Commons:ISA Tool

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Add structured data to files on Commons in an easy and fun way!

ISA Structured Data logo
ISA Structured Data logo

Go to the ISA Tool
ISA is a fun, multilingual, mobile-first microcontributions tool, that makes it easy for (groups of inexperienced) people to add structured data to images on Wikimedia Commons.

With ISA, you can choose a pre-defined set of images on Commons and then ask contributors to 'tag' these with multilingual structured metadata. Points are counted for each contribution, and therefore it is possible to organize 'tagging' or microcontributions competitions or challenges with ISA.

ISA was originally built to provide better multilingual and structured descriptions of Wiki Loves Africa images. But it is also developed to be useful to all of the Wiki Loves X competitions, and eventually ended up being meant for all media files on Wikimedia Commons.

ISA was developed as a collaboration between Wiki In Africa, Histropedia and the Structured Data on Commons project. It is a GLAM pilot for Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons. The ongoing facilitation and communications for the ISA Tool is by the Wiki In Africa team.

How it works?

The tool is designed to be a host of small competitions!
Wikimedians (organizers) can create campaigns to improve one or several specific categories of images on Wikimedia Commons, within a certain time frame. Information is provided on the tool to easily turn this campaign into a little competition.
Then wikimedians (participants) use the tool to improve descriptions of the images included in the said campaign.

The tool provides stats that allow to identify the best contributors to the said campaign real time. Participation info is provided in a nice visual format that can be directly used to include in the organizer report or used to communicate the outcome of the competition on social media, turning the campaign into a communication tool!

Data about participation’s also available for download into cvs format for any further statistical uses.

Visit ISA Manuals for Players and Coordinators for more details.

Tool Development

The first version of the tool was announced during Wikimania 2019.

The tool was further improved during a R&D project in 2022-23. See 2022-2023 R&D Project: Computer-aided Tagging

An hackathon was organized in January 2024 to improve the tool : m:Event:Wiki Mentor Africa Hackathon 2024.

The tool's source code can be found here:

ISA on News

Diff article (13 March 2024)
m:Event:Wiki Mentor Africa Hackathon 2024 (19-21 Jan 2024)
GlamWiki thread on Twitter about Structured Data on Commons pilot projects (March 2020)
Introducing ISA – a cool tool for adding structured data on Commons (Nov 2019)
GLAM Newsletter (April 2019)

TRANSLATION: Home Page on TranslateWiki
PHABRICATOR: Phabricator project page
STATS: Commons:ISA Tool/Stats

One of ISA achievements..

ISA received the coolest tool WikidataCon 2019 Award!

What does the name "ISA" mean?

'Isa' is the chiShona language word for 'put' or 'place', but it can also serve as an acronym for Information Structured Acceleration, Information Structure Additions and more.

Developer Credits

Involved in the initial development

Involved in additional development (2022-23)
  • Beat Estermann - Project Coordinator
  • Eugene Egbe (contractor WMSE) - Software Development
  • Matthias Ruediger (BFH) - Software Development
  • Navino Evans (contractor WMSE) - Software Project Manager / Software Architect
  • Sebastian Sigloch (SWITCH) - Representative Funding Institution
  • Sebastian Berlin (WMSE) - Software Development
  • André Costa (WMSE) - Coordination on the side of WMSE
  • Florence Devouard (contractor WMSE) - Community Outreach

Involved in additional development (2023-24)

ISA Tool usercases

The following usercases are fictitious to help you think of how ISA tool can help you as a campaign coordinator or a player, and to be honest, there are many more creative ideas beyond these.

Example : Wiki Loves Africa 2014 in Nigeria Edit-a-thon.
The Nigerian community organizes a campaign using ISA to enhance descriptions of images from Wiki Loves Africa 2014. A coordinator sets up a one-day campaign for a Saturday edit-a-thon. Only one category will be listed in the tool: Category:Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2014 in Nigeria.Participants compete to improve image descriptions during a dedicated hour. The coordinator monitors participation stats in real-time. Top 5 participant Winners are declared, and prizes are awarded. A Facebook post shares results, and participants can download participation data for further analysis.

Example : French-speaking Editors Drive
French-speaking editors initiate a campaign to improve structured descriptions of Wiki Loves Africa 2015 images from French-speaking countries.

Example : Environmental Awareness Campaign
A global environmental organization plans to run a campaign using ISA to enhance metadata for images related to environmental issues. The campaign aims to involve participants worldwide in tagging and improving descriptions for images of endangered species, pollution, and conservation efforts. Coordinators create the campaign, set specific categories, and encourage participants to contribute to raising awareness about environmental challenges.

Example : Language Diversity Initiative
A language diversity initiative is launched to improve metadata for images featuring cultural events, traditions, and historical landmarks. Coordinators set up campaigns targeting specific language communities to enrich the multilingual structured data on Wikimedia Commons. Participants contribute by adding captions and depictions in various languages, enhancing the global representation of cultural content.

Example : Educational Institution Engagement
An educational institution collaborates with ISA to engage students in a metadata enhancement campaign. The institution creates a campaign focused on images relevant to its curriculum, encouraging students to participate in tagging and describing educational content. The campaign fosters collaboration between students and educators, creating a valuable educational experience while contributing to Wikimedia Commons.

Example : Seasonal Photography Contest
ISA is utilized for a seasonal photography contest, where participants contribute to enhancing metadata for images captured during specific seasons. Coordinators organize campaigns for different seasons, encouraging participants to add detailed captions and depict. The contest generates enthusiasm among photographers and metadata enthusiasts, creating a vibrant community engagement.