination of elements, and native support for complex tagging schemas.
  • Sven Geggus evaluated the progress of campsite tagging over the past decade (we reported earlier), noting a reduction in the number of sites with insufficient tagging from 70% to 47%, but acknowledging that much work remains to be done, with 81,880 sites still inadequately tagged.
  • Volker Krause recapped his experience at the FOSSGIS Conference 2024 in Hamburg, Germany, with a focus on indoor navigation and public transport. Highlights include successful indoor OSM user meetings, updates in indoor localisation research, and BIM to OSM conversion efforts. Krause also explored public transport advancements relevant to Transitous and discussed the growing importance of open data and free software in public administration.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • The OpenStreetMap Foundation has scheduled this year’s General Meeting and board elections for Saturday 19 October. To run for the Board you must be a member of the Foundation by Monday 22 April. There are four Board positions up for election this year. The election date has been adjusted to avoid a conflict with the presentation of the Financial Report.

Events

  • Vitor announced the development of the State of the Map Latam 2024 website, scheduled for 7 and 8 December in Belém, Brazil, and called for community members, with web development experience, to collaborate on the project using Jekyll and a template from previous conferences.
  • The FOSS4G SotM Oceania 2024 will take place in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, from 5 to 8 November. The call for papers is open until Friday 31 May.
  • Videos of the FOSSGIS 2024 conference are now available . They provide access to a range of presentations and workshops covering topics such as QGIS, OpenStreetMap data evaluation, open data strategies, comprehensive overview of current trends, and developments in open source geospatial technology.
  • The State of the Map (SotM) 2024 conference is calling for papers for its hybrid event being held in Nairobi, Kenya, and online. The event, the first international SotM in Africa, is seeking presentations in a variety of tracks, including OSM Basics, Community, Mapping, Cartography, Software Development, Data Analysis, and User Experience. Submissions must be made by Tuesday 23 April.
  • On Monday 1 April Umbraosmbr held a mapping workshop for beginners on OpenStreetMap as part of the Mapeia Belém Project initiative, which aims to update data on the limit of the Legal Amazon and also train new mappers to join collaborative mapping. The recordings are available on YouTube and you can find more information in umbraosmbr’s blog posts: 1 and 2.

OSM research

  • An article in The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences from 2022 discussed a collaborative mapping strategy developed for slum upgrading in Bogotá, Colombia, detailing the creation of a methodology for remote data collection in a South American informal settlement. It highlights the benefits of collaboration between different stakeholders, including local NGOs and international volunteers, using OpenStreetMap and Mapillary to map over 700 points of interest in a Bogotá slum, and highlights the potential of the methodology to be replicated in similar contexts to improve living conditions through detailed and accessible mapping.

Humanitarian OSM

  • Pete Masters’ video shows how open data collected by MapSwipe users in the flood-affected areas of Libya is helping humanitarian aid workers and mappers to locate settlements for inclusion in OpenStreetMap.

Maps

  • Robin Wilson has launched a web app which allows you to search and view British placenames on an OSM map background. You can search to find names that, for example, start with ‘great’, end with ‘burgh’, or contain ‘sea’, showing the fascinating patterns of names and their various sources in Britain.
  • In the outdoorseiten.net forum , there is a uMap map, created by Wafer, that now includes 5000 shelters, water points, and other objects of interest for hikers and bike travellers. All have been visited, described, and photographed by volunteers. The map currently covers Germany and surrounding areas but can be expanded worldwide.
    Those who want to participate need to register in the forum and can report their observations in the post.
  • Tracestrack have started rendering sac_scale and trail_visibility tags in their topographic maps.

Software

  • Stadia Maps announced the release of their latest endpoint, ‘Cacheable Static Maps’, expanding their ‘Static Map Images’ API with special terms to enable new use cases in digital projects like CDNs and static sites, as well as in print materials such as brochures and books.
  • Olivia Hudson, at Gearrice, highlighted Organic Maps as the preferred open source alternative to Google Maps and Waze for Android Auto users, highlighting its offline map downloads, Android Auto compatibility, and customisation options.

Programming

  • retiolus has developed the osm2gmaps app over the past two weeks. It facilitates conversion between OSM-based app links and those for Google Maps, Apple Maps, Magic Earth, and vice versa, enhanced by user feedback.
  • Robin Wilson has written a blog post showing how easy it is to self-host OSM-based routing using Valhalla and Docker, including Python code to process the Valhalla output.

Releases

  • The Vespucci 20.0.0 release includes significant updates such as OAuth 2 support for authorisation, a delayed end of support for Android 4.1 to 4.4, new geometric features such as creating and aligning circles, improved wayfinding, improved conflict resolution, and support for localised values in presets. It also introduces a better onboarding experience for new users.
  • Ilya Zverik has released a test build of their EveryDoor app with a ‘walking papers mode‘, which allows users to scribble lines on maps or imagery layers with options for colours and notes, intended for offline mapping enhancements. This feature supports GeoJSON export and aims to include various improvements like tappable notes, style selection, and an eraser mode.
  • GeoDesk for Python 0.1.10 has introduced new filters for minimum and maximum areas and lengths, which are useful for discovering anomalous OpenStreetMap features.
  • Mapilio has announced the integration of its image layers into OpenStreetMap via the iD editor. The partnership aims to provide mappers with improved tools for precision mapping.
  • The Ordnance Survey has launched a new product, the OS Multi-modal Routing Network, to help transport planners by integrating over one million kilometres of road, rail, path, and ferry networks across the UK. This innovation, developed in response to customer feedback under the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement, aims to simplify route planning by providing a comprehensive one-stop-shop for transport data.
  • With Organic Maps Android version 2024.03.31-8 the OpenStreetMap login functionality is working again. Other changes include improved isoline elevation data for Europe, updated OpenStreetMap data from 26 March, and various interface and functionality improvements, such as sorted bookmark lists and a larger search results button, as well as crash fixes and Android Auto improvements.
  • FacilMap version 4.0.0 brings significant UI/feature updates, bug fixes, changes for self-hosted instances, and technical changes including migration to Vue 3, use of Bootstrap 5 and the introduction of new features such as a high accuracy mode for current location and QR code sharing.

Did you know …

  • Öffi? This is an Android app designed to support public transport by providing users with real-time information on trains and buses, including delays and replacement services, in various European countries and the USA.
  • …the traffic sign tool (de) > en , which can be used to compile tags for some German traffic signs?

OSM in the media

  • CHIP reported on OpenCycleMap and emphasised that it makes cycling tours a real experience. The article looked at the map legend, the POIs displayed, and the editing options.
  • The GeoObserver highlighted OpenStreetMap’s rapid update capabilities, exemplified by its quick response to the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge after it was hit by a 300 m long container ship. Within 2 hours and 34 minutes of the incident OpenStreetMap had updated its maps to reflect the status of the bridge, demonstrating its efficiency in providing up-to-date map data, in contrast to Google Maps, which still showed the bridge but with a warning and altered routing.
  • Volodymyr Agafonkin shared his journey to creating Leaflet, a open-source JavaScript mapping library for interactive maps similar to OpenStreetMap in a Minds Behind Maps podcast interview. The conversation also touched on life in Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict, illustrating the backdrop against which Agafonkin’s work progresses.

Other “geo” things

  • The Open Data Days Vienna 2024, with this year’s motto ‘Data above and below ground’, offered the more than 140 participants an insight into the Austrian Parliament’s expanded open data offerings. The importance of transparency and accessibility in democracy was emphasised through guided tours and discussions at various open data showcases related to the Parliament’s work.
  • This TGS-produced map shows details of offshore wind installations with electrical interconnections. The map uses Esri.
  • A new study, published in Nature Cities, has assessed the global potential of new peri-urban forests to combat climate change. These geospatial data sources are critical for analysing land availability, guiding restoration efforts, and planning urban forestry initiatives in the context of climate change.
  • Marianna Kantor, from Esri, discussed the transformative role of GeoAI, which combines spatial analytics and artificial intelligence to improve decision-making and predictive capabilities. She highlighted its application across multiple sectors, citing the US Army Corps of Engineers, which has saved $100 million annually by using GeoAI to efficiently dredge to maintain navigable waterways.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Bengaluru OSM Bengaluru Mapping Party 2024-04-06 flag
Richmond MapRVA Happy Hour 2024-04-09 flag
Potsdam Radnetz Brandenburg Mapping Abend #5 2024-04-08 flag
Grenoble Atelier du groupe local OpenStreetMap 2024-04-08 flag
Aachen 5. Treffen Aachener Stammtisch 2.0 2024-04-09 flag
Hamburg Hamburger Mappertreffen 2024-04-09 flag
München Münchner OSM-Treffen 2024-04-09 flag
UN Mappers training – Validating OSM data – session #6 2024-04-10
Salt Lake City OSM Utah Monthly Map Night 2024-04-11 flag
Lorain County OpenStreetMap Midwest Meetup 2024-04-11 flag
Zürich 162. OSM-Stammtisch 2024-04-11 flag
Berlin 190. Berlin-Brandenburg OpenStreetMap Stammtisch 2024-04-12 flag
OpenStreetMap visual impaired accessibility initiative – kickoff (online) 2024-04-13
City of Belmont Social Mapping Sunday: Ascot Bridge 2024-04-14 flag
København OSMmapperCPH 2024-04-14 flag
Žilina Missing Maps mapathon Žilina #13 2024-04-15 flag
Amsterdam Maptime Amsterdam – Spring Mapping! 2024-04-15 flag
Budapest 2024.04 – OSM találkozó 2024-04-15 flag
Hannover OSM-Stammtisch Hannover 2024-04-15 flag
Berlin DRK Beginner Online Mapathon 2024-04-15 flag
England OSM UK Chat 2024-04-15 flag
Lyon Réunion du groupe local de Lyon 2024-04-16 flag
Bonn 174. OSM-Stammtisch Bonn 2024-04-16 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2024-04-17 flag
[Online] Map-py Wednesday 2024-04-17
Bielefeld OSM Ostwestfalen-Lippe 2024-04-17 flag
Kiel Mapping-Party “Surveillance under surveillance” Kiel 2024-04-17 flag
Karlsruhe Stammtisch Karlsruhe 2024-04-17 flag

Note:
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, Michael Montani, PierZen, SeverinGeo, Strubbl, TheSwavu, barefootstache, derFred, mcliquid, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.

Art and Feminism in Australia

Thursday, 4 April 2024 12:00 UTC



What we've been up to for Art+Feminism in Australia.

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery[edit | edit source]

In the lead up to International Women's Day and as part of the National Gallery of Australia's regional Know My Name touring exhibition, Wikimedia Australia partnered with Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery for an editathon on 10 February. The theme "Making Women Count" was a great motivation for 11 new editors to increase the visibility of their regional women and non-binary artists.

See more details and photos in our recent blog post. The event Dashboard shows the articles that were improved:

Women's Art Register[edit | edit source]

On Saturday 9 March, right after International Women's Day Victorians met at the Richmond Library for an annual Art+Feminism workshop hosted by the Women's Art Register and the Library.

Women's Art Register Internation Womens Day Event in 2022

The Event Dashboard shows the 17 mostly new editors created 6 new articles on Australian women artists and updates to another 12 artists. New articles feature:

  • Elizabeth Gertsakis
  • Sandy Kirby
  • Maria Kozic
  • Leopoldine Mimovich
  • Merren Ricketson
  • Meredith Rogers

National Gallery of Australia[edit | edit source]

On Saturday 16 March in Canberra, Wikimedia Australia partnered with the National Gallery of Australia to celebrate Art+Feminism in 2024 with our annual edit-a-thon in the gallery library.

We have been partnering with the NGA for four years with regular editathons, some online but also in person. This year was no exception, building on previous years especially the 2023 event.

A group of 15 mostly new editors joined some of the NGA staff, volunteers and WMAU staff. It was a productive afternoon using the National Gallery's library to access artist's files, books and journals for quality references and a chance to see some rare books 'behind the scenes'.

26 articles have been expanded and improved, and three new articles include:

  • Hermia Boyd
  • Kathleen Sauerbier
  • The Print Circle

See our impact from the day here:

To help us track our overall impact we have created a Know My Name Dashboard for the events over 4 years.

Wikimedia Australia is proud to be part of the global Art+Feminism community and contributing to increasing the visibility of women and non-binary artists, as well as introducing more new editors to Wikipedia and Wikidata in the near future.

Connectivity trouble

Wednesday, 3 April 2024 13:58 UTC

Apr 3, 13:58 UTC
Resolved - This incident has been resolved.

Apr 3, 13:45 UTC
Monitoring - A fix has been implemented and we are monitoring the results.

Apr 3, 13:29 UTC
Investigating - We are aware that many users are having trouble accessing Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites, and we are investigating.

Visions of AI in Popular Culture: report is out

Tuesday, 2 April 2024 13:21 UTC

Activist organisations often have difficulties with raising awareness around the problems that they make it their mission to solve. While lack of adequate expertise or access to funding that could be spent for information campaigns, are among reasons, there is a lot to be said about the messaging and methods we chose. What if we got inspiration from pop-culture and artworks that excell at translating the emerging tendencies and new technologies into the zeitgeist?

These are the droids you’re looking for

Together with SWPS University’s Institute of Humanities in Warsaw, Poland, we delved into exactly this inspiration! Students worked under the direction of the faculty on data collection and report Visions of AI in Popular Culture: Analysis of the Narratives about Artificial Intelligence in Science Fiction Films and Series. The Wikimedia assignment was to examine attitudes and winning narratives pertaining to the key narrative tropes:

  • Conquest or progress? The spread of tech innovation as a political and economic tool
  • Good teamwork and machines – how team forming and priorities are assisted, augmented, made possible through technology
  • The pursuit of happiness – personal goals and way to get there in tech-saturated world
  • Making a family – non-humans, human emotions, making a mistake, lasting emotional connections between humans and non-humans alike
  • Which way do we go? New geographies, responses to the non-human other and their rationalisation
  • Who is a good citizen? Political choice, rebellion, and going underground in tech-saturated society/or surveillance doctrine of governance ( / = to choose or to mix)
  • Everything is going to be fine! Technology as a source of comfort and reassurance 

Where no wo/man has gone before

So why are we so bent on rediscovering this? It has to do with what we identified as a narrow repertoire of narrative devices that are commonly in use. Insular language or overcomplicating the messaging to not miss “important nuance” are among most common issues. Often our campaigners need to feel they like their campaign even if they are not the ones that should actually be persuaded by it. On the other hand, there seems to be emphasis on an apologetic approach, where an appeal to the audience’s higher feelings is centred. In result many campaigns persuade people to “normalise old age”, “be a hero and adopt a poor, sick pet”, show outstanding compassion and “help feed a child”. 

These campaigns are based on an ask for a bend of perspective and appeal to a narrow range of emotions and reflexes. Campaigns centred on the digital rights are mostly based on dissent (“say no to content filters”), resistance (“resistance is not futile”, as one sticker at 36C3 proclaimed), or action to rebound from power imbalance (“reclaim your face”). Again, the audience is asked for a favour.  

We thought there is more that can be done to get people on board with our messages and campaigns.

We’re Not In The Business. We are The Business.

Pop culture operates on a buy-in principle. The buy-in in pop culture is not a stretch of goodwill, it is an invitation to be cool, to partake in excitement. This considers both the palatable and the difficult notions handy in renegotiating the social order. 

It is no coincidence that Star Trek and Star Wars debuted during the consolidation of the Cold War efforts resulting in both sides of the conflict escalating the arms race into space. Even cautionary tales carry considerate allure – a condemnation of predictive policing and surveillance capitalism (Minority Report) had showed off motion-powered interfaces, smart houses, and autonomous cars with elegance, before these were cool.

Even animations for children are studded with subtle references to modern technologies, almost subliminally sneaking them into the everyday. A story of friendship and belonging in difficult times features a snugly robot to explain machine-assisted wellbeing on the side (Big Hero 6 from 2015 which coincidentally is a year of mass-market release of Echo and Alexa). A tale of following one’s dreams does not only make a comic relief out of facial recognition but also showcases US security measures at the US-Mexican border as a well accepted fact (Disney’s Coco, released in 2017 in the midst of the biggest wave of protection-seeking migration from Central America since 2014).

While the showcased tropes certainly are not ones that would become a focus of a campaign on digital rights, there is certainly learning to be taken from pixarisation of soft propaganda in pursuit of positive emotions and, in the end, surrender if not compliance. In order to do so, these and more examples need to be analysed and understood.

We hope that the report will offer an inspiration on ways we can tell stories and shape messages when speaking of digital rights.

Download the report:

EPA Victoria WiR April 2024 Update

Tuesday, 2 April 2024 12:00 UTC


Wikipedian in Residence boosts EPA Victoria’s presence on Wikipedia.
, Olivia Fougerais.


Wikimedian in Residence, Olivia at EPA Victoria

As this is the end of my project at Environment Protection Authority Victoria, let me share with you my statistics and thoughts on all the work I have done.

I edited 168 pages, added 277 references, and about 38,000 words across Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata. I uploaded around 35 photos on Commons, including a majority from EPA Victoria’s internal library shared kindly by EPA’s graphiste, and used 27 of them on Wikipedia.

Overall, EPA Victoria’s presence on Wikipedia has been boosted by about 220% which includes references to EPA’s website, link to EPA’s Wikipedia article on other articles, and mentions of Environment Protection Authority Victoria on the platform. I am quite proud of this accomplishment.

I published 6 new Wikipedia articles:

While the stats on the six pages I created are not amazing yet, I believe they are necessary to have around.

Here are two examples:[edit | edit source]

The REDcycle program was a return-to-store soft plastic recycling initiative started in 2010/2011 and suspended in 2022 after it was discovered that the soft plastics were stockpiled instead of recycled causing a fire risk. This was big news in 2022 as one of the major recycling collapses in Australia and many people were shocked and disappointed, including myself. That’s why it was the first page I wanted to create within this residency. I am proud to say that since, its publication, this article exceeded 700 views and has had very consistent statistics since it was created and I couldn’t feel more satisfied about it.

A General environmental duty is a legal obligation introduced in Victorian law recently and is carried out by each person to mitigate their actions to avoid unnecessary and excessive impact on the environment. As it is still quite recent, sharing more about this duty is helping to spread its importance and understanding for Victorians and Australians.

At first, I was focused on creating new quality pages but I quickly felt stuck as I wanted them to be perfect. It took me a bit to fully embrace the fact that a page doesn’t have to be perfect and metres long before it is published. As long as it has several good references and is relevant, it can be published and updated later on.

I also realised that creating new pages was not the best approach when trying to reach more people, so I started a new strategy: Adding recent environmental issues that EPA had to deal with onto existing articles.

This is when I started adding an Environmental issues heading to relevant Victorian suburb pages, like Cranbourne. While it doesn’t seem that I added that much to each page, it took me a while to narrow down several pages of information from various sources to convey the information in the best way possible. I’m proud to say I didn’t get as many headaches as I thought I would.

From that point, seeing my statistics skyrocket was very satisfying, and I was unstoppable.

I came across several environmental issues with landfills across Victoria and I never expected to enjoy researching about them as much as I did. Interestingly, the landfill pictures are the ones with the highest numbers of views on Commons as well.

View of SBI landfill in Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia.

This EPA picture of the SBI landfill in Cranbourne reached 1,600 views in February.

One of the most important achievements of the project was when I did a presentation for the communications team at EPA Victoria. I enjoyed being able to explain from scratch the objectives of Wikimedia projects and how my work not only improved the reach of EPA’s information but could also serve greater environmental awareness purposes.

I was excited to see that my work was appreciated and everyone understood the purpose of contributing to Wikimedia projects. I hope it lit a little spark in their interest and that a lot of people will join editathons and Wiki workshops in the future.

This presentation really made me want to communicate even more on my work, because editing is a small part of the impact, and initiating and training people to edit is the most important part. If I had to work on Part 2 of this project, I would focus more on that.

Unfortunately, this is the end of this project and of my experience in Australia as I will be moving back to Europe next month, but I will keep myself informed on EPA’s work and keep editing environmental pages, whether Australian or European.

I can’t wait to see other editors contribute to all the pages I created, and see all the environmental issues headings I started on many suburb pages expanded further.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be getting in touch with European communities to keep spreading environmental knowledge on the platforms!

Some of the images added to Wikimedia Commons throughout my residency.

Related Links[edit | edit source]

My sustainability March 2024

Monday, 1 April 2024 20:44 UTC

This month was a slow month. While we had planned a user group meeting, the shift to daylight savings time caused confusion, and we didn’t manage to get together.

On a positive note, I managed to get a proposal for Wikimania submitted. Now, let’s hope that the program committee finds it worthy.

This is the second half of my third monthly reports of my New Year’s resolutions.

My eclipse photography plan

Monday, 1 April 2024 14:37 UTC
2017 solar eclipse—obscuration 93.8%
2017 solar eclipse—obscuration 93.8% (view original)

In 2017, I opted to skip the crowds and the drive and settle for a 94% solar eclipse. I fully regret that decision.

Weather permitting, I’ll be photographing the full solar eclipse from the path of totality next Monday. While I’ve amassed a ton of gear, the main resource I’ve dumped into this project is time—time planning, practicing, and hacking.

After investing all that time, here’s my plan.

Why

I’m never going to produce an eclipse photo comparable to the work of Miloslav Druckmüller—so why bother with photography at all?

Photography is my hobby, and what’s a hobby without a challenge? Sure, the siren song of cool gear is part of it—I do love gear—but it also takes planning, hacking, and editing skills to create a great picture.

I got to spend time rooting around inside libgphoto2, breaking out the soldering iron to jury-rig a custom ESP32-based release cable, and practicing every move I’ll make on eclipse day. For me, this is fun.

Your mileage may vary.

Gear

My 2024 eclipse setup
My 2024 eclipse setup

Here is my gear checklist for this year:

Imaging:

  1. Sony A7rIII
  2. Sony 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 GM telephoto lens
  3. Sony FE1.4× teleconverter

The lens and teleconverter give me an effective focal length of 560mm. The 1.4µm pixel pitch of the A7rIII means I’ll cover 1.7 arc-seconds per pixel at my focal length—right in the sweet spot (below two, above one).

Here’s what a cropped image of the solar disk looks like on this setup:

Solar disk (cropped)
Solar disk (cropped)

You can compare this photo to an image taken yesterday by the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft—both show sunspots AR3617 and AR3619. I’m gratified that a picture from my backyard shows the same details as one from outer space.

Other essentials

  1. M5StickC ESP32-PICO – I’m using this as an intervalometer. I’ve programmed it with the Alpha Fairy firmware and will control it using pyserial. I soldered together a release cable that I’ll use to control the shutter.
  2. iOptron SkyGuider Pro – This is an tracking mount. It cancels out the motion of the Earth so the sun appears in the same spot in the frame (if I polar align right).
  3. Thousand Oaks 77mm threaded RF-film solar filter – for use pre-totality. I bought this for the 2017 eclipse. This prevents the sun from destroying my lens and camera.
  4. Manfrotto XUME 77mm lens adapter – secures the solar filter to my lens via a magnet, letting me pull it off instantly rather than fiddling with unscrewing a filter.

Software

  • Planning PhotoPills helped me plan where to be and where to look.
  • Polar alignment – I’ll use SkEye for daytime polar alignment, pointing my tracking mount downwards towards σ-Octantis, which will align my tracker with the motion of the Earth.
  • Weather/CloudsVentuSky shows real-time GOES satellite imagery and lets you browse weather prediction models. SkippySky shows real-time total cloud cover, seeing, and transparency (and also shows the eclipse path). Clear Dark Sky is the classic astronomer’s forecast tool.

My plan

I’m pegging all my images to f/8, ISO 100, and only adjusting shutter speed.

I’ll be bracketing five photos, each three stops of light away from each other (±3EV). I’ll adjust my base shutter speed twice.

Pre-totality, I’ll do 1/100 second shutter speed. This should cover me for full-disk images, right up through Baily’s beads:

  • 1/100”
  • 1/800”
  • 1/13”
  • 1/6400”
  • 0.6”

After totality, I’ll move the shutter speed to 1/15 of a second. Fast enough to ensure I get at least one clear shot and slow enough to get earthshine if all goes to plan with my polar alignment:

  • 1/15”
  • 1/125”
  • 1/2”
  • 1/1000”
  • 4”

If it all falls apart? Well. I’ll be in Austin—a great place to while away the time longing for clear skies.

A Red&Blue approach to Wikipedia references.

Monday, 1 April 2024 11:03 UTC
Elisabeth Bik is according to her Wikipedia article a "scientific integrity consultant". Her work is often to the detriment of the reputation of scientists and the work they do. Many of the scientists have a Wikipedia article and retracted publications serve as references in Wikipedia articles.

Many more publications are retracted, most if not all are registered at Retraction Watch. It is reasonable to expect that many publications serving as references in a Wikipedia are retracted. Arguments used to achieve a Neutral Point of View based on a retracted publications, are wrong by definition. 

When all references of a Wikipedia are registered in a Red&Blue Wikibase and, when all books with an ISBN and scientific publications with a DOI are ALSO known at Wikidata, it becomes possible to offer a new service. A service providing information about retractions and citations to the publications used as a reference.

Such a service is to be interactive as well.. Just consider: a Wikipedian wants to check the quality of a Wikipedia article. An update button, first checks for retractions and for all citing publications. It then checks for missing data like citations and authors. At the same time new references are added; they are  all processed in the same way.

In the background, all publications will be checked by a batch functionality for updates at Wikidata. Particularly for new retractions, authors who claim a publication.. In this way the information on any topic will be as good as we can make it.

  • scientific publications are retracted and these retractions impact our NPOV
  • publications may be used as a reference in multiple Wikipedias
  • keeping information on sources up to date protects our NPOV
  • making the latest references available to all our Wikipedians ensures an optimal result
So what is not to like? 
Thanks, 
        GerardM