thesswiki is a WikiTown/City project that aims to digitize the history and culture of the city of Thessaloniki by the citizens themselves using the most prominent online encyclopedia in the world, Wikipedia, while interconnecting digital entries in the urban landscape. thesswiki is a cyber-physical action, which aims to have impact on culture, education, tourism and e-government. thesswiki project is an experiential educational and cultural activity on integrating free and easy access to knowledge within the everyday life of citizens and the use of wikis in the public space and culture. Specific activities related to the educational dimension of the project include Wikipedia training seminars, Wikipedia gathering from around the world (wiki-camps), webinars, workshops, etc.
Thessaloniki: Wikipedia City
The project will start by opening content currently available in galleries, museums, libraries and archives (GLAM-organisations) in Thessaloniki in order to cover notable sites, historical events, monuments, people and artists in as many languages as possible. Thessalonians from around the world (including nationalities who have had important historical relationship with the city, such as Bulgarians, Turks, Armenians, Russians, Jews, English, French, Ukrainians, Georgians, etc.) will be invited to strengthen these entries, while special barcodes, called QR codes, will be mounted on the sides of buildings or monuments, in order to allow users with smartphones, focusing specifically on tourists and visitors, to scan them and instantly access up-to-date Wikipedia entries about all aspects of life in Thessaloniki in their native language.
The project is similar to MonmouthpediA, GibraltarpediA, Freopedia and other WikiTown projects around the world, which have been supported and endorsed by the Wikimedia Foundation, resulting in significantly extending the usage and impact of Wikipedia. thesswiki project is the first and largest international integration effort of a city of such size and history in Wikipedia, and the first ever GLAM-wiki project in Greece. Thessaloniki is the ideal case for such an action due to its multiculturalism, evident both in the past history and everyday life, but also for its high rate of young people amongst the total population and the large number of active community and volunteer organizations related to GLAM.
Who joins the project?
The project is run under the supervision of the Municipality of Thessaloniki and is coordinated by PostScriptum (Greece’s premier digital consulting specialist to Cultural (GLAM) Organizations). It is based on a proposal of Wikimedia Community User Group Greece, an active supporter of the project, and also supported by Yiannis Boutaris himself, voted as the world's eighth best mayor by the independent "City Mayors Foundation" (2015). The project will be implemented in cooperation with Greek Free Open Source Society (GFOSS), volunteer organizations (more than 2,000 volunteers that have participated in the thessaloniki youth capital during 2014) and platforms as well as higher education institutes and all major Museums, Libraries and Archives of the city. All stakeholders have already been engaged into discussion and collaboration and are planning concrete actions to be implemented. Once the project is finalized, neighboring and other international Wikipedia chapters or user groups will be included in order to expand the outreach of the project.
Dimitria Festival 2015
The project will be officially announced at the opening ceremony of Demetria Festival 2015, the most prominent annual cultural festival taking place in Thessaloniki in September 2015. During the one-month duration of the festival, the first QR codes will be mounted on monuments and street signage, and specific activities interlinked to the Festival will be implemented, including Wikipedia training workshops, an international wiki-camp, open discussions and seminars. All the actions will be implemented in cooperation with informal or voluntary groups and will be coordinated by PostScriptum and the Wikimedia Community User Group Greece.
thesswiki is designed as an on-going project and aims to incorporate numerous activities throughout the years 2016 and 2017, contributing effectively to the qualitative and quantitative enrichment of Wikipedia, expanding the visibility and impact of the Wikipedia on the local population as well as international tourists, visitors and Wikipedia user groups. The follow-up activities will be designed and implemented by all project stakeholders mainly aligned to the municipal e-government and smart city strategies.
Articles of interest
The following (incomplete) list displays articles that we would like to expand and translate in as many languages as we can, since they will be connected through the QR-code plates on the buildings and monuments.
An edit-a-thon on June 18th will try to create stubs and expand articles on the Greek, English, and French Wikipedias.
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