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Heritage Guard Network/Working Groups

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All working groups and responsible partners for these groups are listed below.


Our working group aims to explore potential difficulties and challenges with making content and data available, security concerns for volunteers, and how to make sure that more information is not used to destroy rather than safeguard. We will identify and compile information about existing cultural and natural heritage institutions and their data sets in the Baltic Sea region, including their licenses. Also, together with the experts in the field, explore the intersection of digitization of cultural and natural heritage in danger and ensure that the insights gathered are disseminated among the four WGs, resulting in key action points that all WGs need to consider.

Some of the questions for this WG:

  • Differences and similarities between cultural and natural heritage;
  • Statistics about heritage in danger;
  • Impact of military conflict on cultural and natural heritage sites;
  • Impact of climate change on cultural and natural heritage sites;
  • Effects of tourism on the preservation of cultural and natural heritage;
  • List of policies and regulations for the protection of cultural and natural heritage;
  • The mechanisms of keeping digital information about natural and cultural heritages accessible and authentic;
  • The potential risks for volunteers: how to avoid them and solve;
  • How can international photo contests (such as WLE, WLM, etc.) have an improved impact on the digital preservation of heritage.

Responsible partner: Wikimedia Ukraine

Contact: olesia.lukaniuk(_AT_)wikimedia.org.ua

Technology and content[edit]

This working group aims to investigate ways to enhance the sharing of existing data and content and collection of new. The group will identify the best methods, pinpoint available databases and content, and determine the necessary software. A small-scale pilot project may be conducted to test the findings. Each step of the technological content process will be examined, from gathering data, to connecting it with media and enabling reuse, while identifying areas where volunteer and crowd-sourced efforts could be most effective. The effectiveness of the Wikimedia platforms and technology for crowd-sourcing will be assessed, identifying shortcomings and barriers. Additionally, the group will discuss different technological options to digitize threatened cultural and natural heritage and the pros and cons and considerations with each of the options (e.g. creating 3D digitizations). The intersection of technology and law has been identified as a key area and the WG will be collaborating closely with the legal group.

Some of the questions for this WG:

  • Reducing barriers: What current technological barriers affect the possibilities for volunteer-based crowdsourcing negatively? How can they be solved?
  • Increasing impact and effectiveness: How do we use tools and data to maximize the impact and effectiveness of volunteer-based crowdsourcing around cultural and natural heritage?
  • Provide technological guidance: What formats and tools are best suited for digital preservation of cultural and natural heritage in danger?
  • Connecting material: How can the process to connect the information, from Wikidata via Wikimedia Commons to Wikipedia, be improved and simplified?

Responsible partner: Wikimedia Sverige

Contact: eric.luth(_AT_)wikimedia.se


The scope of this working group is to determine what makes a good, long-lasting network work and how to engage various stakeholders into crowdsourcing so that it enables the safeguarding of cultural and natural heritage. This group is also tasked with identifying the ideal volunteer profiles, emphasizing the need for particular skills or interests. Strategies for engaging these volunteers are an important consideration, including the selection of platforms, task types, and accessibility measures to encourage broad participation, as well as identifying key ethical aspects that might occur in the context of crowdsourcing. Furthermore, the group will discuss measures for quality control to preserve the integrity of the heritage documented. Lastly, recognizing and motivating volunteers is key, with plans to develop reward systems or recognition mechanisms that resonate with volunteer motivations, ensuring sustained engagement and contribution.

Some of the questions for this group:

  • Objectives and Scope: What are the specific goals of the crowdsourcing initiative? Will it focus on a particular type of cultural or natural heritage, such as intangible cultural heritage, endangered species, or threatened natural landscapes? Understanding the scope will guide the recruitment of volunteers with relevant interests and skills.
  • Target Volunteers: Who are the target volunteers? Are there specific skills, knowledge, or interests required? Identifying the target demographic will help in tailoring outreach efforts and project design to engage a motivated and capable volunteer base.
  • Engagement Strategies: How will the project engage volunteers? This involves considering the platforms to be used, types of tasks that volunteers can undertake, and how to make participation appealing and accessible to a wide audience.
  • Training and Support: What training or resources will volunteers need to effectively contribute? This includes considering how to deliver training materials (e.g., online tutorials, webinars) and ongoing support to ensure high-quality contributions.
  • Quality Control: How will the quality of volunteer contributions be ensured? This is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the heritage being documented or preserved.
  • Recognition and Motivation: What strategies will be used to recognize and motivate volunteers? Understanding what drives volunteers can help in designing rewards or recognition systems that sustain engagement.

Responsible partner: Wikimedia Poland

Contact: natalia.cwik@wikimedia.pl

Legal and copyright[edit]

The main tasks of the Working Group are to study the laws and policies of the countries of the project participants in relation to Freedom of Panorama and copyright, evaluate them for compliance with the licensing policy of Wikimedia projects, and develop recommendations for further harmonization of policies in accordance with the licensing policy of Wikimedia. The Working Group will develop, based on the laws of the countries participating in the project and the European Union, practical recommendations for affiliation on advocacy for Freedom of Panorama and copyright. All materials will be available to communities.

Some of the questions for this WG:

  • Current status of copyright laws in partner countries.
  • How does the lack of laws on the Freedom of Panorama and other relevant laws interfere with digitizing cultural and natural heritage?
  • What resources will we need to work on copyright law?
  • What resources do EU countries have on copyright?
  • How can we work with partners to change copyright laws?

Responsible partner: Wikimedia UG Georgia

Contact: mehman(_AT_)wikimedia.ge