Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Deutschland/May 2014

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Zedler Prize for Free Knowledge[edit]

This year’s Zedler Prize award ceremony was held on May 24 in Frankfurt am Main. The Zedler Prize pays tribute to the outstanding work of all those involved with Wikimedia projects in their free time on a daily basis, such as Wikipedia for Free Knowledge. Three awards in the categories of “Best Wikipedia Article”, “Best Community Project” and “Best External Knowledge Project” honor their efforts. Details about the nominees and prizewinners, plus photos of the award ceremony, can be found via the above link or in this blog entry. Congratulations and another big THANK YOU from us at Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE)!

Funding Program for Free Knowledge (FFW[edit]

Following the third FFW workshop, the prototype for the idea portal at went online in May. The project ideas presented here are real, meaning that you can comment, vote and of course contribute your own ideas.

Photography projects[edit]

Volunteers were again on the move with their cameras in May to take photos of events for Wikimedia projects. Here is a small selection of the events that were photographed.

General assembly and Open Sunday[edit]

This year our 14th general assembly was held in Frankfurt am Main. A short review can be found here in the blog. The Open Sunday featured discussions on topics such as the FFW, Women Edit, Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM), and incentive systems for sharing knowledge on the internet.

Community events[edit]

In May we supported numerous face-to-face get-togethers for volunteers (by funding their travel costs, for example) and/or helped out with the organization:

  • May 1 to 4: Wikipedians in Seifhennersdorf
  • May 3: Jury meeting for the 20th writing contest
  • May 9 to 11: Hackathon (ten travel grants awarded)
  • May 10: Organizational meeting for WikiCon 2014
  • May 10: 3rd Wikipedian Salon, Topic: “Wikipedia – Lies or truth?”“
  • May 10: Women Edit
  • May 10 to 11: Wiktionary meeting at the Berlin office
  • May 17: Local get-together for Lower Franconia in Aschaffenburg
  • May 24: Local get-together for the Ruhr in Gelsenkirchen
  • May 28 to June 1: Advanced training course on image editing for Wikipedia photographers in Cuxhave
  • May 31 to June 1: Wikipedia stand at the Streetlife Festival and Corso Leopold in Munich
  • May 31: Edit-a-thon on the subject of “Women in Science” within the Berlin community space

Because the communities carried out so many funded activities in May, this monthly report gives a brief overview only. A full and detailed report can be found here.

Women Edit[edit]

The Women Edit project has become established as a monthly get-together for female editors. On May 7, ten women met in our Berlin office to edit German and English-language Wikipedia articles. The first pilot project as part of the Women Edit venture was launched on May 31 with the edit-a-thon on the subject of “Women in Science.” The event was prepared and supervised by three Wikipedia writers who are members of the WikiWomen network and who support women both online and offline in getting started with Wikipedia. The WikiWomen network is also organizing a workshop that is to be held in Dortmund in June. Silvia Stieneker is happy to answer any queries.

Wiki Dialogue[edit]

The first Wiki Dialogue got off to a successful start. The user Plani initiated a time-restricted dialogue on “Quality in Wikipedia.” Twenty-five Wikipedians are already discussing the topic. If you wish to take part in the dialogue, please feel free to do so. Background: Wiki Dialogues are online meetings where participants can swap ideas on topics relating to Wikipedia and its sister projects to pool their expertise and skills. The online meetings are based on cMOOCs, which are open online workshop-style meetings. For any further questions relating to Wiki Dialogue, please contact Julia Kloppenburg or Dirk Franke.

The latest on software development[edit]

The technical wish list is being voted upon by the community. It’s coming along nicely!


MS Wissenschaft (MS Science)[edit]

The Science Year 2014 – The Digital Society is in full swing. The MS Wissenschaft has also been picking up speed since May 6 and is underway with its exhibit “The Wikipedia Principle: Free Data, Free Knowledge.” On the evening before the start of the tour, the joint exhibit of the Open Knowledge Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland was presented to keen Tweeters at the Science Tweet-Up and made a good impression, as this blog article confirms. On May 30, WMDE was again invited onboard the MS Wissenschaft. Supervisory board member Jürgen Friedrich invited us to the event “Get on board – the MS Wissenschaft and Wikipedia in Bremen.” He spoke to the guests and Wikipedia contributors about Wikipedia and science.

Digital Competences series[edit]

Also as part of the Science Year 2014, the launch of the Digital Competences series was announced. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Wikimedia Deutschland will dedicate five evenings to the skills and competences that are important for the individual in the digital society. The first event dealt with the subject of “Data protection – an underappreciated digital competence?” and was held on June 23 at 9 p.m. at the WMDE offices.

GLAM on Tour in Upper Lusatia[edit]

Thirty Wikimedia contributors from Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany met in Seifhennersdorf to document the Upper Lusatian houses that are unique to this region. The Volunteer Support Department assisted in the organization of the four-day event. The Politics and Society Department helped to plan the content of the event by providing material, lists of monuments (for the first time under free license) and literature on Upper Lusatian houses, via our partners from the Glam on Tour station from last November, the Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences and the Kreisarchiv Zittau (Zittau local archive). Facts:

  • May 1 to 4 (follow-up from Görlitz 2013)
  • Volunteers: WikiAnika/GLAM cooperative partners Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences & Kreisarchiv Zittau (Zittau local archive)
  • Photo safari
  • Resulted in 1,664 photos
  • Thirty participants from four countries

Link to the project page:

GLAM on Tour in Bonn[edit]

Raymond Spekking gave a talk in Bonn to 25 employees of the Art and Exhibition Hall and of the Museum of the Rhineland as part of the cooperation agreement signed in March about free licenses and how they can subsequently be used in Wikimedia projects. Facts:

  • May 9
  • Volunteers: Raymond / GLAM’s cooperation partner The Art and Exhibition Hall
  • 25 participants
  • Talk on free licenses

Other links:,_Bundeskunsthalle_Bonn,_Mai_2014.pdf

Editing outer space[edit]

The first highlight of our cooperation was an edit-a-thon on topics concerning outer space in Bonn’s Art and Exhibition Hall. Taking part were ten Wikipedians, seven museum employees and a professor from the Argelander Institute for Astronomy. The Art and Exhibition Hall provided an extensive reference library. Talks were given on the upcoming “Outer Space” exhibition and on the local Argelander Institute for Astronomy. The supporting program featured three guided tours of the building’s fascinating architecture and of the current exhibitions. Facts:

  • May 17 to 18
  • Volunteers: Raymond / Art and Exhibition Hall
  • 18 participants
  • Writing workshop & behind-the-scenes tours
  • 21 new articles, five article amendments, several photos

Link to the project website: Outer Space_(Bundeskunsthalle) Outlook for June:

  • June 13: Wikipedia get-together at Südwestrundfunk (SWR) with volunteers and SWR editorial staff
  • June 27 to 29: GLAM on Tour stop-off in Braunschweig with photo excursion, a behind-the-scenes tour and a writing contest


OER Conference 2014[edit]

We acquired a new sponsor for the OER Conference 2014 #OERde14 in the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb). Our cooperation with the bpb shows that reputable institutions are now committing to open educational resources. This cooperative venture is designed to broaden the discourse surrounding free knowledge in education and to better improve the parameters for it in Germany. In concrete terms, the funding means that we can plan a larger conference than the one held in 2013. Last year’s attendance of 250 participants is expected to increase to up to 500 in 2014. Contributions can still be submitted up until June 17 – anyone who wishes to participate in the conference can now register.

OER Sprint[edit]

The OER Sprint was held on May 5 in the run-up to re:publica, whereby more than a dozen volunteers collaborated to compile educational material on the subject of the digital society. The results are linked to the blog report. At the re:publica itself, Sebastian Horndasch gave a Lightning Talk on Open Educational Resources and promoted the #OERde14. Draft amendment to Section 5 of the German Copyright Act Stefan Wehrmeyer (Open Knowledge Foundation), Ansgar Koreng (JBB Rechtsanwälte) and Mathias Schindler (WMDE) spoke for half an hour at re:publica about copyright laws as censorship, i.e. abusing the copyright law to suppress information, particularly from government sources. The motivation for the speeches was the official warning that the operators of the freedom of information website received from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI). It raises the suspicion that it is no longer about copyright protection, but rather to cover up an embarrassing situation. On the panel, we as Wikimedia championed a reform of Section 5 of the German Copyright Act to exclude more state-owned works from copyright protection than have been up to now, in order to prevent this law being misused to serve other extraneous purposes. The reform proposal is the result of our study on state-owned works in 2013, where we examined the reason why government institutions have until now been particularly reluctant to allow their content to be reused. Our proposal uses the scope of the Revised Berne Convention to deny copyright protection for state-owned works.

Joining forces for Brussels in Berlin[edit]

The increasingly international re:publica was used for a short networking get-together of international NGO representatives at our Berlin offices. Twenty-five web activists, including ones from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now and the Open Knowledge Foundation, discussed the current and imminent legislative initiatives in Brussels with representatives from Wikimedia. Similar face-to-face meetings for us to bounce ideas off one another will in the future be significantly expanded and more structured under the guidance of European Digital Rights (EDRi), in order to better deal with subjects such as freedom of information and copyright laws in the next legislative period of the European Parliament, primarily thanks to an improved division of responsibilities.

ECJ ruling / Monsters of Law[edit]

On May 12, we hosted the section edition of Monsters of Law in our offices. The speaker this time was Berlin lawyer Thorsten Feldmann speaking on the subject of “Data protection vs. Freedom of speech.” A series of concrete examples were used to illustrate how the two areas may clash with one another, on the review website for teachers, for example, or the web blog of an esteemed media journalist which is open for comments. Another example was added to the list just a day later; with the ECJ Google Spain ruling, which has since been dubbed in the press as the “right to be forgotten.” The problematic nature of receiving requests for Wikipedia entries to be deleted due to data protection reasons is currently being discussed with the WMF.

Additional information[edit]

Looking back at re:publica[edit]

Into the wild – we were there with our Data Filling Station. An extended review of re:publica 2014 in our blog.

Exhibits, exhibits![edit]

Two of our software development projects were on view to the public in May. The above-mentioned Data Filling Station was presented at re:publica, to which we contributed the inner workings of our software. Cruising along the rivers and canals on the route of the MS Wissenschaft, this Wikimedia Deutschland exhibit was built based on the Wikipedia database, OpenStreetMap and our graph database CatGraph.

WMDE on location: re:publica and MS Wissenschaft[edit]

Debate surrounding the book market[edit]

As part of the special event “An ABC of Free Knowledge”, we invited guests on May 22 to a talk about the future of the book market. Author Kathrin Passig, literary editor Uwe Naumann (Rowohlt) and Volker Oppmann, who initiated the log.os project, discussed open standards for hardware and software to move away from dominant market players such as Amazon. Anyone who couldn’t make it to the talk had the chance to follow the evening on the Wikimedia YouTube channel. An edited version will follow.

Wikimedia Hackathon in Zürich[edit]

The entire software development team took part in the very successful (and very enjoyable) Wikimedia Hackathon, the international meet for the developer community of the Wikiuniverse. Our thoughts and impressions of the event are detailed in this blog entry.


The Volunteer Support Department welcomes two new employees. Since May 1, Birgit Müller has been project manager, responsible for the communication of technical and administrative innovations. Veronika Krämer joined us on May 15 as volunteer support team assistant, and is responsible for processing funding requests. The evaluation team also expanded on May 1. Christof Pins will evaluate WMDE projects and develop tools to aid evaluation. With Jan Apel, who has been working in media and public relations since May 15, our communications team is now also complete.