Wikimedia Blog/Drafts/22nd Asian Athletics Championships is now on Wikimedia Commons

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  • 22nd Asian Athletics Championships sparks with free license images!!
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  • Odia Wikipedians, Indian Athletics Federation and Sports and Youth Services brings hundreds of images from 2017 Asian Athletics Championships under free license.


Wikipedians during the Asian Athletics Championships Editathon by Sailesh Patnaik under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Asian Athletics Championships is an intra-continental championship organised bi-annually in different Asian countries. The 22nd edition of the AAC was recently held in July at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India. A total of 655 athletes from 41 countries took part in 21 different track and field events. The state government of Odisha was anointed host of the games only three months prior to the event. The state took up the challenge to transform the Kalinga Stadium within 90days. In doing so, it also released the official website of the Championships under the free license for the free-knowledge movement.

The local Wikipedia community, the Bhubaneswar WikiTungi, was invited by the State Department’s Director of Sports and Youth Services, Mr. R. Vineel Krishna, to organize an edit-a-thon for the Championships. This was to create, improve and enrich article on Asian athletes. Existing article offered painfully little information on the biographies and accomplishments of noted Asian athletes. The Odia Wikipedians collaborated with the Sports and Youth Services of the Government of Odisha in order to bridge the dearth of information.

The edit-a-thon took place at the office of CSM Technologies, an IT consulting company, and an event partner for the Championships. 15 individuals including Wikimedians from Bhubaneswar and Puri WikiTungi, with few employees from CSM, and new participants, participated in the edit-a-thon. The event started with a basic orientation on Wikipedia, and how to edit Wikipedia for new participants and also for the employees of the institution. During the event, the English Wikipedia article of 2017 Asian Athletics Championships was improved and was also created on Odia Wikipedia by some Wikipedians, Along with that, 10 new articles were improved and created on both Odia and English Wikipedia.The English Wikipedia article of 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, improved during the edit-a-thon, has got more than 100K page views during the championship week.

Being a quizzer, Wikipedia has been the one-stop source of knowledge for me. It has helped me to gain a lot of knowledge, and help me prepare for competitions. This is the first time, I got a chance to take part in any Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Apart from that, the article on the athletes taking part in this year's Asian Athletics Championship is a great boon for the users, who want to search up the name of that athlete and expect to find useful information about him/her.

— Alankar Devta, New participant during the edit-a-thon

The members of Odia Wikipedia who helped in organizing the edit-a-thon also had a conversation with the Founder and CEO of the CSM Technologies Mr. Priyadarshi Nanu Pani, to plan further more thematic edit-a-thons and other collaborations. They have shown their interest in collaborating with Wikipedia in the future for organizing meet-ups as well as sharing some data with the volunteers.

The organizers of the Championship provided passes to community members, to attend the Opening Ceremony of the championship, Jnanaranjan Sahu and Sailesh Patnaik from the community attended the event. A total 4 hours were spent by the members in capturing the images of the opening ceremony, where they captured images of all the 41 participating teams, athletes, cultural events, and uploaded them to Wikimedia Commons. Around, 48 images of the Opening Ceremony of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships are now on Wikimedia Commons, Of which, 18.75% of the images are used in different Wikipedia articles.

As the result of the edit-a-thon, the content and images of the official website of the championship were licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 license, which allows to share and adapt the work. This made the first sports event website of Odisha to be licensed under a free license. A total of 286 images from the websites (Includes, original and cropped images) are added to the Wikimedia Commons, under the category Images from, of which 47.2% of images are used in different Wikipedias, rest of the images of the athletes can be added to new articles when created. The images added to Commons contains images of athletes during their Heats, Semi Finals, Final, and Medal ceremonies of all four days. More than 127 images are used in 269 pages on 27 Wikipedias, Many articles got their first image because of the image acquisition from the website, which helped projects like Women in Red, due to the addition of images in many articles of female athletes. The Odia Wikipedia community and Centre for Internet and Society is also planning to partner with Wikipedia Asian Month to make use of these images in different Asian Wikipedias, for the third iteration of Asian month edit-a-thon.

Victuallers, one of the volunteers of Women in Red project, identified some of the images from the category of images from website and has added the images of female athletes into their respective articles. She has also created new articles of the female athletes and added their images to them.

I work on the Women in Red project which has been running for two years. Over the last two years we have moved the %age from 15.5 to (last few weeks) 17%. One of the things that hold us back is that women are less likely to have their image available, It's therefore amazing to find that a major athletic event has released hundreds of images with a cc by sa license. These people are all notable and women are fairly well represented. I've loaded over 100 pictures and cut up group pictures to create portraits. Immediately we have some new images but we also have the start of dozens more. We've been tweeting the new articles and pictures at #wikiwomeninred and trying to encourage all to "big up" the Odisha people, Its a great success and we need more people to follow suit.

— Victuallers, Volunteer, Women in Red project

With such collaborations with the Government institutes, the Odia community is planning to get more content from Odisha under a free license. The community has also partnered with the Bhubaneswar Development Authority, to run a global edit-a-thon named Bhubaneswar Heritage Edit-a-thon, for documenting the culture and heritage monuments of the city.


Sailesh Patnaik, Odia Wikimedian, and Community Advocate, Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K), Centre for Internet and Society
Jnanaranjan Sahu, Volunteer Odia Wikimedia, Freelance Web Developer.