User:Christof Pins (WMDE)/sandbox2015

Learning Pattern TemplateEdit

problemin a sentence, please describe the problem this pattern addresses after 'problem='
solutionin a sentence, please summarize the solution this pattern provides after 'solution='
created on9 December, 2015

What problem does this solve?Edit

What is the solution?Edit

Things to considerEdit

When to useEdit

See alsoEdit

Related patternsEdit

External linksEdit


Business cards and email adresses for volunteersEdit

A learning pattern for"outreach"
Business cards and email adresses for volunteers
problemInstitutions and official bodies are often cautious when it comes to collaborating with individual Wikimedia volunteers because they are more used to working with full­time employees at other institutions.
solutionBusiness cards and e­mail addresses issued officially by a Wikimedia chapter can offer effective support to volunteers seeking to establish contact with rights holders and institutions.
created on15 December, 2015

What problem does this solve?Edit

Volunteers normally have to provide their private contact details when, for example, initiating partnerships with GLAM institutions, contacting publishers regarding literature scholarships, asking rights holders to release an image, or contacting other institutions with regard to working on Wikimedia projects. But institutions are used to being contacted by full­time members of staff within an organization, and still find the idea of collaborating with volunteers somewhat odd.

What is the solution?Edit

With official business cards and personalized e­mail addresses issued by a Wikimedia chapter and featuring the relevant country domains for Wikipedia and its sister projects, volunteers can operate as officially recognized members of staff, making it significantly easier for them to establish external contacts.

Wikimedia Deutschland (along with Wikimedia Österreich and Wikimedia CH) has been issuing business cards and e­mail addresses to volunteers since 2011. This has shown itself to be a straightforward and useful way of providing support to volunteers when it comes to making contact with institutions and official bodies.


E­mail addresses and business cards should only be issued where there is lasting or project­oriented collaboration with the volunteer in question. The criterion for issuing business cards and e­mail addresses could be whether the volunteer already has the right to vote in Wikimedia projects, such as the German­language Wikipedia, for example.

At Wikimedia Deutschland, business cards and e­mail addresses can be requested easily by sending in an application form containing the user’s personal details, his or her preferred e­mail address(es), and the information that is to feature on the business cards.

E­mail addresses and business cards are to be used exclusively for Wikimedia projects and are not suitable for personal, everyday use. For this reason, the terms of use attached to the application form must be signed and adhered to by the user. The Wikimedia Deutschland application form and terms of use can be found here (in German only):

E­mail addressesEdit

E­mail addresses are issued in the following formats: [firstname.surname]@[project].de or [username]@[project].de. It is recommended that volunteers use their real names because this creates a more professional impression when establishing external contacts. Wikimedia Deutschland operates the following domains:


The new e­mail address is set up as a forwarding address, known as an e­mail alias, for an existing e-mail address specified by the user. There is therefore no inbox: the e­mails sent to and from the new address go via users’ private accounts and their respective e­mail providers. The technical steps required for setting up this forwarding function vary depending on the specifications of the user’s email provider.

Business cardsEdit

The business cards will be designed by Wikimedia or an external graphic designer. They will then be printed and sent to the volunteers.

The users themselves decide what information is to be included on the business cards (real name or username, address, e­mail address, etc.). The logo of the relevant Wikimedia project must also feature on the design, e.g. the Wikipedia logo.

The back of the card must feature a reference to the chapter that issued it. For example, the following sentence is printed on the back of the cards issued by Wikimedia Deutschland: Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von: Wikimedia Deutschland – Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V. (“Kindly supported by: Wikimedia Deutschland – Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.”)


In order to demonstrate the benefits of this kind of support and to encourage an exchange of ideas and experiences, individuals receiving the support should draw up regular reports in which they give a brief overview of their contacts and success stories. In practice, the question has been raised many times as to how volunteers can be encouraged to share their experiences and findings, and thus illustrate the benefits of the support scheme to other users.


The process of issuing e­mail addresses and business cards is relatively quick and inexpensive, and makes it easier for volunteers to establish lasting contact with institutions. This kind of support is also a way to show appreciation, and it strengthens the bond between volunteers and Wikimedia projects.

Related patternsEdit

External linksEdit


Using drones for aerial photography for Commons and WikipediaEdit

A learning pattern forphoto events
Using drones for aerial photography for Commons and Wikipedia
problemUsing a model drone to take aerial pictures offers completely new opportunities for creating valuable photographs for encyclopedic purposes, but it also requires compliance with certain legislative provisions.
solutionThis Learning Pattern aims to provide practical tips and answers to some legal issues, thus facilitating the entry into the world of aerial photography.
created on9 December, 2015

What problem does this solve?Edit

Please note: This Learning Pattern is mainly based on texts by Commons User Phantom3Pix and was edited/ translated/ posted by Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE).

With aerial photos taken via a drone you can present objects of encyclopedic relevance from a completely different perspective compared to conventional photography. Particularly in the case of cultural heritage properties or of nature conservation areas, e.g. during the annual photo contests "Wiki Loves Monuments" and "Wiki Loves Earth", such pictures can provide a significant added value.

However, when dealing with a drone, in addition to some technical hurdles, you may face a jungle of regionally different legal requirements. What permits are required? What costs can be expected, what support options are available and what else is there to consider?

What is the solution?Edit

What technical requirements are the minimum to take pictures by means of a drone?Edit

The drone should be GPS controlled so that it maintains its position in the air without manual countermeasures. The camera should have an appropriately high resolution.

In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, volunteers can borrow a photo drone (owned by WMCH) through the joint technic pool of the Wikimedia chapters in these countries.

Which legal requirements exist and how can they be met?Edit

Basically, anyone who wants to start a photo drone outside of private property (e.g. at the property of a model flying association) requires an appropriate liability insurance. Such insurance, for example, is included in the membership fee of the German model flying association (DMFV). If an additional insurance is required apart from this, depends on the particular model of the photo drone, and especially, on its weight.

In Switzerland, each and every one who wants to fly a drone >500 grams and to take pictures with it, must have a liability insurance (liability coverage in the amount of at least CHF 1M).

Aerial photo of Burg Pfalzgrafenstein at Kaub am Rhein (Inselburg)

In Germany, you do not need special permission if photos are taken for private purposes only. Nevertheless, the agreement of the landowner must be obtained. And, of course, it is also not allowed to spy on your neighbors ;-)

If photos are taken for commercial use, a general permission for the rise of unmanned aviation systems must be obtained. You can apply for this e.g. at Rhineland-Palatinate’s (German federal state) state office for mobility, department for aviation, at the airport Frankfurt-Hahn. Additionally, the local police station and the town clerk's office should to be informed at least 48 hours before the rise of the drone. Not every federal state accepts a permission obtained in another federal state, so that, for example, a flight across the border from Rhineland-Palatinate federal state to Hesse federal state can be problematic. 

Of course, there is a certain disambiguity in the distinction between private and commercial purposes. Some may say the private purpose is limited to a private photo album, but does not cover publications in social networks or even Wikipedia. So, if you want to be 100% safe, before taking the photographs and publishing them on Commons you should care for:

  1. A liability insurance.
  2. The permission of the respective federal state.
  3. The consent of the landowner.
  4. A notification at the local police and town clerk's office at least 48 hours before the rise of the drone.
WLM 2015 winner photo: Aerial photograph of Westerheversand Lighthouse

What costs arise for the technical equipment?Edit

The liability insurance including the additional insurance for drones up to 5 kg costs around 50 to 60 Euros per year. The yearly permission fee for rising drones is between 150 and 200 Euros. The permission fee for rising drones can be covered by the Wikimedia chapters in Germany, Switzerland and Austria upon request.

What practical tips and tricks are to be considered?Edit

Before actually taking aerial photos with a photo drone, it would be useful to get some practice manoeuvring the drone on a big field or meadow. 

It is important to keep visual contact with the drone! Sometimes, that can be actually quite tricky, because you have to care of the alignment of the photo camera at the same time. If you want to do that the best way possible, it is really helpful to have a second person on side who watches the drone and warns you in case of any dangers or occurrences.

Where can I get more information and find competent contacts?Edit

In Germany, you can approach the Deutscher Modellflieger Verband (German model flying association). Furthermore, there are many forums and pages in the social web where can get more detailed information. On Youtube, there are some really interesting and good tutorial videos by Arthur Konze. In many German cities, there are local associations and schools which might be useful as well.

When to useEdit

The information  from this learning pattern was used when shooting the Wiki Loves Monuments 2015 winner photo.


All legal information included in this text refers only to the laws and regulations in Germany or in Switzerland, is subject to change and may strongly  differ in other countries. Please check thoroughly which laws and regulations are valid in your respective region/ country before applying this learning pattern.

See alsoEdit

Related patternsEdit

External linksEdit


Data transfers to Wikimedia Commons: Sharing institutional archivesEdit

A learning pattern forcontent release partnerships
Data transfers to Wikimedia Commons: Sharing institutional archives
problemThe standard upload function of the free media archive Wikimedia Commons has been designed primarily for uploading small amounts of data/ media files.
solutionThe transfer of larger data sets or entire archives usually requires some preparation, depending on the character of the data and its associated metadata.This Learning Pattern tries to provide first guidance through the most common tools and procedures.
created on2 December, 2015

What problem does this solve?Edit

Why should a cultural institution release its archive to the public?Edit

A transfer of precious datasets from the institution’s archives to a free media archive has many benefits: It simplifies their re-use, contextualization and dissemination by third parties. The data can, for example, be integrated into Wikipedia or used barrier-free in a scientific context. New creative and innovative technical applications can be developed based on the archive. Previously unknown background details can be identified and explored by volunteers.

By now, numerous institutions have recognized the benefits of free data: As early as 2008, the German Bundessarchiv (Federal Archive) released over 80,000 photos from its inventory, which since serve to illustrate numerous Wikipedia articles, for example - viewed by thousands of readers day by day. The Veikkos archive donated a unique collection of over 40,000 public domain seals to Commons, which immediately got sorted, categorized and assigned further by the volunteer community of the Wikimedia projects.

Other examples come from the free culture hackathon Coding Da Vinci, which made available a data set of a historic fabric samples collection from the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (University of Applied Science) Berlin, historical 18th century writings from the archives of the district office of Berlin Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, images of geological collections of the City Museum Berlin as well as Audio and Video files from the Ethnological Museum Berlin, to name just a few.

However, the standard upload function of the free media archive Wikimedia Commons has been designed primarily for uploading only small amounts of data/ media files.

What is the solution?Edit

The transfer of larger data sets or entire archives usually requires some preparation, depending on the character of the data and its associated metadata. This Learning Pattern tries to provide first guidance through the most common tools and procedures:

In which format can I upload media files to Commons?Edit

File TypesEdit

For Commons, all file formats listed here are suitable.

Resolution / Compression / File SizeEdit

To take full advantage of all the possibilities that can result from a continued re-use of media files, they should be as large as possible, and uploaded as lossless as possible. Reducing and compressing images is a lot of work, but has many disadvantages and few advantages.

However, uploads in the default settings of Commons are, for technical reasons, limited to 100 MB per file. To upload files up to 1 GB, the 'chunked uploads' option must be activated in the user settings. This only works with a fWikimedia Commons user account (which is freely available, pls. see below). With server-side uploads, file uploads without any size limit are possible. You can find more information about file size here.

File NameEdit

Optimally, the file name should be composed of an explanatory title and an inventory or object number. In the case of artistic works, for example, it may consist of the artist's name, the name of the artwork and an object number. For book scans, the following structure has proved as useful: author's name, title and page number. More general information on file naming can be found here.

What do I need to upload data sets to Commons?Edit

To transfer media files to the free media repository Commons, an Internet connection, a free Commons user account and a free tool for transmitting the data (pls. see sections below) is needed. In addition, the uploading institution has to be the copyright owner of the files in order to release them under a free license (if they are not already public domain works).

For further information about Wikimedia Commons pls. see also:

How do I create a user account for Commons?Edit

A user account for Commons can be created here (or here for test uploads to Commons Beta). This account is also valid for other Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia and many others. It is best to choose a username which corresponds to the name of your institution. Further details on the creation of user accounts are available here.

Afterwards, it is recommended to get your account verified (due to transparency and safety reasons, currently only available in the German Wikipedia). All information about user account verification for institutions/ organisations can be found here (in German).

On your user page you can introduce yourself and your institution, and/ or the media files made ​​available by you (see below "How do I present my projects?"). Further information on user pages is listed here.

Technical Requirements for GWToolset

What upload tool should I use?Edit

To upload just single or several files, the easy-to-use UploadWizard may be sufficient. To upload single files, which are already available on the web, URL2 Commons has proved to be a very simple and useful tool.

For uploading larger amounts of data, the VicuñaUploader is recommended instead. If a data set is already available online and if its single media files already have individual metadata, the GWToolset can be used to transfer the data to Commons. These two programs will be discussed in detail below.

Vicuna Uploader

Using the “VicuñaUploader” (for uploading complete folders of data available offline)Edit

For a brief description of the VicuñaUploader please read here. A free download of the VicuñaUploader software and instructions in English are available, too.

Instructions for uploading files with Vicuña:Edit

  • Choose the files to be uploaded via Files→ Read files
  • To mark all files for the upload, select Edit → Select all
  • Go to Edit → Edit selected files description
  • Under Desc you can now insert your description text in the form {{en|Description Text in English}}
  • Description in other languages are optionally, e.g. {{de|Description Text in German}} {{fr|Description Text in French}}, etc.
  • With the menu item Date you can specify the date of the files by using the Date template.
  • By using Categories you can assign files to a specific category (for more information on the use of categories, please see below).
  • Under Tools → Settings you can specify additional details like authorship, source and license. In the free text field License you can enter a project or data set template in double-braces (for further information about project or data set templates, please see below).

Using the “GWToolset” (for transfering data which is already available online)Edit

See also: for additional details.

Preconditions and PreparationsEdit

Please note: For an upload via the GWToolset, a basic knowledge in programming is required.

  • The upload is recommended to be tested on Commons Beta first. If this is successful, the upload can be repeated on Commons itself.
  • To transfer online available data to Commons with the GWToolset, your Commons user account needs special user rights. These can be requested here. Once you have obtained your authorization, you can access and use the GWToolset.
  • As a next step, the server which contains the source data must be whitelisted. This can be requested via this link on Phabricator. For the login on Phabricator you can use your Commons or Wikipedia account (under “Login or Register MediaWiki"). It may take some time (approx. one week) until your request will get approved. As there may be further questions regarding your pending request, it is recommended to check its status on Phabricator from time to time.
  • Some servers are already whitelisted on the GWToolset, for example the photo portal Flickr. If your files are on Flickr, they alternatively can be transferred directly from there with the simple and self-explanatory flickr2commons tool. But please note: With this method additional information specified on Flickr (such as image descriptions) will be transmitted, too.

Creating an XML file for uploading through GWToolsetEdit

For the upload with the GWToolset you have to create a flat XML file containing the metadata for all images/ files. The creation of such a file and some useful tips for this process are explained in the steps below. For the conversion and processing of the data, a basic knowledge of programming is required. The process of creating the XML file can be roughly divided into five steps:

  1. Converting your metadata file into a machine-readable format
  2. Importing the file into a data structure
  3. Customizing of the data fields
  4. Creating category data fields
  5. Creating the XML file
1. Converting the metadata file into a machine-readable formatEdit

For each picture the metadata file must contain at least a filename, a title and the URL of the image. Many cultural institutions use spreadsheets to manage their metadata so we will use this as an example throughout the next steps. Other formats such as JSON and XML are popular as well. The easiest way to transform a spreadsheet into a machine-readable format is to export it to CSV. To do this, open the metadata file in any spreadsheet program and convert it to CSV by using the export function of the program.

2. Importing the file into a data structureEdit

For the next steps a piece of code in a scripting language such as Ruby, PHP, Perl or Python is needed. The example code below is written in Ruby.  This is a working example program based on the excerpts shown in the following.

First the file should be read line by line and the data fields should be transferred in an appropriate data structure (Map, Dictionary, etc.). Let us assume, our CSV file has 5 columns:  "Title", "URL", "Description" , "Categories" and "Year of creation". These can now be extracted with the following code example:

metadata = [], col_sep: ';').each do |row|
 metadata << {
   title: row[0],
   url: row[1],
   description: row[2],
   categories: row[3],
   year: row[4]
3. Customizing of the data fieldsEdit

It often occurs that some of the fields from the given metadata file should not be transferred to Commons as they are (e.g. due to differing sorting patterns, naming conventions, etc). If these can be automatically adjusted, you can create a class to process the raw metadata.

Reading of the data:

class ImageMeta
 attr_reader :title, :url, :description

 // creating instance variables from the fields hash
 def initialize(fields)
   fields.each { |field, value| instance_variable_set "@#{field}", value.strip unless value.nil? }

You can create methods for the fields that need to be changed within that class. In our example from above, the “Year of Creation” can be supplemented by a MediaWiki-date template as follows:

def year

The customizing of other fields works the same way. From the metadata which was read in step 2, you can now create objects of the defined class:! { |fields| }
4. Creating of category data fieldsEdit

To categorize images uploaded via the GWToolset properly, each category must be in a separate XML tag of the metadata file. In order to convert the raw category data to a  list of categories, these should first be extracted from the CSV file and then projected on each category. For example, if the categories are separated by commas in a column of the CSV file, the ImageMeta class categories can thus be extracted as follows:

def raw_categories

To maintain flexibility in transferring the categories, you can even create a class for this:

class CategoryMapping
   'Radierung' => 'Etchings',
   'Lithografie' => 'Lithographs',
   'Aquatinta' => 'Aquatint',
   'Mappe' => 'Portfolios'

 def initialize(raw_categories)
   @raw_categories = raw_categories

 def mapped_categories
   return [] if @raw_categories.nil?

   categories = []
   @raw_categories.each do |category|
     categories << MAPPING[category] if MAPPING[category]

5. Creating of the XML fileEdit

Now all the data is available and the XML file can be created. The naming of the XML elements can be arbitrary for the GWToolset, but the tool requires a certain XML structure. The root element contains XML elements for each of the images, which in turn contain the metadata. Within the image elements, however, no further nesting is allowed.

The XML structure for our example would be as follows:

builder = 'UTF-8') do
 images do
   metadata.each do |image|
     image do
       title image.title
       description image.description
       year image.year
       imageUrl image.url

       mapping =
       mapping.mapped_categories.each_with_index do |category, i|
         send "category#{i}", category


The output of builder.to_xml can subsequently be written to a file and thus, the XML file for the GWToolset upload is completed.

Start the transfer processEdit

Meta data detection
Meta data categories
Batch preview

Details for the particular steps and the respective input fields are explained in the following Screencast.

  • Start the GWToolset. It can be also found on → Special pages → GWToolset
  • Enter the requested inputs for the metadata detection and move on to → Submit.
  • Enter the requested inputs for the metadata mapping and move on on → Preview batch. Important: for the use of categories, please first read the "How to organize and categorize data on Commons?” section below.  
  • Check the preview. If it corresponds to the order in which the files are to be deposited on Commons subsequently, click on process stack to start the transfer.

Once the transfer request has been sent via the GWToolset, the browser window can be closed and the computer can be turned off. The transfer will be in progress between the servers in the background. The files should gradually show up in the List of new files, and in the category / categories that you provided during the upload.

How can I present my data after the upload?Edit

To introduce your newly uploaded collection and, which is recommended, to contact the volunteer community of the Wikimedia projects, you can create a project page about the data set. On that page you can present your uploaded collection, your project or the cooperation in which’s context the data was provided. Doing this, please keep in mind what Commons NOT is!

Generally, project pages are created as galleries and can then be designed freely. A description how to do this can be found here.

Some examples of existing project pages:

How to organize and categorize data on Commons?Edit

The category structure is the preferred method  to organize files on Commons and to make sure they can be found properly. Each file should be found in the category structure. To ensure this, each file must be assigned directly to a category or appear in a gallery page which in turn is categorized. Each category itself must be categorized so that a hierarchical structure (similar to a family tree) results.

How this is done in detail, is shown in this example.

Besides choosing the category from the actual motif of an image, it is often recommended to additionally categorize each file by the type of institution which is uploading, like many other institutions or cooperations have done previously:

This e.g. can be handled by adding a template to each file, which also contains further information about the uploading institution besides category information (pls. see below: "Using data set templates / project templates").

Using Data Set Templates/ Project TemplatesEdit

What is a data set template?Edit

A so-called “data set template” may be included in the description page of an individual media file. It includes a brief explanation of your institution and about the data set the respective file belongs to. Additionally, you can categorize the files with a project template, which allows for finding all other files of a particular data set or of the uploading institution. Please find more detailed information on templates and Mediawiki here.  

How do I create a template for my project or my Commons partnership?Edit

Examples of templates for collaborative Commons partnerships can be found on this page. If you need help with creating templates, you can reach out to WikiProject Templates and make a new request there.

The information contained in the actual project template is imported from other templates which have to be set up separately as follows:

Template:YOUR INSTITUTION-source  

→ main template in which the information of the sub-templates are mapped. In addition, a category is defined, to which all files using this template are assigned.

Template:YOUR INSTITUTION-source/layout

→ defines the layout. Here, for example, a logo can be inserted and the text placement is defined.

Template:YOUR INSTITUTION-source/lang

→ provides the descriptive text in the existing language versions

Template:YOUR INSTITUTION-source/en

→ contains the description text in English

Template: YOUR INSTITUTION-source/de

→ contains the description text in German

Please feel encouraged to create templates for addtional languages ​​and link them in the “Template:YOUR INSTITUTION-source/lang”.

Examples for each component of the template for the partnership with the “Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin” (University of Applied Science):Edit

With a click on the Edit button, you can view (and copy) the source code of each template.

How to integrate a template into a fileEdit

To add a template to a file, please insert the following code in the file description page, usually right below the paragraph about the license:  {{template name}}

At what position the code is inserted when using one of the upload tools described above does vary. Please refer to the tool’s description (see above) for further information.

Further templatesEdit

In addition to the project template, which usually refers to a dedicated cooperation of an institution with Commons, you can also create a specific template for your institution. This template can be added to file description pages and may contain additional details as e.g. location, date of foundation or website of your institution.

Where can I find further support?Edit

Through programs and projects such as "Medienschatz” or "GLAM" (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museum), Wikimedia Deutschland supports volunteers and institutions in the release and transfer of stored data and helps to connect them.

If you have any question,s you can contact us at:

  • (for volunteers)
  • (for cultural institutions)

For questions about GWToolset you can find help on a dedicated mailing list.

See alsoEdit

Related patternsEdit

External linksEdit