Wikimedia Conference 2011/Documentation/Common Projects II: Wiki loves monuments

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Presentation slides (English)

Common Projects II: Wiki loves monuments[edit]

Wiki loves monuments.jpg
Introduced by: Lodewijk
Description: Wiki Loves Monuments 2011 is a public photo contest around monuments, organized by Wikimedia chapters. In 2010 this was organized for the first time in the Netherlands , and in 2011 it will be organized in several European countries. For more information, see: Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2011.


  • Windmills: Hot topic in 2007, 1300 articles could be written, 1300 pictures could be taken.
  • Next step: monuments (not memorials) like churches, old houses and so forth.
    • There are 60.000 of these structures in the Netherlands
    • Great need for volunteers, help form the municipality
    • Lists of possible objects were used as basis for a one-month competition

The competition: Wiki loves Art[edit]

  • The Commons upload form was stripped of the more complicated form options for the special competition.
  • There was a Flickr group, as well.

Results; 250 participants, 8.000 monuments, 12.500 photos

Lessons learned

  • upload needs to be easy
  • attractive objects
  • nearby objects
  • Wikipedia
  • take care of the results

The future plans: 2011[edit]

  • WM Netherlands published timelines and lessons learned in order to help other chapters
  • WLM goes Europe
  • Each chapter has to adapt the project to their own national (legal) contexts (freedom of panorama etc.)
What you need[edit]
  • Yourself!
  • partners (government, publicity, sponsors)
  • object lists are critical! People must be given the opportunity to pick the objects they like.
  • a litte budget
  • communication


Q (Canada): Was a bot used to acquire the data for the list?
A: There was an Excel-process (mostly manually)
Q: Interest triggering?
A: The interest was there, we amplified it.
Q: What about technical requirements?
A: We tried to help the people involved.

Q (Nairobi): We checked out your (Dutch) rules. Could you please translate them into English?
A: It's actually on Commons already. Check it out.
Q: Who did the programming for you?
A: A very active programmer. It just cost us a Wikipedia mug.

Q: Was the contest promoted as such from the beginning?
A: Yes.
Q: How was the jury composed?
A: There was a renowned photographer, another Wikipedian photographer and others. A mix of expert.
Q: Would these people do it again for other countries?
A: Supposedly, each country needs to have their own judges.

Q: What about architecture, regarding licenses?
A: Make sure that whatever objects you focus on you oblige the rules of your country. This is important. The question cannot be 
answered in a generic way.
A: France for instance doen't have freedom of panorama. We tried to lobby about this problem. Information material was published, 
saying which objects were listed but not free to be photographed.
Q (Finland): Government organisations in Finland have problems handing out such lists, even though these should be public. What to 
do, if the large scale project is impossible to organise?   

Q (India): How difficult was the problem that Wikimedia COmmons is not too well known?
A: It wasn't to hard. We didn't try to explain WIkimedia Commons. Those who were interested and didn't know looked Commons up by 
themselves. There were a lot of people who subsequently figured that the idea of free licensing makes sense.

Q: How to pick the winners, by quality or quantity?
A: We applied both criteria. The photographer of the most objects also won a little price. The jury, however, chose the winner 
according to quality.

Q: What kind of information did you require people to include in the upload form?
A: Every document has a unique monument number, which had to be filled in.

Q: What about the costs required?
A: Basically, you can make it as expensive as you like or vice versa. It all depends on the scale of the project, nationally. 

Q: Which monument standards should be used?
A: The idea is to use the definition of monuments as in use by your governments. Don't pick the Netherland ones!

Q: How are taken pictures labeled on these lists?
A: If there's a blank spot, there's not photo.

Q: Grading or jury decision?
A: Well, good idea! Both is possible, whatever works best for your country.

Q: How do we get maximum usage of the images in worldwide wikipedias?
A: At least 8.000 of the 12.500 photos have already been used. The communities seem to take of that themselves.

Q: Is the used template on Commons for the Netherland competition only?
A: It can be used universally.
  • This year the Netherlands will have a cooperation with a national heritage organisation. That will enable them to get in contact with the people e.g. living in houses that are monuments.
  • One outreach idea is to get in contact with amateur photographer organisations. Don't forget the online photo community (Flickr and others)!

French experiences: What a chapter can do

  • get people to sites that are closed
  • organise workshops about licensing, if you're in a comfortable money position.
  • Leaflets can be produced. Try to engage the community, there are experts.
  • Prduce merchandise (caps, armbands...), which is not meant as a price or award, but a sort of identifier for the images.
  • booklets as offline reference
  • partner with Open Street Maps, 4square and other potential partners
  • develop Apps for the purpose

11 September 2011 is world monument day. If we had a leaflet to project at every monument that would be awesome.

Q (Italy): It is actually forbidden to take pictures of monuments in Italy. Moreover, there doesn't seem to exist a comprehensive 
list of monuments. There are local lists at best. Nobody knows the guidelines! There is a hostile environment toward this kind of 
action. What to do? Is there a possibility of recycling the system of others?
A: Copyright is indeed a problem in Italy.
A: Again, lobbying is possible. Imagine the whole of Europe loving Wiki loves Monument - except for Italy. This would exert 
A (Sweden): Maybe journalists would be grateful for such a disussion/turn in the copyright restriction.
A (Chile): The Italian problem holds true for Chile, as well. We can take the pictures, but we are not allowed to upload them to 
Commons. We are working on it.
A (Hongkong): Hongkong laws are pretty liberal regarding this. We will probably pick up a community project, that goes further. 
Hongkong is very well documented already.

This should not exclusively be about monuments in the future. Take it further!

Please check out Wiki Loves Monuments on Commons You'll find a mailing list there! Join!

Also, find the Netherland presentation on the subject here on Commons.