Grants talk:PEG/WM CZ/Mediagrant II

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Discussion / CommentsEdit

DSLR ageing and serviceEdit

About "The older of the two cameras will be 6 years old by the end of Mediagrant II and we plan to buy a new one (and an objective) during the next two years", "Some expenses are needed for maintenance of these cameras (service, supplementary equipment)".

Any specific reason to replace a DSLR? I see you uploaded about 12 000 photographs taken with two cameras. While you could shoot say 2 times more pictures which were not uploaded because of being worse (you can check your camera shutter count), and you could take more pictures with your first camera than your second, I don't believe this is huge number to cause massive camera worn-out. According to shutter life database for your camera(you can also look at other models for better picture, same class models should not differ much) which could be not very correct (fake counts - someone could upload fake 8 million shutter count, bias to shutter breakage - someone with broken shutter more likely to report it, than someone whith working one, and many people just don't have large shutter count to report) even at 70,000 - 155,000 count shutter is twice more likely to work than not, and unofficial statement by Canon says that Shutter Durability Rating of Canon 1000D is about 100,000 shots (and no Canon DSLR rated below 50,000). And shutter can be replaced, though price and availability can differ, if replacing costs 100$ - it is ok, if about 300$ for entry level camera - it is better to buy a new one. Does the camera have some technical problems, so it needs repair and write-off or does the camera (or lens) lack any significant features or have significant drawbacks? --Ilya (talk) 08:51, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Hello, thank you for your question. As we would be the last ones to waste money on things we don't need, we gave this a long consideration. To understand the technical condition of this camera, you should know that it does not always receive the best care - in fact, it travels from person to person very often (~every two weeks in the season) and it wears out much faster. We already had to buy a new objective and now, it does not show the red focalization points at all. At the moment, the camera is in working order but after six years, we expect that the condition will deteriorate even more with all the manipulation.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:09, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Workshops & TrainingEdit

I see there are workshops being introduced as part of this phase II of your media grant. I am very glad to see this, however I would like to find out the following items:

  1. Have you done workshops before?
  2. Who will be doing the training?
  3. How many people will attend?
  4. What do you hope to achieve with the workshop?

Regards.--Thuvack (talk) 20:10, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Workshop with a botanist
Hello Thuvack, thanks for asking. We already held several workshops and both types of workshops (one-day and weeked) in the grant proposal have been tried before (in the Mediagrant I). There were six regular weekend workshops since 2009, usually about 10 people attend (recently we have begun to go for as many "newbies" as possible); the training is done by semi-professional protographers, aiming to improve the attendants' photographic skills and also acquire new content for Commons by the attendants during the weekend. Concerning the one-day workshops, these have been recently pioneered by the WikiProject Protected Areas - the first was lead by a botanist who explained how to properly document plant species, the second one was in a greenhouse and was trained by a professional photographer of wildlife, stressing the technical skills needed to take a nice picture in the nature. We expect that the proposed workshops will be held in a similar manner. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:09, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Looks good to me.--Thuvack (talk) 05:32, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Few more questionsEdit

I am trully sorry to bother you here (as I have no influence on the final decision) but there are few things about this submission that are bothering me.

  • First of all I believe that this submission should be separated into four standalone submissions which would be then evaluated separately. There is nearly no connection between for example travel costs refunds and external accountant for the chapter. In my opinion the first Mediagrant had its value for not yet well established chapter that still didn't know what it should do, what it costs and how to pay for it. But after these years the chapter should know it very well, and the very narrowed list proves it knows. Any unexpected expenses that don't fit should be funded from own resources.
    We believe that Mediagrant makes sense as a whole - we think that this grant proposal is not a disparate cluster of expenses but a well-considered program based on our long-time experience. The expenses make sense together - we need to help the photographers in many different ways and that's what Mediagrant is all about. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • You say that "An important factor in our considerations is that the grant money would be subjected to tax, if not returned and then relocated." According to which law statement should be grant money taxed if not returned (or spent really fast)?
    It is based on our communication with the Czech Tax Office ("Finanční úřad"). --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    Tax Office should have provided substantiation for its claim. I am just curious about it because I haven't seen anything like that before. --Reaperman (talk) 19:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
    If you want to get technical, then it is based on the wording of this law: 357/1992; part 1, section 2. If you want to get super-technical, we can get you in touch with our accountant :-) which I am not. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:21, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
    I read that law before and I didn't see anything, that would allow to postpone taxing (or to not have that money taxed if spent fast) so I was expecting you tax according to different law. You don't have to go that far to contact your accountant just because of me. (^_^) --Reaperman (talk) 19:46, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
  • You say "we can only speculate how many articles were enriched with a photo thanks to Mediagrant". Please, could you make a realistic guess? (Actually there is possibility to run a script to find out in how many unique articles those photos are used, but it would take considerable ammount of time to program it.)
    Yes such a script would be of incredible interest to us! :-) But as you say, it does take time. The proposal mentions that the number is certainly "in hundreds". We can illustrate it with an example: take users HanaKasparikova and Atriplexmedia, users who would probably never start taking pictures for Commons if there was no Mediagrant; up to now, they enriched Wikipedia with 83 and 39 articles of protected areas, respectively. Taken together, we guess "Protected Areas" topic has acquired new pictures of about 400 areas. Other topic with comparable results would be "Czech Municipalities".--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Could you make a realistic guess for how many of those photos would have been taken if there were no refunding from WMCZ?
    Our realistic guess, hypothetical of course, is 10%.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    Does it mean that your regular photographers are not willing to go take pictures without refunding or is it caused by some specific you have in Mediagrant rules that with MG you get roughly 10 times more photos then without it? --Reaperman (talk) 19:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
    Yes I believe that we would never have such a prolific photographing community; also, the grant is concentrating on topics that can be used well in articles, something that increases the importance.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:21, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Could you tell us which partners (museum, professional photographers etc.) were attracted and provided some material because of activities that are in this submission?
    Topí Pigula would be an example of a professional protographer, we also made contact with AOPK (Czech Environmental Protection Agency) and the topics "Jewish Monuments" and "Scientific Photography" could probably add other institutions that were attracted to what we do in Mediagrant.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Are there any plans to motivate participants in any way to make photographs of places closer to their hometown or to use less expensive means of transportation?
    At the moment, no. In fact, the places nearest to the big cities are well-documented today and we are looking for the farther villages, towns, protected areas and monuments - these would take a long time to document without the Mediagrant. Usually, people do start in their neighborhood but then want to move farther when they run out of local interesting places. It is also important to note that many protected areas are remote or isolated - and so a car is often inevitable.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    Protected areas are surely very specific project. But what about FČO (photography of Czech municipalities)? For example according to this link there are lots of undocumented municipalities even around Prague (in other words Central Bohemian region) yet a photographer went 200 km to western border of the country (and another 200 km back) by car, which is one of the most expensive means of transportation allowed in Mediagrant, while going by public transportation would be far less expensive. Isn't it that the exact example where some kind of motivation to use public transportation would be appropriate? --Reaperman (talk) 19:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
    To tell the truth, we were thinking the same way in the beginnings but then we discovered we would cover just a small part of the map of Czech republic if we applied strict "distance rules" (see the picture). Currently, we have rules that the length of the journey should be proportional to the number of pictures taken Overall, the expenses are 0,12 EUR per picture / 1,56 EUR per one "object" "documented" (village etc). Travelling by public transport is usually 4 times more expensive but you usually get to document 2-3 times less objects (you cannot easily travel "from village to village" by bus, or it is very time consuming). We do, however, encourage anyone to use public transport, both from financial and environmental reasons; many participants do travel by bus and train (such as me). --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:21, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
    I didn't say anything about "strict distance rules" but about "motivation". But as I just found out you rather motivate participants to go by car by constantly rising the financial compensation per km (faster then the fuel prices are actually going up). --Reaperman (talk) 13:19, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
  • How many people did participate in travel expenses refunding and workshops? How do you plan to attract even more people?
    Tracker says 27 people participated in "travel expenses" as you call it. Number of workshop participants has been mentioned in the grant proposal (about 10 each time). We want to attract even more people by... doing in fact the same thing what we do now - offering Mediagrant during exhibitions, meetings, Czech wikiconferences, blogging about it and posting about it on social sites. We are thrilled to hear other suggestions, of course, we are open to new possibilities of promoting Mediagrant. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    I was hoping to get the number of unique participants of workshop as well, I am sure there were people attending more than once. (^_^) --Reaperman (talk) 19:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
    Please, see linkd for details about participants:
    Trip with botanist (half experienced wikipedist, half non-wikipedist)
    Workshop in Fata Morgana 7 wikipedist/8 nonwikipedist
    First workshop
    Second workshop
    Third workshop
    Forth workshop
    If I am counting correctly, there is together 35 unique people; 22 which were experienced editors and 13 were people outside Wikipedia/Wikimedia. Regards --Chmee2 (talk) 08:18, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
    Thank you. --Reaperman (talk) 19:46, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The graph actually shows that peaks are during spring and not summer. How would you explain it?
    Yes, you are quite right. The number of participants tends to peak in May-June; it is because people have more time before the holiday (July-August); also, there are more things to document in the nature in the spring (plants in full blossom...) --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Could you explain what exactly do you mean by "massive documentation of a selected Czech region"?
    It relates to what we usually do during workshops; after we explain the technical stuff, the participants go into the surrounding nature and villages and practice what they have learnt. This way, massive amounts of pictures are taken. Often in previously "virgin" regions. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    So it doesn't mean that you try to cover as much near places as possible but rather you choose few places around that are then photographed intensively...? --Reaperman (talk) 19:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
    If you want to get this specific, then it is usually like this: workshop participants (1) learn the theory (2) practice together on one or two objects (church, plant species,...) and then often (3) split in groups and practice their new skills in the surrounding environment on a half-day trip. It differs, however, among workshops. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:21, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Is it posible and planned to do differently-themed workshops than just protected areas and making photograps of places?
    Yes it is, if it relates to the principles of Mediagrant; the budget, of course, lists only those events that have a team willing to organize them. If someone suggests a more promising event that those listed, we will be happy to give it a chance! Looking forward to your ideas :-). And of course, if you have a solid proposal now, I suppose that we can still add it to the proposal, if the GAC committee agrees. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    I've already given some ideas before. Someone even took portraits as a topic for workshop in spring 2013 (that didn't take place and was moved to spring 2014) yet this submission didn't seem to reflect it. --Reaperman (talk) 19:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
    Yes and we think your idea to organize portrait workshop is a wonderful idea. If you get someone to organize it, we will be happy to cover your costs, if reasonable and fitting to Mediagrant standards (sorry, but this is how work for Wikimedia goes - we do stuff that we have organisers for and you seemed to be reluctant to become the organiser). We are in contact with Svajcr, who showed interest in the portrait workshop at the time, and he successfuly organized a workshop in Fata Morgana Greenhouse (thus a different topic but the possibility of a portrait workshop is still open). --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:21, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
    I am not a photographer and I don't intend to act as one but I think that it's not that much more difficult for organizers then the regular one to explain some basics about portrait photography and let the articipants try it in some kind of difficult environment. As for me as an organiser I have lot of real life work and the experience that I (as not a member) am not "trustworthy" enough for the chapter ... so there is no reason to waste both our time (the chapter's and mine). --Reaperman (talk) 19:46, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Why should be external accountant remunerated from Mediagrant? Mediagrant is surely just a small portion of accounting work for WMCZ.
    "Accountant" is just the closest description of a specific work of someone whom we call the "barrel". As explained in the grant proposal, his work is to collect the numerous receipts of Mediagrant participants and prepare it for the real chapter accountant. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    Then it is not accountancy but mere administrative work and remuneration doesn't go to external worker but to one of the members who took responsibility for MG to work smoothly. Nice to have it explained. --Reaperman (talk) 19:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
    I am not sure I understand you properly here. Are you implying that we want to be the paid administrative force here? I would like to remind you that we plan to (quote) hire a student to do this work for us; preferentially, he/she should be a trustworthy person from outside the community in order to prevent possible conflicts of interest (end quote). And yes, it is not an accountant in a typical sense; of course, we can change it to "Administrative force" if you insist. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:21, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
    I am not implying anything. I am simply glad it was explained it is not remuneration for your accountant. I don't care who the "barrel" will or will not be at all. --Reaperman (talk) 19:46, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Why should be "other expenses" part of Mediagrant? I believe that expenses related to other stated activities are already included in their respective items.
    These (usually minor) expenses are not part of any above-mentioned activities; they relate to the work of "Mediagrant Eye" - when we, for example, need to contact our partners or cooperators, either by phone, by post or personally, or want to take the camera somewhere, for example. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Could you give us more detailed calculation? Some amounts seem just like out of nowhere like this.
    We will be happy to give you some more detailed calculations if possible; what would you want to know? We cannot plan for each Euro spend in the next two years, but the figures are based on our experience and we can give you a good overview of the expected expenses if you specify your question.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
    I just want to know how did you get those numbers, what exactly is behind them. I think it is quite clear which items are not explained enough. --Reaperman (talk) 19:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
    All Mediagrant expenses are catalogized in our open access Tracker system. Administrators and Foundation representatives have even access to scanned receipts. You can probably make sense of most expenses in the tracker - all past workshops, travel expenses, ... --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:21, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
    Your past expenses doesn't say much about your future expenses that are in this submission, i.e. equipment. --Reaperman (talk) 19:46, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

That would be all for now. Thanks in advance for your answers. --Reaperman (talk) 18:57, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks ;-) it is sort of nice to know that someone - from outside the chapter - cares about these things. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Initial commentsEdit

I want to say, first off, that I am incredibly glad to see a suggested reworking of the mediagrant. Mediagrant 1 has produced a lot of quality results, but also effectively prevented WMCZ from functioning for a significant period of time. It was one of the case studies in my earlier report. The idea of an open-ended Mediagrant 1 continuing to hang around WMCZ for who knows how long is not a pretty prospect. 30% flexibility in a grant budget is unusual, but I don't see a significant problem with it. Once Mediagrant 1 recovered from its initial problems, I think that WMCZ showed that they were able to make pretty reasonable decisions about to spend money on with even more flexibility than that. I would be biased against 30% in most grants, but since this is a replacement for the current mediagrant structure, I think it's okay. I fully support the addition of an accountant, having seen what the result of not having one was. I'm going to have a bunch more questions about this grant and will pop back to ask them, but figured I might as well leave some initial comments. In the interim, I also do share some of Reaperman's questions. Kevin (talk) 23:57, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you Kevin, for your support. The 30% flexibility is not earthshaking request – on the other hand we think the flexibility helped to the result of Mediagrant. For instance: formerly we thought one camera is sufficient for our volunteers, because only few actions would be held in the same day. Now we know the main “problem” is not the number of actions, but the logistic with the funneling of the camera and… a suitable weather for photography.
Indeed we will reply to Reaperman, but because of the number of the questions we will do it after this weekend. --Packa (talk) 20:03, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Minor change in the proposalEdit

In the Grantee Details, I erroneously stated that the chapter has no employees or conctractors. In truth, our accountant is maintained on a contract basis. Please accept my apologies, I have already fixed the error.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 08:57, 17 September 2013 (UTC)


Generally good. I do think the 10% flexibility should still be the case. I'm sure the WMF grantmaking staff would promptly approve greater divergences if you ask (beforehand) and they judge them to be reasonable. Overall, I don't think we see enough communication between the WMF and projects after approval.

Excellent questions above, which have resolved a few issues I had. And I presume the "student" receipt processor would cost much less than your existing contract accountant, which is a point that could have been made in the rationale for this.

The workshops sound really useful. Is there some way we can learn from your experiences here (in your report(s))? I'd like to see guidelines created for running such workshops, since a lot of WMF-affiliated organisations should be thinking about upskilling photographers. Are the people listed as running the workshops doing this professionally, for a fee? Are they qualified photographers or do they have track-records of excellence in photography?

The travel expenses: this is, for example, kilometre expenses for running a car, or 55 euros in return train travel? Is any accommodation involved? Will photographers conduct their activities variously in groups and by themselves?

A few examples of Czech WP articles and Commons description pages would have been useful. I'm always keen to see WP editors collaborate with photographers.

I had to work hard and to read much of the application before I had a reasonable idea of how Mediagrant I or II actually work. The opening "Project goals" section is really project outcomes, in the most overall sense, and the essential background for to enable us to understand what is proposed is scattered through the application. This is not the fault of applicants, but of the structure of the form and the related instructions. Tony (talk) 18:24, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Hello Tony1! I wrote to workshop coordinators to see if they already have, or, alternatively, can write, a manual on workshops based on their experience. Will post update on this here. There were probably several mentions in the regular reports but it is all scattered right now. Next: Workshops are coordinated by volunteers from the chapter; however, the professionals were, in some cases, given a moreless symbolical reward (about 40 EUR) to cover their time loss and travel costs. In those cases, these were carefully selected pros, willing to help to develop the Czech Wikimedia movement. Regarding the travel expenses: these are usually train or bus tickets or expenses on car (per km). Next: We can theoretically cover the accomodation costs according to our rules; but only in cases when some oversleeping somewhere is cheaper than travelling to and fro again next day. To my memory, it has not happened yet :-). Next: Photographers usually travel alone (it is not practical to travel in two - both have the same objects documented then...). Next: awe-inspiring lists of documented protected areas are listed here; districts with all areas documented are ticked blue. Similar list for all Czech municipalities is inconceivable but their Facebook page sometimes shares interesting articles with new pictures added to them. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 21:44, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Vojtech. I'm fine with the travel expenses and possibility of accomm., but it just looked vague in the application. At this stage one would like evidence of more solid planning, probably through getting prospective photographers to nominate their geographical preferences.

On that matter, I hear pixies in the forests talking about the new level of trip-route planning being implemented in one or two European jurisdictions: apparently it involves matching up potential targets with optimal linear routes, so that a day trip, for example, can be planned to maximise photo opportunities. Tony (talk) 13:34, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Post-Evaluation Summary of remaining CommentsEdit

Thank you for engaging in this discussion, everyone, and thank you to WMCZ for the good amount of detail and the responsiveness to questions by the GAC and the community.

If we approve this grant, we would allow budget flexibility at no more than 20% variance between line items. I find 30% excessive.

I have one remaining question: have you done an analysis, or can you do one if you haven't, of the usage of Mediagrant-supported media in the other Wikimedia projects (presumably mostly Wikipedia, presumably mostly in Czech, but certainly not exclusively so)? Naturally, photos are valuable in themselves on Commons where they may be discovered by category or image search, and used freely outside the Wikimedia projects, but I am interested to look at statistics about media integration so far.

Finally, I would also like to suggest to WMCZ to think about what additional benefits can be gained through the media-focused work this grant would support. For instance, can some writing competitions (or quality drives, or however it's framed) on Czech (and other-language?) Wikipedia(s?) be organized for some of the focus areas of the Mediagrant, synergizing people-who-like-to-write with people-who-like-to-contribute-photos, motivating each other? If WMCZ thinks this could be added to the plan, I would be more comfortable supporting the continuing expenditure. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 00:24, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, thank you for your comments. As mentioned above, the budget flexibility is not a fundamental part of the proposal and we are happy for the 20% suggestion - still enabling us to be flexible in our work for the next 2 years. Concerning the usage of Mediagrant-supported images: according to glamorous tool, 7854 pictures (17.02% of all images of category:Mediagrant) are used in an article on Wikipedia - half of them on Czech Wikipedia, half in other language versions or other sister projects of WMF. We generally encourage people to add their pictures to articles whenever possible and appropriate. A higher percentage could be achievable but we have a strategy to document as much of each object as possible: this means that, eg., we document the whole village very thoroughly on account of not documenting 5 but only 3 villages during one visit. But we have enough picture of the village not to have to visit it again in the near future. Concerning your suggestion of a competition, we have human resources to organize one (but would probably have to create a special item in the proposal) - currently, there seems to be an inflation of similar competitions so we did not think about including it in our proposal. Author-photographer pairs cooperate very often, though informally, and people ask each other to take pictures of this and that very often. Maybe let's think of other ways to motivate image&article parallel creation. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 13:04, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi Vojtech,
I would like to say I agree with Asaf: judging on the description and pictures on Commons, a bit more of a connection/synergy between photo taking and other activities like article making would be lovely. Maybe more focus on thematic events like writing and capturing pictures together would be a good idea - I imagine that then the photographers would know better what is needed, the writers would be more motivated and categories like scientific pictures would be more populated and used. I am curious of your opinion.
Other than that, I like using this grant as a framework for workshops to attract and keep people and I believe it is a fair proposal. Good luck! aegis maelstrom δ 15:24, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I just came back from Armenian WikiConference where I had learnt what WM France did and could be very much fun to do: they gathered in a small town, wrote articles about the town, captured hundreds of pictures, did some WikiVoyage work and Open Street Maps and probably also digitalized some material from a local museum. This seems like a wonderful idea and I am thinking of adopting this kind of project at our workshops too!
Also we could try some kind of targeted photographing - however, we already do have a list of "photo requirements" page and it is not so frequently used. Any ideas how this could be better done are welcome! --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:10, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Evaluation by the GACEdit

GAC Members who read the grant request without commentsEdit

  1. .

GAC Members who approve this grant requestEdit

  1. This looks generally good and all the answers on the concerns raised appear to be compelling enough for supporting this. Sorry for engaging late with this request, but seems like the others involved have already squeezed most of the relevant questions relating to it.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 13:01, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  2. Decent proposal--Mayur (talkEmail) 17:19, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
  3. Polimerek (talk) 11:29, 7 October 2013 (UTC) - looks fine for me.
  4. Craig Franklin (talk) 11:48, 8 October 2013 (UTC).
  5. aegis maelstrom δ 15:27, 10 October 2013 (UTC) Seems to be a fair proposal, details like wanted synergies can be worked out.

GAC Members who oppose this grant requestEdit

  1. . One camera for €1400 while you can make pictures with a smartphone of like €300 and send them directly online ?  Klaas|Z4␟V:  13:08, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
    As photographer, I can say this is of course right. However the "camera/smartphone" per €300 is producing images in less quality and lower resolution. What is even more important, you can not add any equipment (as macro lens, telelens, extra flash etc.) so these cheap cameras are not useful for some of our works. Commons are already full of low-resolution images quite useless for most of the articles. Producing more similar is not our target. Regards --Chmee2 (talk) 06:55, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

GAC Members who abstain from voting/commentEdit

  1. --Packa (talk) 21:09, 12 September 2013 (UTC) as a co-author
  2. .

Adjustment of grant start dateEdit

I was told that the grant start date can be adjusted to reflect the real start date (after the funds arrive). I would therefore like to ask for a change to 1st January 2014-1st January 2016. Thank you, --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 09:43, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

This is approved. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:01, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you :-) --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 23:07, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Request for a Budget IncreaseEdit

We would like to ask the Foundation to increase the resources of this grant. The reason is we want to enable the participants of the grant, i.e. those who take photos within the grant topics, to continue in their activities until the very end of the grant, which is the end of the year 2015.


Although our original estimate of the number of the journeys and thus of the estimated expenses (item 1.1 in the project budget) had reflected our previous 3-year experience, we had significantly underestimated the participants’ activity. The participants of the grant have carried out many more journeys and photographed many more objects than we were expecting to do.

It is proved by our estimate for all Mediagrant II with the real results in the first 18 months:

Number of photos 2-year estimate Reality after 18 months
Mediagrant II in total 16,000 31,077

We are aware of the fact that the number of photos itself may not be clear enough, so below is a comparison of the number of the photographed objects. Moreover, there have been partly justifiable comments on the quality of some of the photographs. We are going to deal with that in our mid-year report so now we just refer to the page with examples of photos, which has been made by the guarantors of the Czech Municipalities topic to help the photographers. The page illustrates, among other things, the differences between acceptable and unacceptable photographs.

Further we present a comparison of the number of objects such as castles, villages etc., in the topic of Photographing Czech Villages, which is the most important one in terms of assessing as it uses up to 83 % of the finances of all the topics in item 1.1:

Number of objects 2-year estimate Reality after 18 months
Topic: Czech Municipalities 500 2,070
Fig. 1: Travel expenses in the "Mediagrant II" scheme in 2014-2015

The graph in Fig. 1 shows the present expenses of the grant participants (item 1.1) in each of the three-month periods of the year (Q1 – Q4) and the resulting estimate of the expenses in the second half of the year 2015 (Q3 & Q4). The estimated sums are lower than those of corresponding periods of 2014, reflecting our experience which makes us think that not all listed journeys will finally be submitted to be paid and that some of the expenses will not be agreed to be paid in full. We estimate that the participants’ expenses will make a maximum of €8,000 while the planned sum was €3,500.

We do not request any increase in other items and we would only like to move a majority of the resources from item 3.2 to 3.1. The chapter member who used to be in charge of organizing these events (Chmee2) is no longer as active in the chapter and other members/volunteers tend to organize rather different types of events. Instead of one-day workshops we intend to have one more, cheaper, weekend photographic workshop.

Number Category Item description Budget Forecast Difference Currency
1 Travel reimbursement 3500 8000 +4500 EUR
1.1 Travel expenses for participants 3500 8000 +4500 EUR
2 Equipment 1620 1620 0 EUR
2.1 Maintenance of currently owned cameras 220 220 0 EUR
2.2 New photographic equipment 1400 1400 0 EUR
3 Workshops 1680 1680 0 EUR
3.1 Weekend workshops 1200 1660 +460 EUR
3.2 One-day workshops 480 20 -460 EUR
4 Administration 922 922 0 EUR
4.1 Accountancy 792 792 0 EUR
4.2 Other expenses 130 130 0 EUR
Total 7722 12322 +4500 EUR

Consequently we ask the Foundation to add €4,500 to the budget of this grant. --Packa (talk) 10:46, 23 July 2015 (UTC) (on behalf of Mediagrant II)

Hi Packa. Thank you for this detailed request. We really appreciate all the good information provided. The number of photos and individual objects already photographed is very impressive and there is clearly a lot of continued interest in this program. However, as Asaf raised in the above discussion, we would really like to have a better understanding of efforts to use the photos on the Wikimedia projects. Unfortunately, the Commons category Vojtech mentions above, Mediagrant, is not correct as there are only 18 files in that category. When he ran the numbers in glamorous in October 2013, 17% of the photos were being used. Has there been additional efforts to get the high-quality photos used, through writing competitions, editathons, or other activities? Additionally, it would helpful to have an update on your coverage goals. Do you focus your support on those volutneers that are visiting areas on the Current long-term topics table? Looking forward to your responses. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:33, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Hallo Alex, thank you for your response. For this time I only want to specify that Mediagrant II has his own category Mediagrant II (with its subcategories up to three levels below).
Maybe I do not understand what do you mean with “those volunteers that are visiting areas”. Participants who photographs villages, protected areas etc.? Or representatives of these long-term topics?
Next responses next week. --Packa (talk) 21:01, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Packa. I meant do you prioritize supporting people that plan to visit places on the long-term topic lists or do you support anyone that asks for reimbursements? At this point in the project, it is probably best to be more strategic about who you support. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 21:43, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes. The focus of Mediagrant is to support photography of long-term topics as stated above - those are the strategic goals. About 90% of travel expense funds are used for the "Czech Municipalities" and "Czech Protected Areas" where we strive for maximum coverage. --Vojtěch Dostál (talk) 06:51, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Alex, this is probably a misunderstanding. We are supporting (that means we refund their travel expenses) practically only volunteers that are visiting areas on the long-term topics table. Nearly all (99.3%) travel expenses in category 1.1 go to long-term topics.

I see we forgot to explain you basic principles how long-term topics work. I will use rules of Documentation of Czech Municipalities and Documentation of protected Natural Areas topics (which together use up to 92% of the finances of all topics in the item 1.1) as an example, but the main principles of other long-term topics are the same.

Basic principles of long-term topics

The basic principle is that the participant is asked to photograph objects (village, castle, protected area) that

  • have no photo yet,
  • have its own article on Wikipedia (or other WM-project).

Participants than need to

  • upload photographs to Commons, properly describe them, etc.,
  • add photograph(s) into an article,
  • write a ticket (report) in a Tracker.

Representative (manager) of a particular topic then checks if

  • the participant observed above given rules (and other rules specific to particular topic),
  • the photographs have an appropriate quality,
  • the journey was economic, eg. the number of photographed objects is proportional to a expense,
  • the ticket in a Tracker meets all formal details.

If all requirements are fulfilled, the journey will be paid. If not, the participant needs to correct it; if it is not possible, the expenditures will usually not be approved in full extent.

The result is that that no journey (in long-term topics) is approved in advance; also nobody needs to ask for permission to conduct his/her journey. Every journey, which fulfils the above mentioned rules, is paid out.

This procedure is allowed by very detailed rules of these long-term topics, so it is impossible to pay for a journey that has not at least fair results (regardless every journey is public thanks Tracker). Each rule has many pages, which includes not only the rules itself, but also

and many others.

Among very important tools belongs lists of objects:

where you can see which object has a photograph and which not.

Last, but not least there are maps with not photographed objects:

  • One tool comes from Pastorius – it is a .KML file, which you can open in Google Earth and where villages without photographs are indicated by pushpins. Other .KML files are prepared for protected areas and Jewish monuments,
  • Other solutions (partially independent) comes from YjM, Frettie and Blahma. For instance the YjM version displays villages and protected areas without photograph on Open Street Map. These tools are very new and still in development.
Percentage of photos of protected areas

So Mediagrant is a complex project which is supported by nearly 20 people (3 in the “Eye”, other 9 as representatives of long-term topics and other 5-6 people helps/helped to prepare lists and maps). Regardless of the most important persons: the participants (volunteers).

As mentioned in the request above, total number of photographs is not the main criterion for us (if we will be submitting Mediagrant III request we do not plan to use it as a measure of success). The topic of % usage of pictures in Wikimedia projects will be discussed by Jagro as a representative of Documentation of Czech Municipalities topics below. He will also add some information about our plans in the way of quality. --Packa (talk) 13:28, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Photos of municipalities maps
Hi everyone, as a garant of Czech Municipalities Photographs grant I would like to reply about usage of photos and another related questions. The first thing about is, that our main goal is, that EVERY Czech village will have a photograph in the article in a few years. I run today some statistics and it looks, that if we will continue in todays speed (based on 1Q2014–2Q2015) we will reach the goal in three–four years. When we started Mediagrant II we were at about 58 % – today we have more than 75 percent. But back to the question, the usage isn't so high, because we are taking more pictures in each village (our regulations speaks about more than fifteen things, that you can shoot in every village – we have appx. 12,38 photos from the municipality, so you are unable to put all of them into the article). But be sure, that in every article is at least one picture (mostly there is infobox picture and a gallery with a few photos)! We focused in early 2015 at the quality of images; we prepared page with examples, how to take QI of architecture etc. and in new run of the grant next year we will start the competition which will be focused on the quality (provisionally called Best photographed village).--Jagro (talk) 01:36, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Budget increase approvedEdit

Hi All. Thanks so much for the detailed context for the budget increase request. We're excited about the progress the community is making in covering municipalities and natural heritage sites in the Czech Republic. We approve the budget increase. Looking towards the next phase of Mediagrant, we do want to emphasize the importance of developing activities around photo integration and article creation for the many sites that don't have articles yet. For example, there are a large number of monuments with photos but no articles. What resources do volunteers need to create these articles -- access to local reference materials? editing training? a contest to motivate them? We'd like you to start thinking more about what your strategy and measures of success will be in this area for the rest of this year and next. We're happy to discuss ideas! Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 15:50, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Alex. Thank you for approving! We will discuss your proposal. Personally I think we need to know how to motivate our participants, because they are usually experienced users (so reference materials and editing training could help only a little). Cheers --Packa (talk) 21:39, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
@Alex Wang (WMF), Packa I'd love to see some sort of an initiative to promote article creation. I am sure that local reference materials, e.g. from local libraries or councils, would make it more interesting for volunteers. We have very good relationships with the library association of the Czech Republic, I wonder if they would like to cooperate on this. --Vojtěch Dostál (talk) 10:18, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
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