September 2011 is the month of Wiki Loves Monuments, the great photo competition. Take pictures of monuments for Wikipedia, and win… they say. But uploading the right way is more work than you might think.
In July, I was on holiday in Friesland (the Dutch province). For example I walked through Franeker, and took photographs of old buildings. Occasionally I took pictures of street signs and house numbers, too. Still, it is not always easy home at the computer to find out which building is exactly which one. I wasn’t as diligent as in a different municipality where I had printed out the monuments list in advance and checked out every building before taking the picture.
But there is a tool that shows me on Google Maps where the monuments in Franeker (or elsewhere) are. I follow on the map the way I went on my holiday, and identified the buildings. Sometimes I saw that a building houses a certain shop, for example a shoe shop, and googling the name of the shoe shop led me to its exact house number. That’s what I need to check whether this is the monument I was looking for.
The Google Maps tool provides me already with the monument’s identifier, a number given by the Dutch Office for Cultural Heritage. I copy it into the file name of the picture. Later, when I upload the picture, I don’t have to look for it again.
Uploading happens to Wikimedia Commons, the central media archive for Wikipedia. The guys from the Wiki Loves Monuments contest provided a special upload wizard. This tool attaches already some useful data and also has a field for the monument’s identifier. It takes some time to fill in everything, and usually you have to look for this or an other category.
And winning a price? Well, that’s for other’s to decide. I already got one, name I contributed to the largest collection of free media and made some Frisians happy.