Last modified on 30 August 2013, at 23:12

Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments/Organizing a Wiki takes

You can make your event as large as you want, from a small 2-person meeting to an event with over 80 participants, like the one shown in this picture from Wiki Takes Cologne.

Hosting "Wiki Takes..." events has proven to be an effective way to both persuade non-Wikipedians to participate with Wikimedia Sites and also bring together local Wikipedians to meet up and have fun, while helping out the Sites. In 2011, around 10 "Wiki Takes..." events were organised in different countries. The concept of the contest varied from a full-day event (classic) to a multi-day event.

This page includes instructions to help organizers plan a "Wiki Takes..." event. This page also includes some case studies showcasing successful past events and possible unique variations on the traditional event format. These instructions are not rules, but rather, flexible guidelines to give you ideas on planning your event.

PreparationEdit

DecisionsEdit

Wikipedia takes Andorra covered a big area, this resulted in longer walking distances.

Here are a few initial decisions you must make before planning your event:

  1. Choose a location. In which city or area will the event take place? Is there a specific city which could use a lot of photos and where you can reasonably expect a good participant turnout?
  2. Choose a date. In most countries, a weekend day will attract the most participants for a full-day event.
  3. Choose a starting point. It is often useful to decide on a certain starting point for all participants to meet before the contest begins. This could be a café (probably only suitable for small groups) or another public place. At the starting point, you can give instructions to participants and hand out routes/maps. Make sure your starting point is easily accessible. Considerations: Do you expect most participants to come by train or car? Make sure transportation is reasonable.
  4. Choose a "finish line." Decide on a location to meet after the actual photographing is done. This could very well be another café where you can take (another) drink.
  5. Choose a contest format (optional). Do you want this event to be a contest? If so, what will contestants be competing for? Most photos? (This requires a lot of work from all photographers.) Best photo? (This requires extra work from event organizers, because you have to judge the event in the end.) If you want the contest to occur on the same day as the event, participants have to upload their pictures immediately after the event concludes, which could create logistical issues.
  6. Choose an audience. Do you want to focus on local non-Wikipedians or Wikipedians? Or do you just want as many people as possible?

PreparationsEdit

  1. Announce the event wherever you can: on Facebook, in local papers, on Wikipedia (possibly in the sitenotice for Wikipedia or a Geonotice). Promote your event in the project pages on Wikipedia. Promote the event on your own website or blog. Promote the event via local Wiki groups and meetup groups. Don't forget to ask all the local Wikipedians you know to participate. (The best way might be through user boxes and asking in person.)
  2. Send the international organisation (for either "Wiki Loves Monuments" or "Wiki Takes..") a notice saying that you'll host an event. They will then promote the event for you!
  3. Create a page for the event where you give instructions to participants. Don't forget obvious instructions (e.g.: "Bring a camera.")
  4. Create ways for people to sign up for the event, so that you can know ahead of time how many people will come. Make this RSVP form/page also accessible for non-Wikipedians. Facebook event pages or Google forms are good options for that.
  5. Make sure you do not underestimate the number of participants. Print out enough itineraries/maps and bring enough swag("Wiki Loves Monuments" T-shirts or other Wikipedia/Wikimedia items) with you to hand out.
  6. Create clear instructions for participants, including instructions for new participants on how to upload photos and/or who to send an email to when they can't figure out how to upload their photos.
  7. Create a category specifically for your event, for participants to upload their photos into one central place.


Compiling listsEdit

People need to be able to identify their pictures when uploading to Commons. Most monuments already have an identificator.

Create routes/itineraries or a list of objects/landmarks/monuments to photograph. Make sure you have enough copies of this information to pass out to participants. If there are a lot of monuments, it might be helpful to divide the city into routes which you can divide amongst small teams of participants. If you have routes with different monuments for each team of participants, you will be able to cover more monuments. If you have decide to assign two (or more) teams to a list of monuments, have the teams start from opposite ends of the route and meet in the middle. It is better to make the lists too long, rather than too short. Overall, it is best if the route is easy enough that the participants have a good chance of actually reaching your end point in the time allotted. You can also decide (in a smaller town) to make just one list of objects/monuments to be photographed. This way, each participant can choose their own route. However, if you only assign one list of objects/monuments, you might end up with the same monuments getting multiple photos, and some monuments without any photos. It is useful to give people a map of the city, with the route highlighted/outlined, so that non-local participants won't get lost in a strange city. It is probably a good idea to give participants some basic instructions on their routes. Consider: the address of the meet-up spot at the end of the day, a cell phone number so that participants can call you if they get lost, etc..

To create routes, it's useful to use the Map with all monuments which is built into the database. The blue points already have a picture. The yellow ones don't have a picture in the list, so you can decide to concentrate on locations with mostly yellow points.

With this tool, you can easily find all monuments within a certain city. You may have to use the URL to navigate. If you have trouble with this tool, please ask somebody (User:Basvb for example) to help you with that. The link only shows monuments without an image in the monuments list at the moment. You can change the format into CSV, and then download the list in CSV-format. You can then use Excel (or a similar program) to create a walking itinerary (including street addresses + unique identifiers) by sorting the list by street address and then using that to make the routes.

Experiment with different lengths for your routes. In a crowded city where walking distance is not a problem, the speedier participants might be able to photograph over 100 pictures an hour. Other (perhaps slower) people might take 5 minutes for each monument. Also, when a building is opened for the public, you can easily spend 30 minutes inside one building. So try different variations on route lengthss, preferably with an emphasis on making routes with more monuments than participants can photograph. That way, though people likely won't have photographed all the monuments before the end of the event, they at least will not be bored. (But don't annoy people with unnecessarily long itineraries either! And try to make sure walking distances won't be too much of a problem.)

The creation of routes can be quite difficult. It is a good idea to ask for help from somebody with experience creating these routes.

During the EventEdit

  1. Make sure the organizer is there on time, before the event's start time.
  2. Make sure the participants understand what you expect from them and understand the instructions.
  3. Make sure participants have fun! Tip: it is usually more fun to walk around the city in small groups (2 or 3 persons) rather than alone.
  4. Make sure everyone knows the "finish line" (ending meetup spot). Choose a location to meet after the event is over, and decide on a specific time to meet. Choosing an ending time is important, because participants will probably not finish at the same time otherwise. Also consider planning an "afterparty" of sorts--perhaps a shared meal or drinks near the finish line.

Case studiesEdit

Wiki takes AmsterdamEdit

Material used in Wiki Takes Haarlem, similar to the material in Amsterdam.
Date, time and location: Amsterdam at 10 september 2011
  • 13.00 Gather at a café
  • 13.30 Instructions (and T-shirts) to participants and splitting up into groups:
    • Form groups of 2-3 people. The group forming should try to match people of a) same amount of time to spend on the event, b) same "walk" interest, c) same native language and d) at least one person who knows about WLM (or who has done a "Wiki takes" before)
    • Each group chooses or receives one or two "walk" sheets with a locale map and list of monuments in photographic order (and which should include the time and location for the later 16.00 meetup - see "Lessons" below). For Amsterdam, where monuments were on both sides of a street or canal, the list was split into one side of the street, followed by a list from the other side of the street, so two photographers could walk the same direction on opposite sides of the street. Some people were bold and rang doorbells to ask if they could take pictures inside or of the backside if there were monument numbers inside.
  • 14.00 Take pictures
  • From 16.00 onwards, meet up again at agreed location for recap of experiences
  • Around 16.30: end the day and thank participants (first drink is on the organizers, afterwards, everyone goes Dutch)
  • 18.00 Grab a bite for the interested ones.
Concept: Wiki takes Amsterdam was a classical "Wiki takes", a one day event.

It was not organised in a contest fasion. There were 7 routes of about 150-250 monuments. Six of these routes were chosen and "walked" (the red light district route found no interested persons :P), and some routes were "walked" by multiple groups. The wiki takes was organised on the same date as the Dutch European Heritage Day called "Open Monumentendag", a day on which monuments are opened to the public. This allowed some groups to go inside some open monuments and take pictures on rare locations.

Participants:

There were around 20 participants, and around 8 of these were non-Wikipedians, or "potentially new editors". The most important participant was the "walk" maker, who made the walks and copied about 8 copies of each walk for potential participants on the day itself. Other organizers were of course Maarten & Lodewijk who brought the T-shirts!

Results: Over 1000 monuments were photographed.

The weather was very good. Because some local people returned on later days to finish their "walk" sheets, not all of the "Wiki Takes Amsterdam" photos are in the category set up for the day.

Lessons and things to improve:
  • Some participants forgot to upload their pictures, since they had two whole weeks after the event. We should have contacted them and reminded them more actively.
  • Some participants had trouble locating the café at the end, so a small map on the "walk" sheets indicating this café should be added to the map of the "walk" itself.

Wiki Takes AndorraEdit

Date, time and location
Andorra, 18 September 2011, 9:30 to 18:00h
Concept
It was organized as a Wiki Expedition with the aim to photograph the monuments that were missing to complete the list. There were 5 routes prepared: 3 to cover the entire principality driving from the capital to most remote monuments, and 2 for walking in the main urban area. At noon there was a meeting point for having lunch and to exchange experiences before completing routes in the afternoon. It was not a contest but a collaborative effort to achieve a common goal.
Participants
There were 6 participants, one of them a non-Wikimedian. Others were unable to participate but they collaborated indicating which monuments they could photograph on other days so we could focus on missing ones.
Results
About 900 photos of 60 monuments, completing all sites proposed although some were difficult to reach after driving an hour through mountain roads or walking an hour in a protected area.
Lessons and things to improve
A clear goal facilitates motivation. Well prepared routes and well identified sites are very helpful in remote areas. Local promotion was more effective during this event that in previous press releases. Some people recognized us on the way: "You are those Wikipedians I have read about in the newspaper..." (T-shirts helped). In the short term, after this event there was an increase of new local participants in Wiki Loves Monuments, but we should improve their involvement in the event itself.


Wiki takes PortoEdit

Group picture
Date, time and location: Porto, at 24 September 2011
  • 9:45 - Gather at Estação São Bento, in Porto historic center
  • From 9:45 to 10:00 - Instructions to participants
  • 10:00 - Starting the route (The participants were not split in groups as happened in anothers Wiki Takes, but instead did the full route together)
  • 19:30 - Arrival at Funicular dos Guindais station. End of Wiki Takes.
Concept:
Well, that was a classic Wiki Takes, one day event. The wiki takes was organised on the same weekend as the Portuguese European Heritage Day called "Jornadas Europeias do Património" a weekend fully of activities related with Heritage and monuments. In Wiki Takes Porto, we provided every participant with the list of monuments to be photographed and we did follow that route around the historic center of the city. We also gave to all participants a "prize" for being present in Wiki Takes - the printing of 20 pictures 10x15cm, courtesy of Fotosport.
Participants:
We had 14 participants, and as far as the organizers know, none of them were Wikipedians. (we do have a list of all participants, and none mention be a Wikipedian)
Results:
That was a problem - we can only estimate because we did "watched" the users uploading the pictures. But if worth anything, we can see a HUGE spike after 25 September (who might or might not be related with the two Wiki Takes)
Lessons and things to improve:
  • One of our problems was that the route was "too big" - we couldn't finish in the time frame, and decided to conclude the event in time to avoid any problems that might come from this.
  • A problem both Wiki Takes had was we didn't measure the amount of pictures taken in the event itself.

Wiki takes LisbonEdit

Date, time and location: Lisbon, at 25 September 2011
  • 14:45 - Gather at Largo do Carmo, in Downtown Lisbon
  • From 14:45 to 15:00 - Instructions to participants
  • 15:00 - Starting the route (The participants were not split in groups as happened in anothers Wiki Takes, but instead did the full route togetHer - the map with the route can be find here)
  • 19:30 - Arrival at Largo das Portas do Sol. End of Wiki Takes.
Concept:
Well, that was a classic Wiki Takes, one day event. The wiki takes was organised on the same weekend as the Portuguese European Heritage Day called "Jornadas Europeias do Património" a weekend fully of activities related with Heritage and monuments. In Wiki Takes Lisbon, we provided every participant with the list of monuments to be photographed and we did follow that route around the historic center of the city. We also gave to all participants a "prize" for being present in Wiki Takes - the printing of 20 pictures 10x15cm, courtesy of Fotosport.
Participants:
We had 14 participants, and as far as the organizers know, none of them were Wikipedians. (we do have a list of all participants, and none mention be a Wikipedian)
Results:
That was a problem - we can only estimate because we did "watched" the users uploading the pictures. But if worth anything, we can see a HUGE spike after 25 September (who might or might not be related with the two Wiki Takes)
Lessons and things to improve:
  • A problem both Wiki Takes had was we didn't measure the amount of pictures taken in the event itself.
  • In some places it was difficult to "control" the participants - dispersed (in different monuments/places); intermingled with the crowd.
  • More routes to visit and photograph more monuments (?) - increase the geographic range (= more people in the organization; instead, do some free routes)