Grants:Project/Wiki Loves Monuments international team/2017 coordination/Timeline

Timeline for Wiki Loves Monuments international team

Timeline Date
July/August 15 Sept 2017
September 15 Oct 2017
(midterm) 4 Nov 2017
October 15 Nov 2017
November 15 Dec 2017
December 15 Jan 2018
January 15 Feb 2018
February 15 Mar 2018
(Final) 30 Mar 2018

Monthly updates


Please prepare a brief project update each month, in a format of your choice, to share progress and learnings with the community along the way. Submit the link below as you complete each update.


  • Administration
    • Definition of the fiscal sponsor
    • Defined countries ready to start the contest (1st September) and fix of countries not ready yet
    • Support of local communities for rapid grants
  • Tools
    • Developed a new tool connected to surface monuments data in Wikidata via maps (Monumental)
    • Setup of Piwik for statistics
    • Setup of the banners and of the Upload wizard
    • Extensive feature development and improvements for the jury tool, Montage
    • Back-end improvements to the wikiloves stats tool
  • Jury
    • Finalization of the prizes schema
    • Definition and nomination of the Jury coordinator
  • Partnerships & communication
    • Setup of the website in Commons ([1])
    • Update of the communication in the website to help local communities to set up their own contest and communication
    • Defined a partnership with Flickr
    • Definition and nomination of the social media coordinator
    • Definition of a collaboration with WMF Communications team
    • Blog post for the launch of the campaign
  • Offline activities
    • Mini cultural heritage edit-a-thon in Wikimania
    • Submission for Wikidatacon 2017
    • Presentation to a group of Wikimedians in Taiwan


  • Administration
    • Page of the contest on Commons and on the website are finalized (Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 on Commons and Wiki Loves Monuments 2017 website)
    • Definition of simple step-by-step guide to participate to the contest
    • The contest has bee run on time the 1st September with 52 countries (2 countries will join later)
    • General support to the local teams through helpdesk page
    • Specific support to the local team for upload wizard and for banners and fix of mis-configurations
    • Specific support to local groups running photo events in countries not participating to Wiki Loves Monuments (i.e. Mexico)
    • Setup of a the banner contest and of the Uploadwizard for each countries ([2])
    • Specific support to the local teams to migrate monuments in Wikidata and to check the completeness of these lists
    • Helping participants to understand how contribute better to the Flickr's joint activities
  • Tools
  • Jury
    • Definition of the prizes (one prize will be a professional camera)
    • Support to the local teams to find local reviewers
    • Definition of the guidelines to select jury members for the international contest
    • Guidelines and instructions to the local teams to run their jury process
  • Partnerships & communication
    • Definition of the partners (Flickr, Europa Nostra, Unite4Heritage)
    • Publication in Wikipedia Weekly
    • Communication about the start of the contest on the blog ([4]) and on social medias
    • Local communication ([5])
  • Offline activities
    • Definition of the towns running a photo-walk as part of the partnership with Flickr ([6])
    • Planning of presentations to submit to Wikimedia related events (i.e.Wikidatacon)




  • Closing competition
  • Import Flickr photos into respective categories.
  • Preparation for an import sprint of monument data into Wikidata.
  • Invitations for the international jury, confirming invitees and finalizing work on having a balanced jury.
  • Preparing the international jury process
  • Helping national competitions with their questions regarding the national jury processes
  • Processing nominees from national juries
  • Chasing countries for their nominees


  • Discussions about shape & possibilities of Offsite


  • Lots of minor changes on the backend.
  • Final work on Montage
  • Set up judging rounds for 33 countries (and ~17 subnational rounds)
  • Support for jury tool.


  • Started Instagram account, in preparation for 2018 (riding the attention span of 2017), 280 followers at time of submission.
  • Presented Wiki Loves Monuments at Zugang Gestalten in Germany
  • Presented 2 presentations at WikidataCon in Germany 1, 2
  • General support to the local teams through helpdesk page
  • promoting local winners through Twitter




  • Collect final submissions for finale
  • Chase countries, perform sanity checks for curious cases
  • Set up jury too for international jury
  • Run jury process


  • Redrafted dashboard concept into wishlist idea and submitted it.
  • Refactoring and code-quality improvements of the wikiloves stats tool

Outreach / PR / Social Media

  • Connect and warm up instagram account for WLM (continues into Dec)
  • Ask people and organizations to 'endorse' the WLM instagram account (continues into Dec)


  • Move WLM-IR data to Wikidata
  • Move Georgia to Wikidata

Admin / other

  • Write grant report October
  • Supported Wiki Loves Food in Macedonia on Montage, the jury tool
  • Supported Wiki Science Competition International, Italy, Ireland, and Czech Republic on Montage


  • Finalize some conversations for China




  • Judging process was finished
  • Perform sanity checks on winning images: email address, license, uploading on behalf of someone, reverse image search, description, monument status
  • Preparations for the jury report were made
  • Local teams were informed of upcoming announcements
  • Winners were informed


  • We made a dashboard proposal in the community wishlist process (see Nov) and reached out to people to see if they would be interested in Dec.
  • Extract international jury results
  • Code-quality improvements to the heritage tool-suite (T175907)
  • Refactoring, testing, code-quality improvements and general operations maintenance to the wikiloves statistics tool
  • Supported Wiki Loves Africa for the wikiloves statistics tool:
    • Fixed issues with data-collection for the previous editions (phab:T182188)
    • Added support for the 2017 competition (T181483)

Outreach / PR / Social Media

  • Collect stories and social media permissions from the winners
  • Blogposts were prepared for the announcement of the winners both WMF and WLM blog
  • Based on collected stories, tweets and instragram posts were prepared
  • Tweets and instragram posts were posted in a countdown after finding an optimal timeline.
  • Connection Facebook & Instagram
  • Presented WLM at the Wikimedia Foundation metrics and activities meeting


  • Prepare activity report for November




  • Submit proposal to present at WikiIndaba and request budget change to make that possible.
  • Misc:
    • supported Wiki Loves Science jury campaigns in Montage
    • supported Wiki Loves Africa 2017 jury campaigns in Montage



Outreach/Social Media/PR

  • Announced the winners of the banner contest that was organized with Wikivoyage volunteers as an extension of WLM2017.
  • Guest blog post on soon-to-be-lost heritage. Also published the story on our social media platforms.
  • Unified activity on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. With the new setup, posts on Instagram are automatically published on Facebook and Twitter as well.
  • Published 9 stories of national winners from as many different countries under our Monumental Stories (#MonumentalStories) campaign. This campaign, which started in December 2016, aims athighlighting WLM national winners with stories told by the photographers.
  • Steady growth in our social media traction. Instagram followership increased by 10% in January.


  • Write grant report for December
  • Explore grant/funding landscape for 2018 and beyond
  • Draft outlook for the coming year with the 2018 team, and arrive at some high level goals.
  • Write grant proposal for 2018, get feedback, rewrite, submit.
  • Worked with the winners to define their prizes, worked with WMCH as the fiscal sponsor to start the distribution of the prizes
  • Set up a new phabricator board for 2018



(no separate report as the final is almost coming up)

WikiIndaba report


Wiki Loves Monuments is an international annual, low-barrier photo competition. It has been organized by national teams in more than 75 countries around the world, and photo competitions like Wiki Loves Monuments have proven to be a good first project to organize for local teams. The concept has been especially successful in some parts of the world, we would like to explore the opportunities and challenges that Wiki Loves Monuments faces in (sub-Saharan) Africa, and how we could further develop the concept to make it both more accessible and more impactful.

For this purpose, I attended WikiIndaba, the Wikimedia Conference for organizers of Wikimedia activities across Africa. This is the best group to learn how we can improve our concept and methods to suit the needs of African organizers. A session to introduce WLM and explore the challenges and opportunities with national organizers was accepted, but was last minute merged with the session dedicated to the future on Wiki Loves Africa.

Most of the people I talked with either organized Wiki Loves Monuments in the past, or expressed an interest to do so in the future, if there would be no obstacles. The conversations focused mostly on challenges and how to address those, and I skipped for these purposes the positive feedback we received (an effective way to build community capacity, a nice way to get people involved in the community, returning new contributors, pride of the result achieved, a good entrance to start conversations with partners, etc).

In this report, I'll aggregate with a focus on future continuation. None of the points is generalizable for the countries - Africa is an incredibly diverse continent, and it would not be helpful to assume that all problems described are equally (if at all) relevant to all countries. I tried to cluster the information somewhat, and provide context where possible.

This is intended as input for a conversation, which would be a next step.


Finance/Grant: Organizers were challenged by the grant practices. One grantee described how they were granted funds, but due to the timing of the approval process (near the end of September), they were only able to execute it in a limited fashion. This reduced their effectiveness significantly. Approval speed (and execution speed) was reported in general as suboptimal. Some reported that grant committees would add 'suggestions' to change their activity. Organizers felt pressured to follow them, even though they didn't feel it helped the cause. User Groups can also only request 3 grants at the same time. This limits the larger UG's in their activities, and can mean that they have to skip WLM because of it, or request it in an untimely manner. A smoother and guaranteed pipeline would be helpful. A follow-up conversation with WMF Rapid Grants was scheduled in the weeks after Wiki Indaba, and resulted in a number of action items for future collaboration.

Collaborations: Many wanted to increase local collaborations, but several countries reported that they did not get the kind of appreciation as you'd hope due to not being incorportated. They feel that more international support (letters of support, introductions, etc) could be beneficial. This is even more relevant for sponsorships.

International bodies/networks: Especially when contacting the government, some support from UNESCO-like organizations could be helpful. We should look into how to build those relationships in a consistent manner.

Quality: National organizers felt that the quality of their images was not able to compete with European images. That is discouraging to photographers and organizers alike.

Transportation: People need to travel to monuments to photograph them. People need to travel to ceremonies to accept their award. Not everyone can afford that. Several countries described that they organized tours to bring photographers to the monuments, with the expectation that they then upload the images. Movement is not a free resource, and people need to be at the monument to photograph it. This did bring several challenges though, in order to perfect the pipeline (how do they actually upload the images).

Definitions: We may be dealing with different concepts of what constitutes 'heritage'. Some are because of practical concerns (copyright, official status), some are more conceptual. The concept is all too often tied to the colonial history.

Diverse African Heritage: Freedom of Panorama is a blocker. A significant number of African countries faces a limitation of heritage that can be photographed due to copyright restrictions. Organizing Wiki Loves Monuments can both be a motivation for us why we want to reduce those restrictions, but it can also be a PR-tool in persuading policy makers. Copyright restrictions lead to a distorted depiction of African heritage. Also the monument lists are often restricted to more or less the colonial era. Diversifying the lists is essential to engage the audience. Ancient monuments are sometimes kept off the lists (or mentioned without location) to preserve them through obscurity.

List quality: the quality (incl. richness) is not great in several countries. That means a lot of manual work in improving the lists. Cleanup, improvements, adding information and fixing mistakes, hard to deal with in our framework: we like to think of the official lists as an authoritative source. The standards are different compared to some European countries.

Scope size: When the list is too short, the heritage is not 'close' enough, and the list may be completed rapidly because the bar for a monument is really high. They are likely already photographed. How to expand the scope?

Informal lists: Besides the formal lists, there are sometimes also unofficial lists by other organizations or without legal standing (official status comes with expectations/responsibilities for the government). These could perhaps be included in the scope.

List updates: Lists are not always updated (this is a general problem across WLM). This becomes especially challenging when the government list is not 'officially published' all the time. How can we make updating scale?

Wikidata: Getting the data into Wikidata was generally received as a positive thing, but also as something hard to comprehend/execute. Wikidata does offer a framework for future localization.

List: Do we actually need a list?

Mobile: Uploading via phone or a reliable app could be improved. This would have to include the whole pipeline a participant has to go through: finding the monument, uploading, identifying etc. The current upload process is just too complicated, and the forced desktop process discourages part of the audience.

People: Many activities are being organized, and it is not always easy to find people who can organize a competition like this without support.

Technical support: A few times it was brought up that there are little technical tasks that block teams from moving forward (running queries on Wikidata, converting lists, setting up pages). Some support could help volunteers with less technical expertise participate in the organization better.

Communication: Promotion of the competition is more of a challenge. Social Media may be an additional approach to the banner, but requires investments of effort. Journalists expect to be compensated for their coverage. This all has some effort and budget implications.

Documentation: We need better documentation on how to organize. This includes how to make a communication plan, decision trees what to include in your competition, a menu of different options, etc.

Confusion: Some countries didn't participate because of a misunderstanding of the concept: who participates, and which photos can participate. Clearer and more communication could help.

Follow-up: People are excited after participating in something like Wiki Loves Monuments. How to keep them engaged? Even three events per year (lot of work!) may not be sufficient. We need some clearer pipeline for them to enter, better mechanisms.

I spoke at least with volunteers from the following countries: Uganda, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Cameroon, Algeria

Is your final report due but you need more time?

Extension request


New end date


31 March 2018

Rationale for extension and WMF approval


Noting here that WMF's approval for the grant extension is posted at Grants talk:Project/Wiki Loves Monuments international team/2017 coordination#Budget request approved. Final report new due date 30 April 2018. -- JTud (WMF), Grants Administrator (talk) 23:57, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Extension request


New end date


15 May 2018



It turns out that one payment (reimbursement) to an international winner is still pending. We're in good communication with the winner, but they need a little more time to make their purchase, and send us the receipt. Effeietsanders (talk) 05:45, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Extension approval


Hi Effeietsanders. Thanks for this update. The extension is approved. Please submit the report by 30 May 2018. Best, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 02:28, 5 May 2018 (UTC)