Commons:ISA Tool

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Go to the ISA Tool Share your feedback on the new version 

Easily Add Information to Images on Wikimedia Commons

WikidataCon Award 2019
What makes that tool cool
Mock-up design for the screen where participants will describe images
Mock-up design for the home page of a 'tagging' campaign for campaign managers inside 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 Xcompetitions, 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.

ISA received the coolest tool WikidataCon 2019 Award in the Multimedia category in October 2019.

View the long term impact of the ISA Tool.

What does the name 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.

How it works[edit]

The tool is designed to be a host of small competitions.

The general idea is that wikimedians will create campaigns with the goal of improving 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. In particular, 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 coordinator report or used to communicate the outcome of the competition on social media, turning the campaign into a communication tool. Data about participation will also be available for download into cvs format for any further statistical uses.

For example, the Nigerian community may wish to run a specific campaign to improve structured descriptions of images uploaded from Nigeria during the Wiki Loves Africa 2014. The competition will take place on a Saturday afternoon during a dedicated edit-a-thon. One day before the edit-a-thon, one coordinator will create a specific campaign that will only consider and will have a starting date on the Saturday morning and ending date at 5pm on Saturday afternoon. At the beginning of the Edit-a-thon, Nigerian teams share the past excitement and pleasure of participation to former Wiki Loves Africa and explains the importance of having structured data on the uploaded images. Then the Nigerian team share the link to the campaign to all edit-a-thon participants on what's app. During one hour, players compete and improve image descriptions at the same time. The coordinator keeps an eye on the participation stats. At 5pm, the competition is over and every player can see how much he helped and can compare himself with the others! The Nigerian team declare winners the top 5 participants and provide goodies, sweets and certificates to celebrate! At 5:15pm, a Facebook post is sent with a screenshot of the competition results to further push engagement. Everyone goes their way but on Sunday morning, one Nigerian happily goes to the tool campaign page to download info for a deep dive into participation data.

See more user cases here


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

If you find any errors in this tool or if you have any suggestions on how to improve that tool, please feel free (really do...) to create a task at Phabricator.

The tool's source code can be found here:

Additional work was done in 2022-2023. See Commons:ISA Tool/Image to Concept

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




People involved during the first version
People involved in 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