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Grants:PEG/WM CZ/Digitalization equipment/Report

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Project Goal:

The goal of the project was to allow Wikipedians and Wikimedians to use an equipment that is not commonly available: A high quality film scanner. We had estimated that during the run of the project we would scan a high number of pictures for the Wikimedia Commons.

Description of actual activities:

The project to purchase the digitalization equipment was created based on an optimistic evaluation of the association made in time for submission of grant application. It was connected to the office grant project, as we planned to locate the scanner to the office and make it accessible to all members of the association and, under certain conditions, to the public.

As the office project was not approved, we had to solve the problem where we should locate the scanner to have it accessible and usable. Another complication was caused by the delay in obtaining the computer necessary for operating the scanner. After short-term temporary borrowings the long-term borrowing was settled in Summer 2010. The association's space suitable for operating the scanner was not found yet.

Meanwhile, the proper type was sought after. We were choosing between three options:

  1. buying a new high quality amateur or semi-professional equipment for full cost;
  2. buying semi-professional or professional used equipment;
  3. obtaining the equipment with a sponsorship partnership.

At the end we chose the first option. The scanner Reflecta ProScan 7200 was bought, as it offered an adequate prize-performance ratio. The association released more money to use a special offer to buy the scanner with a SilverFast software.

Without an office, we had to prepare a different way to operate the scanner. The members can borrow it (like the association's camera - see Grants:WM CZ/Camera), and it will be possible to use it for the scanning of the material sent by post with an adequate financial support of the client (shipping and handling).

What lessons were learned that could help others succeed in similar projects?

When preparing a similar project, we recommend other chapters to consider carefully the way of operation of the equipment from its location to the way of manipulating it. The operation of the scanner is a more specific activity than f.ex. using the photo-camera. The work is not difficult, but it requires at least basic training and it is quite time-consuming. It also requires a suitable workplace equipped with hardware and software.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?

Because of the late term of buying the scanner, the results do not meet the expectations. The equipment has been only put into operation and the first files uploaded to the related Wikimedia Commons category are just a secondary consequence of the operation in the testing regime. We test the technical features of the equipment as well as the optimal way of the operation. The use of the equipment was promoted among the association's members, the campaign focused on the Wikipedia/Wikimedia community and the public will follow.

We will add another report about the real operation of the scanner till the end of 2010.

Detail of expenditures:

The scanner was bought for about 860 USD.

Amount underspent in US Dollars:

The cost of the scanner exceeded the allocated money by about 260 USD.

Will you be requesting re-allocation of remaining grant funding?

No funding has remained.