[Wiki Loves Monuments] Russia?
Yaroslav M. Blanter
putevod at mccme.ru
Fri Sep 20 19:36:02 UTC 2013
On 20.09.2013 20:38, Maarten Dammers wrote:
> Can someone please tell me what is going on in Russia? Any plans to
> fix it? Please reply because this is affecting other countries and
> otherwise I'm forced to drop Russia.
> Ps Russia is not the only country with problems, see
Putnik and Lvova, the coordinators of WLM-2013 (and occasionally also
WLM-2012) somehow decided that the Wikipedia community would not be
interested in WLM. Therefore they decided not to make any announcement
of WLM on Wikipedia or Commons. None of them have any WLM-related edits
on Commons in September.
Last year, they have chosen to not use the lists, resorting to their
own "database". This database is a deteriorated version of the official
Russian monument database, which has all problems which the original
database has, and a number of additional problems due to bad conversion
and due to the lack of understanding what the cultural monument actually
is. It only has one advantage - there are some coordinates over there,
and monuments can be found according to these "approximate coordinates"
which typically refer to the centers of closest big cities.
They were repeatedly told that this is not the way to go but have
chosen to ignore this critique, calling it "unconstructive". Last year,
several Commons users tried to make heritage lists of reasonable
quality, which requires a lot of manual work. These lists are still
available on Commons, but were not used for 2012 and 2013 contest.
This year, apparently after the meeting with Lodewijk in Moscow, they
suddenly decided to participate and to use the lists. Indeed, they
generated the "lists" from their database. As Maarten noticed, the
"lists" are bot-generated, and adding the files there is useless since
they are overwrited by bot. This completely excludes any community
participation in the contest, except for uploading photos. On top of
this, lists are full of errors. In particular, the list on Moscow
Oblasts starts from three monuments allegedly located in the town of
Kotelniki (all three not surprisingly have the same coordinates). In
fact, the monuments are located in the Sakha Republic, 10K miles away,
and this is pretty much obvious from the list.
When the Commons Russian community realized that we get several
hundreds photos per day, which are not properly categorized and have
wrong labels, and Lvova and Putnik are not available to help with the
photos and also not available to help the uploaders who have questions
or misunderstand smth, and the photos are not used anywhere and can not
be used, I had to open the discussion which I referenced above proposing
to stop the contest. Lvova and Putnik have chosen to not take part in
the discussion, having a discussion instead on the internal mailing list
of Wikimedia.ru to which none of the active commons users subscribed.
Essentially, putnik said that we are troublemakers, and if we work on
Commons with the photos, this is our problem. This is the link to the
mailing list archives:
(everything that has WLM in the subject).
Lvova basically said she is not interested in what the community
On the other hand, all Commons participants who took part in the
discussion came to the consensus that the 2012 and 2013 organization was
substandard and it should repeat in 2014. The Russian Wikipedia
participants promised that in October, they will organize a drive to add
photos to the articles (not to the lists, which are unusable). In the
Russian Wikivoyage, where I am an admin, we are also interested in the
photos, and we might be interested in working on compiling a
high-quality cultural heritage lists. This issue is currently under
The only strategy I see right now is to wait till October 1, and then
for 2014, if there will be WLM-2014, find the organizers who do not
regard community as a problem, and are more interested in doing the job
and workimh together with the community. If such organizers for Russia
would not be available, it is best that Russia does not participate in
I personally will do my best in helping with the images on Commons (we
currently have six users working there every day, including me) and with
compiling the heritage lists from scratch, but this is more a longer
term goal. May be if everything is really planned very well, the lists
would be ready by September 2014, may be not. For the current lists,
just forget them.
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