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).
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!
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.
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.
Planering pågår världen över för Wikidata tioårsdag (29 oktober) och det har annonserats om möjligheter att ansöka om medel för att arrangera lokala evenemang i samband med detta. Det var när ytterligare en sådan påminnelse kom sm jag började fundera om jag skulle dra ihop något här där jag bor, och vad jag i så fall skulle behöva pengar för. En sak som nämndes var att de inte skulle göra någon merchandise centralt och skicka runt i världen, utan istället hade satt ihop grafik så att man skulle kunna göra det själv istället. Eftersom att det fanns fina SVG filer tänkte jag att man skulle kunna göra något snyggt t-shirttryck.
Och då en av bakgrundbilderna hade ett synnerligen grafiskt mönster väcktes idén om en t-shirt med “all over print”. Sagt och gjort, jag laddade också ner loggan, började knåpa och leta leverantörer. Efter en del slit, SVG-filerna var krångligt konstruerade, hade jag i alla fall både print-filer och leverantör. 33 euro och en vecka senare, voilá! Filerna jag använde för att trycka finns på Wikimedia Commons.
T-shirt design for Wikidata’s 10th anniversary
Planning is underway worldwide for Wikidata’s tenth anniversary (October 29) and opportunities to apply for funding to host local events have been announced. It was when another such reminder came that I started thinking about whether I should pull something together here where I live, and if so, what I would need money for. One thing that was mentioned was that they would not make any merchandise centrally and send it around the world, but instead had put together graphics so that you could do it yourself instead. Since there were nice SVG files, I thought it would be possible to make some nice t-shirt printing.
And when one of the background images had a particularly graphic pattern, the idea of a t-shirt with “all over print” sprung to mind. All said and done, I also downloaded the logo, started tinkering and looking for suppliers. After some hard work, the SVG files were complexly constructed, I at least had both print files and supplier. 33 euros and a week later, voilá! The files I used for the print can be found on Wikimedia Commons.
Last weekend, it was time for the WikidataCon 2021. It was three days full of sessions with both short and long sessions and small and large ideas. As always, one of the most interesting sessions is the community awards because this is a time for celebrating the work of each other. And this year it was a bit special for me, because I was part of some of the winners. I’ll talk about them below, the link under the images takes you directly to the YouTube video when the award was revealed.
Using & Querying data
This is the latest project, that Albin Larsson and I started, and that I’ve written about before. Since then, in the short five months it has existed, many more people have joined and helped and also deserves the recognition. It feels particularly good to now win a prize for this, as I have been thinking about it for many years.
Community building (global scale)
On March 29, 2020, Albin Larsson and I got together with this small idea of just editing Wikidata for an hour, but to live stream it. Our plans were not big at the time, but we had fun, so we kept going. After a while we also started to get regulars hanging out with us, so that made it easier to continue. The stream is very casual, and our goal is mostly to show what we have learned and at the same time learn from each other. As I know that community building is very important this made me really happy.
Special sustainability categories
For the first time some special awards were given with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. As one of the co-founders of Wikimedians for Sustainable Development, these categories alone felt like a win. And to add to that joy, I was part of some awarded categories.
In the project with the Swedish Riksdag documents, it’s truly a team effort. Users Popperipopp and Belteshassar have been doing most of the edits, whereas I have helped with the data modeling and research, and several other users have also helped out.
Finally, I am also happy that WikiProject Biodiversity was awarded in the category Sustainable environment. As I haven’t really been editing much at all in this project, here most of the glory should be given to the other project members. But I am still happy that I have been able to help out with live streaming.
I am a bit blown away with all this recognition. I am honored and humbled by it. Best of all, even though this has taken many hours, it has mostly been a great deal of fun for me! Editing Wikidata is for me a feeling of being able to contribute knowledge to the world in a way that truly scales and easily can be used by others. There are so many places with knowledge gaps to fill that it’s possible to be entirely lust driven and never run out of stuff to do. I encourage you to go explore the corners of Wikidata of your interests and see if making connections gives you the same joy it does for me.
All images by Artur Torres, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Click the image to get to the file information page.
A week ago, I was interviewed for the podcast The World According to Wikipedia about Wikidata. We talked about what Wikidata is, why it has grown so fast, and what role it might play in the future. And of course I had to mention Wikimedians for Sustainable Development and 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.
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.
För en månad sedan var jag tillsammans med Albin Larsson, Andrew Lih och Nicolas Vigneron med i University of New Brunswicks Data Sprint, som var en “gren” i deras Data Challenge. Vi kallade laget Qutedata, en hommage till Q-numren på Wikidata och Wikimedia Cuteness Association.
Datasprintet bestod av två delar, en frågedel och en berättardel. I frågedelen ställdes 21 frågor som skulle besvaras med en Wikidata query. Själva svaret var egentligen ointressant, det intressanta var hur frågan var skriven och det som lämnades in var en länk till frågan. Berättardelen skulle ha en serie sammahängande frågor, där vi fokuserade på folk i New Brunswick (presentation). Vardera del stod för 50% av resultatet.
Det hela gick tydligen bra för vårt lag vann!
Igår kom äntligen pressreleasen som meddelade vinnarna. Priset som kallades NBIF Innovative Data Award bestod av 1 250 kanadensiska dollar som vi skänker direkt till Wikimedia Canada. Förhoppningsvis kan detta leda till fler bra samarbeten för dem, kanske med universitetet till och med.
As part of the 30 lexic-o-days 2021, April 5-11 I am hosting a Climate lexeme week. During this thematic week the focus is to improve the lexemes derived from the Glossary of climate change. This is not a competition where points are given, instead this is a collaborative week when we help each other to improve these lexemes as much as we can.
In this 17-minute video, I explain the idea and what it is all about.
One of my projects for 2020 was to create one new Wikidata item – of a new type – each week. Just doing one per week would be easy, in fact, it looks like I created 206 items during 2020. The challenge was to have them be totally different, only one human, only one film, and so on (as defined by the property Instance of).
I set this challenge to myself mostly to get to know more of the different fields within Wikidata. Each field have it’s own way of modeling and some of them are easier than others, and some of them you encounter more than others. So not to get stuck in my usual tracks this seemed like a good idea.
The way I picked the topic each varied, and turned out to follow a few themes. A few of them are related to current events, another batch are related to what I was editing on the wikis anyway and a few that I just stumbled upon that needed to be fixed. A couple of times I got tips on what to create, and others still was very hard to figure out.
Tweets and edits
I tweeted all my edits often with some more comments under the hashtag #52wikidataweeks, but for your convenience, here they are along with some stats:
Besides these edits on Wikidata proper, there have been assisting edits to Wikipedia and also media uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. In some cases it also led to editing OpenStreetMap. The number of edits say very little. Some tools that I used grouped the edits (like week 34), but at least they show that anyone quite quickly can reach high edit numbers and “unlock” tools that require access rights given only to users with some edits under the belt.
This was a really fun challenge, and also quite hard. The hardest part was however not to model the items, because even for the topics I knew very little about either there are examples to look at or the very active community are helpful. No, the hardest part was to come up with items of different types that both had good sources and were notable. Some weeks (three if I remember correctly) I was a few days late, mostly because of this. If I couldn’t come up with something inspiring it was harder to get started.
As a whole though, I believe I reached my goal. I have definitely widened my knowledge of Wikidata. I also feel quite confident that I could edit more or less any topic, given decent amount of time of course. I can recommend anyone interested in Wikidata to try edit various fields. Not only do you learn about new ontologies, modeling and properties, you also get to meet editors that you might not come across otherwise. Sure, you don’t need to go on 52 week spree for that, but then again, why not?