Grants:Conference/WLM Team/Wiki Loves Monuments International Team Offsite Meeting 2017/Report

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This page will contain the report for the Grant report of the Wiki Loves Monuments International Team Offsite Meeting 2017.

Report accepted
This report for a Conference Grant approved in FY 2016-17 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.


Our goals were ambitious, and we achieved most of them to our satisfaction. The event was helpful in getting better collaboration in the team (Team building and bringing a highly distributed team members closer to each other was another purpose of the meeting which was achieved. The sense of belonging to a team and stepping up to help each other is important for a project at the scale of Wiki Loves Monuments.), it achieved a good focus for the coming year and allowed us to have some in depth discussions that will help the project for the years to come. During the meeting we were able to agree on a well-defined mission, look back at the 2016 competition, discuss the provided feedback from organizers and previous organizers and plan for the year(s) ahead.

A full documentation of the event is available on the project page on Wikimedia Commons.


In the table below you will find the goals as defined in our measures of success. The last measure was rephrased to fit in the model.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
A report/presentation of the current end-to-end experience and the proposed updated experience/workflows with reasoning/description of why certain changes have been proposed. This outcome was mostly achieved. A report of this is included in the meeting documentation, and is available for reuse elsewhere in documentation. During the meeting, we were able to work out a better detailed overview of the workflow, and documented this. We presented a summary during a presentation at the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin. We did not propose a lot of changes this time around, but we did document it more thoroughly this year than previously. We can iterate on creating more detailed documentation in future years thanks to the work this year.
An operational and specific (but not overly specific) mission for the international team that would, among other things, allow the team to assess which areas the team will focus on and address and which ones will not. We were able to come to a shared mission for the international team. The discussion and result is available in the Meeting documentation. We arrived at the mission: "The Wiki Loves Monuments International Team's mission is to freely document and raise awareness of built cultural heritage, increase contributions to the Wikimedia projects and bolster local Wikimedia communities by leading and facilitating an annual federated, global, low-barrier photo competition." This provided a helpful framework for the rest of our meeting, future discussions (internal and external) and strategizing.
A list of focus areas for 2017 along with a brief explanation for each (report). Based on the discussions we arrived at five focus areas that we also presented in Berlin. The five focus areas that we defined for 2017 are:
  • Maintain and improve existing infrastructure
  • Migration to Wikidata
  • Enrich monument data
  • Expose monument data through 'Monumental' tool
  • Set up organizers' dashboard for better contest monitoring

We also documented a few projects that we are not going to do this year, which may be helpful in future years or for other groups.

Increase collaboration across Wiki Loves Monuments international team. We feel that we have indeed achieved the increased collaboration in the team. During (and while preparing for) the meeting, we have better defined the team structure, with a coordinating role for some of the team members and more defined roles inside the focus projects. We also invited a few experts to the meeting, which allowed to share some expertise. It is hard to quantify this goal though, given its nature.

Lessons learned[edit]

While preparing and during the meeting, we learned a few lessons that we would like to share. Things that went well:

  • We think meeting in person is crucial for projects of a comparable complexity. Because we were in the same room at the same time, we were able to have more in-depth discussions and gain a deeper understanding of the issues with higher participation of all team members.
  • The Wiki Loves Monuments international team is part of a larger ecosystem, so it’s sometimes helpful to have people beyond the WLM international team present to provide a wider perspective on issues that are less represented inside the team.
  • The process of first gathering a full timeline, and then zooming in on projects worked rather well to gradually focus. Identifying pipelines and existing processes is something that works so much better in real life.
  • Reporting was a big challenge, but proved very helpful. Having two notetakers-in-chief per day, as well as a separate gatekeeper and moderator function (not always the same people) helped to keep the meeting on track.

Things that could be improved upon:

  • It’s challenging to find the right time in the year (striking the balance between not too early so that lessons from previous year can be included, and not too late so that it can still impact the next year is tough) while at the same time find synergy with other conferences/events. This proved harder than anticipated, and using local contacts to find free (and high quality) meeting space that reduces the overall budget proved more challenging than anticipated.

Things we would do differently next time:

  • Given the technical work of the group, it would be nice to have a day (or half-day) for hacking or sprinting on projects. I think it made sense to have this event focus on documentation and planning, but I think the agenda at similar events in the future will be slightly different.
  • Planning for the meeting should happen earlier next time. This will allows us to invite and engage external experts more easily, engage with the Wiki Loves Monuments community to shape the meeting more specifically, and have a fewer people stretch their schedules to make it happen to the meeting.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Below you find a table with the initially approved budget. One change was requested ahead of time and approved (transfer of € 1000 from accommodation to venue), which is indicated as well.

The expenses for 'food' are somewhat above budget, because the refreshments during the meeting were included under this item, instead of under the 'venue' item. If there is no objection, we would use the remainder of the 'venue' item for the 'food' item.

Temporary note: This financial report is preliminary, as two payments are still awaiting execution.

Item original budget (€) Actual expenses notes
Travel costs 6500 €3,294.18 Both local and international travel.
Accommodation 2500 --> 1500 €1,188.00
Venue 750 --> 1750 €1,342.00 Small budget change per request; Venue cost is above initial budget, but please note, that expenses for accommodation are significantly below budget limit. Accommodation and venue was in the same place, so totally it’s in the budget.
Food 2250 €2,623.60 Expenses on food are slightly above budget, because catering during meeting is also included here..
Unforeseen/other 1000 €0 We were able to catch all costs under the existing items.
Total € 13,000 € 8,447.78

Remaining funds[edit]

Remaining funds from this grant have been returned to WMF in the amount of €4,552.22 / US$5,174.74.

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

In total we have spent €8,447.78 from €13,000.00 limit. We will return €4,552.22.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

  • As agreed with the grant officer, we received approval for each person whose travel was being reimbursed on this grant from the grant committee members.
  • We hope that the documentation around the mission setting will proof helpful for organizers to explain the value of their activity in the future.