Commons:Wiki Loves Public Art 2014/Documentation

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The team working on the international contest has took the decision that we will postpone the Wiki Loves Public Art contest for 2014 and review the possibility again next year. We have reached this conclusion as there are a number of issues that have to be solved for the contest to make sense, and each of them are a potential show stopper. The issues are:

  • Legal issues.
  • Lack of strong international partners/sponsors.
  • Technical issues.

John Andersson, on behalf of the international team

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Warning: We stand on the shoulders of giants here. Some things on this page is written as facts, because it is based on Wiki Loves Monuments. Some things are definitely open for negotiation if it doesn't work out this way in some countries, but this is the default. If you want big things to change, bring it up on the mailing list!

Wiki Loves Public Art is a public photo contest around public art, organized by Wikipedians and Wikimedia chapters. In 2014 it will be organized for the second time, last year 2013 it was organized in 5 countries. The contest is based on the successful organization of Wiki Loves Monuments 2010 in the Netherlands, 2011 in 18 European countries, 2012 in 35 countries world wide and 2013 in 52 countries world wide. We are not here to reinvent the wheel but will instead try to take advantage of the great experience gathered from those contests.

The basic concept for Wiki Loves Public Art is that people are invited to upload images of public artworks under a free license for usage on Wikipedia and beyond. We want to try to get complete lists of these public artworks on Wikipedia, including photos - giving a great and unique overview of the public art in a country or region.

Europeana defines public art as "sculptures, monuments, mosaics, mural paintings, memorials and place specific installments in the public space" which is what we will focus on here. Street art is not the main focus, but could be included if they have some form of national ID. If your country's legislation make it hard or impossible to focus on artworks outdoor you could also have a focus on old artworks that are within Public Domain, and this also include artworks within museum collections. Why we say "could" is that the contest is organized in a federative fashion. That means that each participating group/chapter organizes their own contest, and each of these contests is part of a bigger, international, contest. Each organizing group has quite a lot of freedom in how to organize it in their own territory (to make the contests compatible with each other there are some general rules we would like to keep constant), but there are also some additional recommendations on this page which you might want to consider, mainly based on the experiences drawn from Wiki Loves Monuments. But the most important is: do whatever works best in your country.

This does not mean you're out there all by yourself! If we can help each other, we should and will - but it is impossible to organize everything centrally because of the huge workload and the country specificities.

International contest


The international contest will be a jury based competition where an international jury will select winners from nominees taken from the national quality contests. Each national contest will be allowed to nominate up to 10 photos.

Rules (International)

  • Photo has to be self taken and self uploaded.
  • Upload in May only (to Commons, possibly via other platforms).
  • License defaults to CC-BY-SA 3.0.
  • Public artwork on the photo should be identified with identifier if available in the country.
  • E-mail address of uploader has to be confirmed.
  • Nominations to the international contest are based on the national contests (with a maximum of 10 nominations per country).
  • The n'th prize winner will be the n'th person allowed to pick a prize.

Ideas for different contests

  • Best picture series.
  • Best artist series (e.g. best series of sculptures by Auguste Rodin).
  • Best close-up.
  • Best thematic picture (e.g. best statue or best modern).

Judging criteria

  • Technical quality (sharpness, use of light, perspective, color hue, megapixels etc, see Commons:Image guidelines) -> Quality image level
  • Originality
  • Usefulness for Wikipedia

The International Jury


The international jury will decide which of the national nominations that will win the international contest. The international jury should be formed by one member from each participating country as long as less than seven countries are participating. It is the national coordinator's job to identify a suitable jury member for the international jury. The jury should ideally consist of a mix of professional photographers, Wikimedians and art experts. The Wiki Loves Monuments team has organized it a bit differently, see Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2013/Documentation and we could possibly organize it that way if the national coordinators disagree on the proposed strategy outlined here.

National contest


The exact rules for the national contests will have to be laid out by the organization for each country in their local language. There are some basic principles we should all adhere to and there are some recommendations.

  • The contest should run from 1 until 31 May 2014 (if there isn't a major reason to change this!)
  • The nominations of photos for the international contest should be made before July 1.
  • All participating photos should be made by participants and licensed under a free Creative Commons license acceptable on Wikimedia Commons.
  • There will have to be some kind of structured lists of admissible public artwork. These lists will need to contain, at the start of the contest, at least an identifier for each permitted artwork and a way to locate the artwork (i.e. address and/or geo-coordinates) - if available in the country. For more information about these lists, see #Artwork lists.
  • There will be some kind of awards for the best participating photo in each country.
  • Organize local events if you have the capacity for that.
  • Organize both a classification around quantity (number of objects submitted) as quality (best photo).

The National Jury


The National Jury often consist of one convening jury moderator.

For example, the jury could be picked from:

  • Photo magazines (especially the ones that has a focus on amateurs).
  • Strategic partner organizations.
  • Authors of art books.
  • Art professors.
  • Artists.

Organizational recommendations


As mentioned before, all national contests are expected to run their own organization. Of course some things can be coordinated, but it would be unfair to give the impression that others will take over this from you. There are some basic things that each country has to take care of one way or the other. These are the most important:


See also, the 2010 Post Mortem for WLM for more suggestions
See also Partner suggestions for WLM for a bit more detail.

Partners will be important to run the contest. Basically four types of partners can be imagined:

  • Governmental partner for the structured data: you will need to compile lists of artwork, and it is very helpful if the government can provide their official list with as much detail as possible. Their cooperation can make the project extra useful because people will most likely find mistakes in the original lists that can be corrected.
  • GLAMs: That allow the volunteers to take photos of their collections during May and perhaps organize special events around the contest (e.g. private tours, help from their experts and so forth). (This is a great way of initiating cooperation with more GLAMs in your country.)
  • Publicity partners: partners that can help you with getting the word out, reaching specific audiences and media. Their cooperation can give you credibility.
  • Sponsors: They can provide you with awards and possibly cover some of the costs of the event. Whether this is required probably depends on the specific local situation.

If you have trouble with contacting the partners or the right people, please get in touch with the international coordinators, they might be able to help you through our international partners!

Artwork lists


Each country should pick one Wikipedia to be leading (easy for the Netherlands, not trivial for countries like Switzerland). For an example of how the lists could look like, please have a look at Catalonian Wikipedia.

Possible fields in the Wikipedia lists:

  • unique id - The unique id of the artwork by which it can be identified (required)
  • name - The name of the artwork (highly recommended)
  • artist - The name of the artist of the artwork (highly recommended)
  • description - A description of the artwork (optional)
  • year - Year the artwork was created (highly recommended)
  • type - The type of artwork, e.g. statue, mural, light installation (optional)
  • FoP - A parameter to indicate the FOP status of the artwork (optional)
  • indoors - Whether the artwork is indoors. This may assist photographers etc. in finding the artwork (optional)
  • address - Address of the artwork (recommended)
  • region - The region in which the artwork is located (recommended)
  • municipality - The municipality in which the artwork is located (recommended)
  • city_part - The city part in which the artwork is located (recommended)
  • lat - The latitude (highly recommended)
  • lon - The longitude (highly recommended)
  • image - Image of the artwork (required)
  • commonscat - Category on Commons corresponding to the artwork (optional)

The fields can of course be localized.

The tables are usually built with templates. An explanation using Switzerland as example, can be found here in the 2011 documentation for WLM, but is still valid.



The entries for WLPA are included in the Wiki Loves Monuments database and maintained by the same framework. The WLPA part of the database is accessible through the api at [1]. Note that at present not all of the WLM functionalities have been adapted for WLPA.



All national organizations are expected to set up a local website in the local language(s) with at least the following information:

  • explanation of the contest concept;
  • explanation of the rules;
  • definition of the classifications (quantity/quality) and awards;
  • contact details (possibly link to wikipage) for both participants and press;
  • explanation of upload details;
  • explanation on how to find local artwork and the unique ID etc.;
  • basic information to participate available in English for non-local participants.

Approaching potential participants, make use of existing communities and platforms! Partners can be valuable here too. A lot can be done with free publicity.



Make sure the jury is a bit diverse. For the rest, a lot of freedom. Mix of photographers and Wikimedians is advisable. Try to get them in real life together in one room to make the final decisions, but before that, some preparatory work has to be done to get the selection to some 100 images.



Most technical facilities will become available in a centralized fashion. Details will be worked out later, this is just to give you an impression. Work on this will only start later, as there is no need to have this finished in a very early stage. Common theme here is keep it simple. For example, no multiple login layers.




See also for more information: Commons:Wiki Loves Public Art 2014/Tools.
  • The database will be freely available, so that people can build tools onto it, and re-use the data. That way, you can for example project the artworks on a map, or make other additional work with it.
  • There will be a central API/mapping tool.
  • Lets try to create a tool to help the jury go through the images and make that scale.





Please make sure to involve the Wikimedia community heavily in this project. You will need all their help you can get on completing the lists and correcting the mistakes in them. Try to involve them in other aspects too, to increase their continued support. A good approach is to set up a coordination page on the wiki where the lists are located, and to give continuous feedback on completeness and quality, and to show that something is happening with the data. The central tasks that the National Coordinator and the national team should work on is described here: wmse:Projekt:Europeana Awareness/Wiki Loves Public Art/National Coordinators.



Some steps will require international coordination and besides that there is a whole lot to learn from each other. Therefore, please communicate, communicate, communicate! There is an international mailing list you can subscribe to to stay up to date and share your experiences and problems. That is also a great way to get some help. Please make sure that at least one involved person for each country is subscribed to this mailing list.

For online coordination, please all keep the progress page up to date.

We want to join!


So... you think this would be a cool event? That is great! A good way to start is to review these pages (this page and the timeline linked above), to review the progress table for your country (here) and to subscribe to the mailing list and introduce yourself there. If there is a chapter in your country, definitely approach them too and see if they are interested in running this.

Other documentation