Grants:Project/Luctari/Wikimedia Augment

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statusnot selected
Wikimedia Augment
summaryTo encourage wikimedia participation by gamifying the system via Augmented Reality, and provide a new way for viewing/editing wikimedia information in the process.
targetAll wikimedia projects - however initial development will be in English
contact• Luctari
this project needs...
created on22:30, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Explain the problem that you are trying to solve with this project or the opportunity you’re taking advantage of. What is the issue you want to address? You can update and add to this later.


Many people feel that accessing and contributing to wikimedia is a very dated experience. When wikimedia came about, it was not based on future-focused technology but rather tried and tested methods. I believe this was critical for the rapid growth that wikimedia has experienced thus far. However, the older ways of doing things has some serious limitations. For some younger people, wikimedia was always there. This makes trying to convince someone that it's worth the effort to learn how to contribute that much more difficult. Newer technology is not based on teaching people "how to use it", but rather, making it work the way they expect. The natural way that humans learn is by building a mental map of concepts, connecting what they learned with how they learned it, who they learned it from, and where they learned it. By utilizing augmented reality, the where and what are more naturally situated, instead of a classroom or computer screen.


There is a progressive movement towards Mixed Reality human-machine interfaces. Commercial interests have announced that 2016 is the year of virtual reality. There have been dozens of new hardware devices released on the market. Furthermore, W3C standards have matured significantly in the last several years, making standard mobile phones more capable then ever. Now is the perfect time to build a basic Augmented reality interface for wikimedia datasets. Two other grant proposals relate to this concept and are complementary,, and IdeaLab/WikiWorld. There has also been previous experimentation in gamification with The Wikipedia Adventure.

What is your solution?[edit]

If you think of your project as an experiment in solving the problem you just described, what is the particular solution you're aiming to test? You will provide details of your plan below, but explain your main idea here.


It has very recently been a hot news topic that people are enthused with the game Pokemon Go. One of the key features of this game is the "augmented reality" interface that underlies the mechanics. It encourages people to amble around their neighborhoods and visit specific locations. The encouragement is in the form of social prestige. This mechanic is well-known to be effective. For Niantic, it is making them a good amount of money. For Wikimedia, we can utilize it to further the wikimedia Mission.

There has already been some experimentation with this idea with The Wikipedia Adventure. A couple key differences are that more traditional game rewards will be used instead of "just" badges, and it is less of a tour and more of a scoreboard. An example of rewards that will be used are countable medalians, such as number of edits in a geographical area, which may earn additional "achievements" when passing certain thresholds. Another example is rewards for specific topics such as wiki Loves Monuments.

Our Solution[edit]

All that is necessary to realize these benefits, is a simple but powerful additional interface to the existing wikimedia websites. This interface can be delivered via an HTML5 payload, or, on some older hardware with the help of an Application wrapper such as Cordova. This interface will consist of a 'walk-around' view, typical of augmented reality, where if something has a wikimedia page it will show up in your augmented reality view. If no geographic linkage exists, a new one can also easily be added with this interface.

By tracking statistics of people using the interface, such as which users are editing in which geographical areas, and adding this information to the augmented reality view, we can essentially gamify the act of editing wikimedia. The Wikimedia Foundation can promote values by emphasising certain statistics as more or less important.

This is just the beginning[edit]

The first step is bringing augmented reality to wikimedia. Next, the logical evolution will be to make more deliberate datasets that take advantage of this capability. It is like adding markdown, or semantics. This is just another way to make the data we have more expressive and useful. Soon, you will be able to learn about the world by simply exploring it.

What this means for Wikimedia[edit]

A new way to enter data, and a new paradigm for user interaction, means more diversity and more new users. It also has a lot of pop culture value, and can be used to entice new user interest at other unrelated wikimedia events. Additionally, by viewing the geographic associations with user editing statistics, problems of bias and even certain social issues can become more obvious and evident.

What this means for Wikimedia users[edit]

Viewing and editing wikimedia pages will become much easier and much less "flatfile" (analogy). Interaction with wikimedia assets will feel natural instead of bureaucratic. In short, it will be much more appealing and less cumbersome to contribute to wikimedia.

What this means for the general public[edit]

Even if someone is not interested in, or hasn't the capability to edit or contribute to wikimedia, having a new way to view the data means that many more people will have access, or have choice of how they access the world's largest compilation of human knowledge.

Project goals[edit]

Explain what are you trying to accomplish with this project, or what do you expect will change as a result of this grant.

To encourage wikimedia participation by gamifying the system via Augmented Reality, and begin collecting the required meta-data to make a mixed reality explorable dataset of all human knowledge. Additional benefits will be quantifying certain social metrics in the wikimedia community, which will not resolve conflict, but will help us better understand it.

Project plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?


I will first implement a basic proof-of-concept interface utilizing javascript. This prototype will utilize only native "HTML5", with a tiny callback from Cordova if necessary. The basic interface will consist of a "camera preview" style live view of the world with wikimedia data overlaid. P625 properties will be utilized to populate the view. A tool will be available to insert new data (articles at wikimedia project sites) and to update wikidata properties such as P625, P1740, P1464+P1465, P1082, P421, P1766 and other interesting properties. I estimate it will take approximately 200 work-hours to complete the first prototype. Around 2 months after grant disbursment a workshop will be held as a soft launch with the initial interface. The concept will be explained, then a demonstration, then a feedback session. As much of the feedback as possible will be incorporated into the software before the next workshop.


Workshops will be held both online and offline. The offline portion will be held in public spaces and will be publicized to groups who are likely to have tangential interest such as librarians, educators, historians, and even VR/AR enthusiasts.

The first workshop will be approximately 2 months after epoch. The next workshops will tentatively be 4 months, 7 months, and 10 months after epoch. The feedback from each workshop will be incorporated. There will be at least 4 and as many as 8 workshops throughout the year. By the end of 1 year a fully functional interface will exist that will be able to edit on all of the existing wikimedia projects, complete with Game mechanics that encourage wikimedia values. This will be done by leveraging existing systems and data as much as possible, but new Properties and user metrics may evolve from the workshops as well. The Game portion will consist of essentially user meta-data that can simply be ignored by those who don't care for it. Such things that could conceivably be measured are number of edits in a region, number of edits of a type, the social networks of users in a region, and even geographical visualization of user conflicts. The properties and metrics which interest people the most in terms of competitional motivation will be selected by taking an on-going online poll as well as periodic polls at the workshops. The pros and cons of gamification will also be discussed at the workshops. Gamification is of course extricable from the augmented reality interface.


The final product will be a javascript that will become part of the wikimedia software, and if necessary FLOSS platform apps using Cordova. Verifyable metrics will include edits made using the new interface, number of users who enable/view the interface, number of attendees and diversity of attendees to workshops.


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

Project Manager: 100,000 USD

I have performed almost 10,000 hours of research and development on this topic (Mixed Reality specifically, with some minor research in gamification). I would gladly leverage this research towards wikimedia foundation goals for free if there was such a thing as Universal Basic Income, but there isn't. All time spent on this project would directly take time away from any effort toward life-sustaining earnings.

I am qualified to complete all of the required labor without assistance.

Community engagement[edit]

How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.

I will begin by starting conversations in my existing engagements. I have a talk tentatively scheduled for October titled "21st Century Libraries: VR/AR/MR, Decentralized Social Networking, and the Information Commons in the Time Age" which is very topical and it would really make a difference to the audience if it sounded less "here's my vision, please help" and more "here's what I'm getting done, here's how you can help". Throughout the year I will schedule more talks with one of the key goals being outreach to diverse communities.


What do you expect will happen to your project after the grant ends? How might the project be continued or grown in new ways afterwards?

The software will be a new optional way to interact with all of the existing properties. After completion, we can continue to grow from Augmented Reality to Mixed Reality. In the Mixed Reality version, in addition to simply editing wiki data, you will be able to interact with Things (public assets) through appropriately represented Mixed Reality interfaces. (e.g. use a library's copy machine, or 3d printer, as if it was in your living room)

Measures of success[edit]

How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include specific, measurable targets here.

Any participation in the game at all would mean that people have used it to add real data. This in itself is a measurement of success. Ideally a majority of the workshop attendees will rate their satisfaction with the interface. I will also be concerned with maximizing the number of attendees and diversity of attendees to the workshops. Finally, the user statistics collected as part of the game/interface can be used to guage participation.

Get involved[edit]


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

Feedback from wikimedia leadership on specific game metrics is required for the game portion to be a success. This is something that will require several discussions to fully develop. Minimum Success (simply adding an augmented reality interface) is easy to achieve, albeit time-consuming, but with additional help from artists and developers the product could be made more appealing and thus increase participation.

Luctari got started with programming at the age of 6 with a GW-like variant of BASIC, and learned the basics of Motorola and Intel Assembly syntaxes and programming microcontrollers by the age of 8. By age 12 xe had learned C, and C++, on DOS 16-bit, DOS 32-bit, and eventually Linux/Posix, including everything from DOS interrupt drivers to Linux kernel drivers. By 13, Luctari had self-taught Calculus in order to learn 3d rotational matrices to do that nifty stuff those Dutch Demo Scene folks were becoming known for. PHP and Postgres were born and have been tools in Luctari's tool belt ever since. During ages 14-17 Luctari worked very closely with the local school district (as an employee) to help teach teachers how to use technology and this new thing called the web as an education tool, as well as serve as the district's official Linux Administrator, BYOD specialist, and multi-platform specialist (windows/Mac/Linux). Luctari contributed extensively to Moodle at this time, and spent a lot of time as a liaison between Moodle developers and their prospective userbase. Recently, Luctari has spent almost 10,000 hours researching and developing future-focused Augmented and Mixed Reality technologies, Decentralized Social Networking, Web of Trust, and Knowledgebase tools, pathways, user interfaces and technologies. Luctari is a community activist and often serves as a voice for the disenfranchised.

Community notification[edit]

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


I want to endorse this as a good idea. Bohemianstyle/kathryn evans --Bohemianstyle (talk) 23:23, 5 September 2016 (UTC)