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Grants:Project/Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton/Digitalisation of the Geoscience Museum

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Digitalisation of the Geoscience Museum
summaryDigitalisation of Geoscience Museum
targetWiimedia Commons, Wikidata
amount32'146.12 USD
contact• rodrigo.argenton(_AT_)gmail.com
this project needs...
created on20:01, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Project idea




This project is an ambitious next step in the GLAM programme being developed in Brazil: the goal now is to scaling up initiatives, with a digitalisation programme in one of the largest museums of the University of São Paulo, the Museu of Geosciences of the Institute of Geosciences.

This Brazilian GLAM programme is a pioneer initiative and the result of a partnership between the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat) and the Wikimedia Community User Group Brasil (WCUGBR). It focuses on the University of São Paulo museums. This is the largest university in Latin America and has around 60 museums and cultural institutions associated to it. We already have five connections with museums, and work has started in two of them, the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy and the Museum of Mathematics. The Museum of Education and Toys will start right after the Matemateca project is finished. Museu Paulista (one of the largest in Latin America) will run a pilot in which they will provide around 1,000 pictures --they have a collection of over 100,000 pieces.



Members from the Wikimedia Community User Group Brasil have established a partnership with the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (MAV-FMVZ) of the University of São Paulo, re-licensing images with a high educational value of the museum collection and sharing them via Wikimedia Commons. The goal is to upload from 300 to 400 pictures of mounted animals, macerated skeletons and anatomical models, with a great scientific, educational and artistic value, especially for projects like Wikipedia. This activity has had the support of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat), from Brazil.

The project stills running, and there is more come, for better understanding you can read the case study about it.

Uploads have had around 92% of use on Wikimedia projects. Most of them have been chosen as VI.

Matemateca (museum of Mathematica)


The WCUGBR in conjunction with the University of São Paulo Museum of Mathematics has started the digitalisation of their collection. The goal is to upload pictures, media files and educational resources of the entire museum collection, an estimated total of 300 objects, developing the concept of a Museum for Download, so that the collection may actually be replicated in other venues. The work as a whole is conducted by independent volunteer (me) and user-group members; metadata are under the supervision of the museum director, Eduardo Colli, by a student worker, who was awarded a university fellowship to contribute to this GLAM initiative and who is associated to the Research, Innovation, and Dissemination Center for Neuromathematics (RIDC NeuroMat, or simply NeuroMat).

This project is part of an ongoing set of programmes and activities that the WCUGBR has been developing, improving content on Mathematics on Wikimedia projects, particularly at Wikipedia in Portuguese. Entries have been systematically improved --for instance, Law of large numbers, Probability distribution, Random variable.

The initiative with Matemateca occurs in a general scenario of widespread mathematical illiteracy in Brazil. In the last OCDE PISA assessment of numeracy, Brazil was ranked among the worst countries in terms of mathematical skills. This means that in general Brazilian students are unable to rely on Mathematics to describe, predict and explain phenomena. Innumeracy in Brazil has increased from 2012 to 2015, according to this assessment.

Some samplea, more at Commons

In which 60.82% are in use in some Wikimedia community, and near half of it are already a QI.

The same team has also promoted the largest educational project in Brazil, being one of the largest in the word in a wide variety of numbers. The Project on historical heritage of São Paulo city, in Brazil, was produced with undergraduate students within a course on Political Science at the School of Journalism.

As immediately result, we have had 497 pages created (including test pages), 2,629,545 absolute bytes added, 7,281 edits; on Commons, 3,214 pictures added (~45% of it in used); on Wikivoyage, 222,989 absolute bytes added, 770 edits.

As a secondary result, some departments involved in preservation of the cultural heritage of São Paulo have contacted us, showing interest in digitalizing photographs, documents, and others.

What is the problem you're trying to solve?


We intend to introduce a new partner, the Museu de Geociências do Instituto de Geociências da USP - Geoscience museum of the University of São Paulo geoscience Institute (GM).

There is general a lack of pictures illustrating Brazilian minerals, fossils, gems, meteorites. Available material is either not free or of low quality, thus being not interesting for educational purpose. The GM has given us the opportunity to reach their collection of 45'000 pieces, including some rare gems, the largest Brazilian meteorite, fossils of Brazilian animals, and a great collection of rocks and minerals.

Technical challenge


The idea is to select part of the collection, around 2,000 pieces, and make a high quality digitalisation of it, covering from very small (~1 mm height) to some large objects (~3 m height). Size and number of the objects create an issue, as we do not have a proper equipment to tackle this challenge.

What is your solution to this problem?


In an initial step, we will select from the 45,000 pieces the most important set of 2,000, based on their educational relevance. After the selection, we will start the digitalisation, as in the previous project, photographing, post processing, cataloguing, uploading, using the knowledge acquired previously. In the whole process, we will involve university students and Wikimedia volunteers.

Technical challenge solution


After evaluating several solutions, including renting, borrowing, adapting... we have concluded that the best option is buy the equipment. For several reasons, major one:

  • It's cheaper to buy than rent;
Rent equipment in Brazil is expensive. The least expensive item to rent are lenses, that cost between 50-100 USD/day, in 15-40 days at that rate we would have paid for the equipment;
  • It will be intensively used;
To reach our goal of 2,000 objects, I'm expecting to take at least 40,000 photos, during this project, due to the technical necessities (focus staking, HDR, panoramas) and the volume. Camera manufactures estimate how many photos a camera can handle, normally something around 150'000 - 100'000 photos. So this project will consume ~25% to 40%~ of the camera life expectancy. Borrow is therefore not a option. The previous equipment already has 20'000 photos (mostly because of time lapse videos), and we will manage another project with it, probably will enter in a danger zone by the middle of this project.
  • We will use this for more than 5 years
We have already started conversations with several partners, that were listed before, in which equipment that will be part of the solution will be intensively used.

Project goals

  1. Bring thousands of high educational value images, with high technical quality;
  2. Improve the methodology of digitalisation of museum content;
  3. Establish an ongoing set of activities in the Institute of Geosciences, such as educational programmes and edit-a-thons, in order to focus on improving content of geosciences on Wikipedia in Portuguese.

Project impact


How will you know if you have met your goals?


As this is a very straight project, the metrics will be based in achieve the numeric target. If the material pleased the Wikimedia Commons community, award will be given.

For that, I'll have to dedicated eight hours per day, for 10 months of photograph, we already have the know-how with the other GLAMs, and having a work-flow established for photos, in a smaller scale.

Outputs: The direct impact will be the 2000 photos of high educational value, and high technical quality, and a correspondent improved content on Wikipedia in Portuguese, focusing on Geosciences.

Every month possible, small reports will be launch at the GLAMs Newsletter, and by the end, more than just the Grant report, the idea is to create a well written document.

Outputs: Been a more challenge project, all the knowledge acquired would be helpful to the community, creating a more concrete methodology, allowing reproduction and scalability.

Some collateral achievements, as media publications, new invitations for partnerships, etc, are unpredictable, however will take into account. It is one more step inside the biggest university of Latin America, paving greater Wikimedia projects in the academic world. And continuing the GLAMs projects, we would increase our penetration in GLAMs in Brazil, resulting in more partnerships and consequentially more content.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?


We expect to reach at least:

  • 2000 QI;
  • 1000 VI;
  • 200 FP;
  • 1000 in use at Wikidata.
  • 1000 improved entries on Wikipedia in Portuguese.

And documents about the steps took to reach our goals.

Project plan



  • This will be daily work, per week at least 2-3 days photographing, 3-4 days post processing and editing the images, every month, we will release a report to the GLAMs Newsletter, as a form of evaluate, think about the project;
The project will be divided in 4 steps:
  1. The first month will be dedicated to select the objects, adjusting the work-flow, acquire the equipment;
  2. 4 months photographing, post processing photos, pieces less challenging;
  3. 6 months photographing, post processing photos, the other pieces, more challenge ones;
  4. In the last month, evaluation of the whole process, and creation of proper documentation, fixing some possible issues.
Observation: the division between 2 and 3, is because we already know that at the beginning we make more mistakes and we are slower, putting less challenge, photographic speaking, made me focus in the process, not that much on the photograph. The idea was to have two grants, separating this two steps, however the extinction of quarterly evaluation made us combined this two steps; as the distance between those two would be enormous (1 year), killing the project, and delaying or closing our window to other projects.
  • Cataloguing, organizing, importing metadata, and verifying educational possibilities will be handle by a professor of Neuromat and his student workers.
  • Edit-a-thons and education programmes will be managed by the Sturm, in conjunction with the museum.


Equipment cost (20'146.12) reason
Canon EOS 5DRS 3,699.00 One the highest resolution available in the market and the most affordable 50 mpix camera, after that we have Fujifilm GFX 50S 6,499.00 USD and Pentax 645z costing 6,996.95 USD is the second most affordable. This will guarantee a bigger longevity for the material produce, we already have 8K monitor resolution [1] (~36mpix), and in a near future 24 mpix pictures will be below expectations... this camera has also another features that's important to have, as dual card slot for redundancy, increasing the safety. Every combination of lens and body gives a true sharpness resolution, in the 80D body with the below macro lens provide only 13 mpix for being a APS-C camera and a 24 mpix camera [2] (they didn't test 80D actually, however 70D have similar results). That means that the file is good only in 3600 x 3600 pixels, not in full size, "less" than a 4K monitor.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM 799.00 A great part of the collection are objects with a small size, this lens allows a good register of that and it's build to last.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1,949.00 Part of the objects are medium size objects, this lens will work in the range of this angles of view, being a zoom lens would give a wide variety of possibilities, and with quality of the lens this would extract the most of the camera.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM 1,749.00 same here for large objects. Reminding that I will have a limited space to work.
2x Impact C-Stand with Sliding Leg Kit 2 x 149.95 (299.99) The light equipment is quite expansive, we need to have a sturdy stand for safety reasons.
Profoto B1 500 Air Battery-Powered 2-Light Location Kit 4,148.00 I will be dealing with thousands of pieces, a major part of it have their colours as one of most important features; one of the problems of cheaper equipments are the inconstancy of colours, and amount of light provided, this could give random results, impacting in educational valued and quality. I already had problems with energy oscillation (that cost me a lamp), and lack of electricity in Matemateca project. Plus, as we are acquiring equipment for more than just one project, this should be varsity. This kit is away more affordable than buying to separated lens, and come with some thing for free, as the bag that usually costs 300 USD, and facilitate the transport of the equipment.
2 x Profoto Lithium-ion Battery for B1 500 AirTTL 2 x 266.00 (532.00) This increases the quantity of hours in work, but also increases safety, redundancy.
Profoto Air Remote TTL-C for Canon 411.00 Precisely controls all the light setup (one of few possible solutions)
2 x Elinchrom 39" Rotalux Deep OctaBox 2 x 323.99 (647.98) This is a deep octa box, that means that the light will be beautifully distribute in it's frontal element, this also is in the limit size to our large objects, the ProPhoto "equivalent" cost 700 USD the unit [3], and do not perform quite as good.
2 x Elinchrom Rotalux Speed Ring Adapter for Profoto 2 x 121.99 (243.98) just the adapters, and even with the adapters, it's half of the price of the Profoto ones.
Manfrotto 057 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Rapid Column 904.88 This is a tall tripod that could handle the camera with any lens, in Matemateca many times I had to made a top down photo, and I couldn't, the result was inconsistent, and I put my self in danger climbing and balancing in stairs to photograph.
Nodal Ninja M1S Pan Head with RD10 Advanced Rotator 439.95 this would allow panoramic photography, that would be use for the biggest objects of the collection, this solve issues related to parallax when we are stitching.
Lenovo 15.6" ThinkPad P50 Mobile Workstation 2,050.00 This type of photography uses a lot of techniques as focus stacking, panorama, that requires a tethering, the iPad solution that I use in Matemateca at the end was not good enough, and I had to redo a lot of pieces, in the day after, as I could not properly register and check. Having a computer in locus gives more guarantee. And my personal computer is a 7 years desktop (I don't have a laptop any more) that already is showing difficulty to work with the 80D files, took a while to accomplish some tasks.
2 x WD 8TB My Book USB 3.0 External Hard Drive 2 x 249.00 (498.00) Storage and redundancy, for 75 pieces of Matemateca I produced over 700 GBs of files. With 2'000 pieces would be necessary more space, changing the camera also requires more space.
Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet 349.95 In the past I used a lot pens in my workflow, recently I had to sell my personal, I'm fast with a mouse, but not as fast and precise as with a pen, giving the volume of pictures, speed and precision is important. This also could be used in other projects, including educational videos, recording math, for example.
2 x SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Memory Card 2 x 34.95 Necessary cards, and redundancy.
Datacolor SpyderCHECKR Color Calibration Tool 134.00 Colours having a great importance in this project it's necessary to be the most precise and accurate as possible, this tool is important to guarantee that all colours captured is the closest that the camera could register.
Tether Tools TetherPro USB 3.0 Male Type-A to USB 3.0 48.95 Cable to allow the tethering.
Canon LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery Pack 64.00 Backup battery, increasing the longevity of the photo shot and for redundancy purpose.
Insurance for camera and lens (around 10% of the value of the equipment) 850.00 USP is not that safe, we took a risk in the Matemateca because we didn't had other options. It also limited the possible uses of camera in other projects, by the fear of being robbed and could not replace the equipment.
Softwares (Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop) 119.88 One of the best apps to work with photography, and one of the most affordable. Phase One that substitutes Lightroom cost 279 EUR, and unfortunately free solutions are not fast and precise as is demanded here.
Other costs (freight, taxes, vellum paper, perplexes...) 200.00 USD In Matemateca project, WMF had to pay freight that was not predicted, so I'm including some fat, I also had to buy some objects to better photography.
People 12'000.00 USD
Project organizer (as this will be full time dedication) 1000 USD per month (12 months) I had some money saved that let me had the luxury of not working during the previous project, I'm not in the same scenario any more, and this project will book me as a full time job. This money will cover the expenses, including a home office, and going to USP every now and them, and will allow my full dedication to this project. The amount is based in my daily expenses and in previous approved grant as this one, reminding that I'm accumulating functions, as I'll lead a 5 people team, plus I'll photograph, edit,... and that the museum and I are in SPaulo, a very expansive city.
Total 20'146.12 + 12'000.00 USD = 32'146.12 USD

Community engagement


The daily work basically will involve part of the community, as we will always checking the educational value of the material digitalised, and improve the content around it, also with the edit-a-tons and photo expeditions the sporadic participation will connect the community to the partner and also with the project, bring more content to the the Movement.

Get involved



Volunteer of the Wikimedia Movement since 2006, heading the last GLAM project, having QI, FP, VP at Wikimedia Commons. Pictures in the background section, in the MAV ones I edited, the Matemateca, register, and edit it.
I'm heading the ongoing GLAM project (Matemateca), probably the Museum of Education and Games when you are evaluating this.
  • One professor of the Neuromat plus his student workers;
They already develop a work with MAV, and Matemateca as described at the background.
  • Sturm (talk) volunteer of the Wikimedia Movement since 2004, having more than 12000 created since than at Wikipedia-pt [1]

Community notification


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Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

Support Support This project is directly related to an ongoing program to establish GLAM partnerships in cultural institutions, mostly museums, in the best university of Latin America, USP. I have been directly involved in leading this program, and after two very successful experiences --the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy and the Museum of Mathematics-- we are now able to scale up, mostly because USP museum directors know our work now and are confident we deliver what we say we deliver. This grant request is part of this strategy of scaling up in the process of freeing knowledge that is contained in USP museums --and in our case, as you can see on pictures from collections we are uploading, when we free knowledge we do it with extremely high technical and educational quality. These GLAM partnerships have attracted media attention [4][5]. Though I have been involved in securing the partnership with the Museum of Geosciences, I will not lead this particular project; this responsibility in this particular project will be taken over by Rodrigo.Argenton and Sturm, long-time volunteer editors in the projects, especially the Commons. I have secured funding from a Brazilian foundation for at least one student worker to contribute to this project for three months, especially organizing metadata. --Joalpe (talk) 02:16, 16 March 2017 (UTC)