Grants:Project/Rapid/Gikü/Wiki Loves Monuments 2021 in Moldova/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2017-18 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

Only 1 goal has been fully met out of 7 total. The average completion percentage of all goals is 72%. See details below.


Please report on your original project targets. Please be sure to review and provide metrics required for Rapid Grants.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
3,000 uploaded images &1000000000000009600000096% of planned

2,985 originally uploaded (several were deleted in the meantime);

2,872 are valid submissions

Unfortunately, the majority of the uploaded files were organizers' uploads, and among the rest many are repetitive. The participants' involvement was less than expected, the potential causes are explained below.
450 images used in articles &1000000000000006300000063% of planned

282 images used in articles

There are relatively few articles on the monuments themselves; in Romanian Wikipedia there are less than 200 of them. We do have monuments lists (ro:Categorie:Liste ale monumentelor din Republica Moldova ocrotite de stat), but they only accommodate one image per monument. The original expectation of 450 was based on having more monuments illustrated.
50 participants &1000000000000003800000038% of planned

19 participants (with valid submissions, and except organizers)

The anticipated 'appetite' that Moldovans would have had for re-discovering their own country during the pandemic was not as strong as expected. Despite calls for past WLE Moldova participants, only a few returned with material.
30 newcomers &1000000000000003000000030% of planned

9 newcomers

We have yet to see how to turn outreach calls for participation in actual participation. Good news is that despite the low number the newcomers' interest was quite high, and their materials were diverse.
300 new items covered between &1000000000000008900000089% and &10000000000000109000000109% of planned

between 266 and 326 new items covered, by manual count of new Commons categories and new Wikidata 'image' claims respectively

Given that this is the first iteration of the contest, it was expected for this KPI to turn out decent. Majority of new items were organizers' self-funded photo expeditions within the historic center of the capital. Participants provided images for some monasteries and mansions that are otherwise relatively known, but with few Commons illustrations. A pleasant surprise was that a subject I believed to be obscure (and result in less images) was actually relatively successful in illustrating new subjects: c:Category:World War II memorials in Moldova
within the bicycle quest: 300 photographies of at least 30 historical heritage objects + 400 photographies of other sites NOT DONE The bicycle quest was not organized, for reasons described below.
within the AIRM challenge: 3,000 images imported &10000000000000183000000183% of planned

5,492 files uploaded to c:Category:Files from Agency for Inspection and Restoration of Monuments of Moldova. Before the contest there were 1,998 images in that category.

The strategy changed upon setting up the AIRM challenge, when Strainu offerred to upload the images in bulk using his bot account, rather than having volunteers uploading manually. This required couple of weeks of organizing the images into a Google Drive folder, and a magic code written by Strainu to do the import.

We dedicate the effort to the late Спасимир, who was a mentor and an inspiration for our AIRM project.


Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

  • What worked well?
    • Promotion through regional Facebook groups was effective in viewership numbers; the posts were seen by tens of thousands of people, with hundreds of engagements and dozens of shares, but very few actual participants.
    • Criss90kf resumed their role from WLE as power uploader; although their material was at times repetitive they still managed to cover ~50 monuments.
    • A good structure of Wikidata items, Commons categories and Wikipedia lists was put in place, much thanks to co-organizer TotalAnarchy for helping out. A useful technical feat of the overall structure is that the Wikipedia lists are dynamically linked to the Wikidata items, which means that when a new image or Commons category is assigned the lists are updated automatically.
    • The organizers spent several days exploring the monuments of Chișinău historic center and illustrating almost all the unillustrated monuments: c:Cultural heritage monuments in Chișinău.
    • The AIRM challenge went from a crowd project to a robot script, thus ensuring that all the intended images arrive at Commons in the intended format and categorization structure.
    • Jury had constructive discussions and made sure the top-10 is as diverse as possible.
    • There was some press coverage, including an interview after the contest mainly centered on the 1st place winner (which is something new).
    • Postcards as gifts were again well received by the prize winners.
    • They also appreciated the option to choose between different prizes. The Backblaze was still not chosen by anybody so I think I will discontinue it in eventual future contests.
    • Participants did not express difficulty navigating the lists of monuments and using the links to Commons in them to directly go to the upload page.
  • What did not work so well?
    • Poor participation rate. Not too bad compared to other countries, but far below the golden age of Wiki Loves Earth in Moldova.
    • Unfortunately the bicycle challenge could not be organized because of two issues: lack of time due to organizers using their free time exploring Chișinău monuments instead, and the weather in October being less inviting to cyclists than in August or September.
    • The Faculty of History and Philosophy of Moldova State University as a partner did their best to promote the contest, but there were no participants coming on their call.
    • Because of scarce material, the top-10 does not look ideally diverse, with several repeating subjects and one participant with 6 images in top-10.
    • The monuments lists are based on the official database of monuments, which is severely outdated – including outdated names of settlements and territorial-administrative units. This presented several difficulties when searching for monuments there. Sometimes it was hard to disambiguate between two or more items in the list. Monuments do not have coordinates at this point.
    • (per co-organizer TotalAnarchy) There was little material from the 'provinces'. Majority of content focused on Chișinău and on the most recognizable landmarks of Moldova such as Orheiul Vechi.
  • What would you do differently next time?
    • Add coordinates to Wikidata items, where possible.
    • Organizing some kind of an outreach project outside the capital, such as the proposed bicycle quest, should be of higher priority in order to encourage participation in 'provinces'.
    • Potentially adding more monument lists to the contest, such as the recently created list of 'public monuments' ("monumente de for public" in Romanian) to which about a hundred monuments from the heritage list we were working with have been migrated.


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

Important note: I used some money saved from not organizing the bicycle challenge and the AIRM challenge to print out postcards with winning images for all the winners, just like at the WLE.

Grant funds spent[edit]

Item Number of units Price per unit (MDL) Price per unit (USD) Amount (USD) Comments
planned purchased planned spent planned spent planned spent
$60 gift certificate from the outdoor sports store X-Style max 7 4 1,062 1,000 60 56.50 240 225.99 This $60 gift was chosen by IurieSvet for their 2nd place win, 3rd place win, and 'Best image of a church' special prize, as well as by Tanyaofearth for their 'Best image of a mansion' special prize. Unfortunately, the store only had pre-printed vouchers with fixed amounts on them, so I could not have chosen a different voucher than the 1,000 MDL as an equivalent to the $60 amount on that date. However, I included the difference of approx 180 MDL into the $30 voucher that IurieSvet won as supplement for 2nd place. Tanyaofearth was awarded an additional 60 MDL of cash to their 1,000 MDL voucher.
$60 gift certificate from the photography store max 7 3 1,062 1,060 60 59.89 180 179.66 This $60 gift was chosen by Vadim Soroca for both of their 1st place gifts, and by Criss90kf for 'Largest number of monuments covered by a single uploader'. Thankfully, I could request any amount on the voucher so I went ahead and asked for an amount in MDL as close as possible to the equivalent of $60 on that date.
500 MDL gift certificate from 1 1 531 700 30 39.55 30 39.55 Complementary for second place prize – the prize went to IurieSvet; see explanation above on why a more expensive than planned voucher was bought.
5x postcard sets + design services 10 60 600 33.90 60 postcards in total, 6 different postcard designs. 6 sets for the winners, 3 more sets for the jurors, one more set for <TBA>
Bicycle quest expenses 107.762 0 Bicycle quest was not organized.
Postcards and postal services for the AIRM challenge 11.3838 0 The side project was cancelled and organized as an automatic import effort with Strainu.
Total 568 479.10

Exchange rates per; 'spent' dollar values were calculated based on the Dec 7 rate of the National Bank of Moldova as reported in this site: 1 USD = 17.70 MDL.

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

The funds remaining from this grant in the amount of 88.9 USD were deducted from another grant payment for Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Rapid Fund/Wiki Loves Monuments 2022 in Moldova (ID: 21906281).

Yes, because the bicycle quest has been cancelled and the AIRM challenge was organized not as a crowd effort but automatic import. Some of the remaining funds were used to print postcards as gifts to the winners and jury. Final remaining amount is 568 – 479.10 = 88.90 USD.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

Strainu and I would like to announce that we dedicate the effort of importing AIRM files to Commons to the late Спасимир. Spasimir was a mentor and an inspiration for our AIRM project. When I originally intended to set up a challenge based on crowd effort (see the grant request: "Inspired by the Bulgarian Archives Challenge"...) I turned to Spasimir for tips and tricks, and he generously shared his expertise. The whole AIRM import project – that started in 2016 (or possibly shortly before) – was directly inspired by the Bulgarian Archives Challenge led by Spasimir. Each and every one of the 7,490 files imported from AIRM is a result of Spasimir inspiring his fellow Wikimedians. We are so grateful for his 'paving the road' virtue. Rest In Peace, dear Friend. Gikü (talk) 08:50, 30 December 2021 (UTC)