Category Archives: News

Seen the Wikipedia banner? Want to know more?

By John Lubbock, Wikimedia UK

Hello, maybe you’ve come to the Wiki Loves Monuments UK site because you followed the banner from Wikipedia. But now you’re confused… what’s Wiki Loves Monuments? And who is Wikimedia UK?

Wikimedia UK is a registered charity; we work with the Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia to enable people and organisations to contribute to a shared understanding of the world through the democratic creation, distribution and consumption of knowledge.

Wikimedia UK works in partnership with organisations from the cultural and education sectors to unlock content, remove barriers to knowledge, develop new ways of engaging with the public and enable learners to benefit fully from the educational potential of the Wikimedia projects.

We support the development of open knowledge in the UK: that’s knowledge that anyone is “free to use, reuse, and redistribute without legal, social or technological restriction”, according to the Wikipedia page for the term. Wikipedia itself is an open knowledge project, because all of the content on it is free for reuse – usually under open, Creative Commons licences, a type of free licence that allows others to reuse the content for any purpose as long as they attribute it.

Wiki Loves Monuments is the Wikimedia community’s annual photographic competition which encourages people to take and upload photos of listed buildings and scheduled monuments. Many Wikipedia articles covering such sites don’t have pictures to illustrate them because available images are ‘all rights reserved’, which we can’t use. If nobody has published a suitable image under an open licence, we won’t be able to illustrate the corresponding Wikipedia page.

Understanding copyright and open knowledge is part of digital literacy. Not all content is created with the intention of making a commercial profit. All of the media on Wikipedia and its sister sites is part of the Digital Commons, the store of media online that is free for all to use. Here’s a video we made that you might find useful:

Wikimedia UK supports the Wikimedia community who edit and improve Wikipedia and its sister sites. We promote the 5th biggest website online, but we are a small charity with only around 15 staff in the UK. That means we need your help. We rely on our community who help give training in editing Wikipedia, run events and do projects to improve content on Wikipedia. If you want to get involved, you can come to one of our events, or sign up to become a member of the charity for only £5 per year.

Being a member of Wikimedia UK means you can apply for small grants to do Wikimedia-based projects, and borrow equipment like cameras so that you can take photos for Wiki Loves Monuments. You will also receive our newsletter, and can attend our AGM and help decide on the future direction of the charity.

If you have any questions about our work, you can email info@wikimedia.org.uk, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to see updates about our work and interact with us. We look forward to meeting you!

Picturing Scotland

Picturing Scotland with Wiki Loves Monuments

By Sara Thomas, Scotland Programme Coordinator at Wikimedia UK and formerly Wikimedian in Residence at Museums Galleries Scotland. 

In 2015-16 I was the Wikimedian in Residence for Museums Galleries Scotland, training museum staff to edit Wikipedia, and generally being enthusiastic about open knowledge to anyone who would listen.  These days I’m continuing that work in my new role as Scotland Programme Coordinator for Wikimedia UK, working with all kinds of organisations to open up Scotland’s culture and heritage to a global audience.  And in September, that means Wiki Loves Monuments.

Wiki Loves Monuments is an international photo competition – the world’s largest – that aims to make high quality openly licensed images of the world’s listed buildings and scheduled monuments available to anyone in the world, through Wikimedia Commons.  And as you can see from this interactive map, there’s rather a lot of Scotland missing.  I’d like to turn some of those red pins blue.  Actually, I’d like to turn rather a lot of them blue.  Which is where you come in.

Picturing Scotland

There are prizes for the top 3 images in Scotland (sponsored by Wikimedia UK and Archaeology Scotland), as well as the top 10 images in the UK.  The latter then go forward to the international competition. Last year a Scottish image came second in the UK competition and I hope we can match that.

You can take a look at what’s already been submitted here.  Currently we’re holding our own against England, Wales & Northern Ireland, but there are still three weeks to go…

Why you should get involved

Encouraging the creation of openly-licensed cultural heritage resources is a natural extension of museums’ existing commitment to outreach. Helping to preserve those items for future generations.  The recent fires at both the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, and the Mackintosh Building at the Glasgow School of Art are tragic reminders of how quickly key parts of our history and culture can be lost. The New Palmyra project has shown how valuable digital reconstruction can be. Wikipedia is encouraging people to contribute to the movement to digitally reconstruct the contents of the Rio museum, by donating images to Wikimedia Commons.

Images on Wikimedia Commons are licensed most commonly under a CC-BY-SA license. (Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike), which means that anyone can use those images, as long as they attribute them to the person who took them, and share using the same license.  This means that anyone – schools, students, and the general public, can access, learn from, and re-use these images for free. The images can also be used on any of Wikipedia’s sites – available in nearly 300 languages worldwide, and view-able by a global audience. Many museums are now releasing images of out of copyright works into the digital commons, like the Rijksmuseum, or the National Library of Wales (NLW) adding 10,000 images to Wikimedia Commons over the last 4 years. Over 455 million people have seen images from NLW that have been added to Wikipedia articles!

How you can get involved

Do you work in, or live near a listed building or scheduled monument? Have you visited any recently?  Is there a picture of it in our database? (Again, you can use our interactive map to check.) Pictures don’t have to have been taken in September – just uploaded in September – to be eligible for the competition.

All you need is a camera (or indeed, camera phone), and a Wikimedia Commons account (very easy to set up, and if you already have a Wikipedia account, you don’t even need to do that), and you’re ready to go. There are full instructions here about how to make your submission. Check out the video below from Wikimedia UK which shows how simple it is to take part.

Do you have a group of volunteers in your museum who are interested in photography, or perhaps you have a heritage walk of your local area planned? Are some of your staff are keen photographers? Is a picture of your museum in the database? If not, now is a perfect chance to add one.

 

Help us turn the pins green! [International map]

This post applies to the Monumental map – ie to the campaigns in countries that use the Monumental map based on Wikidata.

Help WLM contestants get the feedback they are looking for – turn the pins on the map from red to green.

On the map, monuments that aren’t yet on Wikidata show as a red pin. You can help those pins turn green as contestants upload pictures of ‘missing’ monuments. It doesn’t happen automatically, as manual checking is needed to make sure the image uploaded is actually suitable to be used as the primary Wikidata illustration.

To help, login to Magnus Manske’s newly-updated Wikidata File Candidates tool and make sure that the COMMONS and ON WIKIDATA options are selected.

Type in the Commons category you want to check, eg Images from Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 United Kingdom. Use the cog button to show/hide options, and the refresh button beneath to run the query.

If there are any candidate images to be added to Wikidata, they’ll appear in a list. On the left are Wikidata items and on the right are the potential candidates. First, make sure the correct WD item has been matched by the tool. If not, remove the line item by clicking the red button on the left.

Then, to add a new primary WD click on ‘Image’. You should normally select only a single best and most representative picture, but you can select several if really essential. If there is a good representative internal shot, add that as well using the ‘Image of Interior’ option from the Photo button.

Click on the red cross on the left to tell the tool that you won’t be using the other images of that monument (this prevents those images being re-displayed to you later). If there is no suitable representative image at all, ignore the suggestions and just click the red cross.

Sometimes the WD item already has one or more images, in which case they will appear under a horizontal red line in the left column. That may be because the WD item has been changed since the tool did its last data-collection run, or because the existing image is, for example, an internal shot and the tool is presenting possible options for an additional representative image.

Once you’ve added one or more images to WD, the corresponding pin on the map will change from red to green within a few minutes.

Many thanks to  Magnus for this wonderful tool!

Help us turn the pins blue!

This post applies to the WLM UK interactive map – ie the campaigns in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

Help WLM contestants get the feedback they are looking for – turn the pins on the WLM-UK map from red to blue.

On the interactive map, monuments that aren’t yet on Wikidata show as a red pin. You can help those pins turn blue as contestants upload pictures of ‘missing’ monuments. It doesn’t happen automatically, as manual checking is needed to make sure the image uploaded is actually suitable to be used as the primary Wikidata illustration.

To help, login to Magnus Manske’s newly-updated Wikidata File Candidates tool and make sure that the COMMONS and ON WIKIDATA options are selected.

Type in the Commons category you want to check, eg Images from Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 United Kingdom. Use the cog button to show/hide options, and the refresh button beneath to run the query.

If there are any candidate images to be added to Wikidata, they’ll appear in a list. On the left are Wikidata items and on the right are the potential candidates. First, make sure the correct WD item has been matched by the tool. If not, remove the line item by clicking the red button on the left.

Then, to add a new primary WD click on ‘Image’. You should normally select only a single best and most representative picture, but you can select several if really essential. If there is a good representative internal shot, add that as well using the ‘Image of Interior’ option from the Photo button.

Click on the red cross on the left to tell the tool that you won’t be using the other images of that monument (this prevents those images being re-displayed to you later). If there is no suitable representative image at all, ignore the suggestions and just click the red cross.

Sometimes the WD item already has one or more images, in which case they will appear under a horizontal red line in the left column. That may be because the WD item has been changed since the tool did its last data-collection run, or because the existing image is, for example, an internal shot and the tool is presenting possible options for an additional representative image.

Once you’ve added one or more images to WD, the corresponding pin on the WLM-UK interactive map will change from red to blue within a few minutes.

Many thanks to  Magnus for this wonderful tool!

Wiki Loves Monuments is back for 2018!

We’re very pleased to announce that the UK is taking part in the Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest again in 2018. Eligible subjects for you to photograph include all grades and categories of Listed buildings, plus Scheduled Monuments. See our eligible subjects page for details.

Photos for the contest can be taken at any time, so get shooting now ready to enter your images in September!