Uploading 993 images to Wikimedia Commons in one go

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Sami children practising reading in the outdoors. Photographer: Unknown. Due to the date of the photograph the Swedish National Heritage Board has marked it as in the Public Domain.

 A couple of weeks ago I uploaded 993 photographs from the Swedish National Heritage Board’s image archive to Wikimedia Commons (on their behalf and with their agreement the of course!). The images uploaded cover Sami life in the North of Sweden and also motifs from the Swedish province of Västerbotten in general and will be of especially good use in Wikimedia Sweden’s Umepedia and Now and Then competition. Gradually the images will also find their way into Wikipedia articles and thus help fulfill the National Heritage Board’s mission of making information about Sweden’s heritage as widely and freely available as possible.

Thankfully I didn’t have to upload them one by one but could upload them in one batch using the GLAMwiki toolset. The raw materials I used was an export of the 993 objects from Europeana in XML-format. Making the export was easy as we at Europeana developed an export script to make it easier for our partners to have their collections uploaded to Wikimedia Commons should they want to .

To improve the discoverability of the uploaded collection on Wikimedia Commons I created a mapping between the National Heritage Board’s subject/motif classifications and the closest corresponding categories on Wikimedia. Categories on Wikimedia Commons have to be in English so I couldn’t use the original Swedish classifications. Using a little data wrangling script a colleague of mine made for me I then added the categories to the XML-document.

With the data prep finished I then used the the GLAMwiki toolset to create a mapping from the XML-file format to the Photograph template on Wikimedia Commons, previewed the result, and then uploaded the batch. Creating the mapping was made easy by the tool’s simple visual mapping interface and I used the beta version of Wikimedia Commons to do a number of test uploads before actually pressing the button on the final upload.

While the tool makes it easy to create a batch upload it’s still essential that you understand both the source collection and the structure of Wikimedia Commons. The tool can’t do that for you! So, if you’re working for a GLAM and want to contribute to your instution’s mission by sharing your content with the world via Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia please do get in touch and we will provide advice and, as much as we can, hands-on assistance. The same goes if you’re a developer and want to help improve the tool! Just as all Europeana and Wikimedia software the toolset is of course open source.

The GLAMwiki toolset was developed in a collaboration between the UK, Dutch, French and Swiss Wikimedia chapters and Europeana. Other collections that have been uploaded are from the British Library and the New York Public Library (the latter a work in progress).

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One Response to Uploading 993 images to Wikimedia Commons in one go

  1. It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable
    people for this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking
    about! Thanks

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