Getting big chunks of useful data to our platforms – do you need a hand?

We all know there are huge amounts of data existing in the world, that would be of benefit to all if it was made available on the Wikimedia platforms. Museums with high definition images of all of their old paintings, every national parliament member across the globe and lists of Wiki Loves Monuments’ monuments, just to name a few. We also know that there are a lot of obstacles preventing that from happening. Lack of resources or know-how, licensing issues, software problems and so on.

Wikimedia Sverige is now working on removing some of those obstacles, but we surely can’t do it on our own.

Participants in the project FindingGLAMs, working to get locations of museums around the world onto Wikidata. Photo: Kaizenify via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

On a journey to learn

Over the course of some years now, Wikimedia Sverige has been working to create long-term partnerships where our partners can share their content on the Wikimedia platforms. We have tried, failed, tried again, succeeded, tried even more and… failed more. This has been a part of the journey, and through every twist and turn we have learnt new things. We have cooperated with other parts of the Movement to find out what has been done already, and what has not. We have had support from the Movement along the known roads, and sometimes, we have broken new ground. Now, we want to share this journey with even more people.

We now have a lot of experience in:

  • Batch uploads: How to structure big collections of images and structured data and upload them efficiently to our platforms.
  • Structured partnerships with content providers: Working with libraries, museums, companies, government agencies, international organisations and others, to make sure there is a mutual understanding of what can be done – and how.
  • Training: Holding workshops and presentations around how our partners can start doing batch uploads themselves, and how they can make use of structured data.

Let’s do it – together!

However, we know that we only have gotten a glimpse of the ways we could be working on content partnerships around the world. We know that there must be others, just like us, that strive for more free knowledge onto our platforms through working with actors outside of the Movement. Therefore, we are looking for you!

All the participants of Wikimania 2019. Eriksbergs foto/Patricia Costillo via Wikimedia Commons. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Wikimedia Sverige is working to form a thematic hub around these content partnerships. Hubs will be ways of working together within the Wikimedia Movement, aiming to fulfil the Wikimedia 2030 vision. And as a part of this aim, we want to create a place where we can learn from each other, share our successes and failures, and help each other out. What are your struggles around partnerships? Or licensing problems? Or software issues? And how can we help each other to find the solutions?

Right now, we are working with needs assessment. We want to hear from as many partners as possible from the Wikimedia Movement to get a wide and diverse understanding of what we know, what we don’t know, and of who knows what. Where do we go when we have different questions, and how can we help each other? Are you interested in sharing your experience or your problems? This will lay the foundation for the continuation of the work. We’d love to hear from you! Send an email to tore.danielsson@wikimedia.se around the needs assessment.

A helpdesk, at your service

A helpdesk at Wikimania 2018. Photo: Balajijagadesh via Wikimedia Commons. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

We have set up a helpdesk as a service point for content partnerships’ issues. Do you need a hand? We’ll share our own experiences and know-hows, and point you in the right direction when there are things we don’t know how to do ourselves. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have needs around things such as using bots for batch uploads, getting structured data to Wikimedia Commons, agreements with partners, helping partners to release data under a free license, workshops, and much more. As long as it’s within the field of content partnerships, we’re here to help! Send an email to helpdesk@wikimedia.se.

Our work will also include capacity building, software development, international partnerships and strategic data uploads, and we’ll have to get back to more information around that in upcoming blog posts!

If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can start a conversation on the Meta page, or send an email to partnerships@wikimedia.se. We long to hear from you!