Wiki Loves Monuments (and cultural heritage in general!) 

I think I mentioned this project briefly in class during the grant writing session, but after our discussion on moving forward with DPLA/Europeana and getting the public more involved, I wanted to share more about Wiki Loves Monuments ( This is from the September 2013 photo contest:

In 2012, Wikipedia volunteer communities in 35 countries have joined this initiative, and also in 2013 volunteers are enthusiastically paving the way to make participation easy for others. In nearly 40 countries all over the world, a national contest will be organized with their national monuments, partners, rules, events and winners.

Every national contest will be able to nominate some of their winning pictures for the international contest. These nominated pictures will be judged by the international jury, which will then award extra prizes to the best images from all participating countries.

The contest is inspired by the successful 2010 pilot in the Netherlands, which resulted in 12,500 freely licensed images of monuments that can now be used in Wikipedia and by anybody for any purpose. The 2012 contest in 35 countries resulted in more than 350,000 images submitted by over 15,000 participants, adding to the sum of all human knowledge gathered on Wikipedia. (from

To help participants contribute, the Wikimedia Foundation created an Android app and another company (MairDumont — I think a German travel/publishing company?) created an app for iPhone. The apps help people new to contributing to Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons by attaching the necessary unique identifier to the photograph when the photos are uploaded, so the new users don’t have to worry about all the little details and are free to simply contribute their photos.

This definitely seems like a potentially useful direction for DPLA and Europeana, if they want to get into user-contributed or -created content. (Of course, I think Wikipedia’s outreach model is particularly good most of the time.)

Do you want to see the winning photo? Of course you do!

The first prize: “a locomotive with a push-pull train crossing the monumental Wiesener Viaduct over the Landwasser river in Graubünden, Switzerland. It represents a nice harmony between monument, human and nature, while the red train draws attention to the middle of the picture. The picture was submitted by David Gubler, who is also active on a Swiss website dedicated to photos of trains” (

And then, the third prize is of a library, so of course I have to share it as well:

3rd prize: University library of Eötvös Loránd University. Photo: Thaler Tamás, CC BY-SA

(Do check out the rest of them if you’re interested. There are so many beautiful images on the winner’s page: