Grants:Project/VideoWiki/Annotation and Awareness 2020

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Annotation and Awareness
summaryBuilding the ability to annotate and edit “text inside a video” (in-video text), and spreading awareness in the community about VideoWiki.
targetWikipedia, Wikimedia Commons
amount$19325.82 (₹1,390,000.0)
advisorDoc JamesKCVelaga
contact• pratik.shetty(_AT_)• kcvelaga(_AT_)
organization• VideoWiki
this project needs...
created on16:39, 20 February 2020 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the context of your problem?[edit]

Rich content including multimedia content was the second most frequent request during the 2015 community consultation on strategy. Further, WMF New Readers Research 2016 found that there may be greater opportunities to improve interest in and engagement with Wikipedia articles with more robust video content. However, Wikimedia projects currently have less video content, compared to the amount of text and imagery. This state has existed for various reasons, including making video generally requires high quality equipment, video making requires expertise in specific media software, and video making was not easily collaborative.

However, text as a medium of information denies access to people with low-literacy. Adding video to Wikipedia might appear to be a cosmetic change to a reader in the developed world, but for many in developing nations, video is an essential part of accessibility. India has 500+ million internet users, second only to China. Further, since 2016, India is leading the world in mobile data consumption, after the entry of Reliance Jio into the market. This has allowed many Indians to “join the internet”. 9 out of 10 people joining the internet in India are local language speakers, and 1 in every 4 Indians (approx. 330 Million individuals) lack the ability to read text. Therefore, having information in local language videos becomes essential for such a demographic.

VideoWiki comes into picture exactly at this point, where as a tool, it addresses issues including the difficulty of collaboratively editing videos, updating videos based on consensus, attribution, and translation. Now, it aims to tackle the issue of editing text inside videos ('in video text'). WMF has previously supported the initial technical development of the project, though we are able to make ourselves sustainable on technological front to some extent. Up to this date, we have received approx. $6,000 from WMF, and have raised $65,000 in external funding from India’s leading non-profit tech incubator, N Core, Wiki Project Med Foundation, and philanthropic foundations, all of which have been used to develop the tool. Several users, largely on English Wikipedia, have been using it to produce videos for several articles, which can be seen in this category.

Also, with the help of this rapid grant, we were able to introduce the project and the tool to a few Wikimedians from Indian Wikimedia communities. Though the report of the workshop will come later, this helped us understand the reception of the project among Wikimedia communities. It also gave us the understanding of how Wikimedians would receive the project, and the resources required to train existing community members on this new tool.

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

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

The only image format that can be easily edited is .svg. When it comes to other image formats, and more importantly video files - it is difficult to edit the text. If volunteers are able to edit a part of a video, there are 3 big benefits that arise.

  1. Editing and updating: The video can be collaboratively edited, and updated (just like text) more easily.
  2. Re-usability and re-mixing: Volunteers will be able to “re-use” any part of a video clip and change it’s text to fit another context, resulting in a rise of creative commons media content.
  3. Translations: The same video file can be translated into multiple languages, making videos multilingual in a scalable and cost-effective manner.

For example, one SVG image file format on the human heart has allowed for the creation of multiple similar versions, and more importantly, translations of the image into several languages -- c:File:Heart_numlabels.svg. The ability to annotate and edit “in-video text” will allow volunteers to recreate the same for video files what volunteers did for the human heart SVG image.

What is your solution to this problem?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

We are looking to build a collaborative annotation tool that will allow users to annotate / translate any videos. The approach will be similar to VidWiki. The collaborative video annotation tool works by allowing users to annotate text using an “opaque annotation box” that matches the background of the video. The best way to understand how the annotation tool will work is by watching this video, as it is based on the same principles.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  1. Enable users to collaboratively edit videos the same way they collaboratively edit text.
  2. Enable users to make multilingual videos easily by collaboratively translating an video
  3. Increase awareness about VideoWiki among existing Wikimedia communities, especially the ones in the Indian sub-continent.

Project impact[edit]

How will you know if you have met your goals?[edit]

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (i.e. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  1. MIT Licensed open-source collaborative video annotation/translation tool
  2. Demo test will be done on 100 minutes of annotation.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?[edit]

Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable.

  • none

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?

Milestone 1

  • Milestone A: Groundwork, Data Modeling, Implementing UI Components
In this milestone, We'll be integrating Fabric.js library to be used as a base for building various canvas components for overlaying over videos and specifying different attributes for the components (colors, styling, texts ), modeling components data to be used in the final stage of exporting the annotated video. UI Components to be developed:
  1. Text area
  2. Images
  3. Geometrical shapes
  4. Free draw
  • Milestone B: Integrating Components with VideoWiki, and specifying timing module for each annotation. In this milestone, we'll be integrating the components developed in Milestone 1 with the Videowiki Player, adding ability for the user to specify start/end time of the annotation, storing annotations data for the final stage.
  • Milestone C: Integrating the collaborative annotation platform in VideoWiki’s export flow. Since platforms such as YouTube don’t allow for annotations anymore, in this milestone, we'll be using ffmpeg to burn the generated annotation's data on the video.

Milestone 2

  • The limitations of prior annotation software such as VidWiki is that it could not handle text annotation when the videos “panned” a lot. Since some videos have non-static text/annotations, in this milestone, we'll be working on enabling the users to "Record" an annotation's movement over time to to follow the moving text/annotations. We will use CVAT to develop a bounding box for text, and record its movement through the video.


  • Though community engagement is not the primary focus of this project proposal, we would still like to keep it going and stay in touch with existing Wikimedia communities. We plan to achieve this with the help of a community associate who will be working part-time to communicate updates with the community, conduct awareness sessions, testing new features and take feedback. After seeing the initial response, we will work on larger plan later.


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!

  • 1 USD = 71.92 INR ; 1 INR = 0.014 USD
S.No Description Amount (INR) Amount (USD)
1 UI Consultant Salary ₹3,00,000.00 $4171.04
2 Developer Salary ₹6,00,000.00 $8342.08
3 Project Associate (Community & Outreach) ₹2,00,000.00 $2780.69
4 Awareness across community led Wiki activities ₹1,00,000.00 $1390.35
5 Wikimania (or similar international conference) participation ₹90,000.00 $1251.31
6 Contingency ₹ 1,00,000.00 $1390.35
Total ₹1,390,000.00 $19325.82

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.

  • Establishing a mailing list for people interested in VideoWiki
  • Communicating quarterly updates to community members via mailing lists
  • Testing the newly developed features regularly with community members
  • Involving community members in developing tutorials in local languages

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.

  • Hasan Amin (Developer) - A full-stack MEAN developer, and a machine-learning masters student, is responsible for leading the technical development at VideoWiki. He is responsible for building VideoWiki’s core tech from scratch.
  • Pratik Shetty (Project Manager) - Pratik Shetty, a social entrepreneur, has recently been a tech mentor at the Google Summer of Code program on behalf of Wikimedia Foundation. He is responsible for leading the VideoWiki efforts. Prior to VideoWiki, Pratik previously led Keep India Clean, a volunteer driven non-profit initiative, which had over 100+ volunteers in 20+ cities across India.
  • Dr. James Heilman (Adviser) - a long term Wikipedian who has been involved with raising awareness of VideoWiki in the Wiki-community.
  • Krishna Chaitanya (Adviser) - Krishna Chaitanya, a long-time Wikimedian, will advising the associate on engaging with communities in India, and spreading awareness.

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?


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