Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2018/FAQ

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WLM 2018 Participating countries Uploaded images Organizers FAQ Help desk For organizers

Questions about the project[edit]

What is Wiki Loves Monuments?[edit]

Wiki Loves Monuments is a public photo competition in which readers and contributors of Wikipedia are asked to take pictures of monuments from participating countries and to upload them to Wikimedia Commons. The contest was first organized in 2010 in the Netherlands and is nowadays organized in dozens of countries around the world. Wiki Loves Monuments has collected some 2 million photos over the past years that can be used on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, and is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest photography competition in the world.

What is the scope of this project?[edit]

The photo competition focuses on built heritage. Photographers, hobbyists and heritage enthousiasts are invited to submit photos of buildings that are on the lists of built heritage that are available through Wikipedia and Wikidata. Wiki Loves Monuments is organized in dozens of countries, and the definition of what constitutes a 'monument' differs a lot. The national organizers are responsible for finding the most suitable definition for their country, usually this is an official list of protected or recognized heritage provided by the government. Images can only be submitted of monuments in 'participating countries'.
There are, however, several general recommendations which are common for all participating countries in order to make the contests compatible with each other; these recommendations (or rules) will be outlined below.

Who's behind it?[edit]

Wiki Loves Monuments exists of many national competitions, and is on a national level typically organized by the members of the local Wikimedia community with the help from local Wikimedia affiliates. In some countries heritage enthousiasts and heritage organizations have taken up an active role in organizing the competition.
The competition is facilitated on an international level by the Wiki Loves Monuments International Team and supported by volunteers around the world. This team develops and maintains the infrastructure that is used by national teams (for example, tools for finding monuments and judging) and ensures a smooth international finale.
All in all, Wiki Loves Monuments is organized by hundreds of volunteers around the world.

Can I get some quick facts about the contest?[edit]

Sure! You can find an overview of all countries participating in the various years, with the number of submissions per countries on this overview page. We summarized the main information in a table on Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments.

Can I upload pictures from more than one country?[edit]

Yes! You are free to upload as many pictures as you want, from as many countries as you want — as long as they participate in Wiki Loves Monuments this year.
There are no restrictions on the number of national contests you can take part in; if you happen to have pictures from other countries (even if they were taken in the past), you can submit them to the competition and increase your chances to win a prize!

Organisational questions[edit]

My country would like to participate. Am I too late?[edit]

Wiki Loves Monuments is organized in September. The earlier you start with organizing, the better job you can do. It depends a bit on the country how much work needs to be done to set up a minimum competition - especially finding and publishing the monument lists can be time consuming for the first time. Please contact the international team if you want to get an estimate of whether you could still join.
If you want to know when to start - earlier is better! You can take a look at our detailed time-line, but that is for a full effort organization, and in an ideal world. Most countries that join for the first time, need a couple of months to involve volunteers, start partnerships and find sponsors, prepare the lists of monuments and set up proper categories on Wikimedia Commons.
If you feel like doing it in your country, the sooner you start, the better. The end of April is a nice aim to get seriously started. Sometimes you can still join well into August, but this heavily depends on your country, and requires your team to invest more time in a tight timespan.

How do I get involved?[edit]

It's really simple, easy, and fun! If you want to organize a Wiki Loves Monuments in your area, please have a look at the list of participating countries; if you find your country already on the list, please contact the contact person that is listed, and get involved with them! They usually appreciate all the help they can get.
However, if your country is not yet on the list, it usually means that there wasn't yet enough interest or volunteer capacity in organizing a Wiki Loves Monuments. Now is your chance to initiate the competition! A good first step is to get in touch with the international team, to see if anyone else has already privately shown interest from your country. That way you can be put in touch, and join efforts. You can also take a look at this documentation page of what is needed to organize Wiki Loves Monuments in your country. You can also subscribe to the international discussion mailing list and introduce yourself there. This is an excellent place to ask questions and help. Definitely subscribe to the Wiki Loves Monuments announcement mailing list which is without elaborate discussions, but focuses on the most important messages, especially closer to the competition.
You don't need to be a member of your local Wikimedia chapter to organize a Wiki Loves Monuments in your country, but if there is a chapter in your area, please try to approach them and get their support! On the other hand, if you are a member of your local Wikimedia chapter, please make sure to involve the community in the project as much as possible — you will definitely need their help in completing the lists of monuments, correcting the likely mistakes, and in many more aspects of the preparations.

I think I need help. How can you support me?[edit]

First of all, thank you for having the courage to ask for help. There is a lot of experience by now, and we all would like to see you succeed. The international team can help you with several things, especially those related to the technical part of the preparations: We will set up a basic infrastructure for you for uploading and judging images, and can help you with preparing your local website, monument lists and tools.
We can also help out with a trademark agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation (in case your country does not have a Wikimedia Chapter and you want to use any Wikimedia trademarks in the promotion of your local contest). We can also advise on who you can approach for possible partnerships (although mostly in Europe).
In addition, if you feel that a brainstorming meeting in your country with one of us present would be helpful, too, please let us know, and we'll try to help; we have some budget available to accommodate in case your chapter or local Wikimedia group has no funds.
If you have a very specific request, please also have a look at the who's who page to see whom you might directly contact about your needs. You can always leave questions at our Helpdesk.

How many winning photos are there in a local Wiki Loves Monuments?[edit]

Every national competition decides how many photos they can and want to reward with a prize. It's really all up to you! To give an example, in the 2011 edition there were 22 winning pictures in Belgium, and at the same time, the Romanian jury decided to name only 3 winners.
However, for convenience, fairness and compatibility reasons, each country can submit up to 10 nominations to the international level of the competition; most of the time, these are the local winners and, whenever applicable, some other pictures (often called honorable mentions) as decided by the local jury.

Is it obligatory to register a top-level wikilovesmonuments.TLD domain?[edit]

The short answer is: "No."
You can set up your "landing page" on a dedicated website like , or on a page on Wikimedia Commons like Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 in the United States. However, if your local Wikimedia chapter or group can afford buying the top-level domain of your country, we would strongly suggest to do so; even if you would be using another domain, you could prevent the TLD from unpleasant cybersquatting (which has already happened for some countries).
If you cannot register a top-level domain in your country due to other issues — for instance because there is no Wikimedia chapter in the country or the existing chapter or group cannot afford buying a domain or hosting — please bring the problem to our attention by directly contacting the international team; there is no clearly defined procedure on how to deal with such situations, but we'll definitely try to help.

How to set up a website for my country?[edit]

Most of the national teams use either a Wordpress blog or a page on Wikimedia Commons. We created a Wiki Loves Monuments theme on Wordpress that you can use, and you can reuse a page from another country that you appreciate if you want to stick to Wikimedia Commons. All the details on how to set up the Wordpress website are available in our PDF document. For questions, please refer to the mailing list.
Some countries like to use a dedicated MediaWiki installation, the software that powers this very website. There is a WikiLovesMonuments extension for MediaWiki which bundles some WLM information and adds a sidebar portlet with links to websites of the other participating countries.

There is more than one language used in my country, how do I deal with that?[edit]

Organizing a Wiki Loves Monuments in a country with more than one official language would, of course, require some additional effort, especially with translations. In fact, this situation has already happened since 2011 (Belgium and Switzerland), to nd there is some experience we can share.
The biggest problem (or "opportunity") would be to create identical lists in two or more languages and publish them on appropriate Wikipedias; the only requirement is to use the same monument identifiers on all lists (the rest of the information can be localized). Please ask on the Help desk for more information.
The upload process itself, which uses UploadWizard and a Wiki Loves Monuments overlay, is fully translatable into as many languages as it is required. In 2011, every country had UploadCampaigns in its official language (or languages) and an English language for non-native speakers who might have wanted to take part in the competition. Translations are prepared by volunteers, including local organizers, and posted to Wikimedia Commons with help from the administrators; a similar scheme is being used to prepare CentralNotice banners on Meta.

What are suggested partners for a local Wiki Loves Monuments?[edit]

Choosing partners for a local Wiki Loves Monuments is one of the most important things that every country should decide on by itself, and we can only advise you about whom you could contact. There are too many differences between how cultural heritage sectors are organized from country to country.
There are basically three types of partners one can imagine:
  1. Governmental partners — you will need to compile a list of monuments, and getting an official list from your government with as much detail as possible would be very helpful. Cooperating with them could be extra useful for both sides, too, because people will more likely find mistakes in the original lists that could be reported back to the partner. Some countries were able to start a collaboration where they invited their participants to give feedback to the government what is missing from the monument lists.
  2. Publicity partners — those are partners that can help you with getting the word out, reaching specific audiences and media; e.g. non-governmental cultural heritage organizations, photographer organizations, schools organization etc. You can also consider partners with a significant social media presence, or magazines, newspapers etc.
  3. Sponsors — they can provide you with awards for the winners and possibly cover some of the costs of the event.
A list of possible partners was prepared as an outcome of a pan-European meeting held in Berlin on May 13-15; please have a look if those suggestion apply to your country, too.

What about T-shirts?[edit]

Both for logistic and budget reasons, the international team typically won't be producing Wiki Loves Monuments T-shirts. It will be much more cost-efficient to have local teams produce T-shirts for their own purposes than to ship them around the globe, not to speak about size differences between the countries, and the amount of work that's needed to oversee the shipment.
To help you with the design and production of T-shirts, there are two possible logos, one for monochrome print, and one for three-colour print. Use the one you prefer and enjoy!

How can I raise money for our budget?[edit]

We suggest to first try to cover your expenses with the help of sponsors. In many countries it is possible to find sponsors to pay for the things or services you would otherwise have to pay for yourselves (prizes, goodies, promotional materials, etc.). If there is a Wikimedia chapter in your country, it is also feasible that they could cover some part of the expenses.
When finding sponsors for your contest or getting support from a local Wikimedia chapter is not possible, there still remains a third way. The Wikimedia Foundation provides grants, especially for smaller projects. Please take a look at Wikimedia Foundation grants processes - it looks like the Rapid Grants are the most suitable.

Where can I find relevant statistics, surveys etc?[edit]

In the past years, some statistics have been collected, and surveys have been executed. This is a (perhaps not exhaustive) overview of these:

Questions about the rules of the contest[edit]

What are the basic rules?[edit]

The basic set of rules or "recommendations" to run the contest are:
  1. All photos participating in the competition should be self-taken and self-uploaded;
  2. Upload is possible in September only (extraordinary cases will be evaluated individually), to Wikimedia Commons or Flickr;
  3. The default licence is Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 (CC-BY-SA 4.0);
  4. All eligible pictures should have an identifier, given by the participants during upload;
  5. Participants should have their e-mail enabled on Wikimedia Commons (or the platform they uploaded their photos to) to be eligible for prizes;
  6. Every country is able to nominate 10 pictures to the international stage of the competition.

What are the technical requirements for the pictures?[edit]

There haven't been any general technical requirements for the pictures. All self-taken and self-uploaded photos that fulfill the other basic rules (see above) and fit in the Wikimedia Commons scope were accepted into the contest, as the main goal of Wiki Loves Monuments has been to collect as many pictures usable for Wikipedia as possible. Local organisers and local juries are able to define their precise requirements independently, and choose their winners accordingly.
Concerns have been voiced by some members of the Wikimedia Commons community that some pictures uploaded for Wiki Loves Monuments were of a bad quality. It would be against the openness of the competition to set any technical requirements for the photos aside from the judging. However, some ideas were documented about how to help the participants improve the quality of their pictures.

How should a local jury be formed?[edit]

Wiki Loves Monuments is not about any photos: it's about photos of monuments; about beautiful photos of monuments; and about beautiful photos of monuments that suit the encyclopaedic purpose of Wikipedia (and other Wikimedia projects). Hence, it was agreed that a jury should take into consideration all those values when taking its decision on the winners, both locally and internationally.
In order to balance those three values—and also to involve external sponsors and partners—most of last years' juries consisted of professional photographers, cultural heritage specialists and Wikimedians, who took their decisions in a joint manner. In some countries there was also a vote open for the public, in which Wikimedians chose their favourites, but this should be considered only an addition to the regular decision of a jury.

Technical questions[edit]

What software will be used to upload pictures for Wiki Loves Monuments?[edit]

Following last years' experiences, we will be using the UploadWizard simplified by a special Wiki Loves Monuments overlay (an UploadCampaign). Each country has its own upload campaign which adds the right templates to the uploaded files. Sometimes this is even further simplified, by providing direct upload links for specific monuments through monument lists and tools such as Monumental. You can already test the upload campaign, see this page.
Pictures can be uploaded using other tools (e.g. Commonist, Up!), but as this requires further knowledge of wiki markup and Wikimedia Commons itself, in the previous years those methods were used only by more experienced editors.

What about using CentralNotice banners?[edit]

Just like in previous editions, we will be using CentralNotice banners to call visitors to participate in the contest. The banners will be based on geography and the language of the user, and will be visible in all Wikimedia projects throughout September (with certain exceptions). They will direct the user to the website of their country's contest to provide all information needed to participate.
See Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2018/CentralNotice for detailed information and translations of the text used in the banners. Please add the url of the landing page of each participating country to the table.

How should I create a monument list?[edit]

To participate in the contest it is recommended to have lists of monuments on Wikipedia, so that participants know which objects can be photographed. These monument lists contain for each monument a unique identifier to easy identify a specific monument. In these lists you can add direct links to the special upload wizard for your country which pre-fills the upload campaign to make it easier to participate. See for more information about creating lists of monuments on this page. When the monument lists are created they can be added to the monument database to enable handy tools (which use these lists).

Where can I find information about monuments database?[edit]

Documentation for the monuments database is available at Commons:Monuments database.

What software will the jury use to select pictures?[edit]

While each country can decide what tool or method will it use to select the winning pictures, a software tool will be developed aiming to cover the needs of many possible scenarios, based on the experience from past years. A list of features for this tool is being compiled and is open to input from potential users.

If you have any questions regarding the CentralNotice, upload campaigns or related templates, and more, used for Wiki Loves Monuments, please ask them on the talk page. The talk page is watched by the international team.

You can also contact us at IRC in the channel #wikilovesmonuments at freenode. Access webchat → or go there in your IRC client and ask for Romaine.

What is the minimum setup for a national Wiki Loves Monuments competition?[edit]

First of all, you should make sure you understand the situation in your country well: both for how heritage works (who is in charge, which are good partners), as well the legal side of things: is photography on the streets allowed or do you need a permission for that, and is publishing photos of relatively young buildings allowed (Freedom of Panorama).

The reason why most people participate in Wiki Loves Monuments, is because they want to help Wikipedia. Therefore, it is important to have lists of the monuments on Wikipedia - so that many images will actually be used there. These lists are also crucial to define what is a monument that participates in the contest. Getting this list is not always as easy as we would like - organizations responsible for maintaining these lists sometimes take a long time to answer queries, if they have a proper list at all. So make sure to start this process early! Once this structure is set up properly, the data can be imported into the international monuments database (request LINK).

Wiki Loves Monuments is primarily organized by volunteers, so it is important to have them involved in the process early on. Make sure to communicate your plans, ideas and intentions to the Wikimedia communities relevant to your country. Leave a message on the message boards of relevant WikiProjects, or in the Village Pump. Send an email on the local mailing lists (LINK) to ask for input. You probably also want to set up a permanent communication channel that volunteers can join if they are interested to help out. If you want to make sure that it is easy for new volunteers to come and help out, publish a time-line when which task should be done (LINK, like this) and which people could help you with. Organize frequently a meeting (online or offline) to discuss the state of affairs. Make sure you have at least one about a week before the actual start of the contest.

All information relevant to the participants should be collected and presented in a central location: you have to set up a national contest website. This doesn't have to be ready on day 1, but probably it is a good idea to start already with this. Describe what you know about the rules of the contest, prizes, jury, what the contest is all about, some history, how people can contact the organizers, how they can find a monument and of course how they can upload their submission! This website should, by August, also contain an English summary, because there are quite a few people who like to upload their vacation pictures (why waste them?).

A contest needs of course a prize that can be won! While there are international prizes, and there's a lot of honor involved if you win a Wiki Loves Monuments competition, having a national main prize can spice things up a lot. It makes you look more like the serious competition we are. And to distribute the prizes and nominate the best 10 pictures to the international finale, you will need a good jury of at least 3 people (but probably better to have 5 or more). Make this a good mixture of Wikimedians, professional photographers and heritage experts.

Finally, we would like to make sure the images are actually being used optimally. For that, we need a monument template (LINK) for each country on Wikimedia Commons, in which we can include an identifier (LINK) of the monument. Together with that, there has to be some category structure (LINK). The upload wizard and should be translated if applicable (LINK) and a national version should be set up (LINK). If that is all in place, and the lists are imported in the monuments database, a page for unused images can be set up on your local Wikipedia, so that you can include the images in the lists (LINK).

Of course it is very helpful to make sure that you follow the important international communication/announcements (join the mailing list LINK), and you can ask questions to fellow national organizers as well (LINK).

  • List of the monuments on Wikipedia
    • Get this list imported in the database (LINK)
  • Promotion:
    • At least make sure the banner is active in your country (LINK) and translated into the local languages (the international team will send out a call for translations).
    • Website: a central location with all relevant information about the contest:
      • Rules: make sure these fit with the international requirements (LINK)
      • Prizes
      • Jury
      • (FAQs) or another form of explanation
      • Contact information
      • Nice pictures!
      • How to find a monument
      • How to participate (upload)
  • Communication:
    • make sure you have some kind of communication channel for the organizers
    • Make proper announcements in the relevant Wikimedia communication channels (Village Pump etc)
    • Make sure there is an English summary of your website with the critical information (for foreigners, immigrants and tourists)
    • Join the global mailing list!
  • Time-line: Make a time line with all tasks you plan to execute, so that other people can help you with specific tasks.
  • Jury: have an independent jury of at least 3, but preferably at least 5 members. Some Wikipedians, some professional photographers.
  • Prizes: Make sure there is at least one prize on a national level. Doesn't have to be huge, but something.
  • Legal: figure out if there are limitations on your country regarding photography!
    • Freedom of Panorama
    • Is photography on the streets allowed at all?
  • Technical:
    • Make sure there is a proper template structure in place on Wikimedia Commons for your country
    • Upload Wizard translated & localized
    • Set up the 'unused images' structure on your Wikipedia (LINK)

Optional but recommended[edit]

  • Promotion:
    • Social Media
    • Press release
    • Goodies
  • Communication:
    • Set up a local WLM otrs queue
    • Set up a help-desk on Wikipedia/Commons
    • Set up environment to report errors
    • Organize a brainstorming session with the local organizers
    • Thank the volunteers, sponsors and participants after the contest has endeed.
  • Contact photography and heritage organizations to partner with you
  • Local one-day events to make photos (Wiki takes the City)
  • Special prizes (thematical)
  • Award ceremony
  • Improve the monument lists on Wikipedia for quality: Wikilinks, coordinates, etc.
  • Translate the participant survey (LINK)

What should the Rules of the contest look like?[edit]

<insert answer here>