Connected Open Heritage

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– Preserving cultural heritage at risk online, and giving people easy access to it.[edit]



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Connected Open Heritage



The greatest threat towards the cultural heritage is lack of knowledge and disinterest. The best way to protect the cultural heritage is therefore knowledge and information that is easy to find and free
Lars Amréus, Director-General of the National Heritage Board of Sweden.



Project log

Here we will continuously list the milestones in the project.

  • January:
    • The project starts.
    • We create a detailed time plan for our internal work.
    • We announce the project on email lists, on a few Village pumps and we create this Meta page. A couple of different blog posts are published and a press release.
    • We sign contracts with our project partners.
  • February:
    • Recruiting of new technical staff members for Wikimedia Sverige started.
    • First Country reports published.
    • Wikimania submission for a critical issue accepted.
  • March:
    • Agreement signed around batch upload of images from Palmyra.
    • More country reports have been prepared.
    • The country selection criteria are developed.
    • Participation in a number of relevant events.
    • Investigation of a possible spin-off project to include 3D-objects on Wikimedia Commons is initiated.
  • April:
    • A new staff member (developer) started working full time within the project.
    • The type of cultural heritage data needed has been specified.
    • Participation at the Wikimedia Hackathon where the "Monument Database Tech Committee" discussed and worked on issues concerning the WLM database.
    • A poster for Wikimania was created.
    • The possibilities around working with cultural heritage experts in islands in the Pacific continued to be investigated. Country reports for three small island states, Palau, Fiji and Samoa, has been created.
    • The attachment for decision makers has been finalized.
    • The judicial situation with the data around cultural heritage was investigated and a number of problems has been identified.
    • Participation at the Wikimedia Conference 2016 in Berlin where the project was discussed with a number of movement representatives.
  • May:
    • One of the project members got a baby! The work around batch uploading is halted temporarily because of this.
    • A discussion on Wikidata has been initiated around the migrating the information in the Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) database to Wikidata.
    • Information material for GLAM cooperations as part of the project was created.
    • The preparation of the photo exhibition has started.
    • Preparations to go to Wikimania!
  • June:
    • Our submission to the DCDC conference in the UK is accepted! We also get one free ticket for WMUK.
    • WMIT signs agreements with Gruppo Archeologico Romano (GAR) and DecArch about Syrian images that will be uploaded.
    • The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities and the Museum of Ethnography decides to change the license to images in their archive from Mexico and Cyprus and provide us with high quality scans and better metadata.
    • We publish a report about how to move data to Wikidata.
    • Volunteer Tasks are added to the portal.
    • Planning our meetings with decision makers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Georgia.
    • The Swedish embassy in Mali will assist us in the project.
    • Participating at Wikimania with a workshop about mapping WLM data to Wikidata.
    • Adding Iran to the WLM database so that we can move it to Wikidata later.
    • Creating a connection between the WLM database and Wikidata so that we can see all changes and add them to Wikidata before we, some day, turn off the WLM database.
    • Participating at Wikimania with a presentation about the project and about the work done by the movement around cultural heritage.
  • July:
    • Mostly summer holidays.
  • August:
    • Arrange the visit of Wikimedia Sverige and CHwB in September to the Republic of Georgia. The Ministry of Culture and a number of Agencies have replied positively and dates are fixed.
    • A contact address within the Ministry of Culture in Mali was given by the Swedish Embassy. Translations into French of our material must be handled before we approach them again.
    • The first batch upload of images of threatened cultural heritage has been finalized (from GAR). External communication has been sent out to media.
    • 3 more batch uploads from GLAMs are being prepared.
    • Plans are being developed around importing 9-10,000 immovable cultural heritage images from UNESCO's Mediabank. http://en.unesco.org/mediabank/
    • Initial preparations for a writing contest on Wikipedia, the UNESCO Challenge, with the new UNESCO World Heritage sites as the theme has been done.
    • The instruction material for Data partners and GLAM partners on our project portal on Meta are now easily translatable.
    • Created an OTRS form for data for Wikidata.
    • Meeting with World Heritage about open licensing the descriptions of World Heritage sites.
    • Worked on defining the scope and organizing the photo exhibition that will be exhibited in at least three countries.
    • Worked with Wikimedia volunteers to create a working Wikidata infoboxes for buildings (World Heriatge sites) e.g Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City.
    • 3 new countries (Iran, Kosovo and Albania) now have lists with cultural heritage on Wikipedia and are in the Monument database (this is the first step of moving them onto Wikidata).
    • A new Project Assistant, Eric Luth, has been hired and will help us execute the project in an even more effective way.
  • September:
  • October:
  • November:
    • Participation at the EuroMed 2016 Conference. Our peer-reviewed paper "Reaching the world through free licenses and Wikimedia’s crowdsourced platforms" (focusing on the COH project) in competition with 502 other submitted articles received a price. It won the "Werner Weber Best Paper Award for SHORT Paper" (one of three categories).
    • Organized a mapping workshop at the National Museums of World Culture, Stockholm.
    • Had a number of meetings with museum directors in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    • Prepared a request for structured data from Commission to preserve national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a backup plan we have worked with our partner organization on a strategy for how their volunteers can extract data from reports.
  • December:
    • Preparations are being finalized for the batch uploads of images from Mexico and Cyprus.
    • We are sending in the second report to the funders.


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Background[edit]

Wars and disasters, negligence and poor maintenance all mean that much of our built cultural heritage, such as monuments, archaeological sites etc., is at risk of being lost forever. Interest and knowledge are needed to prevent its destruction. To help preserve our existing built cultural heritage and to understand lost heritage through recreation and restoration, accurate and reliable information needs to be easily accessible to everyone, for free.

The Connected Open Heritage (Kopplat Öppet Kulturarv, KÖK) project will use the experience from previous projects within the Wikimedia movement to gather as much information as possible about cultural heritage on Wikimedia projects and to build on the work done by volunteers all over the world. It will make it easier to search for the built cultural heritage that you care for. The project is funded by the Culture Foundation of the Swedish Postcode Lottery and will last until June 2017.

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Aim[edit]

The aim of this project is to improve and create knowledge about the built cultural heritage of the world and make it available digitally, with open and free licenses. This will increase the awareness and interest to save the world's cultural heritage.

If you or your organisation hold data, text, images or other media about built cultural heritage please click here to find out how you can be involved.

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Goals[edit]

To achieve this the project has five goals:

  1. Make the information on Wikimedia projects more user friendly.
  2. Make cultural heritage data from more countries available on Wikimedia projects.
  3. Update existing cultural heritage data on Wikimedia projects.
  4. Cooperate with heritage organizations to make their media available on Wikimedia Commons.
  5. Spread information about the resources created within the project.

More specific tasks to reach the goals are:

  • Migrate the information in the Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) database to Wikidata.
  • Improve data on listed cultural heritage from 10 new countries to Wikidata, the countries currently identified are Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mali and Georgia.
  • Presentations or participation in at least 10 relevant conferences with the aim to show the work done in the Wikimedia movement in the area of cultural heritage preservation.
  • Outreach to at least 1,000 experts in the field.
  • At least 100,000 images of historical cultural heritage objects uploaded from institutions or experts.
  • At least 10,000,000 views of uploaded material through the Wikimedia platforms during 2016, with at least 50,000,000 views each following year. To achieve this 10 activities will be held for volunteers to include uploaded material in all Wikimedia projects.
  • At least 25 media reports about the work.
  • A photographic exhibition in at least 3 countries.
  • The production of a final report with lessons learned, made available to the Wikimedia community.
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Method and activities[edit]

The main and fundamental activity of the project is to modernize the handling of built cultural heritage data. This will be done by transferring all information from the Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) database to Wikidata, and develop the tools needed to make the data more useful and so more valuable. The project will determine how WLM datasets can be matched with the structure of Wikidata and how the data can be uploaded. The method will be continuously evaluated and developed after each dataset and done in close collaboration with Wikimedia volunteers and staff. The project will explore and share methods for keeping Wikidata updated with data from official sources.

In parallel we will begin work to update existing data, add more data, more media and link it to other information sources. The selection process concerning what data and media to add to Wikidata will be based primarily on the needs of Wikimedia volunteers, and secondly based on requests from our partners in the heritage sector and then, if time permits, other stakeholders' wishes. Data from all over the world will be added, with a particular focus on countries in Africa, Asia and Southern Europe. We will actively work to convince decision-makers to release built cultural heritage data and media under an open license. To be able to reach the right people and to get a better understanding of the local situation we will use the vast networks of UNESCO, Cultural Heritage without Borders and of the wider Wikimedia movement.

We will also work with GLAM institutions all over the world to add media files related to cultural heritage to Wikimedia Commons, achieved through batch uploads.

To contextualise the media and data we will run events aimed at adding the new material to Wikipedia. The events will be run in connection with other events including the photo exhibitions.

We will put in a considerable amount of work into communication about this great resource which will include creation of information materials, press releases, blog post and social media to participation at conferences concerning cultural heritage, GLAM, education, Open Data and humanitarian aid.

To reach the public a travelling photo exhibition will be organized. The photo exhibition will travel to at least three different countries with the aim of highlighting cultural heritage that is threatened and how digital tools can be used to preserve it. The photo exhibition will be organized together with Wikimedia Italia. Wikimedia Italia will join us in selecting the best and most important pictures from Syria and other places where cultural heritage is in danger or destroyed, write short narratives about them and the Wikimedia movement’s work with cultural heritage. The photo exhibition will include both a physical and digital component so that more people will be able to access the material.

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Get involved[edit]

If you are interested in being involved in the project please sign up on the Get Involved page. For any other questions please e-mail john.andersson@wikimedia.se .


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Wikimania[edit]