Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2011/Etherpad/WLM 2011 Summary

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The password for the network OBA-congres is OBAcongres2011.


This Etherpad is a place to gather all the issues, problems and possibilities that we encountered while organising Wiki Loves Monuments 2011 -- to be considered and discussed at the meeting in Amsterdam on December 1. Feel free to mention anything you want and please don't forget to sign your name.

The results of the discussion will be posted here on Etherpad and on Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Wikimedians in Hungary and Finland couldn't get the lists of monuments from their respective governmental cultural heritage insitutions -- how to solve this problem in the future? (Tomasz)
  1. Hungary has got the lists of monuments but couldn't get permission to publish under free licence (moreover we got this database only for time of the competition, so we should switch off our search engine these days) (Samat)
  1. Organization in Spain couldn't get many Spanish Cultural heritage monuments codes, because since some years ago, these codes are been given by Autonomous Comunities, not the Ministery, and aren't accesible on-line. These monuments weren't included these year. We should have a better contact with institutions and get their codes for next year. (Millars)
  1. In Russia, the database needs to be reworked - likely to be completed by September to some approximation. (Yaroslav)
  1. Lists in Germany are different in each place, many small lists, some unknown (Bas)
  1. In Romania there was simply no response from the authorities. Everything we used was available online. (Strainu)
  1. Did any country work together with OpenStreetMap or Creative Commons? In theory, Wikimedia Poland signed a declaration of cooperation with a local OpenStreetMap association, but they weren't organised to well (it's a new association having just been formed in May). Wikimedia Germany cooperated with CC-DE. But there were no joint actions, we just used their logo on our information material.
  1. Try coperating with the Euroregions maybe? (Tomasz, original idea by Ziko)
  1. The Pyrenees-Mediterranean euroregion sponsored a great price. There is other euroregion in Spain, Galicia-Portugal North. This could be an work point for WM-PT and WM-ES for next year, eh, Beria? ;) (Elisardojm)
  1. SJ's idea was to work together with ICOMOS [International Council of Monuments and Sites] -- but they weren't especially interested in joining the Polish WLM, althought I did call them a few times. (Tomasz)
  1. Wikimedia Deutschland has plenty of experience working with schools, WMPL had the possibility to work with them but there wasn't enough time. What do you think about that idea for a possible cooperation? (Tomasz) I believe Saint-Petersburg worked together with a school (Maarten?). From what I know, only with a Wikiproject which is oriented to the school students: (Yaroslav)
  1. What about european sponsors like Kodak, HP, IBM? (Elisardojm) We tried one of the camera companies (Maarten?).
  1. Cultural Heritage Magazine, good for PR before, during and after the contest (? Tomasz)
  1. Maybe we should try to approach an international organisation such as UNESCO or the International Youth Forum (original idea by Julia, posted here by Raul)
  1. See what religious organizations might be interesting, write a short introduction about the topic to the mailing list (original idea by Julia).
  1. As far as churches go, maybe we could work together with (Jane) (is only Dutch, and small community of volunteers, more interesting as knowledge source)

Missed possibilities[edit]

  1. The flow of ideas and technical solutions was far from good this year (for various reasons). Many countries had great ideas and solutions that would have been of use for the others, but they hadn't been shared.
    1. For instance, Portugal had a great dynamic map of monuments which could have been used in other countries, but it wasn't (and I know it was advertised on the list - several times actually).
    1. Switzerland has a handy tool at their website which lists an updated status of the contest in Switzerland. This hasn't been advertised on the mailing list.
    1. But this system had a bad point as well, people had to register on 2 places to participate (Bas)
    1. See for more great tools that haven't been used WLM-wide.
    1. There is a very good tool from WLM FR who shows you which monuments are close to your current location. ( (Béria)
      1. That's the one I meant :-) (Tomasz)
      1. There is a tool in the Netherlands which I used several times - it's a "Rijksmonument app" ( for my iPad and shows me the the monuments with or without a photo. (Jane)
      1. We need a UI defined for the API (Andre)
      1. There was a "funnel" on wiki in the German wikipedia to guide the WLM uploader to the proper identifier leading you towards your location's list (or in their case, also instructions if the list was redlinked). Maybe we could do something similar on commons? (Jane)
      1. How to make sure that all great ideas are shared between the countries next year? (Tomasz) Perhaps, if we make a technical workgroup that work in a global solution integration the best funtionalities and adding some news for all countries we could get a better result. If all the countries repeat the same work we are wasting time and strain. (Elisardojm)
      1. Activate community members on the WP projects - It's hard with all the language issues, and I am not sure where the country projects should go - a central space on commons is obvious for the instructions and so forth, but the many valuable WLM by-products include lots of potential writing inspiration to individuals on the Wikipedia projects, and these people should be activated sooner, rather than led passively afterwards to the photo repositories on commons. I am not sure how to do this, but multi-lang`uage wikiprojects may help. On the English wikipedia there are already active wikiprojects for Unesco World Heritage and one of the national heritage lists, the NRHP. In theory, WLM is applicable to any list of notable national heritage, and all you really need is the list (or not - see Germany!). (Jane)
  1. Translation of navigation in the lists (at least into English, I do not mean translation of the lists themselves), so that it would be easier to upload photos of a country with an unknown language. (Yaroslav) (Like Russia ;) )
  1. There wasn't any documentation on organising photo scavanger hunts or local events for Wiki Loves Monuments (but it was included in the timeline as a to-do task). Shouldn't we prepare something like this for next year basing on this year's experience? (Tomasz)
  • Organize meetings of interested photographers (w/ local government/organization support), give out tasks/challenges, give them a certain amount of time and upload the pictures later that day (example: "Wikipedia takes Haarlem"), don't necessarily need prizes, but have some gadgets to give to participants. (?)
  1. Wiki Loves Monuments is yet a Wikipedia-only (+Commons, but that's obvious) project. There was the idea that the Wikisource community could help with OCR-ing handwritten list that might pop out in some countries (e.g. Germany, but it won't be the only one, I guess). Shall we ask the other communities for help? (Tomasz)
  1. We definitely need to have a common system (or just a stance) on helpdesk/hotline for helping inexperienced users upload pictures & dealing with problems. Preferably on-wiki, as OTRS takes just too much time; there's a great working system on the Polish Wikipedia that might be of use. (Tomasz)
  1. A customised batch uploading tool (Commonist or another one) is a must for next year. This years' experience shows that plenty of people uploaded more than 10 photos, which is the limit for UploadWizard. (Tomasz)
    1. The 10 image limit was an arbitrary one set by Neil. It could as well have been 100 (Platonides)
      1. Is it really the case here? Wouldn't UW break if the limit would be higher? (Tomasz)
  1. Some users uploaded images with plain upload page and those images got not marked with contest template
    1. one reason for this was Mediawiki login bug ( ) (Raul)
    1. We should have had a bot scanning new uploads for descriptions matching monument ids. We should have a central list of what do they look like in the different countries (differenciate an id from another country from gibberish). (Platonides)
  1. Some users reported slowness of uploading (on the last day of contest) (Raul)
  1. The upload wizard should have contained a link to the lists with the ids we requested. (Platonides)

Other topics/ideas[edit]

  1. WLM in Russia was organised as a one-city only project -- are we going to accept such contests next year? Every country is obviously independent, but we might miss the PR effect if there will be more contests like this if Wiki Loves Monuments gets worldwide. (Tomasz)
  1. Specifically concerning Russia, I am doing my best to create the lists by September so that the nationalwide contest would be held. The problem there is generally that too many people want to manage and very few want to work. But generally I think these partial contests are better than nothing since they give some exposure to the monuments in the country. In Russia, the project got sufficient exposure, and there were complaints that the community was not properly notified, I assume next year it will be much better. (Yaroslav)
  1. That's OK, we are not complaining, merely listing the issue as an interesting thing to be discussed at the meeting :-) (Tomasz)
  1. In Spain there were involved monuments with a "Bien de Interés Cultural" category, but in Barcelona and Valencia cities also a second level protection (BCIL y BRL). Maybe next year more regions can participate with these kind of monuments, so the list and the amount of monuments will increase enormously. (Millars)
  1. In Portugal, we include (5 days before September end) the wider database of SIPA (who include the ~4k protected monuments of Portugal, and more 36k monuments without national protection) (Béria)
  1. From the second edition on, the interest might be reduced because many quality pictures already exist. Perhaps we should limit the contest to monuments without free images? (Strainu)
  1. Extending the contest to natural monuments? (Strainu)
  1. We have to revise the times of the contest. In many countries september isn't a good month to make photos, in Swiss the weather is a problem, in Spain is the return of holidays, etc. We could think in make the contest in two or three months... (Elisardojm)
  1. The activities of seek sponsors must start early in planning. Contact with institutions and companies is very hard and takes a lot of time. And for this task we need a comprehensive and goodlooking presentation that could be translated in the languages of the participating countries. (Elisardojm)
  1. Extending the contest to include Immaterial Cultural Patrimony (photos, sounds, videos) (Lijealso)
  1. Could you provide us with more details on this issue, please? What's the definition of Immaterial Cultural Patrimony so we could see if this applies to the other countries, too? (Tomasz)
  1. You could use the definition given by UNESCO: ; See also official list: ; there are also country specific lists, but they may have different specifications and some are not easy to find (Lijealso)
  1. In the German province (land) of Hesse, WMDE has granted €8000 for people to get their travel expenses back, and we have used a similar system in Poland. Isn't it an idea for the other countries to consider? (Tomasz)
  1. Communication (internal & external) has been identified as a paint point in 2010, and it wasn't any better this year. We do need a core team of 3-5 people working very closely on PR and media monitoring -- working together on international level as well as looking at what's happening in the participating countries & giving help to the local organisers. Who will be interested and is there any chance to have the chapter people working on that issue specifically? Offline promotion is of particular interest here. (Tomasz)
  1. Same for elderly organisations. (Tomasz)
  1. Interior views case? See mailing list. (Tomasz)
  1. What about an image viewer for the jury work? It would be really handy. (Bas)
  1. Image viewer for Portugal jury was mentioned in the list (Raul)
  1. There was an almost-working project created for the Polish jury but we didn't use that due to the lack of time. Might be worth a deeper look. (Tomasz)
  1. We could do some photography workshops next year (MaartenD)
  1. Provide a fact sheet that helps photographers explain what they're doing to people who are suspicious when their houses are photographed. (Elya) (Spaniards would be happy about that! -Tomasz)
  1. What NOT to do is NOT to have any other website than Wikimedia Commons asking people to register & leave their data (an original answer by Hay).
  1. Some non-wikipedians read the news and thought "I can do that" and they started to edit and they "got stuck" on Wikipedia and did other edits. Motivate people and THANK people it's really important. It's more a gesture that definitely an amount of money. (Lodewijk)
  1. We should start working on the prices immediately (or soon after) having the results of this years' competition. That's a thing that should really be considered. (Tomasz)
  1. Prepare posters & flyers, maybe cooperate with a local museum or library that have a membership base. Prepare the posters to hang in monuments and in touristic places -- but how to organise the printing & shipment? (?)
  1. Local prizes for photographs from certain cities ("It's YOUR city", local institutions/government supports it) (?)
  1. In addition to tools with popular services like Google or OSM, a partnership with a local map service provider has proved attractive to local users (original idea from the 2010 Dutch post mortem page).
  1. We *do* need better goodies next year. (Tomasz)


The international organization had a lot of different roles. First we try to sum up what roles we had and after that what we missed. This helps us to decide what kind and number of people we would need to organise this in 2012. Roles can be something really broad (coordination of something) to really practical.

Roles (this year)[edit]

  • Project manager (Lodewijk and MaartenD)
  • Technical coordinator tooling (MaartenD)
  • Partner communication (mostly MaartenD, also Lodewijk)
  • Internal communication (mostly Lodewijk, also MaartenD)
  • WMF communication (mostly Lodewijk, also MaartenD)
  • Technical coordination with WMF (MaartenD)
  • Sponsors (aaaaargh)
  • Budget (Lodewijk, Maarten lost track in January) - Funders for contest organization and prizes: International (WMNL, WMDE, WMPL, any others?) per country: WM chapters in each country and for countries with no chapter, International group or "sponsoring chapter"
  • T-Shirts (Nicole [and Tomasz a little bit.])
  • Calendars (Tomasz)
  • Jury coordination (Lodewijk)
  • Knowledge transfer (workshops & online - Lodewijk & Maarten)
  • Motivator (Lodewijk and MaartenD)
  • Webmaster tech part (Elya and also Hay)
  • Webmaster content part (MaartenD, Lodewijk, Elya, ....)
  • Statistics (tools): Nuno
  • Translations: Beria, Romaine, Basvb. and many others
  • Survey: Lodewijk mainly, Basvb, Romaine, Yaroslav
  • Commons structure: MaartenD, Basvb
  • Central notice (Beria, MaartenD, odder, basvb .....)

What we missed[edit]

  • Press communication (bits 'n pieces: Lodewijk)
  • Task management & time keeping
  • Content writers for website
  • More blog posts? Progress reports? (Yaroslav)
  • Any way to have the list of participating countries by June? (To stimulate photos during Summer break)? (Yaroslav)
  • Centralized thank you messages (similarly to what Lodewijk did in the first several days)? (Yaroslav)
  • Wishlists for monuments without photos? (Yaroslav)

Strategic goals[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation defined some strategic goals. Did Wiki Loves Monuments 2011 help to achieve them? See for more information about the strategic plan.

Stabilize infrastructure - We helped improve the upload wizard

Increase participation - We got a big number (quantify) of new users

      - Anybody up to check how many of these new users are still active (SUL)? (Yaroslav)
      - Nuno's tool can't do that? (Béria)

Improve quality - We got a lot of articles illustrated

      - We should coordinate efforts to link the prize winning pictures (where applicable) to articles in Wikipedia projects (I would for example like to see Poland's "Dutch house" linked on all participating Wikipedia's somewhere in their Wikipedia in some article on Poland. (Jane)
      - There's no way to do that. The Dutch house is not a very well known monument in Poland -- besides, Wiki Loves Monuments is there only to provide photos for Wikipedians: we should let the community decide what photos they want to see where. (Tomasz)

Increase reach - We should go Global South next year (Global South is an unfortunate expression, I recommend not to use it (Elisardojm)

IberoCoop would love to be part of it. (Béria)

Good idea (I already voted to go to Mars) (Jane) -- :-D

Global South is *the term* used to define the biggest developing countries that might have a great influence on the future of the Wikimedia movement. This isn't a negative term, it's clear enough and I don't see any reasons against using it. The WMF itself uses that term. (Tomasz)

My experience is that these countries typically do not have available monuments lists - though attemps should be made indeed. May be to relax the participation requirements for these countries.(Yaroslav)

Encourage innovation - All the monument tooling

     - Yes! I would like a "what's near here" for a monument article on Wikipedia. Many monuments are near others.

Not so easy to have it, but maybe create articles to the incredible big number of protected monuments who doesn't have articles?(Beria) As the fist step, just identify and prioritize these. (Yaroslav) Agree, and priority should be given to the WLM prize winners, since those are great illustrations. (Jane)