Proposal:World map of contributors for photography and other local research (common to all Wikimedia projects)

From Strategic Planning
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  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


I think it would be nice to have world maps of the locations of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia project contributors who are willing to take photographs for other editors. Contributors interested in a resource at a specific location could search for those near a target location. Ideally it should be possible to send a bulk e-mail via Special:emailuser to around ten such persons closest to the target area. No one would be required to follow through on a request; it is the responsibility of the person making it to be sufficiently persuasive.


There should be one single centralized map, with a standardized format that can be used in any language and type of Wikimedia project. (When I say "one map", I mean one database of photographer locations - by zooming into or searching for particular continents, countries, cities, etc. different maps should be generated.) Photographers (defined loosely as anyone who can point and shoot and upload a digital photograph to Wikimedia Commons) should sign up voluntarily and say what languages they can read (for receiving requests), the approximate range they're willing to travel to get a photo for someone, and whether there are major points of interest that they are specifically willing to visit to take a photograph or obtain another resource (art museums, city libraries, universities, etc.)

Requests could be submitted in any language, but it is assumed that a request in the photographer's language is more likely to get a response. The bulk e-mail interface should enclose the request in a standard wrapper so that the person requested can recognize such e-mails from their Subject: or From: line alone. Optionally the message could be posted to the photographer's Talk page for a Wikimedia project in addition to or alternatively to the e-mail interface (however, due to the paranoid but conceivable chance that some criminal could take advantage of information about the photographer's whereabouts, this should not be the default setting). The Subject: line should also clearly state the deadline to obtain such a photograph, if applicable (as in the case of a public appearance or event, for example).

Proposal:Wikimedia_should_arrange_press_access_to_photographers is fully compatible with this one. Persons who sign up, take a certain number of photographs and/or complete a Wikiversity course (to be written) on basic journalism and/or attain other credentials as is determined to be necessary, should receive official Wikimedia "press credentials" and should be encouraged to seek recognition as legitimate press photographers for Wikimedia.

When sufficiently populated, the international map can also be used to gauge which regions are underrepresented, so that various means of outreach can be targeted there.


The main purpose of this is to allow contributors to any Wikimedia project to find those who are local to an area where photographs are desired.

A secondary purpose is to find those willing to visit local libraries or museums to check out, scan, or photograph books, or to go to events where some famous living person can be photographed.

Key Questions

Potential Costs

Done at the most basic level, this would be possible with the sort of coordinate maps that are used on Wikipedia now, with different maps for each project linked by hyperlinks. Done right, some degree of actual script programming would be needed, with a special location set aside for the common page. When combined with the proposal for press credentials, additional costs depend on how elaborate and professional of an impression is desired.



I was encouraged to make this a proposal after mentioning the idea in discussion of the strategic plan.[1]

Community Discussion

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