[Wiki Loves Monuments] Sorting out the images: Please help!

Yaroslav M. Blanter putevod at mccme.ru
Wed Sep 12 08:25:08 UTC 2012

Tomasz and Maarten, thanks for your reactions.

Let me provide another piece of the puzzle from my perspective. Until 
March, there was some on-wiki discussion concerning WLM-Russia, which I 
initiated. I was involved in the creation of the lists and there were a 
couple of other users working on Commons. There was very little help, or 
no help at all, from WLM-2011 Russian organizers, but at least they were 
aware of this on-wiki discussion, and did not object to the creation of 
the lists. At some point in January, they made an announcement that they 
are going to make a new database, but refused to answer how the database 
will be related to the existing lists, and where they are going to take 
the coordinates from. In March, I got very much concerned with the fact 
that only three lists out of 83 were ready, and nothing else was going 
on, so that I posted an announcement on Commons, opened a skype group 
which several people immediately joined, and started to discuss what 
else should be done to start the contest in time and properly. Anastasia 
Lvova, the WM-RU appointed coordinator, who was quiet half a year before 
that, reacted immediately, stating that she would not join the 
discussion as long as I am involved, and sending a lengthy message to 
this list explaining why I should not be involved. Obviously, I left the 
skype group immediately and announced that I do not want to interfere 
with the organization since I am apparently viewed as the main obstacle 
to the contest.

Since then, all on-wiki discussion stopped. I still have all WLM-Russia 
related pages on Commons (which I created earlier) on my watchlist, and 
they were never edited. I guess the discussions are being held off-wiki, 
but they never got out of the closed circles, and I do not even know who 
exactly the organizers are. The last I heard from the organizers (it was 
in March) was that only a number of regions will participate in the 
contest. (Now all regions participate). On August 31, the website was 
suddenly up, and apparently it is linked to the database the organizers 
wanted to create. This database contains some serious errors, and, in 
particular, the buildings which do not fall under freedom op panorama 
are still there (and several pictures of these copyrighted buildings are 
getting uploaded every day as a part of WLM and have to be nominated for 
deletion). The lists on Commons, which are currently (almost) complete 
on five regions, do contain indications which buildings are copyrighted, 
but these lists are not related to the website in any way, their 
creators quit, and I am the only one now maintaining them.

There is no on-wiki activity of the organizers at all. Some of the 
users who previously identified themselves as local organizers are 
active on Commons but are not doing any WLM-related work. Other users 
are inactive.

Now, I do not care so much who are the organizers, how they discuss, 
and what exactly they are doing. My only concern is that, since 
previously they never ever showed any respect to what was done by the 
others, that at some point they could suddenly do some weird things - 
for instance, create their own lists, which will be inferior to these on 
Commons, but still will be used in the production line, or will 
introduce their own categorization system incompatible with the existing 
one and then bot-recategorize everything, or smth else.

But there is probably nothing any of us can do about this. For the time 
being, I will just keep categorizing the incoming WLM photos from 
Russia, since they need to be categorized, and there is no way to do it 
other than manually. Most of WLM-2011 Russian photos remain 


On Wed, 12 Sep 2012 00:43:40 +0200, Tomasz W. Kozłowski wrote:
> Hi Yaroslav,
> thanks for asking the questions, and for your amazing work done for
> Wiki Loves Monuments (in Russia) so far, it's greatly appreciated!
>>From what I know--and I daresay I know a little bit more about that
> than Maarten due to my interest in Central and Eastern European
> countries--there are no lists of monuments in Russia from this year
> that were published on any of the Wikimedia projects.
> The only lists I managed to find are linked from
> <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Lists_of_European_Monuments/Russia>,
> but they were created last year, are very well hidden and almost
> completely empty, except for the few regions. There /might/ be some
> lists on the Russian Wikipedia, but I cannot tell where as I am sadly
> not able to read any Cyrillic at all.
> As for the local organisers, I can only confirm that they do not take
> part in any on-wiki discussion. Indeed, they are not active on this
> list, either, and I haven't heard from them for a very (very!) long
> time, even though I poked them many times in the past few weeks; my
> inbox tells me that the latest e-mail I received from them was on May
> 25, 2012.
> I also haven't heard about any plans to have a bot take care of the
> uploads from Russia, so I guess you can continue doing your very
> useful work if you still have the will and time to do so.
> Tomasz
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