The first month of WLE 2020 has passed!

The first month of Wiki Loves Earth contest the biggest international photo contest devoted to nature heritage has passed and brought amazing results for the wiki community.

Wiki Loves Earth photo contest runs from May 1 till July 31 this year. During these three months, we are gathering photos of protected sites that will help to draw attention to these areas and illustrate wiki projects. We are excited about the results of May so far, just look at these numbers:  

32 countries declared their participation in WLE this year (and we are looking forward to welcoming more organizers!);

37K photos have been uploaded (check them out by countries);

— and much more to come in June and July!

Let’s take a look at some photos uploaded during May:

Source

This photo was uploaded during this year’s contest in Sweden. It features a full moon in Abisko National Park far up north. Will we get a photo taken even farther? That’s a challenge for you!

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How about a picture taken at the highest point? This one was submitted as a part of WLE in Nepal and shows us a group of five lakes at the height of 4100 metres in Sindhupalchowk District. Can you find a WLE 2020 photo taken even higher? Or maybe you have one?

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Don’t forget that photos of animals/birds are eligible for the contest, too! But make sure that your photo of them is taken in a protected area. This one is from Taiwan, described by its author as: “Seabirds around the sky seems like inviting us to visit their sweet home which is built on the basalt, the special landscape of Penghu”.

Join Wiki Loves Earth to draw attention to protected areas and help to illustrate wikiprojects!

Take part in the contest:

Please, check a specific period of the contest in your region/country. Review our Rules, prepare your submissions and upload them to Wikimedia Commons.

Haven’t found your region/country on the list? Are you passionate about organizing? Start your local contest:

Check out our detailed guidelines about the process and contact us at wle-team@wikimedia.org.ua.

Follow us on social media to stay updated:

Digital tool that helps Wiki Loves Earth and the global community

By the Swedish Wiki Loves Earth Team

Wiki Loves Earth photo contest is on! One of the teams that have their local competitions in May is WLE in Sweden. This year they have implemented an innovative digital instrument for their lists of nature monuments an interactive map.

This user-friendly visualization of lists makes it easy and convenient to find an area and upload photos. It not only helps to reduce barriers in participating in WLE, but also can be improved/customized further and play an important role for the global community. We asked the team why and how they have developed this tool.

Map of objects, WLE in Sweden
— What is the idea behind this map, and what are its main features?

Wiki Loves Earth’s goal is to document and highlight the beauty of nature of our planet. But WLE also can be used strategically. Millions of people use Wikimedia projects daily, but very few of them decide to contribute. They may conceive of it as time-consuming, difficult or challenging. And Wiki Loves Earth helps to involve new contributors and drastically lower barriers for editing Wikipedia, which is also an important goal of this global contest.

Bearing this in mind, we spent some time considering how we can contribute to lower these barriers even further. What aspects make it hard for people to contribute today, even if they would like? How can we make it easy for anyone who sees the WLE banner on top of Wikipedia to upload their photos?

The problem we tackle is navigation around lists of objects. Participants have to go through many layers of lists on Wikipedia, using information from different platforms. They need to know how to navigate around pages on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons and how to find out where objects are situated. Many Swedish municipalities are very large, so only saying that an object is based in a municipality doesn’t say much for someone who doesn’t know the area very well.

The way of solving the complexity of both lists and coordinates is to develop a map. Using shapefiles of all national parks, natural reserves, biosphere reserves and natural monuments from the Environmental Protection Agency of Sweden, we created a map of these objects. Its features are:

  • it helps to see all the objects;
  • objects have different colours: green already have photos and blue objects are lacking them;
  • it includes a direct link to the upload campaign, so people can upload a photo directly from the map.

It brings us closer to lowering the barriers for contributing photos.

Map of objects, WLE in Sweden
What was the development process of this map?

It has been developed using the Minimal Viable Product-design pattern in three iterations searching for features and our priorities.

From the technical side, we used a Java backend. Every few minutes it polls Wikidata for updated entities since the previous poll with an identity claim for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Natuvårdsverket ID, P3613). This allows to download all relevant entries from Wikidata and keep the local data store semi-synchronized with Wikidata as new images are uploaded. One more feature is when zooming out and having multiple points on the map (e.g. 100 specific trees in a confined space) we transform the result to a simplified view. It helps to avoid overloading the client with a large number of complex polygons. This step is crucial for mobile view.

The map is an OpenStreetMap layer on which we draw polygons and markers.

Map of objects, WLE in Sweden
— How can it be used in other wikiprojects?

We believe that geodata has great potential for the Wikimedia platforms, and this project is a way of experimenting with that. The map so far is tuned according to the needs of Wikimedia Sverige, and it is not possible to apply it on other WLE local contests. But there are potential ways of internationalizing it:

  • Using it by different communities according to their needs (data storage, etc.). We can provide documentation on what is needed, but it’s important to have someone experienced enough with coding.
  • Making it generic and configurable across language versions.
  • Rebuilding it adding strategies of each country to produce a single global map.

We aim to collect feedback and input on the map’s functionality during WLE. But also we need help from the international community:

  • Is there interest from the international community in this kind of maps?
  • What would the international community like to see in this kind of map in that case? What works and what doesn’t work?
  • If it works, and if the international community wants a map of similar sorts, where should it be hosted? Where should we provide documentation?

Do you have any answers for these questions and feedback on this map? Please, contact Karl Wettin at karl.wettin@wikimedia.se and help to make editing Wikipedia better with this digital tool!

Wiki Loves Earth 2020 starts!

The 8th year in a row Wiki Loves Earth photo contest starts to collect photos of nature heritage sites all around the world. Join us to draw attention to protected areas and help to illustrate wikiprojects!

Started in 2013, Wiki Loves Earth has grown to the biggest worldwide contest devoted to nature heritage. From nature reserves of Brazil to national parks of Indonesia — we collected more than half a million photos of natural monuments. During May — July of 2020, we continue creating the biggest database of free images of protected sites. Moreover, the contest helps to raise public awareness about unique natural areas around our planet.

This year 24 countries have already joined Wiki Loves Earth! (and the list is extending) 
WLE 2020 Participating countries
WLE 2020 Participating countries, source.
Check out our first countries that have just started their contest today: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Taiwan. 
How to join:
Do you love photography? Are you interested in nature monuments? Take part in the contest!

Please, check a specific period of the contest in your region/country (the international timeframe is from May to July). Review our Rules, prepare your submissions and upload them to Wikimedia Commons. 
Go through your archives, maybe you have some jewels from your region/country or captured some protected area while travelling.

Haven’t found your region/country on the list? Are you passionate about organizing? Start your local contest!

Check out our detailed guidelines about the process. If you would like to organize a local contest in your region/country, contact us at wle-team@wikimedia.org.ua.

It’s a challenging time right now. Until the world gets healthier, we have a great opportunity to make a positive impact online. Join Wiki Loves Earth 2020!

Follow us on social media to stay updated:

Join Wiki Loves Earth 2020!

Seven years of photo contests all around the world, 585k free photos of natural heritage sites, with around 130k being used in the wikiprojects — and we are going make these numbers and impact even bigger starting Wiki Loves Earth 2020!

This global photo contest aims to draw attention to protected nature areas and expand the database of free photos of natural heritage sites! And all participants have a chance to win international and local prizes. 
Wiki Loves Earth is organized through local contests coordinated by volunteers. By now, 18 countries joined the participating countries list, and the list is constantly growing! You can check whether your country participates in Wiki Loves Earth 2020 and find more information about it on the Wikimedia Commons page.

Do you want to take part in Wiki Loves Earth 2020?

Please check Rules for your submission and upload them to Wikimedia Commons under a free license that enables their free worldwide use. 

Do you want to organize Wiki Loves Earth 2020 in your country?

Check out our detailed guidelines about the process. Feel free to contact us at wle-team@wikimedia.org.ua, and we will support you on every step of your local Wiki Loves Earth 2020.
More news and updates are coming, follow us on social media:
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write to us at wle-team@wikimedia.org.ua.