Tech/News/2024/22

Tuesday, 28 May 2024 00:15 UTC

Latest tech news from the Wikimedia technical community. Please tell other users about these changes. Not all changes will affect you. Translations are available.

Recent changes

  • Several bugs related to the latest updates to the UploadWizard on Wikimedia Commons have been fixed. For more information, see T365107 and T365119.
  • In March 2024 a new addPortlet API was added to allow gadgets to create new portlets (menus) in the skin. In certain skins this can be used to create dropdowns. Gadget developers are invited to try it and give feedback.
  • Some CSS in the Minerva skin has been removed to enable easier community configuration. Interface editors should check the rendering on mobile devices for aspects related to the classes: .collapsible, .multicol, .reflist, .coordinates, .topicon. Further details are available on replacement CSS if it is needed.

Changes later this week

  • The new version of MediaWiki will be on test wikis and MediaWiki.org from 28 May. It will be on non-Wikipedia wikis and some Wikipedias from 29 May. It will be on all wikis from 30 May (calendar). [1][2]
  • When you visit a wiki where you don’t yet have a local account, local rules such as edit filters can sometimes prevent your account from being created. Starting this week, MediaWiki takes your global rights into account when evaluating whether you can override such local rules. [3]

Tech news prepared by Tech News writers and posted by bot • Contribute • Translate • Get help • Give feedback • Subscribe or unsubscribe.

 ‘In nature nothing exists alone’

 Raquel Carson

Leamos y escribamos Wikipedia Evaluacion Mediatica informacional
Participating teachers in the Reading and Writing Wikipedia training program. Riohacha, La Guajira, Colombia.

In the social studies of science (STS), the metaphor for the assembly that makes it possible for things to “work” is already classic. It states that airplanes do not fly, it is the airlines that fly. To this metaphor, we can add so many other things: artifacts, lines of code, methodologies, institutions, and people, that make the operation of an airplane make sense, that this technology is “social”, not because it is carried out only by people, but because it manages to link human and material entities to take advantage of their collective power to act in the world and transform it. 

What are we doing?

Implementing “Reading Wikipedia in The Classroom” (RWC) is similar. Arriving at rural schools in La Guajira, Colombia, has involved coordinating efforts with the Ministry of Education, the Secretary of Education of La Guajira, the Bank of the Republic, and school principals and teachers. It has also been necessary to design methodologies in collaboration with facilitators, experts, and the team behind the implementation of the program. Logistically, we have coordinated the production of materials, food management, travel arrangements for facilitators, and, last but not least, we have involved and enrolled the Wayuú Wikimedistas, among other aspects.

This deployment not only strengthens the Wikimedia Colombia (WMCO) teamwork but also allows us to relate and cooperate with others, joining forces to transform the territories from a situated perspective. In addition, it has reinforced the processes and projects that are already being implemented by the groups, Wikimedia chapters, and the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) in the region. Finally, although not initially planned, we identify that it contributes to the growth of the Wikimedia movement, in line with recommendation number 6 of the 2030 strategy: “Invest in the development of competencies and leadership“. RWC implementation empowers, strengthens, and leaves leadership tools in place in territorial processes.

What is the program in Colombia?

The Colombian version of the RWC program retains three modules from its initial version: access to information, evaluation of information, and creation of information. However, the deployment in Colombia, called Reading and Writing Wikipedia, has led to conceptual, methodological, and implementation innovations based on asking what the real needs of people, teachers, and schools are; we call this component Linking with the World.

Consequently, we proposed a training that not only contemplated spaces to impart and co-construct knowledge and tools, but also included interludes between meetings, spaces to go to schools, and accompany teachers in the classroom. For this, it was essential to include financing a person from the Wikimedistas Wayuú team to join the RWC implementation group in La Guajira. 

For whom and with whom do we do it?

In this context, it is worth mentioning that one of the most important lessons learned from this process is related to the strengthening of the group of Wikimedistas Wayuú. From the beginning, Wikimedia Colombia understood that to sustain the changes, it is essential to have a team in the territory capable of accompanying and enhancing the tools and methodologies deployed during the implementation of the RWC program. It is crucial to make this learning visible because we want to recognize not only what is happening today in La Guajira, but also the invisible and complex work behind Wikimedia in different parts of the world.


The twist proposed in the deployment of RWC in Colombia to reach two small towns, Manaure and Dibulla in La Guajira, to work with 24 teachers from 9 schools and reach about 1000 students, can be summarized in two aspects. On the one hand, to have as a basis a cultural exchange that gives value to the knowledge of the territory in opposition to re-productivism and capacitism. On the other hand, to recognize the existence of a collective subject, since the subjects are not isolated in the world and it is the collective of Wikimedians (in this case in Colombia) that should assume the co-responsibility of implementation, promoting the creation of value networks of mutual commitment.

What is to come

In short, at the end of the implementation of RWC in La Guajira, today we know that if we want a Wikimedia movement that promotes transformations, that is, one that is understood as a process of cultural updating and in which changes as a society are given on account of consensual objectives on what is done and for what, that movement incidentally can not take place amid individual competition and the Matthew effect.

By contrast, we need now more than ever to consolidate proposals that strengthen the processes of groups and places that historically have not been centers of interest and action, dismantling centralisms to transform not only the Wikimedia movement but also the world. We propose to collectively reimagine our future, strengthen ourselves as institutions, reinvent the ways we can serve society, and enact equity as a mechanism for justice and change within and outside the Wikimedia movement in our territories and places of agency.

Wikimedia Colombia has covered each of the sessions photographically, you can find the records on Wikimedia Commons under the category ‘Reading and Writing Wikipedia‘.

Tech News issue #22, 2024 (May 27, 2024)

Monday, 27 May 2024 00:00 UTC
previous 2024, week 22 (Monday 27 May 2024) next

Tech News: 2024-22

weeklyOSM 722

Sunday, 26 May 2024 11:32 UTC

16/05/2024-22/05/2024

lead picture

Identification of illegal parking practices in Milan [1] | © saichepuoi | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Mapping

  • Comments were requested on the following:
    • The proposal to deprecate cycleway=opposite tags.
    • The proposal to introduce natural=wadi for broad, flat channel of an ephemeral stream with distinct banks.
    • The proposal to introduce the ordering: prefix for ordering-only phone numbers, SMS-only phone numbers, and related tags to enhance the specificity of contact details.

Community

  • Terence Eden celebrated 1,000 changesets on OpenStreetMap. He reflected on his journey, his contributions, and the value of the OpenStreetMap community.
  • A35K discussed the use of the class:bicycle tag in OpenStreetMap to rate cycling comfort on roads, explaining its implementation challenges and successes in different regions like Munich and Unterschleißheim. Further, he highlighted his personal experiences and strategies for tagging and mapping with this classification system.
  • In the first post in the ‘Worst of OSM in Ghana’ series, Enock4seth detailed efforts to improve residential land use mapping in and around Kumasi, Ghana, by addressing outdated or inaccurately placed data using JOSM tools, collaborating with local mappers, and emphasising the importance for remote contributors of accurate, conflict-free contributions to OpenStreetMap.
  • GrumpyGorilla detailed a method to find broken websites in OpenStreetMap data by using a Python script that queries nodes with websites and checks for errors. This allows users to identify and validate outdated or broken links both in-person and from the armchair.
  • Juminet has updated the completion rate of residential addresses in Wallonia, Belgium, on OpenStreetMap, noting a significant improvement from 64.4% in September 2022 to 73.2% in May 2024, comparing data with the ICAR database and highlighting the most and least improved communes.
  • Nadaraj Saranya shared her experience of being a volunteer ambassador for the 2024 OpenStreetMap Foundation membership campaign, emphasising the effort to increase and diversify membership globally, particularly in underrepresented regions. She also highlighted the learning and community engagement opportunities gained through the campaign.
  • OSMChina announced the OSPP 2024 project to develop a user-friendly, cross-platform public transport relation editor for OpenStreetMap, leveraging modern frontend technologies to simplify route creation and management, aimed at reducing editing time and effort for mappers (we reported earlier).
  • Andy Townsend suggested why using OpenStreetMap’s ‘Standard’ layer as an application background might not be ideal. There is no service level agreement with OSMF for the map tiles, its dual-purpose design is not optimised as a background map, and problematic edits will be immediately shown to everyone because of the way the CDN works. He recommended using alternatives or self-rendered maps instead.

OpenStreetMap Foundation

  • Amanda McCann has created a tool to find potential recipients of a free active contributor OpenStreetMap Foundation membership. The tool scans OSM history files to count users’ editing days, and identifies those who qualify under the Active Contributor Programme by editing on at least 42 days in the past year. It shows that as many as 10,000 OSM contributors may qualify, significantly more than the current 2,300 OSMF members. The tool’s source code and instructions for use are available on GitHub.
  • The OSMF Board Spring 2024 meeting focused on refining strategies, improving communication, and setting priorities for the year, with discussions facilitated by an external expert to enhance efficiency and engagement within the OpenStreetMap community. The board emphasised transparency and looks forward to future collaborations, including the upcoming State of the Map in Nairobi, Kenya.

Local chapter news

  • OSM Belgium have moved their historical maps to the prettier URL historical.osm.be after some fixes and additions. The map has a bunch of Belgian maps dating from 1729 to the present day. Current OSM roads can be overlaid to easily compare the historical situation to the present day. The site also offers Belgian OSM tiles from 2019 to 2022, so you can see how OSM has evolved. On top of that, there are overlays including detailed hillshade and the NGI Mapindex, a map to easily share locations over the phone.

Events

  • The FOSSGIS 2024 videos are now also available on YouTube as well as media.ccc.de (we reported earlier).
  • Geofabrik is hosting another OpenStreetMap Hack Weekend on 19 and 20 October, in Karlsruhe, Germany. They are inviting mappers and developers to collaborate on OSM-related projects, share knowledge, and innovate.
  • The programme for the tenth SotM France conference, to be held in Lyon from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 June, has been published and registration is now open . Don’t delay in registering if you want a room in a university residence at a low price (quantities limited).
  • Tasauf1980 announced that the State of the Map Bangladesh 2024 conference will be held on 28 and 29 September in Cox’s Bazar.

Humanitarian OSM

  • The IVIDES is carrying out collaborative mapping of the Taquari-Antas River Basin, as a response to the current humanitarian crisis in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). The project is available on the HOT Tasking Manager and everyone is invited to participate. The OSM Wiki presents details of the general mapping campaign.

Maps

  • FFWHol_Satoshi has created a pilot for the Holenbrunn volunteer fire brigade to display and maintain hydrant maps with OpenStreetMap. The result can be viewed here.

Software

  • Mapilio has introduced an open-source solution for synchronising KartaView images to its platform, streamlining the process of contributing georeferenced images, enhancing map quality, and promoting community collaboration.
  • Evidence, an open source framework for building data apps, has launched new interactive map features, including AreaMap, PointMap, BubbleMap, and BaseMap, offering customisable components like tooltips, colour palettes, and basemaps. These maps support cross-filtering, drill-down links, and user inputs, enhancing data visualisation and user interactivity across devices.
  • Enhance your OSM data analysis with the new features of the ohsome Dashboard, which now includes dataset comparison and mapping saturation evaluation. Learn more through the detailed blog post and an explanatory video.

Programming

  • In his seventh diary dedicated to his OpenStreetMap NextGen, a personal alternative to the OpenStreetMap codebase, Kamil Monicz discussed the project’s latest developments. Further, he highlighted significant improvements such as a new fast rendering engine, support for historical state views, improved relationship member icons, fixes for page timeouts, and a refreshed element sidebar user interface.
  • Kamil’s eighth OpenStreetMap NextGen development diary highlighted faster loading for the notes layer, a new look for location links, taginfo integration for feature icons, and preparations for the project’s first development release in early June.

Releases

  • The May 2024 Organic Maps update introduced bookmarks and track sorting by name, improved colour distinctions for paved and unpaved paths, fixes for GPX import issues, and numerous other enhancements across Android, iOS, and desktop platforms to improve map usability and user experience.

Did you know …

  • Marble? A versatile virtual globe and world atlas application that allows users to explore maps, measure distances, find points of interest, view Wikipedia articles and create routes, available for Linux, Mac, Windows, and Android.
  • WebGL Earth? A 3D digital globe platform for the web and mobile devices that allows users to explore satellite and street maps and customise views for different geographic locations using open source tools.
  • Lessy? A mobile app that compiles and provides information on discounts and offers from nearby grocery supermarkets in Brazil, Turkey, Peru, South Africa, Philippines, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. The app clearly shows that it uses OpenStreetMap data as its base map.
  • … that Matt Daniels has created a 3D visualisation of the world’s population based on OSM?

OSM in the media

  • [1] The SAI CHE PUOI? activists have conducted a survey to count illegally parked cars in Milan Italy, aiming to better enforce parking regulations and improve traffic flow. For this survey, around two thousand activists were divided into seven hundred small groups, which were then coordinated using an OpenStreetMap-based mobile application.
  • CHIP described some advanced techniques for using OpenStreetMap to find places like a pro. The article highlighted features such as overpass turbo and creating Overpass queries using ChatGPT to improve user experience and the efficiency of finding and exploring places.
  • MSPoweruser compared Maps.me and Google Maps, rating their strengths and weaknesses in several categories, including offline capabilities, user interface, search functionality, accuracy, and additional features, to help users decide which mapping application best suits their navigation and exploration needs.

Other “geo” things

  • Columbus Verlag specialises in the production of handmade globes and wall maps in Germany, with a focus on precision, craftsmanship, and sustainability, making it the world’s oldest continuously operating globe manufacturer, renowned for integrating traditional techniques with modern technology.
  • Google Maps is improving accessibility by expanding detailed voice guidance and screen reader capabilities for Lens worldwide, adding more wheelchair accessibility information for over 50 million locations, and introducing the Auracast attribute for businesses to support hearing devices, making it easier for users with disabilities to navigate and access information.
  • Make Ways is a platform that helps users map and share walking routes, focusing on accessibility and user feedback to improve the quality and enjoyment of walking, with plans to expand to other forms of travel in the future.
  • Kyle Walker has published a guide for accessing and visualising building data from Overture Maps using R.
  • Blurring your home on Google Street View protects your privacy by making it harder for strangers to identify your home. You can do this by locating your home on Street View, selecting ‘Report a problem’, selecting the appropriate area to blur, and submitting the request to Google for review.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Saint-Étienne Rencontre Saint-Étienne et sud Loire 2024-05-28 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2024-05-29 flag
Gent OpenStreetMap-meetup + MapComplete birthday party 2024-05-28 flag
논현2동 TomTom & OSM Korea 매핑 파티 2024-05-29 flag
Düsseldorf Düsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen (online) 2024-05-29 flag
[Online] OpenStreetMap Foundation board of Directors – public videomeeting 2024-05-30
Potsdam Missing Maps Mapathon Potsdam 2024-05-30 flag
Saarbrücken Stammtisch OSM Saarland gemeinsam mit OpenSaar e. V. 2024-05-31 flag
City of Vincent Social Mapping Sunday: Hyde Park II 2024-06-02 flag
臺北市 OpenStreetMap x Wikidata Taipei #65 2024-06-03 flag
Missing Maps London Mapathon 2024-06-04
City of Westminster London pub meet-up 2024-06-04 flag
Berlin OSM-Verkehrswende #59 2024-06-04 flag
OSM Indoor Meetup 2024-06-05
Stuttgart Stuttgarter OpenStreetMap-Treffen 2024-06-05 flag
Dresden OSM-Stammtisch Dresden 2024-06-06 flag
Rio de Janeiro 💻 Oficina de mapeamento de árvores e cobertura vegetal no OpenStreetMap – YouthMappers UFRJ 2024-06-07 flag
København OSMmapperCPH 2024-06-09 flag

Note:
If you like to see your event here, please put it into the OSM calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM.

This weeklyOSM was produced by LuxuryCoop, MatthiasMatthias, PierZen, SeverinGeo, SomeoneElse, Strubbl, TheSwavu, barefootstache, derFred, mcliquid, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.

On May, 10th 2024, Africa Wiki Women hosted the 5th Inspire Inclusion 2024 Campaign. The online session continued with an Office hour of Editing Wikidata.” The training session was led by Rhoda James, a community team member, and moderated by Linason Blessing.

The session attracted over 17 participants, including project leads and community members from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, and  Rwanda.

Linason Blessing, the moderator for the day, welcomed participants to the session. Following the welcome, each attendee introduced themselves during the introduction session.

Bukola James then provided background information on the day’s agenda, highlighting the partner to be spotlighted. She gave an overview of the project, detailing its goals, achievements to date and recapping past training sessions for the benefit of new participants and to motivate returning contributors. She shared the project’s meta page link for more information and introduced the partners spotlighted since the project’s inception. Additionally, she presented the project timeline, resources available for contributions, and explained the disbursement criteria for reimbursing active contributors. Ruby D Brown also added that an evaluation would be conducted after the campaign to gather participant feedback.

Rhoda James recapped the previous week’s Wikidata training session, covering:

  • Activating the recoin tool on Wikidata.
  • Creating a Wikidata item.
  • Improving existing items on Wikidata.

The session then moved to the partner spotlight. Linason Blessing introduced Tolulope Ibiyeye, the program officer and state coordinator for Women Technology Empowerment Center (W.TEC). Tolulope, passionate about advocating for and empowering African women through digital literacy, began her presentation by outlining W.TEC and its projects. She addressed the gender gap in STEM, particularly in Nigeria, and discussed W.TEC’s mission to educate, connect, and empower Nigerian women through ICT. She highlighted their vision of a society where Nigerian women and girls effectively use information and communication technology for learning, activism, entrepreneurship, and professional activities.

Tolulope detailed their programs, which combine technology classes, mentoring opportunities, and research, aiming to bridge the gender gap in technology use, employment, invention, and innovation. The objectives include building the science and technology skills of 4000 girls and women in Nigeria annually and connecting them with STEM opportunities through competitions, hackathons, mentorship, scholarships, internships, and networking.

She showcased W.TEC’s programs such as She Created Camp, Early Innovation, W.TEC Academy, Inclusive Technology for All (IT4ALL), Makeher Space, Mentorher, She Can with ICT, Staying Safe Online, and She Talks Tech. Tolulope also presented their statistics and milestones, noting that W.TEC, in its 16 years of existence, has empowered 46,504 females. She concluded by explaining how participants could support and reach out to W.TEC and answered questions from attendees.

The session included a brief icebreaker where participants shared their comments on the project. Bukola James then addressed questions regarding Wikidata and contributing to the AWW IWD Inspire Inclusion 2024 project. She demonstrated how to link a Wikipedia article to a Wikidata item and merge duplicate items on Wikidata. The session concluded with a group photo, where some attendees turned on their video, and screenshots were taken.

For those who may have missed the session, the link to access it is available on the community meta page. Additionally, we encourage you to register for our upcoming sessions to ensure you receive timely email notifications one hour before each online session begins. We encourage you to visit our YouTube channel as well for previous sessions recordings. If you wish to become an active member of our community, please take a moment to complete the registration form. Let’s work together to bridge the gap on information about women on wikipedia and sister projects.

The Wikipedian community celebrated 23 years of Spanish Wikipedia, through an online meeting, where the actions, wikipedians and wikiprojects highlighted during the last year were nominated. This celebration brought together different Spanish-speaking countries, such as Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay and Spain.

The nomination took place prior to the celebration. To do so, the community was encouraged to propose wikipedians or wikiprojects to be highlighted, and from these proposals, 1) three good wiki actions, 2) three wikipedians and 3) three wikiprojects were selected and congratulated during the celebration.

Thus, the nomination was as follows. Through a few words explaining the motivation for their nomination, the community expressed their gratitude.

At the level of three good actions

This is a thank you notification. This feature allows editors to send a ‘thank you’ notification to users who make useful edits.

This is a mentoring module, accessible from the home page for new users and novice editors on Wikipedia.

The sandbox space provides a place to start article development or testing. It is useful for learning how to edit Wikipedia articles and practising wiki code syntax, as well as creating an article for later publication in the encyclopaedia.

At Wikipedian level

‘Because it’s incredible the amount of work he does and he’s always willing to share and teach other people.

‘Because he always helps me with what I need and motivates me to write articles on different topics, especially gastronomy and LGBT+ issues.

‘I want to celebrate the user for being a great technical and human support to all the members of the LGBT wikiproject in Spanish. His dedication and availability are an important pillar in the functioning and support of the project’.

‘For her tireless will in the Wikimedia projects’.

‘For her ongoing contribution to Wikidata and the broadening of knowledge’.

‘I want to celebrate the quiet, personal and friendly collaborative work that the user does for different people and projects. I find their personal support and their serenity to come up with new visions valuable, as well as their willingness to reconcile and their unselfish willingness to collaborate in the development of other ideas anywhere in the region’.

‘For creating serobot’.

‘He is very dedicated and committed to the encyclopaedia and the people he collaborates with. He is always willing to help and give guidance.

‘Personally, he has supported me with doubts and cheers’.

‘He edits like a crazy person’.

At Wikiproject level

‘Because currently, and without a doubt, it is the wikiproject with the most activity, the most organised and with a long-term commitment. After its inactivity, it was rescued from disappearance by a group of people who share common goals: free knowledge, visibility, activism, camaraderie and learning. Now the outlook is encouraging, and the figures support the project: every year the number of articles and annexes published by people belonging to the wikiproject increases, Featured and Good articles are postulated, contents are improved, the edition is focused with a gender perspective and a look at the Global South, and there are activities and constant dissemination. I want to celebrate this wikiproject because it helps to channel what in principle represents a hobby, into something that undoubtedly benefits the commons’.

‘For his great work to make visible the LGBT community and especially all genders other than male to close the gender gap that exists in Wikipedia’.

‘I think this project is important for two reasons: personal and circumstantial. The first is because I got to know the various figures and moments of the LGBT community, both in literature and culture, especially in Peru, and with the wikiproject I was able to update myself and get to know the importance of this community. Currently, I am creating articles focused on trans women in Peru. On the other hand, its dissemination is necessary due to the current events in Peru in the face of the pathologisation of trans people by the health authorities. I believe that the participants in the project will raise their voices in protest against what has been happening for a few weeks, whether in the writing of entries or in activism’.

‘It is a very active and therefore up-to-date wikiproject. Thanks to its aim to work on the coverage of articles linked to climate change, it improves the quality of the encyclopaedia, its neutrality and reliability. It is also a topic on the agenda and the consequences of climate change are felt most in the Global South so it is essential that everyone can be informed about it’.

‘It is a great project to improve the accessibility of the information Wikipedia contains in a human and user-friendly way. I think this recognition can serve to give it renewed momentum.’

We would like to congratulate the outstanding wikiprojects and wikipedians during the 23 years of Spanish Wikipedia, for such a well-deserved recognition, and thank them for all the work they carry out helping or teaching other people; as well as, improving or expanding the quality of the content in Wikipedia through the wikiprojects.  

In addition, here are some phrases of thanks to the Wikipedia project from the Spanish-speaking community… Thank you for so much! 

Wikimedistas de Uruguay
Wikimedistas de Uruguay


Partner Project Update from the Biodiversity Heritage Library
, Jack Eastaugh.


I'm Jack Eastaugh, Digitisation and Technical Support Officer for the Australian branch of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, hosted by Museums Victoria in Melbourne. Working alongside Nicole Kearney, the Manager of the BHL Australia project, we, and the rest of the BHL Au team, digitise Australia’s biodiversity heritage literature and make it freely accessible online.

Jack Eastaugh, Digitisation and Technical Support Officer for the Australian branch of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, scanning documents.

In 2023, BHL Australia received a Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) Local History Grant to digitise the legacy publications of Victoria's field naturalist clubs and create an online collection on the BHL website. The aim of which was to share the invaluable contribution these community organisations have made to Victoria's ecological and social heritage, creating a valuable resource for researchers, historians, and enthusiasts interested in the flora, fauna, and history of Victoria's diverse regions.

As we began this initial project, we noticed that these field naturalist clubs had little or no presence on Wikipedia and Wikidata, despite the notability of their natural history and conservation work.

It is from this realisation, that BHL Au approached Wikimedia Australia with a Wikimedia Australia Partner Grant proposal to fund the creation of Wikipedia pages and Wikidata records for these field naturalists clubs, as well as for their publications and notable people, places and events across time. The grant would also fund the sourcing of archival images and the upload of these into Wikimedia Commons.

A collection of legacy print publications of Victoria's field naturalist clubs ready to be digitised

Our project has several aims in mind:

  • Create and expand Wikipedia pages for notable Victorian field naturalist clubs that we have engaged with, drawing from online and print resources, as well as the published material we are digitising and adding to the BHL.
  • Create and enhance Wikidata records for the clubs and significant members.
  • Engage with the clubs by travelling to their regional communities to gain access to their archives, published resources and the local community to expand public knowledge of the rich history of the organisations themselves, highlighting the dedication and passion of the people behind them.
  • Assist copyright holders of historic and modern photographs of field naturalist club events and logos in submitting their media for Creative Commons licensing and uploading it to Wikimedia Commons.
  • Continue to expand Wikipedia pages and Wikidata records for notable clubs and individual field naturalists, by linking their contributions to scientific knowledge and conservation efforts to the native flora, fauna and national parks they have studied and protected.

Victoria’s field naturalist clubs have enthusiastically responded to our project, with many offering assistance in finding resources. We have begun to visit the regional field naturalist clubs, presenting the work we do at BHL Au, our field naturalist clubs project and the potential for a Wikipedia page and Wikidata record for the club.

Print publications published by Victoria's field naturalist clubs to record the ecological and social heritage of the flora, fauna, and history of Victoria's diverse regions.

Thus far, we have created Wikipedia pages and Wikidata records for all of the clubs who have been engaged for the project, which includes:

We have also edited and expanded twelve related pages using resources we have found during our research. We will continue to expand these pages as we digitise and upload publications to the BHL and uncover additional resources.

Please have a look at our work on the regional Field Naturalists Clubs of Victoria, Australia project page.

BHL Australia is hosted by Museums Victoria and receives its core operational funding from the Atlas of Living Australia. The Victorian Field Naturalist Project is funded by the Public Record Office Victoria and Wikimedia Australia.

Project Coordinator[edit | edit source]

Project Dashboard[edit | edit source]

Related Links[edit | edit source]

The Wikimedia Foundation, in collaboration with Creative Commons and Project Gutenberg, filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief supporting the Internet Archive in the Hachette v. Internet Archive case. The lawsuit involves major publishers accusing the Internet Archive of copyright infringement through its Open Library service. Legal issues arose in 2020 when lending restrictions were removed during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a District Court ruling against the Internet Archive in March 2023. The Court found fault with the nonprofit’s fair use defense, emphasizing concerns about soliciting donations. In response, the Wikimedia Foundation’s brief argues that the Court’s interpretation of fair use could wrongly classify nonprofit secondary uses as commercial, impacting all nonprofit organizations’ ability to utilize copyrighted material.

Internet Archive building in San Francisco. Image by Svobodat, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Wikimedia Foundation submitted an amicus brief in support of the Internet Archive in the Hachette v. Internet Archive lawsuit. In this case, the Internet Archive is being sued by four major book publishers who claim that the Internet Archive’s Open Library service encourages copyright infringement. We argued that the Court’s definition of “commercial use” of copyrighted works unfairly restricts nonprofit activities. 

The Internet Archive was created with the objective of building a digital library for the public and to be able to access internet sites and cultural artifacts. It has been able to do so by scanning donated and purchased books, storing the physical copies, and then lending the virtual ones in a process called Controlled Digital Lending (CDL). To prevent abuse, the Internet Archive would use virtual locks to prevent the content from being shared more than once. They believed that this would allow content to be lent through the fair use exception, while still respecting copyright-holders ownership of the works. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization decided to remove the lending restrictions it had on 1.4 million digitized books and created a National Emergency Library.

In March 2023, the District Court ruled against the Internet Archive’s Emergency Library and found that even if the nonprofit would lend the books for free, the fact that the organization solicited donations was a significant enough factor to find that the copyrighted works were being exploited in a way which harmed the owners of copyrighted material. Ultimately, the Court considered the use made by the National Emergency Library to be of a commercial nature: 

IA exploits the Works in Suit without paying the customary price. IA uses its Website to attract new members, solicit donations, and bolster its standing in the library community. […] IA receives these benefits as a direct result of offering the Publishers’ books in ebook form without obtaining a license. Although it does not make a monetary profit, IA still gains “an advantage or benefit from its distribution and use of” the Works in Suit “without having to account to the copyright holder[s],” the Publishers.

In September 2023, the Internet Archive appealed the decision. This led the Wikimedia Foundation, along with Creative Commons and Project Gutenberg, to submit an amicus brief in support. Our argument focused on the concern that the Court’s interpretation of fair use would unfairly classify any nonprofit’s use of copyrighted material to be commercial. The Wikimedia Foundation argued that it is problematic to associate additional users, donations, and reputation with “commercial” gains when, in actuality, they served the organization’s nonprofit purposes. The fair use exemption is important, as it allows some type of content to be freely posted on the Internet Archive’s website. Nonprofits with websites like the Wikimedia Foundation, Project Gutenberg, and Creative Commons use fundraising strategies and rely on donations to pay for infrastructure, employees, and other activities that help further each nonprofit’s mission.

We felt that the Court’s decision would threaten both the processes of nonprofit fundraising and the methods by which nonprofits, especially those which produce online educational resources, provide their services. Monetization should not be expanded to cover donations, as they are unrelated to the particular use of copyrighted material. We believed the Internet Archive did not have a commercial advantage with its Open Library service. Instead, it was serving the public in a time of greater need.

The content hosted by a nonprofit is generally set by what type of content can bring the greatest amount of benefit to the public at large. The Court’s decision, that a website-wide banner requesting donations was of a “commercial nature”, would subject nonprofit organizations to greater risks. As Wikipedia and other similar projects rely on user-generated content, this decision would create uncertainty for volunteer contributors, since rights holders may be emboldened to challenge the content posted by users. Ultimately, the Wikimedia Foundation believes that normal nonprofit activities like website-wide donation banners should not be seen as “commercial” under copyright laws. 

If you are interested in the topic and want to learn more about the case, you can read our joint amicus brief, the District Court’s ruling against the Internet Archive or about the Internet Archive and their mission.

We would like to thank the University of Southern California Gould School of Law Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic certified law students Zachary Hardy and Anna Higgins for their valuable contributions to this brief; our co-signers, Creative Commons and Project Gutenberg; the Wikimedia Foundation’s legal staff James Buatti, Shaun Spalding, Stan Adams and Jacob Rogers, and former legal fellows Elliot Ping and Veronica Dibos.

Learned Congka game in Malaysia

Friday, 24 May 2024 07:00 UTC

I am a member of a local reading group and read books to children in my community. Recently, I learned about a picture book by a Nigerian author titled “おとうとは青がすき (Chidi only likes blue)”. In the book, there is a scene where an African father teaches his children a game called Okwe (ókwè). It says that there are 14 hollows on a wooden board, and the children play by moving seeds that are placed in the hollows. It also said that children can learn numbers by playing this game. However, I had never seen this game in Japan, so I could not understand what kind of game it was.

Children pass the time with games (Hans-Peter Grumpe, GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons)

When I was in Malaysia in May for ESEAP 2024, participants visited the Sabah Art Gallery. It was just at the time of the Malaysia-China friendship commemorative exhibition, so we were able to view art works from both countries. Outside the gallery there were chairs and table, and a long wooden object with a strange shape. I thought, “Oh, it’s that game I saw in a picture book!” So I asked Malaysian and Indonesian Wikimedians who were accompanying us to show me how to play.

Wikimedian introduces congka to Japanese Wikimedian, 9 May 2024 (Zahirulnukman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The name of the game is “Congka,” which in Chinese is written “馬來播棋 (Ma Lai Ban Qi). To play, two people sit facing each other and place a board between them. The same number of balls (about 10) are placed in every hole on the board. The order is decided by rock-paper-scissors, and the winner takes all the balls in one of the hole at the end of the board and puts them in the next hole one by one. The winner takes all the balls in the end. I did not understand the details of the game, but I understood that this kind of game is common in this region. Malaysian and Indonesian Wikimedians said that they used to play this game when they were little.

A wooden Mancala board (Cburnett, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

After returning to Japan, I found out that it is a kind of game called “Mancala,” which is widely introduced in Southeast Asia. Around Malaysia, it is called “Congka,” and in the Philippines, it is said to be called “Sungka”. In Africa, it is known as “Oware,” and I also learned that “Okwe” (ókwè) is the official Ibo language of Nigeria, and I have learned many things by going back and forth between Wikipedia and Wikidata. It was quite an enjoyable experience to learn that the balls are made of pebbles, beans, seeds, or beads, depending on the region.

LetHerEdit Campaign

Thursday, 23 May 2024 20:40 UTC

The LetHerEdit Campaign, held in April 2024 in collaboration with the Global WikiEducation Initiative, aimed to address the significant gender imbalance on Wikipedia. This initiative focused on recruiting more Tanzanian women to become Wikipedia editors, thereby promoting gender equity in content creation. The campaign was conducted online, providing participants with the necessary skills to create accounts and publish content on Swahili Wikipedia.

Event Overview

Virtual Launch

The campaign commenced with a virtual launch event where presenters outlined the campaign’s objectives and introduced a dedicated metapage for the initiative. This page served as a central hub for information and coordination, listing articles that participants could work on. The session included a comprehensive introduction to Wikipedia, covering the platform’s purpose, significance, and the various styles of editing.

Training Sessions

Participants received hands-on training on creating Wikipedia accounts, editing articles, and publishing content on Swahili Wikipedia. These sessions were designed to be interactive and inclusive, ensuring that participants felt confident and capable of contributing to Wikipedia. The training emphasized the importance of accurate and diverse content, aiming to empower more Tanzanian women to share their knowledge and perspectives.

Campaign Impacts

The campaign successfully created a significant impact by raising awareness about the gender gap in Wikipedia editing. Currently, only about 9% of Wikipedia editors are female, compared to 91% male. The LetHerEdit Campaign aimed to change this dynamic by actively encouraging and training women to become editors.

During the campaign period, a total of 169 articles were created on Swahili Wikipedia. This achievement is reflected in the campaign’s dashboard, showcasing the tangible results of the participants’ efforts. The newly created articles enriched Swahili Wikipedia with diverse content, contributing to a more balanced representation of knowledge.

Conclusion

The LetHerEdit campaign successfully raised awareness among women about the opportunities and importance of editing Wikipedia. The positive impact, evidenced by the creation of 169 new articles and high engagement levels, indicates a strong interest and commitment to continue inviting more women to participate in this initiative.

Moving forward, the campaign could expand by offering more online resources, such as detailed guides and video tutorials, to support new editors. Additionally, fostering long-term partnerships with various women’s institutions could help sustain the momentum and bridge the gender gap on Wikipedia. By continuing to provide skills training and support, the campaign aims to create a lasting impact on the representation of women in the open knowledge movement.

Wiki Loves Libraries Nigeria 2.0 Takes Flight!

Thursday, 23 May 2024 20:32 UTC

With a focus on recruiting new participants who share a passion for GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) initiatives, alongside retraining individuals previously engaged in the Wikipedia Awareness for Library and Information Science in 2022 and the inaugural Wiki Loves Libraries event, the campaign strives for inclusivity and collaboration.

As we embark on this journey, it is worth celebrating the achievements of the team thus far. Three (3) successful online training sessions have already been hosted, serving as pillars of knowledge and inspiration for all involved.

Stay tuned for updates and insights as Wiki Loves Libraries Nigeria 2.0 unfolds its chapters of empowerment and enrichment.

First (Online) Training Session: Introduction to Wiki Loves Libraries Nigeria 2.0 and Introduction to Wikipedia

Date: April 13, 2024

The session, held from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM WAT, was moderated by Miracle James. Kicking off the proceedings, Miracle extended a warm welcome to all participants before inviting Blessing Linason, the project lead, to illuminate the purpose of the campaign and highlight its previous successes. Bukola James, the founder of the initiative, then shared insights on “Why Wiki Loves Libraries Nigeria?” setting the stage for an enlightening discourse.

Transitioning seamlessly, Jeremiah Ugwulebo took the floor to introduce participants to the intricacies of Wikipedia. His comprehensive presentation delved into key topics such as the Pillars of Wikipedia, the Basics of a Wikipedia Article, the Wikipedia Article Guiding Policy, and the Overview of a Wikipedia Article.

Following the presentation, a brief interlude ensued, during which Blessing prompted participants to share the word for “library” in their native languages. Resuming, Bukola navigated attendees through the event meta page, elucidating the registration process and dashboard navigation to ensure effective project contribution. Passing the virtual baton to Blessing, she fielded questions from the engaged participants while also encouraging them to complete the attendance form and activate their cameras for a group photo session.

With that, the day’s program concluded on a high note, wrapping up a session brimming with insights, engagement, and collaborative spirit.

Event Details

Second (Online) Training Session: Introduction to Wikidata

Date: April 20, 2024

Moderating the session, Miracle James commenced with a recap of the previous session on Introduction to Wikipedia. Spanning from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM West Central African Time, the stage was then set for the day’s trainer, Rhoda James, to take the spotlight and delve into her presentation on Introduction to Wikidata. Rhoda’s comprehensive presentation encompassed fundamental topics including What is a Wiki?, What is Data?, Structured Data vs. Unstructured Data, Features of Wikidata, Structure of Wikidata, and How Wikidata Supports Other Wikimedia Projects.

Post-presentation, Rhoda seamlessly transitioned into the practical session, demonstrating to participants the intricacies of creating a Wikidata item from scratch and improving existing ones.

The subsequent Q&A segment was handled by Bukola James, facilitating an interactive exchange of queries and insights. As the session drew to a close, participants were encouraged to join in a photo session by activating their cameras, marking a fitting conclusion to an enriching session of learning and collaboration.

Event Details

Third (Online) Training Session: Introduction to Wikimedia Commons

Date: April 27, 2024

This marked the final online training session for Wiki Loves Libraries Nigeria 2.0, with Miracle James resuming her moderation. Spanning from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM WAT, the day’s focus centered on “Introduction to Wikimedia Commons.” Miracle began by recapping the preceding sessions, ensuring that all participants, regardless of prior attendance, could glean valuable insights.

Next, the floor was handed over to the trainer of the day, Blessing Linason, who delved into a comprehensive presentation on various facets of Wikimedia Commons. From elucidating the essence of Wiki Commons to exploring elements of Creative Commons and delineating permissible actions, Blessing’s session provided a holistic understanding of the platform. Participants were also treated to a practical demonstration on image uploading, ensuring they left equipped with the necessary skills to contribute effectively.

The subsequent Q&A session facilitated an engaging exchange of queries and clarifications, further enriching participants’ understanding. A quick photo session added a touch of camaraderie and solidarity before drawing the session to a close.

Event Details

As we bid farewell to the online training session and look forward to the physical training session, let us carry forth the knowledge and insights gained as we continue our journey of enriching the digital landscape through Wiki Loves Libraries Nigeria 2.0. Together, let us forge ahead in our commitment to democratizing access to knowledge and fostering a culture of collaborative learning and contribution.

My First Wikimedia Hackathon

Thursday, 23 May 2024 20:22 UTC

In the heart of Tallinn, Estonia, from May 3rd to May 5th, 2024, the Wikimedia Hackathon unfolded, bringing together a diverse group of developers and enthusiasts from across the globe. The event was a celebration of collaboration, innovation, and shared mission of advancing open knowledge through technology.

As a participant in the 2024 Wikimedia Hackathon held in Tallinn from the group Wiki Mentor Africa (founded by Benedict Udeh under the Igbo Wikimedia User Group), it was an exciting and transformative experience for me that left an unforgettable mark in my journey within the Wikimedia movement. From the moment I stepped into the bustling venue, surrounded by like-minded individuals driven by a shared passion for open knowledge and collaboration, I knew I was in for an extraordinary adventure.

A Convergence of Minds

One of the most striking aspects of the hackathon was the vibrant energy that permeated the event venue. Participants, ranging from experienced Wikimedia contributors to first-time attendees like myself, gathered with a common purpose: to push the boundaries of what is possible with Wikimedia platforms. permit me to say that everyone brought their unique skills and perspectives to the table.

My task at the hackathon was enabling onscreen keyboard tailored to editing Wikidata descriptions, allowing for the seamless integration of special characters across various languages which was inspired by The User: Massly https://chped.net:443/https/phabricator.wikimedia.org/T364467. The hackathon provided a fertile ground for cross-pollination of ideas, with participants freely sharing insights and best practices across teams.

I found myself engaged in lively discussions, exchanging ideas, and learning from the wealth of knowledge that surrounded me, every interaction was an opportunity for growth and discovery.

Amidst the whirlwind of activity, I had the privilege of forging meaningful connections with fellow participants, each encounter adding a new layer of depth to my experience. One such connection was with Jon Harald Soby, whose expertise and guidance proved invaluable in ensuring the accuracy of the just approved Igala Wikipedia’s article count statistics. Another pivotal moment came through my collaboration with Martins Urbanec, whose support was instrumental in enabling Growth mentorship at igl.wikipedia.org.

As the hackathon drew to a close, I found myself reflecting on the profound impact of this experience. Beyond the lines of code and the technical challenges, what stood out most was the sense of belonging and purpose that permeated the event. In the span of just a few days, I had forged connections, with Danny Benjafield, Afi, Onyinyechi Onifade, Cynthia, Bell, Afi Maame Dufie and Raymond.

2024 Wikimedia Hackathon in Tallinn was more than just a gathering of developers and enthusiasts, it was a celebration of collaboration, creativity, and boundless potential of open knowledge. As I carry forward the lessons i learned and the memories made, I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this conference, united by a shared vision of a world where knowledge knows no bounds.

Katowice train station

Are you excited about your Wikimania 2024 journey? With a web of well-connected transportation, including an international airport, efficient rail links, and seamless road networks, Katowice is your gateway to the CEE Region like no other!

Katowice is a vibrant city with a unique blend of industrial heritage and modern attractions, from the iconic Spodek arena to the fascinating underground galleries of the Silesian Museum. Stroll through the charming streets, or relax in the Silesian Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe.

Planning your arrival

The conference program will begin on the morning of August 7, at 9:00 am local time. It will run through the evening of August 10. For those arriving in Katowice early on August 6, we will be organizing activities around the city. There will not be conference programming on this day. Some groups and committees will be organizing meetings for themselves. There will be also activities around the city happening on August 11, when most people will depart.

Flying in

Rules and regulations that apply to airborne travel don’t differ much from other countries, especially the Schengen Zone. The amount of fluids you can have in your hand luggage at security control is limited to 100 ml per bottle (and no more than 1 liter in total)–there are no CT scanners on Polish airports yet.

Katowice Airport

AP bus line, connecting the airport and the city

Katowice is served by the airport located 25 km / 15 mi apart from the city center. At the airport, there’s a train station (with no direct trains to Katowice at the time of writing). There are also bus and taxi stops by the terminal.

The recommended way of getting to Katowice from the airport is using bus line AP. It departs every 30 minutes (at night: every hour) from the airport and stops at several stops in Katowice (see more). This trip takes around 40 minutes. There are no special tickets for airport bus lines—a regular tariff applies (see below for ticket buying options).

Warsaw Airport

Main Polish airport, situated in Warsaw (crow’s flight distance to the city center: 7.5 km / 5 mi). Next to the airport terminal, there’s an underground train station from where trains to Warsaw depart every 15–20 minutes (except for nights). You can use city buses as well (it’s served by 4 day lines and one night line).

From Warsaw you can book a LOT flight to Katowice (there are 5 flights a day). If you’re arriving at Warsaw and wish to go directly to Katowice by train, the recommended way is from the Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina station transferring at Warszawa Zachodnia to Katowice—there are around 15 direct connections every day and the trip takes between 2h 30min and 3h 30min, depending on the train you pick. We encourage to buy tickets a few days in advance. Polish Railways allow to buy tickets a maximum of one month in advance, and they are the cheapest in the earliest days of availability.

Travelling by a train

Koleje Śląskie train

There’s a good number of trains coming from both within Poland (including Warsaw, Kraków and Wrocław), as well as trains crossing Poland’s western and southern borders. There are direct connections with e.g. Berlin, Ostrava, Prague, Budapest and Vienna. More international routes are possible with transfers.

Express trains in Poland are operated by PKP Intercity. In order to ride such a train, you’ll have to buy a ticket in advance. The sales open 30 days (for international trains: 60 days) before departure and close 5 minutes before scheduled departure time. Tickets are sold for a specific relation and specific time. This means that you have to know precisely when you’ll be travelling.

Contrary to express trains, tickets for regional trains are sold for a relation and not a specific trip from a schedule. This means that you can use the ticket for another train on the same route (provided that it’s during the ticket’s validity time). Regional train tickets are valid for at least 3 hours from the time printed on the ticket (actual validity time can be longer and is decided on the carrier and may depend on the trip length, check here—in Polish).

Train tickets are available for purchase is ticket offices at many stations. They can also be bought on-line, for example on Koleo or Jakdojade app (Jakdojade offers only express trains). Regional train tickets can be bought from the Skycash app that also allows to buy other kinds of transport tickets.

Local transport

The local transport is organized by Polish communes independently. Therefore, you should expect that ticket types, prices, and specific regulations will vary between cities. The most popular types of ticket are for a specific time (eg. 20 min, 1 hour, 24 hours, etc.), so it’s a good idea to check how long your trip is going to take in advance.

We recommend using the Jakdojade app for buying bus and tram tickets and planning your trips (download for Android or iOSwebapp). It supports over 30 Polish cities and allows to buy tickets in many of them.

Check the Travel page on the Wikimania wiki

See the Wikimania wiki for detailed information, such as money, climate, network, and insurance.

A “history-making” experience on Wikipedia

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 16:00 UTC

From feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable, and nervous, to knocking her Wikipedia assignment out of the park – North Carolina Central University Master of Information Science student Felecia Casey-Hicks went above and beyond her task of creating one new article for Wikipedia by publishing three brand new biographies featuring diverse notable figures in STEM.

Felecia Casey-Hicks with laptop showing the Madison Maxey Wikipedia article
Felecia Casey-Hicks with the Madison Maxey Wikipedia article. Image courtesy Felecia Casey-Hicks.

“As a Black woman in a male-dominated career, I know how disheartening it can be to be overlooked, or even disrespected, because of race, gender, social status, or other characteristics that are not considered mainstream,” said Casey-Hicks, a media professional with over 35 years of experience. “I think it’s important to recognize innovation and for people to see someone to whom they can relate, doing something they didn’t know was possible.”

The Wikipedia assignment brought Casey-Hicks together with classmates Janae Moore and Tanya Davis during her first semester of graduate school to create the Wikipedia article for Madison Maxey, an African American engineer, entrepreneur, and designer known for her work with electronic textiles and other advanced materials. 

“Contributing a biography of a diverse person in STEM, like Madison Maxey, to Wikipedia is a significant step towards addressing the underrepresentation of women and people of color on the platform,” said Moore, who also began graduate studies this spring. “As a STEM major and a black woman, I find it empowering to see individuals like Maxey recognized for their contributions, as it validates the importance of diversity in these fields and provides role models for future generations, including myself. This representation not only celebrates the achievements of underrepresented groups but also inspires others to pursue their passions in STEM, knowing that they, too, can make a significant impact.”

The trio divided the development of the article into sections, worked together to find reliable sources, and met often to ensure their collective progress toward finalizing and publishing the article on Wikipedia. 

Janae Moore
Janae Moore. Image courtesy Janae Moore.

The assignment enabled the students to develop and refine a wide range of skills, including research, critical thinking, and practical communications, explained Moore. Casey-Hicks echoed Moore’s reflection, also emphasizing the necessity of maintaining a neutral tone while writing for Wikipedia – a skill easily transferred to her career in visual media. 

For the entire group, the experience of filling in representation gaps on Wikipedia left a “profound impact” on the classmates, noted Moore.

“Contributing to the site and advocating for more diversity and inclusion was a deeply fulfilling experience for me, one that I am proud to have been a part of,” said Moore. “As a widely accessible platform, [Wikipedia] provides accurate and comprehensive information about individuals, helping to raise awareness of their achievements and influence. By offering a collaborative space for continuous updates, Wikipedia ensures that its coverage remains relevant and reflects the evolving narratives of these figures over time.”

Casey-Hicks, amazed by the process and initially concerned about potential scrutiny from Wikipedia editors, didn’t just stop with her group’s effort to create the new article for Madison Maxey. As an individual editor, she went on to develop new articles for Cordell Reed, an African American mechanical engineer and energy executive, and Arnold Stancell, an African American chemical engineer and scholar.

“The work [on the assignment] and experience were history-making and valuable,” explained Casey-Hicks. “It’s important to educate people about those who are doing extraordinary things to benefit society.” 

Led by course instructor Siobahn Grady, PhD, Casey-Hicks’ and Moore’s work on Wikipedia is part of a larger Wiki Education initiative sponsored by the Broadcom Foundation, which encourages the creation of new biographies of diverse people in STEM on Wikipedia.

Interested in incorporating a Wikipedia assignment into your course? Visit teach.wikiedu.org to learn more about the free assignment templates and resources that Wiki Education offers to instructors in the United States and Canada.

MetaPost sandbox

Monday, 20 May 2024 04:30 UTC

While working with MetaPost for typeface design(Nupuram, Malini), I frequently felt the need for a quick and easy way to test code snippets. This mirrors the functionality of popular online sandboxes like CodeSandbox or JSBin, which many developers are already familiar with. These platforms provide a web-based environment where you can edit code, see the output instantly, and avoid the hassle of setting up a complete application or environment. Inspired by this concept, I’ve been developing a MetaPost sandbox, and I’m excited to share it with you in this blog post.

Tech News issue #21, 2024 (May 20, 2024)

Monday, 20 May 2024 00:00 UTC
previous 2024, week 21 (Monday 20 May 2024) next

Tech News: 2024-21

weeklyOSM 721

Sunday, 19 May 2024 10:32 UTC

09/05/2024-15/05/2024

lead picture

Women participating in OpenStreetMap, a survey. Image by Ohene123 [1]

Mapping

  • Salim has set up a new challenge on MapRoulette called ‘Portugal – Fix Spiky Buildings’, which aims to correct inaccurately mapped buildings identified on OpenStreetMap, some of which may be correct but many of which are likely errors.
  • The proposal to set the tag shop=tortilla is in the voting phase until Sunday 26 May.

Mapping campaigns

  • Tushar V recounted his experience of participating in an OpenStreetMap mapping party for the first time.

Community

  • [1] Benedicta Banful Ohene-Amadi has provided an update on a survey on women’s participation in OpenStreetMap, revealing different perspectives on the issue from women and men, and highlighting the importance of understanding and addressing different viewpoints in mapping activities.
  • Nikita Ushakov explained the basics of OpenStreetMap editing using MapComplete, EveryDoor, and Vespucci.

Events

  • Włodzimierz Bartczak tooted that the State of the Map Europe 2024 event programme is now available and hints that more details will be coming soon. It’s also the final call for proposals for presentations and workshops, inviting those with solutions based on OpenStreetMap data or discussions about the project’s history to participate (open until Friday 31 May).
  • FOSSGIS will host the 22nd OpenStreetMap Community Meeting this October in Essen, Germany.
  • State of the Map Europe 2024 is fully embracing Mastodon for communication, with a monitored account run by @etua_en and @Cristoffs. They encourage anyone with questions about the conference to tag them with @sotmeu for support.
  • The call for venues to host the State of the Map 2025 is now open until Sunday 21 July.

Education

  • Alexandre Marques explained how to create interactive online maps using uMap, an open source tool that integrates OpenStreetMap layers, allowing users to add markers, lines, and polygons, import geospatial data, manage layers, and share maps through downloadable formats or embedded iframes on websites.
  • Séverin Ménard was invited to lead a workshop on river mapping in OpenStreetMap, using documentation published on the UN Maps Learning Hub. The workshop was organised by an oceanographer and president of the IVIDES, Dr Raquel Dezidério Souto, who provided more details in her diary. The video is available.

OSM research

  • The United States Census Bureau has developed a socioeconomic profile of the commuters affected by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, in Baltimore, based on OSM data and OSRM.

Maps

  • Daniel J. H. explored in detail the evolution and mechanics of OpenStreetMap’s vector tiles, highlighting their advantages over raster maps, detailing the Mapbox vector tile specification, and discussing challenges such as data redundancy across tiles.
  • Tino Dietel has created Freifunk Karte, a map that lists free wifi locations provided by the Freifunk movement.
  • Kamil Monicz detailed the ongoing preparations for the first development release of their OpenStreetMap NextGen project, including improvements to the elements sidebar, a preliminary implementation of the API 0.7, and general code cleanup.
  • The IVIDES has created a dynamic web map, using uMap, to support the actions being taken to combat the effects of the flooding in the state of Rio Grande do Sul that resulted in a significant humanitarian crisis. Official data on the hydrology of the affected region is available in the map documentation . Specifically, the polygons of flood areas were generalised from data from the National Institute for Space Research, which is also available from the ‘Flooding in Brazil’ activation on Disaster Charter. This initiative was blogged in Dr Raquel Dezidério Souto’s diary.

OSM in action

  • Reddit user AtmosphericBeats has created a 1:1 scale map of Baltimore in Minecraft, using OpenStreetMap data to accurately represent real building heights, street networks, pavements, parks, and more. This detailed model allows users to explore Baltimore in a virtual environment that mirrors the real city.
  • eMerzh tooted about an enjoyable cycling experience he had with his kids, highlighting a useful OpenStreetMap sign for cycling routes and appreciating its good attribution. Smveerman mentioned that you can order a free paper copy of this map from the Walloon government on their official site. Pieter Vander Vennet pointed out that MapComplete.org allows users to participate in creating their own maps.
  • The KF Map provides a detailed digital map of Indonesia’s infrastructure, with a particular focus on Jakarta. It includes data on various property types, facilities, and key infrastructure elements such as toll roads, airports and seaports, facilitating comprehensive urban and regional planning and analysis.

Licenses

  • Foxy found that the administrative boundary information in Overture Maps, which includes data from OpenStreetMap, is currently licensed under ODbL. Previously, this data was sourced from Esri and TomTom and was licensed under the CDLA Permissive 2.0 licence.

Software

  • Marcus Jaschen announced several updates to the bikerouter.de website, an OpenStreetMap-based bicycle routing app derived from brouter-web. These updates include a migration of the web server from Nginx to Caddy, a migration of the server to an ARM64-based architecture, and a migration of the operating system to Ubuntu 24.04.
  • Beakerboy has developed a 3D renderer web application allowing users to visualise an individual building object from OpenStreetMap.

Programming

  • Andrii Holovin has proposed a solution to the impasse in transitioning the Switch2OSM project to a new platform. He suggested preserving the current version on Jekyll as a historical artefact and starting anew by transferring the materials to MkDocs, a step he took over a year ago.

Releases

  • Garmin has released a new CycleMap and TopoActive map update, version 2024.10, for compatible wearable and handheld GPS devices. It improves navigation with updated map data while maintaining the same memory footprint. In case you didn’t know, these maps are based on OpenStreetMap data.
  • Bryan Housel announced the release of Rapid v2.3 for OpenStreetMap, introducing features such as Esri Wayback imagery for historical views, map rotation, MapRoulette integration for task management, and GeoScribbles for field notes.

OSM in the media

  • The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun, a local newspaper in the Hokuriku region of Japan, reported the completion of a highway repair project using an OpenStreetMap road route illustration. The highway had previously been damaged in 30 locations by the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

Other “geo” things

  • Heise Online reported on several projects that aim to detect GNSS signal disruption globally: Flightradar24 GPS Jamming Map and GPSJAM.
  • Researchers are developing a high-resolution, impact-based flood forecasting, and early warning system that will provide near-real-time flood forecasts with uncertainties to improve disaster preparedness and response.
  • Google Maps has launched a live tracking feature for TransJakarta buses, much to the delight of many Jakarta citizens. Through its Google Transit Partner initiative, Google is open to collaborations with any public transportation agency that is interested in providing real-time updates to Google Maps.
  • Amir Shoam, in TechSpot, explained the history of MapQuest, a web-based navigation service that was popular around 1999 and in 2010 became the first large online mapping service to embrace OSM.

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Salt Lake City OSM Utah Monthly Map Night 2024-05-17 flag
Bayonne Rencontre Groupe local Pays Basque – Sud Landes 2024-05-17 flag
Gambir Monthly Mapping Talks 2024-05-17 flag
Gandhi Nagar Tehsil 8th OSM Delhi Mapping Party – Day 1 2024-05-18 flag
Durham Mapping around University of New Hampshire 2024-05-19 flag
Kalkaji Tehsil 8th OSM Delhi Mapping Party – Day 2 2024-05-19 flag
England OSM UK Online Chat 2024-05-20 flag
Lyon Réunion du groupe local de Lyon 2024-05-21 flag
Bonn 175. OSM-Stammtisch Bonn 2024-05-21 flag
UN Mappers training – Validating OSM data – session #10 2024-05-22
iD Community Chat 2024-05-22
Zürich Missing Maps Zürich Mai Mapathon 2024-05-22 flag
Rio de Janeiro 💻 Oficina de mapeamento de feições importantes na redução de riscos de desastres (RRD) – YouthMappers UFRJ 2024-05-24 flag
OSMF Engineering Working Group meeting 2024-05-24
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2024-05-29 flag
Gent OpenStreetMap-meetup + MapComplete birthday party 2024-05-28 flag
Düsseldorf Düsseldorfer OpenStreetMap-Treffen (online) 2024-05-29 flag
[Online] OpenStreetMap Foundation board of Directors – public videomeeting 2024-05-30
Potsdam Missing Maps Mapathon Potsdam 2024-05-30 flag
Saarbrücken Stammtisch OSM Saarland gemeinsam mit OpenSaar e. V. 2024-05-31 flag
City of Vincent Social Mapping Sunday: Hyde Park II 2024-06-02 flag
臺北市 OpenStreetMap x Wikidata Taipei #65 2024-06-03 flag

Note:
If you like to see your event here, please put it into the OSM calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM.

This weeklyOSM was produced by MatthiasMatthias, SeverinGeo, Strubbl, TheSwavu, barefootstache, conradoos, mcliquid, miurahr, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.

Unearthing African history on Wikipedia

Friday, 17 May 2024 16:30 UTC

Africa is the birthplace of our species, and the place human civilization began, but outside of Egypt and the Nile Valley, how much do you know about ancient archaeological sites anywhere on the African continent? 

Over the past decade, Kate Grillo’s classes have worked to fix that problem, at least on Wikipedia. Initially at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse and now at the University of Florida, Dr. Grillo’s classes, supported by Wiki Education’s Student Program, have added almost 200,000 words to Wikipedia’s coverage of African archaeology. Student editors in the latest iteration of her class, Introduction to African Archaeology, created four new articles about archaeological sites – Takarkori in Libya, al-Khiday in Sudan, the Jarigole pillar site in Kenya, and Old Oyo in Nigeria. In addition to creating these new articles, the class also made improvements to another 20 articles.

Takarkori is an archaeological site in southern Libya, near the border with Algeria. Evidence of human habitation dates back over 10,000 years to a period when this area, now deep in the Sahara, was much wetter and supported lakes, wetlands, and flowing streams. 

The article provides readers with a sense of the depth of history of the site and manages to meet a reader’s need for background information without delving too deeply into tangential topics. 

A good Wikipedia article needs to strike a careful balance between providing the reader with enough information to keep reading without adding so much background that it ends up duplicating information that should be in a separate article dedicated to the topic. When writing in an underdeveloped area of Wikipedia like this one, getting that balance right can sometimes be a challenge.

Al-Khiday is a group of five sites on the western bank of the Nile in Sudan that were discovered in 2004. The best-studied of these sites, al-Khiday 2, was occupied at least four separate times between the pre-Mesolithic and the Late Meroitic (a time period that relates to the city of Meroë, the capital of the Kingdom of Kush).

This article provides a glimpse at life in the Upper Nile Valley at various points in time over the course of thousands of years. It also lifts the curtain as to how archaeologists learn about life in ancient times through clues like charring in food remains, starch grain sizes, and the imprints of bacteria on prostate stones. 

Jarigole pillar site, a communal burial site in northern Kenya, and Old Oyo in Nigeria, the capital city of the Oyo Empire which was abandoned in 1835 after Fulani attacks, round out the set of articles created by student editors in this iteration of Dr. Grillo’s class. Together, these articles help fill gaps in an area of Wikipedia where significant absences abound.

Popular – and sometimes scholarly – knowledge is shaped by the information that’s available. Wikipedia’s existence has put an incredible amount of information at the fingertips of anyone with an internet connection (and a decent command of English or one of the other major language Wikipedias). But the information on Wikipedia tends to reflect the biases in popular content. By adding specific scholarly content in an area that’s less visible in the public imagining of the ancient world, student editors like those in Dr. Grillo’s classes can help chip away at systemic issues in the representation of human knowledge. 

Just by doing a class assignment, they can start to change the world.

Interested in learning more about teaching with Wikipedia and getting started in your own class? Visit teach.wikiedu.org or reach out with questions at [email protected].

Hero image by Luca Galuzzi, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Nick Sheppard, Open Research Advisor at Leeds University and winner of Wikimedian of the Year Award 2023, and Martin Poulter, Wikimedian in Residence at the Khalili Collections and Wikimedian of the Year in 2016, have teamed up with to create a primer for researchers on how and why to use Wikimedia projects as platforms for their work.

The new document is one of many Open Research primers published by the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) – a consortium that promotes best practice in research. The UKRN site hosts advice on open and reproducible research across all subjects; all freely available and openly licensed. The primer was reviewed by Daniel Mietchen (Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure, FIZ Karlsruhe) who is a contributor to multiple Wikimedia projects as well as a scientific researcher.

It may surprise people how much content on Wikipedia and its sister projects is drawn directly from scholarly publications. If you read about peat in any of eight languages, you see a global map of peat distribution from a research database at the University of Leeds. It’s one of many images that have come from open-access research. If you read about ant species, some of the text has been repurposed from research papers.

A peatmap of the world.
File:PEATMAP.jpg by Xu, Jiren and Morris, Paul J. and Liu, Junguo and Holden, Joseph

Concentrating mainly on Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikidata, the new document describes how sharing open-access research helps to open up the process of research while reaching a public audience much larger than the typical readers of a research paper. Individual charts and diagrams can be shared on Wikimedia Commons, along with the code and data tables used to create them. Text from suitable research papers can be reused in Wikipedia articles. Large databases can build mutual links with Wikidata, using it as a hub to connect with other sources of information about a topic.

There are many reasons to make the process of research as open and transparent as possible, including rigour, reproducibility, and public trust. As part of the UKRN’s work promoting transparency, its readers now have concrete suggestions of how the Wikimedia projects help this goal.

“I think this will prompt researchers in many fields to consider how their work can be visible on the most popular reference websites,” says Poulter. “And maybe give helpful next steps to those who have thought about it but are still apprehensive.” Neil Jacobs from UKRN said “We hope that this primer will encourage more researchers to work with Wikimedia in conducting research that is rigorous and transparent. It sits alongside others on data sharing, open software / code, community engagement in research, open hardware and many more.”

Wikimedia projects are community-driven and mainly work “bottom-up” with individual scholars and experts. There is also a place for working “top-down”: shaping the advice that respected organisations give to their communities. This work with UKRN is one example of work that Wikimedia UK and its community are doing with organisations in the scientific, scholarly, cultural, and volunteering sectors.

Find the primer on UKRN.

The post New guidance for researchers on Wikimedia and open research appeared first on WMUK.

ProWiki Turns Two 🥳

Thursday, 16 May 2024 00:00 UTC

Discover the improvements to MediaWiki hosting over the last two years.

In 2021, we set out to transform MediaWiki hosting into a modern, user-centric experience. Our goal was for you to be able to create a new wiki in a minute and try it out for free. We launched a premium hosting service with no ads, superb usability, many features, and excellent support.

We named our new solution ProWiki and launched it in May 2022. We have come a long way in those short two years, hosting many wikis and continuously improving ProWiki. Let’s look at some highlights!

Admin Panel

Customize your wiki via our MediaWiki admin panel.

Effortlessly configure settings, customize themes, activate extensions, and manage user permissions. Sidestep PHP configuration by using our user-friendly interface for seamless wiki customization.

Dashboard of the MediaWiki admin panel

We added over 100 new settings to the Admin Panel and recently redesigned it from the group up to make it even more intuitive. Learn more.

Single Sign-On

We're thrilled to announce that ProWiki now supports Single Sign-On (SSO), enabling you to authenticate seamlessly using various identity providers such as Google, Microsoft, Okta and Slack. You can also authenticate via Generic OpenID Connect or authentication services like Auth0.

A list of SSO identity providers including GitLab, Google, Microsoft, and Slack

SSO streamlines your workflow by reducing the need to manage multiple passwords and enhances security. Additionally, with our new OAuth Server support, you can use your wiki as an identity provider, allowing login to other applications with your ProWiki accounts.

As a cherry on top, we recently improved support for Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). Administrators can now mandate 2FA, enhancing the security of your wiki.

2FA configuration that forces users to set up 2FA

Wikibase

Get started quickly with Wikibase via ProWiki. You configure Wikibase via the admin panel and enable various Wikibase extensions. Our most recent additions include Wikibase Client and a configuration UI for formatter URLs.

Wikibase dashboard showing statistics and configuration options

Create your own Wikibase today.

Slash Commands

Improve your editing productivity with Slash Commands, our new Visual Editor plugin.

“Slash commands” are an intuitive way to add content to your wiki pages. You are probably already familiar with slash commands from tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Notion.

Adding a table to a wiki page via Slash Commands in the MediaWiki Visual Editor

Slash Commands for MediaWiki are available exclusively on ProWiki and our other MediaWiki hosting options. They are part of our ongoing efforts to make MediaWiki as user-friendly as it can be.

Learn more about Slash Commands.

100 MediaWiki Extensions

We are continuously making additional MediaWiki extensions available on ProWiki. Over the last two years, we have added over 50 extensions.

Some of the extensions we added recently are ApprovedRevs for approval workflows, External Data for integration with external systems, Wikibase Client for access to Wikibase data, Moderation for vandalism protection, and Import Users.

Puzzle pieces around a sunflower

To ensure your wiki remains secure and performant, we only make high-quality and sustainable extensions available on ProWiki. Even so, there are many options to choose from. Find out our picks for the best MediaWiki extensions.

Happy Customers

"We unreservedly recommend Professional Wiki for all matters relating to MediaWiki."

"Professional Wiki’s hosting has been effortless and their support above and beyond expectation. Accommodating service with a personal touch, warmly recommended. I especially appreciated the care taken in migrating our sizeable legacy wiki."

Jaap van der Velde, Associate Principal Software Architect, for TUFLOW Wiki

"The ProWiki team provided swift and effective support when we needed to enhance our MediaWiki functionality. Their expert advice and responsive service were exactly what we needed."

"We experience ProWiki as a reliable wiki hosting provider that responds quickly to all our questions and needs."

Join their ranks 🚀

More To Come

We have many exciting features in the pipeline. Stay tuned for more improvements to ProWiki.

We are working on artificial intelligence in MediaWiki, radically improved usability, knowledge management integrations, and more.

If you have feature requests or feedback, please let us know. We are always looking for ways to provide more value.

Secure Your Discount

On July 1st, we will increase the price of ProWiki hosting. Secure your discount by signing up before then. Existing customers will be grandfathered in at their current rate.

Did you know that with ProWiki, you do not have to pay per seat? You can have as many users as you want on your wiki without any additional cost. You can also create as many wiki pages as you want.

With 100 users, SharePoint Business Standard, Confluence Premium and Notion Team all cost roughly 1000 EUR per month. For their higher tier plans, you pay roughly a quarter of a million EUR per year. With ProWiki, you pay 119 EUR per month for our Premium plan and 279 EUR for the Ultra plan.

Sign up today

Wikimedia Hackathon 2024 recap

Wednesday, 15 May 2024 00:00 UTC

Jessica Hernandez challenges the norms of traditional Western scholarship in her work as an environmental scientist, author, and activist. Hernandez, who is Maya Ch’orti and Binnizá-Zapotec, brings her lived experience as an Indigenous scholar into her research, building a bridge between activism and academia.

Like many notable women of color in STEM, Hernandez’s work was missing on Wikipedia – until just two months ago, when four undergraduates living across the country from Hernandez came together to add her story.

“Jessica Hernandez is an Indigenous scientist who gets very little exposure and advocates for communities and groups that are also underrepresented,” said Dayanara Mendez, a first-year English student at Lone Star College-Kingwood, a community college in Houston, Texas. “To get the chance to write an article about a woman of color in STEM, especially since I’m Hispanic and I always love the chance to learn more about other Latinos, made this a great opportunity.”

Classmates Natalie Ramirez, Alexandria Ravina, and McKenna Sealy joined Mendez to create the new Wikipedia article for Hernandez, working collaboratively to outline sections, find high quality sources for citations, and review each other’s research and writing. For Sealy, the Wikipedia assignment was a chance to share an inspiring and important perspective.

Professor Brian Shmaefsky's spring 2024 class, Lone Star College-Kingwood
Professor Brian Shmaefsky’s spring 2024 class. From left, standing: Alexandra Ravina, McKenna Sealy, Natalie Ramirez, Dayanara Mendez. Image courtesy Brian Shmaefsky.

“Jessica Hernandez has a lot to offer our world from her Indigenous perspective and research as an environmental scientist, activist, author, and researcher,” said Sealy. “She’s learned a lot through her family heritage about the environment, and that, combined with her formal education, can be very powerful in helping us to better understand the world around us and how to take care of it.”

Sealy noted the power of Wikipedia in shaping awareness and understanding of notable figures like Hernandez, emphasizing its accessibility.

“Because of Wikipedia, no one needs a database that costs money to learn more about people making a great impact on the world,” Sealy explained. “The assignment helped me realize that we can all contribute to big and important things even if we feel small and don’t think we can have an impact.”

At first, Mendez dreaded the research for the project, but once she began, quickly changed her mind.

“When I actually started, I found that it was pretty fun,” Mendez shared. “It was kind of challenging and I’m grateful for it because it was something new. It helped kill the boredom that I normally get from writing the same kind of essay consistently.” 

While she was a little nervous for the Wikipedia page to go live for the world’s eyes, Mendez received positive feedback from friends and would look forward to another Wikipedia assignment in the future.

Sealy agreed, noting the feeling of accomplishment when they finalized and published the article.

“This was a great assignment compared to a traditional assignment because rather than turning in a paper no one will ever see again, I’m actually making a difference and my work will be seen,” said Sealy.

Guided by course instructor Dr. Brian Shmaefsky, the group’s Wikipedia assignment is part of a larger Wiki Education initiative sponsored by the Broadcom Foundation, which encourages the creation of new biographies of diverse people in STEM on Wikipedia.

Interested in incorporating a Wikipedia assignment into your course? Visit teach.wikiedu.org to learn more about the free assignment templates and resources that Wiki Education offers to instructors in the United States and Canada.

Explore other related stories:

 

Bringing our mission to life through animation

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 08:36 UTC

As an organisation deeply committed to the principles of open knowledge and free information, Wikimedia UK has always sought innovative ways to engage with our community and promote our cause. Today, we’re thrilled to announce a new chapter in our outreach efforts: the launch of our new animations, designed to illuminate our work and bring about a greater understanding of our mission.

Since November 2023, we have been collaborating with a fantastic animation studio called Ritzy Animation who have helped us to bring our ideas to life, using images from Wiki Commons, which they’ve beautifully animated. 

There are four animations in total, providing an overview of us as an organisation and our three strategic themes. We have also created Welsh language versions, to support our projects and programmes across Wales.

Introduction to Wikimedia UK. Image attributions.

Why animation?

In a world inundated with information, we recognise the importance of finding creative ways to communicate our message effectively. As a result, we have identified a need for a more dynamic and accessible approach to engage with diverse audiences. Animation offers a unique medium to communicate new, and at times complex, concepts into digestible and visually appealing narratives, making our work more relatable and engaging to everyone.

Knowledge equity. Image attributions.

What do our animations cover?

Our animations cover both Wikimedia UK’s mission and objectives, offering insights into the wide-ranging impact of our work. From highlighting the significance and impact of open knowledge, to showcasing our three strategic themes of knowledge equity, information literacy and climate & environment, each episode offers a glimpse into our work and our mission.

Through captivating storytelling, and vibrant visuals, our aim is to demystify the concept of open knowledge and inspire viewers to become active participants in the creation and dissemination of knowledge through Wikimedia- these animations serve as an invitation to join us on our mission to empower individuals and communities through knowledge sharing.

Information literacy. Image attributions.

What we hope to achieve

At Wikimedia UK, our ultimate goal is to help build a world where every person has access to the sum of all human knowledge. With these animations, we hope to reach new audiences, ignite curiosity, and spark meaningful conversations about the importance of open knowledge in today’s society. 

By showcasing the breadth and depth of our work, we aim to raise awareness about the Wikimedia movement and the vital role it plays in promoting access to knowledge for all. We also hope to inspire individuals to actively contribute to Wikimedia projects, whether through editing articles, participating in community discussions, or supporting our initiatives in other ways.

Climate and environment. Image attributions.

Join us on our animated journey!

We hope that these animations help to convey to you what working with Wikimedia can do for you, your organisation or your community. Whether you’re a seasoned editor or someone new to our movement, there’s a place for you in the world of Wikimedia. Together, let’s harness the power of open knowledge to build a brighter, more informed future for generations to come.

The post Bringing our mission to life through animation appeared first on WMUK.

Wikimedia Hackathon Tallinn 2024

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 00:00 UTC

This year's Wikimedia Hackathon was held in early May in Tallinn, Estonia. Like last year, it was a great opportunity to both see people I work with regularly, including people in my own team that I had not seen in person before, and to work with and help people that I have had very limited interactions with before.

Me talking with Addshore at the Wikimedia Hackathon 2024 hacking room.

Image by Olari Pilnik is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

I presented a session about Puppet (slides), the configuration management tool used on Wikimedia infrastructure (and some other projects I've been involved on) which I think went quite well. I also organized (read: picked a spot for in the schedule) the cuteness meetup.

In addition to the sessions, the main focus of the event was, of course, hacking. As usual, I didn't make any major plans beforehand, and instead ended up working on several smaller projects as they popped up.

Here is a list of things I can remember working on:

  • I fixed several small issues in LibUp that makes it pass on more MediaWiki repositories (including core.git). James and I also migrated the LibUp configuration to GitLab.
  • I finished up an MR to grunt-banana-checker to add support for automatically fixing some common issues that were causing LibUp failures and to fix some minor bugs.
  • I worked with Piotr to get some of my patches to the OATHAuth and WebAuthn MediaWiki extensions merged. This is a part of my project to add support for more than one two-factor authentication device at a time that I was also working on during the Wikimania 2023 hackathon. Next up on this project is writing some UI code.
  • I fixed Wikimedia Gerrit twice after it had some issues that needed SRE intervention.
  • I sent a patch to Wikimedia's Phabricator/Phorge fork to add a new fox token. This ended up being deployed on Sunday and I got to showcase this during the hackathon showcase.
  • Reedy and I implemented support for foxes in WikiLove. I also wrote a bot to spam foxes to Sammy's talk pages on the beta cluster.1 (This also involved a fun side quest to get a working thumbnail for the fox image we used to show up on Beta since the thumbnailing there is broken.)
  • I removed some deprecated code from core to earn the MediaWiki track T-shirt. I also reviewed a bunch of patches by others trying to earn that T-shirt.2
  • I found and reported some bugs relating to Parsoid read views on Commons.
  • I processed some Toolforge account approval requests and Cloud VPS project requests. I also helped some people debug some Cloud VPS issues.
  • I helped Bryan debug and fix an issue with HTTP/1.1 streams through the Toolforge front proxy.
  • I made some queries on the Wiki Replicas accidentally very slow and then fixed them to be fast again on the next day.
  • Got a 100% helpful, harmless, useful, etc. patch merged to something. I will provide no more details on this one.

Finally, a conversation I had at the hackathon resulted in me nominating Novem Linguae for mediawiki/* +2 access a few days after the hackathon.

I had a great time, and the ferry trip to Tallinn was much nicer than the very early flight I had last year. I can't wait to see you all again :-)

Disclosure: I am currently a Wikimedia Foundation contractor, and the Foundation did pay for my travel to Tallinn. This is my personal blog and these are my own opinions.


  1. Since backporting this change felt too risky to do on the weekend, and also I have a feeling I'd get in troble if I ran an unapproved bot that edited on random wikis on our production wiki farm. ↩︎

  2. Anyone who got 5 or more patches to core.git merged during the Hackathon got a cool MediaWiki T-shirt. ↩︎

Wikimedia Europe has signed an open letter, penned by the Wikimedia Foundaiton, that calls on UN Member States to protect Wikipedia and other public interest projects in the forthcoming Global Digital Compact.

The Global Digital Compact initiative is a unique and pivotal opportunity to shape our digital world in a manner that advances the public interest and supports sustainable development for everyone, everywhere. 

UN Member States have the chance to embrace a positive vision for the internet’s future that supports and empowers diverse communities everywhere to build and operate free and open knowledge projects. The Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, provide the world with the largest free and open, multilingual, intercultural, universally accessible repository of educational materials ever created. The volunteer-run Wikimedia projects have formed a community-led ecosystem that champions information integrity. They serve as digital public infrastructure for openly licensed, neutral, encyclopedic content in over 300 languages.

Wikipedia’s experience of over two decades has taught us that the internet needs to be open, global, interoperable, and inclusive in order to serve all of humanity. To that end, three essential commitments should be included in the text of the Global Digital Compact:

  1. Protect and empower communities to govern online public interest projects.  Free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia should not be rare. UN Member States should—through regulation, public policy, funding, and other resources—support a world where diverse online communities can build and govern their own public interest projects, designing them to be equitable and contributing to a healthier online information ecosystem. 
  2. Promote and protect digital public goods by supporting a robust digital commons from which everyone, everywhere can benefit. Digital public goods such as Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects aim to make multilingual and intercultural information freely accessible to everyone. A thriving public domain that enables the sharing of free and openly licensed content for everyone to use and reuse is key to advancing many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  3. Build and deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support and empower, not replace, people who create content and make decisions in the public interest. AI and machine learning tools should support, and not replace, the work of humans. They should be designed and deployed in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, ensuring clear and consistent attribution. Such tools should also ensure participation and control by affected communities through transparent, accountable, and open processes.

Tech News issue #20, 2024 (May 13, 2024)

Monday, 13 May 2024 00:00 UTC
previous 2024, week 20 (Monday 13 May 2024) next

Tech News: 2024-20

weeklyOSM 720

Sunday, 12 May 2024 10:50 UTC

02/05/2024-08/05/2024

lead picture

Sustainable Map [1] | © sustainable.zottelig | map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Mapping campaigns

  • contrapunctus has suggested hosting a mapping party to coincide with DebConf24, which will be held from 28 July to 4 August at Pukyong National University, Busan, South Korea. Hwang Dongha said that attracting the local OSM community, Debian user groups, and Ubuntu user groups to the mapping party would be an easy way to get people together, and would also create an opportunity to promote OSM in South Korea.

Community

  • In response to the recent OSM vandalism controversy, caused by some players of Niantic’s Pokemon GO, Ilya Zverev has written a short essay titled ‘Не вина Niantic‘ (It’s not Niantic’s fault), justifying Niantic’s move to join Overture Maps rather than the OpenStreetMap Foundation.
  • Jiří Eischmann, a Red Hat desktop engineering manager among other things, made the following recommendation on Mastodon: ‘If you’re exploring OpenStreetMap like me and [you find] openstreetmap.org is too heavy for you, try OSMapp…’, a statement that triggered a few comments.
  • … elsewhere, Jiří Eischmann also commented on OsmAnd and mapycz. David Heidelberg, a Czech Linux developer, suspects that Jiří has fallen in love with OSM.
  • Julien Coupey shared his favorite OSM note of the moment (or possibly the year) : ‘Note 4097195 : The former sex shop has become a “evangelical protestant church”. I’m announcing I’m not touching that’.
  • Maurizio Napolitano presented a webinar entitled ‘OpenStreetMap: A collaborative Ecosystem Serving Society and Business’. The webinar discussed the role of OSM in enhancing innovation in the public and private sectors.
  • Kamil Monicz has published his OpenStreetMap NextGen Development Diary #5.5. At the end of May, OpenStreetMap-NG will include the necessary functionality to run on a testing server, as well as to invite new contributors into the project.
  • The UN Mapper of the month for May is Modo Levo Engelbert Steve, a geomatics student from Cameroon.
  • Brian Sperlongano has conducted a statistical analysis of the distribution of the populations of places in OpenStreetMap.

Events

  • Pieter Vander Vennet announced that he will be holding an OpenStreetMap workshop for beginners in Ghent, Belgium on Thursday 16 May.

Education

  • As a special guest, Dr Raquel Dezidério Souto gave a workshop on the creation of web maps with uMap and OSM data for a class at the Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. This was part of the PACES course coordinated by Professor Michael McCall. She described her expeience in her diary and shared the link to the recorded video for those who want to create a map like this.
  • The Trufi Association drew attention to its free ‘Public Transport‘ online courses.

OSM research

  • A study published in Geo-spatial Information Science analysed how the provision of OpenAerialMap images is associated with changes in the underlying editing patterns of OSM features.

Maps

  • [1] MapAmore reviewedSustainable Map‘, an OpenStreetMap-based web map that focuses on environmental sustainability themes.

OSM in action

  • Tykayn used MarineTraffic, a website displaying global marine traffic using OpenStreetMap data, to ponder how many people are currently at sea.

Open Data

  • As part of their migration process to Overture Maps, Meta has decided to discontinue the Daylight Map Distribution, a dataset derived from OpenStreetMap data, first released in March 2020. The last release is scheduled for November 2024.
  • Shizuoka Prefecture is known as an innovative region of Japan. In an article on the prefecture’s website they explained the ‘VIRTUAL SHIZUOKA concept’ (an open point cloud database available under CC BY 4.0). This enables Shizuoka Prefecture to be captured and experienced virtually.

Software

  • Ilya Zverev has released Every Door version 5.0. Now, you can try the freehand line drawing mode to sketch streams, culverts, walls, fences, cycleways, power lines, footways, paths, roads, and tracks by using the fourth mode for notes.
  • TrickyFoxy has developed a Tampermonkey script to add some functionality to the OpenStreetMap website.
  • Jeyseni recommended using OsmAnd as it is reliable enough to be used as an offline map application in Japan.

OSM in the media

  • Jomo noted that Germany’s most prominent TV news show, the Tagesschau (Review of the Day), is using OpenStreetMap and Maptiler to render maps in their brand design.
  • Tama Plaza News, a local news site covering the suburbs of Tokyo, Japan, recommended OpenStreetMap as a site for looking up street names.

Other “geo” things

  • Grant Slater is annoyed with Wikipedia, which rejected his attempt at creating a new article for a large dam, as it was not deemed notable enough.
  • OpenCage explained the annotation feature in its geocoding API. This feature serves to provide various additional information about a location.
  • OpenCage shared a news story about the local residents protesting as a result of the policy of the North Yorkshire council that is forcibly removing apostrophes from the local addressing system, allegedly due to the computer security risk they may pose.
  • Rakushouke, a keen Pokémon GO trainer, embarked on a short trip to Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake, located near Kyoto. With the help of OpenStreetMap, they successfully tracked down Wiglett (ウミディグダ/Umidigda in Japanese) and documented their findings in a photo blog .

Upcoming Events

Where What Online When Country
Localidad Chapinero GeoBeer Mayo 2024 2024-05-11 flag
SotM Asia 2024 monthly meeting 2024-05-11
Webinaire sur la campagne d’adhésion à OSMF 2024-05-11
Mainz OpenStreetMap-Stammtisch Mainz 2024-05-11 flag
Bengaluru OSM Bengaluru Mapping Party 2024-05-12 flag
København OSMmapperCPH 2024-05-12 flag
Zürich 163. OSM-Stammtisch Zürich 2024-05-13 flag
Grenoble Réunion groupe local Grenoble : Panoramax – L’alternative libre pour photo-cartographier les territoires 2024-05-13 flag
Grenoble Atelier du groupe local OpenStreetMap 2024-05-13 flag
San Jose South Bay Map Night 2024-05-15 flag
UN Mappers training – Validating OSM data – session #9 2024-05-15
Karlsruhe Stammtisch Karlsruhe 2024-05-15 flag
Zagreb State of the Map Croatia 2024 2024-05-16 – 2024-05-17 flag
[Online] Map-py Wednesday 2024-05-16
Salt Lake City OSM Utah Monthly Map Night 2024-05-17 flag
Hannover OSM-Stammtisch Hannover 2024-05-16 flag
Gent OpenStreetMap workshop for beginners 2024-05-16 flag
Durham Mapping around University of New Hampshire 2024-05-19 flag
England OSM UK Online Chat 2024-05-20 flag
Lyon Réunion du groupe local de Lyon 2024-05-21 flag
Bonn 175. OSM-Stammtisch Bonn 2024-05-21 flag
UN Mappers training – Validating OSM data – session #10 2024-05-22
iD Community Chat 2024-05-22
Zürich Missing Maps Zürich Mai Mapathon 2024-05-22 flag
Rio de Janeiro 💻 Oficina de mapeamento de feições importantes na redução de riscos de desastres (RRD) – YouthMappers UFRJ 2024-05-24 flag
OSMF Engineering Working Group meeting 2024-05-24

Note:
If you like to see your event here, please put it into the OSM calendar. Only data which is there, will appear in weeklyOSM.

This weeklyOSM was produced by SeverinGeo, Strubbl, TheSwavu, TrickyFoxy, YoViajo, adiatmad, barefootstache, derFred, euroPathfinder, miurahr, rtnf.
We welcome link suggestions for the next issue via this form and look forward to your contributions.

This Month in GLAM: April 2024

Saturday, 11 May 2024 06:46 UTC

Take a guess – what content gap in the Wikipedia articles on Lysol, the Great Depression in the United States, and the Black Panther Party is now filled, thanks to the work of Utah State University student editors? The answer might surprise you! You can now learn about the role of contraception in each subject’s histories.

These student editors may have channeled their research on birth control into unexpected areas of Wikipedia, but they weren’t the only students in Chris Babits’ History of Sexuality class who focused on adding information related to contraception to the online encyclopedia. Classmates also enhanced related pages including the Cornstock laws and Family planning in the United States. And until one Utah student jumped in, the Views on birth control in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page was missing arguably the most relevant view: the church’s current stance on contraception. 

Just as real-world events can lead to spikes in readership of related Wikipedia articles, student editors can be motivated to work on topics that experience a peaked level of public interest, wanting to add information to the in-demand area of knowledge.

Babits’ students’ decision to explore the topic of contraception may have been influenced by the real-world interest in the information following a milestone decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 24, 2022 the Supreme Court officially ruled to reverse Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion no longer exists. The decision undoubtedly drew attention to Wikipedia’s abortion article, which noted a significant jump in page views the following day, as well as to Wikipedia’s article on birth control, which nearly quadrupled in daily readership by June 25. 

Screenshot of chart depicting page views of the birth control article on Wikipedia June 20 - June 26, 2022
Screenshot of chart depicting page views of the Wikipedia article on birth control June 20 – June 26, 2022 (click to view)

So it should come as no surprise that Babits’ class, who’s collective edits on Wikipedia articles have been viewed nearly one million times, isn’t the only recent class in our Wikipedia Student Program to address knowledge gaps related to contraception. 

In fall 2023, three of Caroline Smith’s students at The George Washington University collaborated to create a new article on emergency contraceptives on college campuses, exploring the history, accessibility, and legislation of access at colleges and universities across the country. Their article explores the first time morning-after pills were sold in vending machines on a college campus at The Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, the spread of the concept to other institutions, and the related legislation.

This spring term, four of Smith’s students also worked together to create another new Wikipedia article to share the history of Julie, a healthcare company that markets a non-prescription emergency contraceptive pill. Julie launched their product in September 2022 in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade with a mission of removing stigmas around emergency contraception and increasing access for marginalized communities.

By filling in missing information for topics of public interest and need, student editors like Babits’ and Smiths’ can make tremendous impact through the Wikipedia assignment. Interested in learning more and getting started in your own class? Visit teach.wikiedu.org or reach out with questions at [email protected].

The Wikimedia Endowment is delighted to welcome Mayree Clark as a new member of its Endowment Board. Mayree, a finance expert, will bring her extensive governance expertise to the Wikimedia Endowment, a nonprofit charitable organization providing a permanent safekeeping fund to support the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity.

Mayree Clark is a former director of the Stanford University Endowment. She brings a diverse background in investment banking, equity research, and investment management to the Wikimedia Endowment Board. Mayree spent over 20 years at Morgan Stanley, where she held various leadership roles, including deputy to the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of finance company MSCI. After leaving Morgan Stanley, Mayree joined the investment management industry and later founded Eachwin Capital, an investment management firm. She has served on the boards of Ally Financial, Taubman, and Deutsche Bank AG, contributing her expertise in risk management, governance, and corporate turnaround. Mayree is also involved in multiple philanthropic organizations and holds degrees from the University of Southern California and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She has been a dedicated donor to the Wikimedia Foundation since 2007.

“Mayree’s dedication to the Wikimedia Endowment is palpable. She enriches our Board, as her financial expertise guides us forward, enhancing our collective mission of knowledge building, equity, and dissemination,” said President of the Wikimedia Endowment, Lisa Seitz-Gruwell.

With Mayree’s addition, the Endowment Board now has eleven members who all serve as volunteers; Board members are appointed for three years and may serve up to three terms.

Mayree’s appointment follows the recent release of the Wikimedia Foundation’s digital-first, interactive Annual Report and Endowment Report, spotlighting Wikimedia’s achievements and the vital role of donors. Emphasizing the theme “Knowledge is Human,” the reports honor the diverse individuals, including volunteers, staff, and donors, who contribute to the mission of making free, reliable knowledge accessible to everyone, everywhere.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to play an active part in supporting this precious community and all that it brings to the world,” said Mayree Clark.

About the Wikimedia Endowment

Launched in 2016, the Wikimedia Endowment is a nonprofit charitable organization providing a permanent safekeeping fund to support the operations and activities of the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity. It aims to create a solid financial foundation for the future of the Wikimedia projects. As of December 31st, 2023, the Wikimedia Endowment was valued at $130 million USD. Endowment Board members are selected based on active involvement in philanthropic endeavors, prior nonprofit board experience, fundraising and investment expertise, and a strong commitment to the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission. They serve as volunteers. The Wikimedia Endowment is a U.S.-based 501(c)3 charity (Tax ID: 87-3024488).

The post The Wikimedia Endowment welcomes Mayree Clark as its newest Board member  appeared first on Wikimedia Foundation.