Learning patterns/Plan a Wiki expedition

A learning pattern forphoto events
Plan a Wiki expedition
problemHow to plan an enjoyable and effective Wiki expedition.
solutionA little bit of research and planning can lead to better outcomes.
creatorKHarold (WMF)
created on18:17, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

What problem does this solve?


WikiExpeditions or photo-walks are an opportunity for Wikimedians to visit new places and sites as a small group, with the goal of documenting topics that lack coverage on Wikimedia projects. 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.

This learning pattern will give basic guidelines for organizing a Wiki expedition.

What is the solution?

  • Contact local authorities in areas that you plan to visit. They may be able to provide guided tours of locations that are not normally open to the public or require a group to arrange a visit.[1][2]
  • Choose a location or region that does not have many images available on Commons.
  • If possible, create a list of specific sites, objects or activities that need to be photographed in each location.
  • Plan the trips so that you can get the maximum out of perfect light conditions (like being on the object during golden hour, just before sunset)
  • Having a lot of good photographers on exactly same places at the same time doesn't help -- better have small teams and spread them out
Wiki expeditions could also be as outreach events if you involve locals. Wiki expedition in Estonia.

Things to consider

  • Wiki Expeditions can be as short as one day, or can involve extended travel to several locations. Longer trips may be difficult for a group of volunteers to organize and participate in together. If a volunteer wants to plan a long Wiki Expedition, consider inviting other volunteers to meet up along the route to participate for one or two days.[1]
  • Consider inviting experienced photographers on the trips to provide advice or support for participants to improve their photography skills.[2]
  • We can outreach to remote villages where the internet is available and motivate young students who use a smartphone. If we can inspire them to be editor in Wikipedia and help them to learn the basic. That remote area can be covered throughout the year and their different customs and cultures (new images in commons and relevant pages). Even they can report the latest breaking news like citizen journalist do.

When to use

  • Organize a Wiki expedition or photo walk during a Wiki Loves photo competition to help contest participants visit sites that require travel or are difficult to access.
Wikimedia Polska
Part of the railways expedition team in the PESA factory in Bydgoszcz
"The railway Wiki expedition was expanded in comparison with 2013. Its been maintained with closer cooperation with Polish State Railways, which supported it both financially and organisationally. The system was changed from a team-based to the more individual, i.e. the main organizer was traveling around the country for 20 days, while the other participants were joining him for 2–10 days. Finally, 7 people participated in the project (including one disabled, using a wheelchair), who uploaded 995 files to Wikimedia Commons (spr. liczbę pod koniec listopada), of which many could not have been taken otherwise, as they got access to places normally not available to travelers."[1]
Buenos Aires Photo Safari
"The photo safari was and idea welcomed by several participants and they explained that there are a lot of people that want to take pictures in the city but are afraid to do by themselves. 8% of the total of images from the contest came from the photo safari. In terms of quality, most of the images were better than average, but without anything special; none of the images of the safari were in the 10 nominated. Before the contest, most of the monuments in the zone didn't have images in Wikipedia nor a description and now all of them have a picture; however, there are a lot of images for the same statue with the same angle, so this is something to consider for future activities."[3]
Wikimedia Tunisia
Photo walk for Wiki Loves Earth Tunisia
"We need the photo walk to have access to some parks [that require a group of people for a tour] so that we can take photos and take information about it. Also the photo walk helps Wikipedian interact between them not only in workshops or conference but also in activities like this for the first time. This is the first time that Tunisia participate in Wiki Loves Earth for that we are trying to gather people in a trip in different places and initiate the sense of capture and uploading photos about earth, and encourage them to participate in other Wiki loves projects." "... we will have a number of professional photographers among us in the Workshop and during the photo walks to give advice and tips about photography."[2]



Mourya Biswas (talk)

See also