What are Other Photo Events? How did they start? What does the program bring to the movement? This summary page presents a high level answer to those questions. Click through the tabs on the navbar to find detailed sections diving deeper into the data. Read this page for a description of the program, data highlights across three core outcome areas, and lessons learned across program implementations.
Photo events focus on improving the quality and amount of photographs about specific topics. These events can last from a single day to an entire year. Most initiatives start with online organization and planning, and then move offline quickly, with participants going out in the world to document specific subjects and upload relevant images to Wikimedia Commons. Subjects vary, and include historic places, protected areas, plants, animals, art inside of museums, music festivals… and food! Some of these events are organized as contests, where participants are eligible to win prizes. Others simply aim at documenting the world while participants have fun with other Wikimedians and explore their environments. One example is WikiExpeditions, where participants might go camping or stay in hotels while visiting new places and sites for a weekend. The media (which are most often images, but can also be video and sound files) are uploaded to Commons after the event, and volunteers often categorize and distribute the images on Wikimedia projects.
The first documented photo event was Wikipedia Takes Manhattan, which took place on April 4, 2008, in New York. The event, which was coordinated by Wikimedia New York City, Columbia University, and New York University, was focused around a scavenger hunt. Participants would wander around the city to photograph subjects that had an existing Wikipedia article, but lacked images to fully illustrate it. Images were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and the event model caught on. Since 2008, a number of other volunteers and organizations picked up the concept of organizing photo events that cover specific topics, in most cases within a local context.
On content production and quality improvement edit
The photo events captured in this report generated an average of 92 media uploads at costs ranging from $0 up to nearly $900 USD per participant and from $0 to $56 USD per media uploaded with a total of 126,544 media uploaded through the events captured in this report.
The number of unique media used in Wikimedia articles per event averaged 26 with a total of 12,187 media already in use in articles.
Of the media contributed through the examined events, 10% has already been used in more than 33,000 Wikimedia articles.
The average photo event had less than 5 participants. 65% of participants were new users.
Less than one percent of new users were retained as active editors at three-month follow-up and beyond, they represent 32 retained new users, 0.8% of those newly registered users from the events, who survived in their third month, the majority (69%) as active editors.
The most popular goals, those noted as a priority by more than half of program leaders were to increase accuracy and/or detail of information, contributions, diversity of information coverage, and volunteer motivation and commitment.
Most of the budgets reported were zero dollars (65%); however, one budget was as high as $23,389 for an internationally organized Wiki Loves Earth contest.
The average number of staff hours spent running photo events other than WLM was 14, while the average number of volunteer hours was 20.
The majority of events did not use donated resources.
The majority (78%) of the photo events examined were held over 30 or more days.
The number of participants in photo events was wide ranging: the typical 2013 or 2014 event had fewer than five participants (63% of events); still, the report captured a total of 4,220 event participants, 65% of which were were new users.
↑Note: The data for other photo events are not normally distributed and do not allow for comparison of means or other analyses that require normal distributions. Instead, we present the median and ranges of metrics and use the term average to refer to the median average, since the median is a more statistically robust average than the arithmetic mean.