NEWS


 

Wikipedian at large at ZEALANDIA
Vanya Bootham

Wikipedian at large at ZEALANDIA

Wikipedia is one of the most useful (and used) sites on the web.  What comes up first when you do a Google search? Yep – it’s usually a Wikipedia page.  More people use Wikipedia worldwide than any other reference resource on the web.

Unfortunately though, New Zealand’s wonderful native species are under-represented on Wikipedia. This means that many of our endangered species are not getting the attention they deserve.

But we can help put this right. Wikipedia is a 'living' resource, i.e. any content is open for editing by anyone with expertise in that particular topic.

Dr Mike Dickison is New Zealand’s first Wikipedian-at-large, on a mission to get individuals and organisations engaging with Wikipedia with the ultimate aim of improving and increasing the information about New Zealand. Recently he held two workshops at ZEALANDIA for volunteer photographers, looking at how they can share their work with the world and improve the visibility of New Zealand (and ZEALANDIA too) on Wikipedia.

As Mike explained, ZEALANDIA’s volunteers and visitors are always taking photos of the amazing flora, fauna and fungi – many of which are threatened. By adding these photos to Wikimedia, Mike said, we can help improve the visibility of New Zealand on Wikipedia. In addition, making the images open licence will also allow others to use them and they can be used in Wikipedia articles. Tagging content with ZEALANDIA will also help increase ZEALANDIA’S presence on Wikipedia and Wikimedia.

Judi, one of our volunteers and an avid photographer attended one of the workshops. This is what she had to say:

“As a Zealandia volunteer, I've had some incredible opportunities to interact with and photograph our rare and endangered wildlife. Some photos I use for my fine-art photo-artistry but others I'm more than happy to donate for wildlife advocacy use. One of the best ways to do this is through Wikimedia Commons so anyone in the world who has internet access can download and use them, providing they give attribution.

In his workshops, Mike Dickison patiently and clearly explains how to upload photos, provide information about them and to choose an appropriate creative commons copyright classification. It's enabled me to share high quality photos of rare birds such as the Chatham shag as well as curious parts of bird anatomy like a vestigial kiwi wing and a kākā cloaca.”

Judi Lapsley Miller/User:Psychokiwi

There is lots of help on Wikipedia on how to add content. You first need to create an account and then you can start adding and editing content, the help pages have all you need.

Make it your mission to find an under-represented species and add some images and content. Tip – add in the science name whenever you can, categories are usually found under that.

Article by Vanya Bootham

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