From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

WikiExpedition, part of the Sunday July 15 Unconference, is a one-day (morning/afternoon/evening) photography event based on photographing certain targets (buildings, sites, train stations, etc) that are devoid of pictures on Wikimedia Commons or various Wikimedia projects. WikiExpedition gets volunteers with cameras associated with a list of objectives in 22 central regions/counties throughout Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. The 22 regions are given certain amounts of points per target, and in competition style, the team (or person) with the most points will win the contest and be given prizes. Photographs will be taken from the memory cards of Wikipedians and onto a laptop dedicated to uploading all of the photos to the Wikimedia Commons.

WikiExpedition does not cost anything, as all the materials involved have already been paid for within the budget of Wikimania. Provided will be a list of objectives, a set of index cards that will also serve as important to photography (will be explained at the event), markers, maps and SmarTrip cards, which will be basically an unlimited pass along the D.C. Metro. However, for the outer communities, a car will be required, since MARC Train and Virginia Railway Express do not run on weekends. This is a Sunday only event and photography done beforehand cannot be accepted.

People can do this by themselves, work in groups of two or more (the suggested method so people can hold the index card while someone takes the photo of the index card). This competition is purely fun and don’t let greed of points devoid photograph quality. All rules will be explained at the event. It is suggested however that people register beforehand at the Google Documents form in the External links section of this page.

Where are we meeting?

  • The plan should be to meet at the main site of Wikimania in George Washington University at 11 AM. Rules and what needs to be done will be explained, this includes a full demonstration of what needs to be photographed and how.
  • People should be back by 6 PM (do not need to be on time), when we will collect and upload photos, tally up the points and announce winners for prizes.

How to do photography for WikiExpedition

An example of an index card shot, taken by Adam Moss in 2008

WikiExpedition asks for two photos minimum per objective. One photo will attain the intended objective (there can be several photos if necessary.) and the second will be a shot of the index card, which will match the objective number listed on your checksheet, handed out at Wikimania. The second photo is a requirement, and you only need to take one.

Photographer conduct

It is extremely important to keep several things in mind when taking photography. Not everyone will be up to you photographing in their direction. Please respect them and keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Respecting personality rights: You should not make persons on the street the focus of your photographs, without their permission. If someone is in the background, or part of a crowd, or happens to be standing in front of a building in an inconspicuous way, it's OK. But, you shouldn't focus on an individual.
  • Respecting the rights of artists: Artists have the right to restrict photography of their artwork, such as public statues (this does not apply to architecture, for which there exists a "freedom of panorama" exception under US law). Don't photograph copyrighted public art (created after 1923). If it is necessary to include public art in the frame to photograph something else, the public art should not be the focus of the photograph.
  • Respecting the rights of property owners: Property owners have the right to restrict you from taking a photograph while standing on their property. But, you can take any photograph as long as you are standing on public property. If someone asks you to stop, stop.
  • Respecting the police: If the police ask you to stop, stop.

Photography advice

Quality is important so suggestions have been given to make your photo real quality.

  • Keep pictures in focus.
  • Avoid shadows.
  • Show the whole subject in one shot, if possible; avoid cutting off tops of buildings.

Contact info

  • If people are interested in more information on WikiExpedition, I, Mitchazenia (Adam Moss) can be reached by email at I check my email hourly and will be able to provide a response within 24 hours.
  • If you need to reach others or I cannot provide an answer, it is suggested you contact James Hare or Katie Filbert of Wikimania and they can lead you to the right answer.

Photos taken on this event

External links