Grants:Project/Susanna Ånäs/UX for Wikimaps Warper

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UX for Wikimaps Warper
Wikimaps Warper control point interface mockup.png
summaryDesigning the user interfaces for the Wikimaps Warper, including user research, implementation plan, css style guides and design guidelines for further projects.
targetWikimedia Commons
amount4000 €
this project needs...
created on11:29, 31 July 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.

Historical maps can be used in Wikimedia projects for example to illustrate articles in Wikipedia, or as source of new information for Wikidata. The Wikimaps project has started to work on tools for a workflow for historical maps, geographic information and photographs to enable these use cases and more.

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.

This is a logical next step to the Wikimaps Warper 2.0 project. Wikimaps Warper is a tool that takes an old map, and lets the user align it to present day coordinates. In the Wikimaps Warper 2.0 project, the Warper code was made usable through an API. While the Wikimaps Warper API can now be used by any computer program, a new interface or several alternative interfaces are needed for Wikimaps Warper to be used by the general public.

In this project I will conclude plans for the interface and make it ready for production. The same design principles are proposed to be used for further tools in the historical data workflow, and possibly in other GLAM projects.

Wikimaps Warper control point interface mockup

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.

Having an easy-to-use warping tool is an essential part in the workflow of using old maps in Wikimedia projects as well as gathering information from old maps. This project will prepare the user interface of the user facing tools for production.

The goal is to work with broader communities by gathering feedback and a smaller dedicated group to co-design the tool.

As an end result, the design documents will be prepared, including a preliminary css style guide. The future production team is sought primarily among existing project participants, including at least a front end developer.

This project aims at a further grant for producing the project.

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?

  • Familiarize with relevant usability studies of other GeoHumanities or mapping projects
  • Chart existing and new communities, institutions and individuals for communication
  • Research technological dependencies that affect the tool's behavior: Structured data for Commons, Wikidata, Maps for Wikimedia etc.
  • Carry out user research and collaboration in several settings
    • Questionnaires and/or interviews of current users of the MapWarper software
      • Chart existing workflows
      • Collect observations about the functionality: problems and proposals
    • Questionnaires and polls for a broader group of interested participants though the social media channels
      • Gather use case scenarios
      • Gather case studies, if available
      • Get feedback about the current tool
      • Get feedback about the proposed interfaces
      • Create polls to prioritize features
      • Vote for options in the design
    • Co-design with dedicated participants, online
    • A public online workshop explaining the design issues and gathering feedback
  • Create mockups
    • Wikimaps workflow
    • Examples of other maps workflow interfaces
  • Create a preliminary css style guide
  • Gather a preliminary team for the production
  • Document the study


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 worker / designer grant, 4000 € per 3 months

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.

The Wikimaps project has an established community with several vibrant channels: Commons project page, blog, Facebook group, a newsletter and a mailing list.

Participants are invited to join to provide feedback of the current tool and the plans. Polls and questionnaires are publicized in the social media channels we have.

Experts and Wikimedia volunteers are invited to act as co-designers, features will be negotiated with them, and logged publicly. The expert/dedicated design group will be sought among current users, GLAM partners working with historical maps, Wikimedia volunteers, Digital Humanities practitioners, OSM volunteers or other mappers and others. There will be an open call, and the possible participants will also be contacted directly.


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?

This grant ends in a new start: The production of the interfaces that were developed. The likely interfaces are a standalone online tool and an integrated tool in Wikimedia Commons sharing the same design principles.

The historical maps and geographical data workflow has many possible directions where it can evolve, and a functional tool will boost working with them. We are ourselves looking into historical place names in another project in Wikidata: The WikiProject Historical Place, and into connecting historical photographs into the same workflow as the maps. A new upload tool, GLAMpipe, by Wikimedia Finland also supports working with maps metadata.

The design code will be maintained in a public repository, it will be open source, which hopes to insure the sustainability of the code. Technologies used and aimed for are mainstream web technologies: html, JavaScript, css, Leaflet/OpenLayers.

The tool is hosted in Wikimedia Labs, and negotiating how the tool could be used in the actual workflow within Wikimedia projects continues.

A follow-up grant will be needed for the production.

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.

Raised awareness of the tool[edit]
  • Targeting a list of 10 institutions worldwide for awareness
  • Targeting at least 3 new Wikimedia communities
  • Keeping the GLAM community updated by engaging all known GLAM coordinators in meetings and communication
Participation or commentary[edit]

Number of individuals / organizations in the design process

  • In the co-design team: 1 per community, at least 6 people
    • Wikimedia volunteers
    • Wikimedia Foundation engineering, GLAM, Maps, design.
    • OpenStreetMap community
    • Major GLAM organizations
    • At least one new partner from a new domain (eg humanitarian)
    • Digital Humanities
  • Feedback from broader communities: At least 30 people commenting
Production plan[edit]
  • Positive feedback for key indicators (such as ease of use, applicability, design)
  • Documented input/feedback
    • Statistics from polls and questionnaires
    • Documented comments
  • Video from the online sessions
  • Design documents
  • Code repository
  • Social media statistics
  • Catalogue of use cases collected from the participants throughout this and earlier project phases
  • Possible emerging learning patterns

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.

This part of the project will be primarily carried out by myself, while other team members, partners, volunteers etc. are participating by commenting or advising.

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?


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).