On Sustain Open Source Software Podcast

A few days ago I was guest appearing in the podcast Sustain OSS. It was an energizing conversation with Richard Littauer and Justin Dorfman, and we honestly probably could have continued for several hours. We mostly discussed my work at the Foundation for Public Code and the Standard for Public Code we have developed and that I work on, and with, daily. But we also got into talking about Wikipedia, the movement and some of the bot creation initiatives we have seen.

I really enjoyed the conversation and hope I get the chance to speak with them again sometime. As they are deep in the know of the field of work, they asked just the right questions that we are also thinking about which made this more than just a shallow presentation of who we are. I guess the only thing we really didn’t get into much is how we are funded which is possibly not the most interesting conversation for everyone, but as a non-profit working for the common good is something we are always eager to explore. That being said, I think that the conversation will give anyone who listens to it a better sense of what I do at work and why I am passionate about it.

From a podcast producer point of view, I was also impressed by the process they applied. All the way from getting in contact, having guiding documents, gathering information needed for the shownotes to checklists for the recording, it was a great experience as a guest. I guess the only downside was that very few of the tools they used (that I saw) were open source solutions. Now, for remote multitrack recording, there aren’t many alternatives, that is something I am also sadly aware of, but for simple collaborative document editing there are plenty of options. If some of those services are switched, it will be an even more pleasant experience to be a guest in the future!

Mini hackathon in Utrecht

Two weeks ago, I participated in the mini hackathon in Utrecht. It turned out to be quite productive and I manage to complete four different tasks. But mostly it was fun to meet wikimedians again (and they also served some tasty vegan pastries).

Wikidata based maps

First, I helped improve the map about accused witches to also have colors based on the gender of the accused person. This was done by binding the gender label to a layer. Then I also made a version for Kartographer using colors on the marker symbols.

Common properties user script for Wikidata

I have several times created a query to help me understand how a topic is modeled, by exploring which properties have a specific item as a value. There is a gadget that does something very similar to what I had in mind, Easy query. So based on that, I managed to create a user script I called common-properties.js. You can see it used in this video.

Mapframe code snippet

Similarly, I have wished for Wikidata Query Service to have Kartographer’s <mapframe> as one of the code examples in the results view. I had even created a Phabricator task for it. With some excellent help from Lucas Werkmeister it resulted in a patch to gerrit. And it has already been merged!

The new mapframe code snippet.

Podcast interview

With so many interesting people in one place, I couldn’t resist recording a special episode in English for Wikipediapodden. I talked to Siebrand Mazeland, one of the organizers, about this hackathon and hackathon organizing in general.

OpenRefine introduction talk

Just over two weeks ago, I got the chance to give my first OpenRefine talk in Wikimedia Portugal’s celebrations of the Wikidata tenth birthday. Although Zoom gave me some technical troubles in the start, I think the actual talk went pretty well. You can judge for yourself because the video is published on their YouTube channel (where my struggles luckily has been taken out). It’s a quick walkthrough of the interface and some of the strategies you might have when using OpenRefine. In it, I am doing some cleaning of a dataset and reconcile it with Wikidata and make upload some of the data.

Mentor on Hack for Earth 2022

Earlier this week, I had the honor to be a mentor in the Hack for Earth hackathon. I had signed up to be a mentor for open source, open data and anything related to Wikimedia. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any questions that were related to this, but I did get the chance to help some of the participants to find their way around the challenges and the formalities of the contest. And I did get to record a tiny “Hello!” video that got a small spot in the closing ceremony of the hackathon.

Govdirectory recognized as Digital Public Goods

I have mentioned Govdirectory before, and even told about the Wikidata community award it received. But today I think I am even a bit prouder, as it was recognized by the Digital Public Goods Alliance by being added to their Digital Public Goods registry. Read our full announcement here.

Två kortkurser på EU Academy

Jag såg häromdagen att EU har en utbildningssajt, EU Academy, och blev nyfiken på vad de erbjöd. Till min glädje fann jag snabbt två kurser som var intressanta. En relevant för jobbet, Digital-ready policymaking och en som tangerar mina hobbys väl, Wikibase and Semantic MediaWiki for data-driven semantics. Jag tänkte att jag skulle testa på dem för att se vad nivån på kurserna.

Digital-ready policymaking

Den här kursen gick igenom ett antal grundläggande aspekter och jag kände igen en del sedan tidigare. Innehållet är bra och inspirerande, men det är en ganska kort kurs, så man får nog kalla det en introduktionskurs. För den som precis ska börja jobba med digitala policies så är det här en utmärkt start. Om alla riksdagsledamöter tog kursen så skulle det nog bli ett stort lyft för samhället i stort då principerna är övergripande och kan appliceras på frågor i de flesta utskott.

Wikibase and Semantic MediaWiki for data-driven semantics

Här blev det istället en hel del djupare ämneskunskap, och det är ju såklart ett smalare fält om specifik mjukvara. Innehållet var rikare, med långa pedagogiska videolektioner av experter i området. För mig som hållit på med Wikidata i snart tio år var det inte mycket nytt, men det var kul att se hur även EU:s institutioner använder sig av Wikibase och hur omfattande arbete de har gjort.


Båda kurserna avslutas med quiz, och sedan kan man ladda ner ett certifikat, det var en fin touch.


Kurserna var pedagogiska och välgjorda så jag kommer nog att kika på fler. Om någon presenterar ett certifikat kan det vara värt att kolla upp kursen, för även om det finns veckolånga kurser och certifikaten ser pampiga ut så kan de representera så lite som några timmars insats.

In the Advisory Committee of OpenRefine

A couple of weeks back, I joined the Advisory Committee of OpenRefine. I have been a user of OpenRefine for a while, mainly for its superb reconciliation capabilities to Wikidata.

While the name suggests a passive role, the Advisory Committee acts more like a board of trustees in other organizations. As mentioned in the blog post linked above, I hope that my experience from non-profits and grant applications, my recent experience as a codebase steward in the Foundation for Public Code combined by also being an end user might bring something valuable to the table.

💎 Let’s clean up some messy data! 💎

Mentor i Hack for Sweden

Hack for Sweden är ett nationellt hackathon, drivet av svenska myndigheter. Sedan några år tillbaka är det DIGG som har ansvaret för att genomföra den. 2015 var jag med som dataägare från Wikimedia Sverige, 2016 var jag med och hackade själv och 2017 hjälpte jag igen till som dataägare, men från Riksantikvarieämbetets sida.

I årets upplaga av Hack for Sweden deltar jag i en ny roll, nämligen som mentor för öppen källkod. Jag hoppas att jag kan bistå med hjälp hur man jobbar med det. Jag misstänker att eventuella frågor kommer att fokusera på licenser, men jag ska försöka fokusera att lyfta blicken från att bara vara öppen på pappret till att anamma ett arbetssätt som genomsyras av principerna bakom öppen källkod. Det är ju trots allt det jag gör till vardags på Foundation for Public Code.

Code for all lightning talk

Today at the Code for all 2021 Summit, I had the honor to present a lightning talk about the Govdirectory together with Albin Larsson. You can watch the talk below.

The link to the presentation that has the links to all examples and resources: https://bit.ly/wikidatacivictech.

Building a Govdirectory

Which Swedish municipalities have YouTube accounts?

Sometime in 2016 I got the idea of building a website that would display all the social media channels for all Swedish public agencies. The idea popped in my mind as I was learning the flexibility and power of Wikidata. But my confidence in the more advanced tooling to edit it was low, so I put this in the backlog to revisit later since it felt like a huge task.

Unlocking the idea

Five years, almost 50 live streams of editing Wikidata, a won contest, and about 70 Wikidata meetups later, when the announcement of the Unlock accelerator by Wikimedia Deutschland flew into my Twitter feed, not only did I feel more confident, I also had a potential collaborator. So I pitched the idea to Albin Larsson, my co-host of the live streams, but this time on a global scale, not only for Sweden. The idea at this stage was bold and simple:

a global directory of all government agencies and their online presences

We now also knew that by using Wikidata, we could show even more information than only social media. The accelerator program is unusual in that it doesn’t aim to create a startup and make a profit, instead it aims to enable a social impact on the world. The theme this year, (Re)building trust in the digital age, felt really fitting. We worked on an application and short thereafter we were accepted and in a sprint. The first sprint was really great, with the help of our coach Fabian Gampp we took our somewhat technical idea into a purpose driven project by forming a vision and a mission that extended way beyond the technology. Even though we had some ideas of what this could be used for when writing the application, it was still somewhat fleeting in our minds. Our ambitions became these:


Our vision is a world where people are empowered to engage with their government to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.


We will enable a community powered directory where the online presence of every public organization is easily findable, queryable and trustworthy.

Early days

We are still in the midst of the accelerator program, and just published the midterm report. If you want to give us feedback on our early version at govdirectory.org it would be valuable to us. If you would like to help us even further, check our contributing file on GitHub for improvements on the website and our project page on Wikidata for improving the data displayed in it.