Writing in the field of biology (specifically birds) I am often frustrated by the lack of good images of birds and other biological subjects. Many great photographers are reluctant to donate images they feel they can sell. Many talented Wikimedia contributors are limited in their ability to reach areas that we have big gaps in. I propose a that the board funds good Wikimedia photographers the costs of travelling to areas we have large gaps in our media collection with the understanding that they donate their images to the project afterwards.
Identify areas where systematic bias leaves us with gaps. Using a bird example, the majority of the world's species of birds are found in tropical forests in third world countries - the majority of our bird images are from first world countries and well visited tourist destinations. Our coverage of places like Central Africa, Amazonia, Madagascar, Indonesia and New Guinea is slowly improving, but much slower than the rest of the world and out of proportion to the massive amount of bird diversity these areas hold.
Having identified areas that we have weak coverage we identify image contributors who are interested in visiting these areas. We have a pool of talented photographers who would be more than happy to snap away at animals, plants, villages, geographic features, places and people if they could get to them. The possibility of getting one of these travel grants could make more people join the project as well as rewarding existing contributors.
There could be a number of grants - smaller ones for specific events to large ones for hard to reach places like the Solomon Islands or Uzbekistan.
Getting images for Wikimedia Commons and all the other projects is hard. Image quality on the various projects has been commented on before, and while we have a lot of good images we still lack images for many many things. This idea is about improving our coverage.
- How would we pick our photographers?
- What support in the field would they expect?
Potentially quite high - economically. Perhaps this could be offset by working with a camera company, having them sponsor the photographers. Perhaps the photographers might be expected to do some fund-raising themselves - through sponsorship or something.
- Wikipedia May Be a Font of Facts, but It’s a Desert for Photos New York Times, July 2009
- Proposal:Geonotice improvements
Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Wiki Expeditions.
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