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Zürich Wikimedia Hackathon

This year the Wikimedia Hackathon was held in Zürich, Switzerland from the 9th to 11th May 2014. The organization of the event was great, from lanyards and badges that included a USB memory stick to a city map and a ticket for public transport, Wikimedia Switzerland had prepared fantastic hackathon.

More than 150 developers, engineers, sysadmins, and technology enthusiasts gathered coming from more than 30 countries aiming to share knowledge about new and existing technologies, fix bugs, come up with new ideas and work together on tools and systems relating to the Wikimedia movement.

As the name suggests a lot of time at a hackathon is spent ‘hacking’ (coding and such) there are also workshops available on all days. This year these workshops and talks included multiple sessions on ‘Vagrant’ working toward a production like development system, ‘Open data’ looking at Wikidata and government open data as well as sessions of ‘Phabricator’ and ‘Jenkins’.

Hackathons are not just a place to hack, but they provide people with a crucial time to allow people with different specialisms and interests to meet each other in person, put faces to names and names to pseudonyms, to build relationships and in turn build the movement.

Until next time!

Image Credits:

  • Logo: By Original: Trevor Parscal Modification: Lokal_Profil [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Photo: By Christian Meixner (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Spaghetti Open Data

Spaghetti Open DataSpaghetti Open Data is made up of a group of Italian citizens interested in the release of public data in open formats, in order to make it easy to access and reuse.

Starting in 2010 they have had yearly conferences.

I was lucky enough to be invited to their conference this year (SOD14) as the keynote speaker talking about Wikidata, paid for by Wikimedia Italy.

An overview of the conference can be found at http://www.spaghettiopendata.org/page/conferenza-sod14

IMG_0004

Photo by: Homer Project. Harmonising Open Data

 

My talk went well and during the day many people came to discuss various things with me.

My presentation can be found on Google Drive.

As for my participation in the rest of the conference, well, I don’t speak Italian, so……

I can however say that Italy is a great place!

More Links

Media Hack Day 2014

the Media Hack Day logoThe Media Hack Day is an annual event held at Axel Springer | Plug & Play Accelerator in Berlin. The event for March 2014 can be found on hackerleague.org.

I attended representing the Wikidata API. Also in attendance were Axel Springer, storyful, Der Spiegel, sanoma, watchmi, Getty Images and embed.ly. It was in a great location, the food and rinks were great and it was generally well planned by the organizes and a pretty competitive crowd turned up.

At noon on the following day all hacks were presented to the API partners and all other attendees. The ‘News sightseeing’ hack was awarded a swag pack from Wikidata for making the best use of the API. They were also awarded the Axel Springer iPool and Getty Images prizes.

Details of the project can be found on hackerleague and the code can be found on GitHub and the teams blog post summary can be found on their own blog.

How ‘News sightseeing’ used the Wikidata API

Firstly it is important to say that at the time of the hackathon Wikidata didn’t really provide any good way to query the data it help, simply retrieve it, but luckily there was a query tool available that is currently located at https://wdq.wmflabs.org.

The code that interacts with the Wikidata API can be found in Aggregator/wikidata.rb.

Initially the code uses the 3rd party query tool to find a list of items matching the criteria in the query, the current query in an editor can be seen here(Service now offline, text link included below) or in the image below. The criteria basically look for items in Munich that are NOT roads but do have images and coordinate locations.

a Screenshot of query used at Media Hack Day 2014

The data for each item is then retrieved from the Wikidata API using the wbegtentities module.

Various parts are then stripped from the whole entity for use within the application:

  • The German label is used as a title
  • The German Wikipedia sitelink is used as a URL
  • The German description is used for content body
  • A statement with property P18 is used as an image
  • A statement with property P571 is used as the initial date
  • A statement with property P625 is used for the precise location

As a result the app has access to information (including images) of possible locations to go sightseeing around the user.

Read more about News Sightseeing

Or watch their demo video

My Presentation

The presentation that I used on the say can be found below:

Wikidata. What is it. Prezi presentations

Below you will find 2 old Prezi presentations that look at Wikidata very a very introductory standpoint.

These presentations were using during a few events / workshops including:

Wikidata training @ Wikimedia UK

I recently led an event at Wikimedia UK on 28 September 2013 entitled Wikidata Training as part of the Wikidata development team.

The event page on the Wikimedia UK wiki can be found at https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Wikidata_training.

I want to share the LONG presentation that I gave on that day using Prezi.

You can find it below, sorry if it drags on but it gets lots across.

Continue reading

Mediawiki Hackathon Amsterdam

The Mediawiki Hackathon in Amsterdam was my first ever Mediawiki or Wikimedia hackathon, and it was great!

Unfortunately I am actually writing this post in 2015, so I don’t remember many of the details and will instead link to other places!

Wikimedia blog post reflecting on the hackathon

Wikimedia Netherlands, Wikimedia Germany, and the Wikimedia Foundation subsidized travel and accommodation for dozens of participants, enabling the highest participation in this event’s history.

Wikipedia Signpost report

Though it is difficult to pin down a central theme for a conference with 140 attendees, the choice of workshops suggest consolidation: Wikidata, Lua (slides), and Wikimedia Labs (slides) are hardly new projects and were all demo’ed at last year’s hackathon. Nevertheless, there was plenty to talk about, with upbeat developers leaving sessions excited at the progress the Foundation has made with each.

More links

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