Submissions/How we organized a hackathon with GLAM institutions, gave open culture to hackers and made everyone happy

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 2020
Title of the submission
How we organized a hackathon with GLAM institutions, gave open culture to hackers and made everyone happy
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Barbara Fischer (WMDE), Jens Ohlig (WMDE), Katja Ullrich (WMDE), Helene Hahn (OKFN), Anja Müller (digiS), Stephan Bartolmei (DDB), N.N. (winners of the hackathon)
E-mail address
Special:EmailUser/Katja Ullrich (WMDE)
Katja Ullrich (WMDE)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Deutschland
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Coding da Vinci” can be regarded as a blueprint for international versions of culture hackathons. We would be happy to share our experiences with you so that you can organize your very own GLAM hackathon.

Many GLAMs (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) hide huge digital treasures behind their thick walls and even though they often want to share them with a wide audience, they struggle with entering the digital age. Some cultural institutions have recognized this problem and together with us, Wikimedia Deutschland, they want to enter the twenty-first century with the first German cultural hackathon “Coding da Vinci”. We partnered up with three important organizations that are also dedicated to cultural and open data: the OKFN Germany, the DDB and digiS. Together, we headed out to convince cultural institutions of the importance of free knowledge and free data. We asked them to donate exclusive datasets for “Coding da Vinci” so that hackers and designers can use their data for the development of freely-licensed web applications in a threefold event. It began with 2 hackdays on April 26/27 and ended with a public presentation and award ceremony on July 6, 2014. In between they had ten weeks to finish their projects.

With “Coding da Vinci” we want to show cultural institutions how beneficial it can be to share knowledge. The participating GLAMs delivered a wide range of data: from urban images (incl. metadata) from Berlin in the 18th and 19th century and scans of shadow boxes that contain insects to Jewish address-books from the 1930s in Germany. In addition, Europeana and the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek provided their APIs to the participants of the hackathon.

“Coding da Vinci” will not only show best practice cases as examples for imitation. In addition, it will also have a direct effect on the Wikimedia movement and its projects. All datasets will be usable for the Wikimedia projects, e.g. Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata and Wikipedia, and all participants in the hackathon are potential editors of the Wikimedia projects. Moreover, Wikimedia Deutschland and the whole Wikimedia movement will be perceived as a trustworthy partner for free knowledge.

During our presentaton at Wikimania we want to

  1. share knowledge about the importance of partnering up with other organization that focus on free knowledge
  2. show “Coding da Vinci” set an example for GLAMs to liberate their content
  3. present the winners of the hackathon, their app and how they contributed to free knowledge and
  4. talk about the benefits of freely-licensed cultural data for the Wikimedia projects.
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
60 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

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  1. Ocaasi (talk) 23:09, 6 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. SarahStierch (talk) 20:12, 13 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Micru (talk) 13:35, 15 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Slowking4 (talk) 01:12, 1 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Joelaldor (talk) 07:50, 13 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Beko (talk) 19:35, 30 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Sabbon (talk) 21:39, 26 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Disruptiv (talk)