The Signpost

WikiProject report

Always Expanding: WikiProject Images and Media

Contribute  —  
Share this
By Mabeenot

WikiProject news
News in brief
Submit your project's news and announcements for next week's WikiProject Report at the Signpost's WikiProject Desk.

This week, we took a look at the large WikiProject Images and Media, originally started in May 2008 as WikiProject Graphics. Throughout the project's history, it has absorbed the resources and scope of many other projects, the latest of which is WikiProject Photography. Both WP Photography and WP Images and Media sought to improve the quality of images on Wikipedia, although WP Photography was hampered by confusion as to what the project's scope was. Articles about photography in general were mistakenly tagged with the WikiProject Photography banner, resulting in an unwieldy collection of articles and images maintained by members who preferred to shoot photographs and critique images for featured status rather than delving into historical photographs and photography techniques.

WikiProject Images and Media also dealt with identity problems early in the project's history. While it was named WikiProject Graphics, the project struggled with the variety of different graphics on Wikipedia, resulting in the project's scope continuing to increase. WikiProject Images and Media eventually absorbed several other projects, including WikiProject Free images, WikiProject Fair use, WikiProject Moving free images to Wikimedia Commons, and WikiProject Illustration. A variety of other semi-active and inactive projects have been proposed to be merged into WikiProject Images and Media, with varying results.

WikiProject Images and Media currently covers all pages in the "File" namespace. An important part of WikiProject Images and Media's scope is reviewing images to be designated as featured pictures or valued pictures. Other tasks spearheaded by the project include suggesting better names for images, moving free media to the Commons, addressing copyright and fair-use issues, fulfilling image requests, and nominating unsuitable media for deletion.

This week we interviewed Tim Pierce, a member of WikiProject Photography who has transitioned to WikiProject Images and Media, which he believes "is a better home for me anyway." He hopes that a new WikiProject Photography will someday be born to "focus on photography technique, technology and history." Tim Pierce has fulfilled several requests for photographs, an effort we wanted to know more about:

The Little River running through Alewife Brook Reservation, shot by Tim Pierce
Tim Pierce: I like to make a list of requested photographs in locations near where I work or live, and go take pictures of those things when I can. It feels like something that I'm particularly qualified to contribute to the project; Wikipedians all over the world might be able to contribute photographs of a particular species of bird or an automobile, but only people who live nearby can easily take free photographs of buildings or cities in my area. Last year on one of the Wikipedia IRC channels, I met a woman who needed some help uploading some pictures that her father had taken years ago. It turned out that her father was an aviator who owned some of the earliest Nieuport airplanes, and was possibly the first person in the U.S. to own one. As far as I could tell, there were no photographs anywhere of some of these planes, and these pictures were beautiful -- stunning high-resolution scans of old silver nitrate exposures. It was a privilege and a rare honor to be able to help add those photos to Wikipedia. That's something that just doesn't happen every day.

When asked about the project's most pressing needs, Tim Pierce replied that "If you have a camera, start taking pictures! If you don't know where to start, look in Wikipedia requested photographs in places and find the state, province, county or city where you live. Those categories have a link to a page that plots all of the nearby requested photos on a Google map, so you can see at a glance where to go to take a picture that Wikipedia needs." For editors who don't have a camera, Tim Pierce says "consider going through Category:Articles which may no longer need images. These are articles that are flagged with {{reqphoto}} as needing an image, but now have one or more images on the main page. Sometimes these "images" are just logos or icons that don't really fulfill the request, but in many cases the {{reqphoto}} template is no longer needed and can be removed. There are thousands of requests in this category and we could use more people to help weed out the stale photo requests!"

Next week's Report will soar high above the clouds. Until then, stay aloft with our previous Reports in the archive.

+ Add a comment

Discuss this story

To follow comments, add the page to your watchlist. If your comment has not appeared here, you can try purging the cache.
No comments yet. Yours could be the first!


The Signpost · written by many · served by Sinepost V0.9 · 🄯 CC-BY-SA 4.0