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WikiConference North America/2018

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WikiConference North America 2018
When and Where
Date18 - 21 October 2018
City, StateColumbus, Ohio, USA
VenuesOhio State University Libraries
Official websitehttps://wikiconference.org/wiki/2018/Main_Page

Columbus Metropolitan Library

WikiConference North America 2018 took place October 18-21, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio, with the main venue generously donated by Ohio State University and pre-conference facilities provided by the Columbus Metropolitan Library and other cultural institutions.

  • Thursday, Oct 18: Wikidata Day/Hackathon
  • Friday, Oct 19: Culture Crawl
  • Sat/Sun, Oct 20-21: Main Programming Tracks


  • Main: Ohio State University Libraries
  • Co-host: Columbus Metropolitan Library

CITY: Columbus, Ohio, USA


This year's theme was "possibility", written in the three main languages of North America -English, French, Spanish- as possibilities/posibilidad/possibilité. Our colors were a gray and red, to reflect the colors of The Ohio State University. Our branding was carried out in our stickers and the conference T-shirts, which were worn by conference organizers, so it was easy to identify whom to reach out to in case of an issue, and could be ordered by attendees.


WCNA 2018 Registration link.

We had more than 200 registered attendees for the conference.


WikiConference North America offered $500 scholarships to offset the travel and/or lodging expenses of select attendees to this conference. Scholarship applications were due August 22, 2018. The Wiki Education Foundation also offered a separate scholarship process for academics submitting presentations under the Academic Peer Review Option.

Please visit the conference wiki page for more information.


Submissions for a workshop, seminar, tutorial, panel, or presentation were open through August 22, 2018 (with an extension period added).

Please visit the conference wiki page for more information.


  • Theme: possibility/posibilidad/possibilité.
  • Colors: gray and red


  • Wikidata's 6th birthday is 29 October
  • Open Access Week is 22-28 October


Tech, Wikidata and Hackathon Day[edit]

Slides - Introduction

Schedule - Tech Day schedule

The pre-conference Tech Day was attended by more than 50 people, and consisted of a Hackathon and Wikidata training to commemorate Wikidata's 6th birthday.

Andrew Lih led a workshop for Wikidata beginners, and Alex Stinson from the Wikimedia Foundation followed with more advanced Wikidata query and SPARQL. A NIOSH Emerging Technologies edit-a-thon was held in the afternoon, which included participants from the CDC and related agencies.

The day's full results can be found on Wikiconference 2018 - Hackathon.

Culture Crawl Day[edit]

See the extended GLAM newsletter report

Slides - Introduction and day's events

Schedule - Culture Crawl Day

This year's event in Columbus, Ohio, ahead of the main conference at Ohio State University, was spearheaded by a team led by Maria Rimmel and en:User:Fuzheado to establish a day of tours and events with the purpose of connecting participants from around the world with cultural institutions in Columbus. Hosted at the Columbus Metropolitan Library main branch, activities included:

  • An all-day edit-a-thon at the CML
  • Introduction to Wikipedia for Librarians by Merrilee Proffitt of OCLC, with 15-20 attendees
  • Upload-a-thon to upload public domain images from the library led by Jim Hayes
  • Wikidata tools training led by Andrew Lih
  • Wiki Education Foundation focus group meeting

From that location in the heart of downtown Columbus, more than 80 participants fanned out to the Ohio Statehouse, State Library of Ohio, James Thurber House, Orton Geological Museum and Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum for tours, photography and editing activities. The main meetup coordination page can be found at en:Wikipedia:Meetup/Columbus/WCNA_Columbus_Edit-a-thon_2018

Among the notable outcomes include:

  • Creation of a new Wikidata item, article and photo collection about the Topiary Park, a replica of the famous George Seurat painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte using shrubbery. The park claims it is the only horticultural work of its kind that replicates a painting in real life.
  • The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum treated visitors to a backstage tour of their collections, showing them rare items like original Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes strips. The museum staff worked closely with editors to provide resources and images for the editathon, where editors improved articles on cartoonists in their collections, including creating a new article on early 20th century Austrian cartoonist Karl Pommerhanz. This was also the start of an ongoing collaboration to use Wikidata to ingest and display biographical data on thousands of artists in their collections.

Wikidata tools for GLAM Culture Crawl[edit]

During the edit-a-thon, a number of Wikidata-oriented tools were shown for editing and uploading images to Commons, including:

  • TABernacle (link) - This revamped tool from Magnus Manske supports live interactive editing of multiple Wikidata items in a table format. It can load a SPARQL query or a manual list of Q numbers to provide a more coherent way to examine many items at once. For an example of a set to edit all local Columbus, Ohio museums, see this link. Another example, to work with all women cartoonists, can be seen on the coordination page.
  • WikiShootMe (link) - This is a map-based tool that works on mobile to show all the Wikidata items around you, identifying the ones that need a photo with a red circle.
  • PictureThis (link) - Like WikiShootMe, this is a mobile friendly tool/web page that shows what Wikidata items near you have photos or not. (You can also interactively search Wikidata items by label name to upload to specific Wikidata items.) But even more powerful, you can do "one click" uploading of images to add your photo to Commons while also adding it as the photo to a Wikidata item. It is very fast, as no licensing page or description for the image is needed. This is easily one of the most convenient ways for mobile users to contribute to Wikidata/Wikimedia projects.

A full set of photos from the day can be found on Wikimedia Commons - WikiConference_North_America_2018_Culture_Crawl

Wikidata Birthday Reception[edit]

The day was capped by an evening reception at Ohio State University, in the Buckeye Reading Room to commemorate Wikidata's 6th Birthday, which also served as an opening party for the conference. University Vice Provost and Director of the OSU Library Damon Jaggars gave an opening speech to welcome attendees and officially start the conference.

Main program[edit]

Slides - Introduction and Keynote speakers

Schedule - Main program

The main program started on Saturday morning with an introduction and three keynote speakers:

Programming was based on submissions in the general track and academic track which was peer reviewed via a separate system led by professor Bob Cummings.

On the final day, the conference concluded with an all-hands sharing session on the top floor of the library and a brief discussion about plans for 2019.


Organizing team:

Culture Crawl coordinators:

Grant coordinators:

Hosting venue coordinator:

Scholarship committee: