Wikimedia Foundation Annual Report 2009-10/Case studies
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A year of stories and innovation
Usability initiative: editing made easier
Among our top priorities this past year was making Wikipedia easier for newcomers to edit. Thanks to grants from the Stanton and Ford Foundations, we launched our usability initiative, a large-scale collaborative effort based on studies with everyday readers who had no prior editing experience.
By listening to them, we have been able to implement a number of changes that improve Wikipedia’s look and feel, including improvements to the navigation and search functionality, and a significantly simplified editing screen with built-in help and assistants for common tasks. We used the opportunity of a design refresh to implement an upgrade to the ubiquitous Wikipedia puzzle globe, which is now rendered as a fully three dimensional icon.
Late in 2010, with the support of the Ford Foundation, we launched a new upload wizard in beta to facilitate the contribution of multimedia entries to Wikimedia Commons, which now contains almost ten million images, videos, and audio works that enhance all of our free knowledge projects (data from March 2011).
One camera: documenting Czech culture
One small grant of $1,500 USD from the Foundation to the regional Wikimedia Czech Republic chapter last year triggered an amazing effort by people using a single DSLR camera to take thousands of photos of municipalities, castles, nature reserves, rivers, and other landmarks
With additional help from the Foundation to support travel, Czech volunteers have undertaken a remarkable collaborative effort to document the country's social, political, and cultural history. This is one of many small grants we awarded to support program work globally.
Tropenmuseum: reclaiming history
The Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam has numerous exhibits, objects, and images from the former Dutch colonies of Indonesia and Surinam. As part of an unprecedented collaboration with the Dutch Wikimedia chapter, the museum is uploading copies of some of their historical images to Wikimedia Commons.
Wikimedians are organizing and cataloging the images, and also improving their quality. Longtime Wikimedian Durova has been undertaking the meticulous job of retouching photos, removing scratches, and restoring the images to the highest quality possible.
The Indonesian Wikimedia chapter plans to translate the annotations on cultural artifacts and images into local languages. This will allow the Indonesian public to participate in reclaiming a part of its past that until now has only been accessible half a world away in Amsterdam.