Note that you don’t have to join a specific event to participate in Wiki Loves Monuments. Anyone in the US is welcome to participate any time during the month of September.
Events related to Wiki Loves Monuments are planned through Wikipedia Takes America.
Wikipedia Takes America is a campaign held each September to organize Wikipedia Takes Your City photo scavenger hunts across the United States, to coincide with the Wiki Loves Monuments photography contest in the United States and throughout the world.
The Wikipedia Takes America page on English Wikipedia has the most current event listing. Please feel free to update it and add your own event!
How to plan an event
- Decide when to hold your city’s photo hunt. It should be held sometime in September (Saturday Sep 21 is suggested, but local circumstances should decide), to coincide with the Wiki Loves Monuments contest.
- Create a meetup page to announce the event and get people on board.
- Add your meetup page to the list of events by region.
A successful photo hunt requires a solid plan. On your meetup page, you will need to include the following information:
- A list of sites to photograph. Take a look at the lists of National Register of Historic Places entries by state and see which entries do not yet have pictures. You can also use Ici, a map with icons representing Wikipedia articles.
- Click here to find nearby monuments!
- Also include their NRHP reference numbers so that the pictures can be entered into the Wiki Loves Monuments contest for NRHP site photographs
- Announce a specific meeting place based on the geographic location of these entries, such as a downtown landmark. At this location, hand out your maps and instruction sheets.
- Bring a Wikipedia sign or something similar for recognition!
- Schedule when and where the upload party is, such as a local café. Direct photographers to the Wiki Loves Monuments upload form.
- You are also welcome to schedule an after-party!
- Be sure to have printed copies of the maps and instructions.
- If you are the organizer, show up at the designated meeting place early and stick around after the event begins, for late-comers.
- Have a big group photo-walk touring different historic sites around town. Alternatively teams can go out on their own. Don’t forget your cameras!
Have any questions?
Contact the Wiki Loves Monuments USA team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for organizing Wiki Loves Monuments photowalks:
The conditions for organizing a photo walk for WLM-US will vary significantly depending on the density of the monuments in your area. If you live in Washington, DC, or San Francisco, CA, you might be able to walk to dozens of monuments in a relatively short time span. Wikipedians in Flathead County, Montana, for example, might need to organize a driving and hiking tour that could span hours with only a few monuments.
The National Register of Historic Places WikiProject on Wikipedia has organized the more than 87,000 monuments and sites on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). These lists are categorized by state and by county, with identifying information about the monument or site, including address and geo-coordinates. You can find NRHP sites in your area by visiting this page on Wikipedia.
If you don’t already know the area of your photo walk intimately, you can generate a Google map of NRHP sites through the Wikipedia list for your county (click on the link on the upper right of the list) and use that as a guide.
It’s a good idea to think about what kinds of photos you want to take. Are you interested in filling gaps in the coverage on Wikipedia? Are you interested in getting your friends together to get as many photos as you can? Are you interested in getting stunning images at that golden hour when everything is lit perfectly? Are you a nocturne who prefers long-exposure night shots? Consider these options and plan accordingly.
You’ll also want to consider what types of monuments and buildings you are shooting: if you are taking pictures of the interior of a church, you might want to schedule 20-30 minutes; if you’re taking a bunch of pictures of a historic district, where you have lots of possible subjects, you might leave 1-2 minutes per building.
You can find a detailed guide for organizing photo walks, with several examples, at Organizing a “Wiki takes … “
Our friends at Wiki Loves Monuments in Europe offer these tips from their experiences the last couple years:
- Please consider choosing areas that don’t already have a bunch of photos on Wikipedia. (i.e. choose counties with a lot of empty links and lack of photos)
- Walk time should not exceed 15-20 minutes for each hour of shooting (i.e. you leave approximately 3/4 of the time for taking photos)
- Consider planning a back-up route in case the main route is blocked or you have too many participants (though the bigger the crowd, the better the beer at the end of the walk). Groups of 5-6 people are ideal, so try to get a grasp of the size of the participant group, and act accordingly.
- If you are the organizer, be sure you provide your phone number to other participants.