Wikimedia news no. 69

Da Wikimedia Italia.

Wikimedia News no. 69 - February 6, 2014

WikimediaNews - no. 69 - JFebruary 6, 2014
Official bulletin from Wikimedia Italia Association.
Past winners of Picture of the Year competition; (from left) by Pierre Dalous, Alchemist-hp, ESO/Yuri Beletsky [CC-BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

New record on Wikimedia Commons

On January 25th, after almost ten years after its birth, Wikimedia Commons has exceeded 20 million files. The site Wikimedia Commons is designed to accommodate multimedia files (images, audio, video) that are used to illustrate Wikipedia articles in all languages. Unlike text, which must always be translated to be transferred from one edition to another, media files are immediately reusable everyhere.

Given the wide participation of the community Wikimedia Commons (a million files per quarter are uploaded), every year a contest is held: Picture of the Year. Users of Wikimedia projects are being asked to vote for the best photo. The first round of voting to decide the best picture of 2013 closes at midnight on Friday, February 7th. You still have time!

A voice as a gift

Now you may also listen to Wikipedia! The initiative WikiVIP (acronym of “Voice Intro project”) was recently launched: it aims to add to the information on a prominent personality also a media file for hearing his of her voice. The first one who joined the project was the British actor Stephen Fry: go and hear his presentation.

The goal of the project is to collect a short audio file of 10 seconds by members of the scientific, political, artistic and literary world, so that users can make their voices heard and at the same time find out how they pronunce their name. Wikimedia Italia joins the initiative with enthusiasm; in addition, we tie it to the fundraising campaign Sostieni la Cultura (Support the Culture), asking the characters involved to make an appeal that witnesses their support to the project.

Do you know a person whose biography is on Wikipedia? Invite her or him to contact our office at to participate in the project and get all the information you need!

Wikimedia Italia begins the process to become the official Italian chapter of OpenStreetMap Foundation

Wikimedia Italia wants to support free culture in all its forms; so we are always looking for projects worthy to be supported. Knowledge mayalso be geographical, put on a map: a project in this area, born in 2004, is OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap is a free editable map of the whole planet; the project allows anyone to view, edit and (re)use geographical data in a voluntary and collaborative way. All OpenStreetMap data are released with a free license: the Open Database License (ODbL).

Just like Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap is also supported by a foundation: the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF), a non-profit foundation registered in the United Kingdom. OSMF has its own network of local chapters, like Wikimedia Foundation. In Italy there is no local chapter, although the Italian community is very active. Recently the idea was born together with the OSM community to create a chapter inside Wikimedia Italy: we have therefore established a set of rules and the process began officially on January 31.

In the coming months we will take on the international relations with OSMF in order to become a recognized Italian chapter. For the moment, we want right from now become a reference point for OSM and for those who participate, for any reasons, to the map of Italy.

Wikimania 2014: scolarships

The tenth annual conference of the Wikimedia movement this year will be held in London, on August 6 to 10, at the headquarters of the Barbican Center. The event is only successful if many people in the Wikimedia movement, from different parts of the world, are able to participate for enriching the debate and the discussions. For this reason the Wikimedia Foundation provides scholarships, which will cover the costs of participation of some lucky Wikimedians. Deadline for submission of applications is Monday, February 17, 2014. The cover provided by the scholarship is of three types: travel expenses; shared room; registration fees at the conference. To know all the details about the selection criteria and how to apply, please consult the Scholarships/FAQ FAQs.

Italian Wikimedians should not despair if they see their application rejected by the Wikimedia Foundation, since this year too Wikimedia Italia will offer some scholarships. Details are still being finalized: we won't fail to communicate them as soon as the Board of Directors decide. Dust off your English, because London is waiting for you!

Side projects and campaigns

  • During the final months of 2013, some training courses on Wikipedia were promoted thanks to the initiative of the Library System of the City of Venice and the Consorzio Promovetro. The attendance was large and the series of meetings ended with a editathon whose purpose was to implement the voices of Murano and its glass art famous throughout the world. Following the workshop, the Venice City Council has launched a competition to undertake two starter job contracts focused on the research and drafting. Two candidates were selected in early 2014 and will begin to work to spread the knowledge of the cultural, artistic and production of artistic glass from Murano, through social media and Wikipedia.
  • Some time ago, our newsletter had a headline "Open data and Cultural Heritage: A Challenge to win"; at that time we talked of the petition, sponsored by OKFn Italia with the support of IWA Italy, convened to make the Italian Cultural Heritage data available and reusable for everyone. We are writing again about it because the promoters did not stop at the mere collection of subscriptions (540, and a dozen associations), but they also went to submit the amendments to the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Tourism. On the initiative report page there is a brief summary of the meeting; we urge you to read it and we would like to mention here only a passing quote. "[...] the operation #beniculturaliaperti allowed to get close the contexts of those who would have the data and who manages the conservation and cataloging."

Future appointments

  • February 27: Virginia Gentilini will give a presentation on Wikipedia at the headquarters of the Fondazione Edmund Mach in San Michele all'Adige, as part of a collaboration between Wikimedia Italia and the Institute of Agriculture belonging to the Foundation.
  • March 14, Milan: Pierfranco Minsenti, digital librarian, will participate in the Convegno delle Stelline with a speech entitled Wikipedia as a collaborative work environment for a cross-community of libraries. The aim is to define the impact on librarians of the collaboration of to Wikipedia.

Notice: this newsletter is exclusively intended for information about Wikimedia Italia, both to its members and to the general public; as per Art. 1, Comma 2, Legge 7 marzo 2001 no. 62, it is not an editorial product