Grants:Project/Rapid/SuperHamster/Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 in the United States

SuperHamster/Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 in the United States
Funding for prize money and printing costs for Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 in the United States, the annual photography contest for historical sites.
targetWikimedia Commons, all Wikipedia projects
start dateSeptember 1
end dateDecember 31
budget (USD)$1,960
grant typeIndividual
contact(s)• kevinpayravi(_AT_)

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Wiki Loves Monuments is an international photo competition for monuments and historical sites, taking place every September in more than 40 countries around the world.

The United States has participated in Wiki Loves Monuments in 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017. Last year's event (2017) was primarily organized by SuperHamster (Kevin Payravi) and Nikikana, during which over 8,000 photos of historical sites in the United States were uploaded by over 1,400 individuals (most of any other country that year). Of the 8,000+ images, over 1,200 (~15%) of them are currently being used on Wikimedia projects.

Project Goal


This project has two main goals:

  • Adding content: Getting both a good quantity and quality of photos of registered historical sites is one of the main goals of Wiki Loves Monuments. Last year's 2017 competition in the United States resulted in over 8,000 images of registered historical sites, of which ~15% are currently being used in a Wikimedia project. Of those images, 12 became featured, and 128 were rated as quality. We hope to perform at a similar or better level this year on all those stats.
  • Recruiting new editors: The vast majority of participants have been brand new contributors. Of the >1,780 participants in the United States in 2018, 1,571 (88%) were new to the Commons. We hope to see a high turnout of new participants again this year. At the very least, the competition results in thousands of people becoming introduced and knowledgeable of the Commons and Wikimedia as a whole; at the best, we get a handful of contributors who continue to contribute after the end of Wiki Loves Monuments.

Project Plan




Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:
1. What content will the contest focus on, and why is it important to your community?

Wiki Loves Monuments focuses on gathering photos of registered historical sites from all around the world. From the official "about us" page, "Cultural heritage is an important part of the knowledge Wikipedia collects and disseminates...An image is worth a thousand words, in every language at once and local enthusiasts can (re)discover the cultural, historical, or scientific significance of their neighbourhood." With Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States, we hope to be able to gather images of cultural and historical sites from every corner of the nation.

2. How will you let people know about the contest?

  • Geonotices on Wikimedia projects, the primary driver of participants
  • Social media (see Twitter account), with both organic and paid posts
  • Outreach with external organizations and groups, such as state historical societies and photography clubs
  • Outreach with Wikimedia groups, such as interested WikiProjects and Wikimedia affiliates in the United States
  • Flickr photo walks (see blog post announcement) (walks currently planned for San Francisco and Denver)
  • Mass-message all of last year's participants to encourage them to participate again

3. How will you judge the contest and award prizes?

See Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 in the United States/Judging for last year's 2017 competition; while the judging format for 2018 has yet to be announced, it will be in a similar format to 2017.
Judging for our contest is a multi-stage contest, where multiple judges are recruited from various communities (such as Wikimedians, professional photographers, and artists) to judge the contest's photos. Each stage narrows the photo pool until the top-ten are determined. The volunteer-developed Montage judging tool is used by the judges to help streamline the process.

4. For photo contests, what is the strategy to get images used on projects?

On the English Wikipedia, the NRHP WikiProject does an effective job of finding and using images uploaded during Wiki Loves Monuments. We will reach out to this WikiProject to inform editors about the contest, and will also see if we can find similar groups on other language versions of Wikipedia. Likewise, WikiProjects and Wikimedia affiliates for each state will also be informed about the contest.

5. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?

Niki and I (Kevin) are excited to organize Wiki Loves Monuments in the United States again this year, and have been working on ways to make the process easier and more appealing for both participants and our jury.



We consider our project successful if we accomplish the following:

  • Receive a sizable number of participants and uploads, somewhere in the ballpark of last year's numbers (1,200+ contributors and 8,000+ uploads).
  • Successfully support participants, new and old, in contributing photos.
  • Build new relationships with historical organizations.

To encourage growth, we have set the follow goals for ourselves, which exceed last year's results:

  1. Number of participants: At least 1,400
  2. Number of photos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons: At least 10,000
  3. Number of photos used on Wikimedia projects: At least 1,500
  4. Number of featured photos[1]: At least 15
  5. Number of photos rated as quality[1]: At least 150

  1. a b Nominations for featured and quality photos will run well after the end of the contest, so stats will not be immediately available. There are presumingly many photos who deserve to be rated as quality but simply haven't been nominated; we will be able to increase these numbers by encouraging nominations and curating photos for nomination ourselves.

2016 had a very high participation number, perhaps in-part as it was the first time in several years that Wiki Loves Monuments was hosted for the United States. 2017 saw participation levels drop a bit.

To help sustain (or boost) participation levels, we plan on the following for this year:

  • Inviting all of last year's participants to participate again
  • More outreach with historical societies, museums, affiliates, etc.
  • More outreach on social media, including ads
  • Better guides for finding historical sites (see event page)
  • A larger prize pool to encourage more participation, particularly from professionals.
    • Our grant request includes larger prizes for the top three places, as well as introducing a monetary prize for the rest of the top 10. In 2017 we received several complaints that the prize pool was too small, especially for the country (the United States) that brought in the most contributors and the 8th-most number of photos. As a result, we hope to increase the prize pool to attract more participants, especially professionals.



What resources do you have? Include information on who is organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

This event is organized by SuperHamster (Kevin Payravi) and Nikikana, and we may bring more organizers on board as we get closer to the event. We currently have two years of experience with running in this event in the United States.
We plan on receiving outreach and promotional support from various historical societies and related institutions.

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense and include a total amount.

Item Cost Notes
1st Prize $500 In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
2nd Prize $350 In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
3rd Prize $200 In the form of a gift card of the winner's choosing.
4th-10th Prizes $350 $50 each
Facebook advertising $40
Twitter advertising $25
Certificate printing $15 10 certificates on high-quality paper sent to top-ten placers.
Custom shirts for judges and winners $350 35 custom shirts (~$8/each) from Blue Cotton, which will go to our jury (estimated up to 25) and top-ten winners after the end of the contest. T-shirts provide a nice incentive and thank-you for our jury and winners. T-shirts will be made to order, so we won't be ordering any more than we need.
Poly mailers for shirts $10 Poly mailers to send shirts to jury and winners
Postage $120 Estimated $3 per shirt + $1 per certificate
Total: $1,960



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