Research:WikiViz 2011

This page is about the WikiViz data visualization challenge. For the MediaWiki extension see this page
Felipe Ortega
Dario Taraborelli
Duration:  2011-06 – 2011-10
Open access project  Open access
no url provided
Open data project  Open data
no url provided
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This page documents a completed research project.

Key PersonnelEdit


  • Felipe Ortega (WikiSym)
  • Dario Taraborelli (Wikimedia Foundation)


  • Moritz Stefaner (Well Formed Data).
  • Kim Rees (Periscopic).
  • Andrew Vande Moere (KU Leuven and Information Aesthetics).
  • Erik Zachte (Wikimedia Foundation)
  • Gregorio Convertino (Xerox PARC and WikiSym 2011 Symposium Committee)

Project SummaryEdit

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Wikipedia, and its impressive growth in content, quality, diversity, and readership, the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym) and the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) are jointly launching WikiViz 2011 – a call for data/information visualization experts, computational journalists, data artists and data scientists to create the most insightful visualization of Wikipedia’s impact. WikiViz 2011 is about visualizing the impact of Wikipedia using open data. We want to see the most effective, compelling and creative data-driven visualizations of how Wikipedia impacted the world with its content, culture and open collaboration model. Potential topics include: the imprint of Wikipedia on knowledge sharing and access to information; its impact on literacy and education, journalism and research; on the functioning of scientific and cultural organizations and businesses, as well as the daily life of individuals around the world. In addition, we want to see visualizations of areas of knowledge, geographical regions, organizations and people Wikipedia has not been able to reach or has impacted less than one would have expected. In summary, the main goal of this competition is to improve our understanding of how Wikipedia is affecting the world beyond the scope of its own community.

The winning visualization – A Thousand Fibers Connect Us – Wikipedia’s Global Reach – was submitted by Jen Lowe. You can read the official announcement of the winner on the WMF blog.


We welcome original visualizations (both static and interactive) representing the external impact of Wikipedia (or other Wikimedia projects). Submissions should have not been previously published elsewhere or submitted to other visualization competitions, until the awarding ceremony. Submissions should be released under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license or any other license compatible with Wikimedia Commons. Visualizations should be based on publicly available and publicly reusable data. We expect the winner and runner-up teams to release the datasets used by the visualization before the awarding ceremony in October under an open license, as above, or even better under a CC0 license (public domain), to minimize attribution stacking when merging multiple datasets.

The focus of WikiViz is on data-driven visualizations. Infographics (no matter how beautiful and relevant) fall outside the scope of this contest. Likewise, we are not looking for purely artistic submissions that do not convey novel insights or valuable knowledge on the theme of the challenge. Submissions not meeting these criteria as well as submissions with no relevance to the theme of the challenge will not be considered in the selection process.


Three finalist teams (1 winner, 2 runners-up) will be invited to present their work at WikiSym 2011, in Mountain View (California). Travel expenses and registration fees will be covered for one delegate per finalist team. The submissions from these three teams will be showcased at the WikiSym 2011 exhibit, presented during the WikiViz awards ceremony and featured by our Knowledge and Media Partners. Furthermore, Spanish media group Unidad Editorial will run a voting process in September, among the visitors of El, (the largest digital newspaper in Spanish by readership worldwide), to select the “Public’s choice” visualization among the top 10 submissions received. The winner will be featured in the digital edition of El Mundo.

Benefits for the Wikimedia communityEdit

All visualizations and the datasets used to produce the three finalist entries will be released under an open license, compatible with Wikimedia commons.

Time LineEdit

  • June 29, 2011: Challenge starts accepting submissions.
  • August 19, 2011: Submission deadline.
  • September 12, 2011: Winner and finalist submissions announced.
  • October 4, 2011: WikiViz awards session, WikiSym 2011 (Mountain View, CA).


The challenge is co-organized by WMF and WikiSym. It is sponsored by El Mundo (Unidad Editorial) and supported by a number of knowledge partners in the area of data/information visualization (Periscopic, Information Aesthetics, and Flowing Data).

External linksEdit

Winning entry

Official announcements

Call for participation

Social media

(see also /Dissemination)


You can contact the organizers at