Wikimedia blog

News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Posts by Alice Roberts

Valerie Juarez: Bug wrangler in-training

Valerie Juarez, FLOSS Outreach Program for Women Intern

Valerie Juarez, FLOSS Outreach Program for Women Intern

Valerie Juarez joined the Wikimedia Foundation as a full-time intern through the FLOSS Outreach Program for Women, an initiative of the GNOME foundation. With internships available at several organizations, Juarez was immediately intrigued by the bug management/triaging position with Wikimedia, and contacted the project manager: Wikimedia’s Bug Wrangler, Andre Klapper. She received a “very welcoming response” from Klapper, who helped her develop a stellar application for the internship.

As part of the application process, she had to make an initial contribution. Lucky for her (not so much for the bug), Juarez “discovered a bug that blocked UploadWizard when using Internet Explorer”—something she is very proud of.

Juarez, a self-proclaimed “bug wrangler in-training,” applied to the Outreach Program for Women as a way to “shift into a more technical role and to learn new technologies,” she said. Since beginning her internship on January 2, 2013, Juarez has been extremely active, even hosting her first Bug Day on January 29. She explains, “Bug Days are important because it engages the bug management and developer communities, and we work to solve issues, which makes MediaWiki better.” Even though attendance was low, the group was able to triage about 30 reports, and have fun doing it.

She plans to host more Bug Days, triage bug reports, and develop a proposal for streamlining user feedback, such as bug reports, from multiple Wikimedia sources to the correct channels. “Wikimedia has a few feedback channels: Village Pumps for support, Request Tracker for operation issues, OTRS for email responses, and Bugzilla for bug tracking,” Juarez explains. “I will compare and contrast what other open source projects do with what Wikimedia does and make suggestions on changes that could benefit Wikimedia.”

As Juarez sees it, her internship is a win-win for both her and the Foundation. “I think internships like this allow women like me opportunities to grow, gain knowledge, and connect with a community. Organizations benefit by the contributions women provide to the projects themselves and the community.”

Internships like the Outreach Program for Women help reduce the gender imbalance within Wikipedia and the tech industry. She explains, “It’s important to have women participate in MediaWiki, Wikipedia, and open source projects in general because their perspectives are important—and not just women, but men and women of color as well. The absence of these perspectives affects the type of articles that get deleted, promoted, and even created. In MediaWiki and open source in general, a limited perspective can affect which software functionality is added, removed, or even considered.” She adds, “Wikipedia, which is intended for everyone, should not be created by only half of the population.”

Since beginning her internship, Juarez has learned a great deal from her mentors Quim Gil and Andre Klapper, and looks forward to making “meaningful contributions to the community” as she continues. “I hope my project will benefit MediaWiki, Wikimedia, and the community by streamlining the feedback that is received. I also hope to continue to contribute after my internship is complete,” she explains.

Juarez graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics in December 2011. In the future she hopes to be “working in a technical position at a job that allows me to positively impact the world socially and technologically. I hope to still be working to attract more people (especially women) to computer science and technology careers.” While busy with her internship, she still finds the time to have a bit of fun in her hometown of Sour Lake, Texas—from playing video games and reading comics such as Batgirl and Wonder Woman to learning to sew a bed for her cat Midnight.

With every day of her internship, Juarez is learning how she can contribute to Wikipedia and Wikimedia and hopes others will join in as well, “I don’t think most people understand that they can contribute and make Wikipedia better. Like me, they don’t think they have anything to offer, but I’m learning that I can help. I hope other people will realize that too.”

Interview and profile by Alice Roberts, Communications Intern

Gayle Karen Young: Supporting Wikimedia’s dynamic culture

Before Gayle Karen Young joined the Wikimedia Foundation as the Chief Culture and Talent Officer she thought of Wikipedia as simply an online encyclopedia. “I considered Wikipedia a website and I was only familiar with English Wikipedia, so I thought it was an online reference source and didn’t realize at the time it was a movement,” Gayle said. Now, she understands the way people access and create free knowledge on the internet and the impact that Wikimedians have on that process.

Gayle Karen Young at the Wikimedia Foundation office

Gayle Karen Young at the Wikimedia Foundation office

“Knowledge is a prerequisite for social change,” explains Gayle. “Access to knowledge has to be a foundation of that. When you look at places in the world where conditions are not there for people to thrive, it usually has to do and starts with a lack of access to information and ideas by a given group or party.” This knowledge disparity and its social justice implications is something that she is passionate about and it was one of the primary attractions for her about working at the Wikimedia Foundation.

At her first Wikimedia Chapters Conference, she realized the global nature of Wikipedia and the impact the movement was having around the world. “I found the first chapters’ meeting utterly fascinating, it’s like a miniature United Nations. You’ve got Wikimedia Bangladesh, Wikimedia India, Germany, and France and seeing all these different individuals and the individuals representing entities coming together to figure out how to function better on behalf of an entire movement, and that was really cool,” she explained. “Wikimania was similarly a joy, in getting to meet contributors and entities beyond the chapters structure who are as key to the movement.”

Gayle is enamored of the passion that Wikipedians demonstrate. “People really care about getting information out there that is good…and that intellectual rigor and generosity are fundamentally based on the best parts of us as human beings,” she said. Although not an editor herself, when she finds the time in her busy schedule, she expects to edit topics related to psychology, philanthropy, and global human rights—three areas she is passionate about.

She also credits the altruistic nature of Wikipedians in maintaining the accuracy of Wikipedia and the minimal amount of vandalism on the site. She goes on to explain, “There have always been, in every age, repositories of knowledge that have been tended over and cared for and supported by small groups of people that really care about that. People fundamentally care about preserving [knowledge] and people are fundamentally motivated by learning.” Whether it’s the Library of Alexandria or the private libraries of ancient Rome, the people behind these repositories of knowledge were passionate about preserving information for future generations; however, Wikipedia is taking this notion one step further and making knowledge available for free to anyone with internet access.

As the Foundation’s Chief Culture and Talent Officer, Gayle works to create a dynamic culture within the organization where people can thrive and make greater contributions. She wears many hats in her role from “ship’s counselor” to working on leadership development and strategy work. She explains, “My job is to tend the environment so that people in the organization can function well.” She works tirelessly to create a positive environment where Foundation employees are free to be themselves and flourish, and recognizes that this work has a long arc, that it takes time and tending year-over-year to sustain that.

When Gayle started at the Foundation, she immediately felt at home and “in some ways I feel like these are my people.” As a big Star Trek fan, she compared the feeling she got watching the movie Galaxy Quest, a spoof on Star Trek, to the people behind the Wikimedia movement, “I remember sitting in the audience and watching a scene in the movie where a bunch of folks are at a space convention and I was like ‘these are my people’ and in a sense I feel like these are my people here.” She finds “the integrity, the commitment, mostly the sheer quirkiness” to be motivation behind the movement, but “there is no wrangling of the quirkiness, my job is to support it.”

Gayle’s background, education in psychology and her training as a Zen Buddhist, help her “meet people where they are,” which she finds useful to her role in understanding where other people are coming from in a given situation. She has always appreciated that there is more than one perspective available and points out that “you can’t take for granted that one viewpoint of the world is right.”

With such a multicultural employee, consultant, and volunteer base, Gayle approaches her job from multiple perspectives. “If I came at it from just a woman’s perspective, or just a Chinese person’s perspective, it doesn’t respect all the things that you carry into a conversation,” she explains. “I need to bring the multiple sides of me and the lenses that those carry to the front to see with.”

It’s this approach that she credits with helping the Foundation make wise decisions about its future. “We need to fundamentally mature as a movement and as an organization without losing the passion and without losing the energy and the commitment to the mission,” she said. “Organizations can be like giant icebergs, leaders are like tug boats, they will have a massive impact in steering this massive thing in the right direction, but you shouldn’t run afoul of it – and culture eats strategy.” As the Foundation grows and matures, it’s Gayle’s role to stretch and support the people behind the movement without steering the iceberg off course.

Interview and profile by Alice Roberts, Communications Intern

The Impact of Wikipedia: David Shankbone

David Shankbone’s photos are on more than 5,000 Wikipedia articles

For Wikimedian David Shankbone, contributing to a Wikipedia article isn’t just about the words, it’s about the complete picture. Although he does edit text, his primary contribution is his photos, which illustrate over five thousand articles on Wikipedia.

“People are supposed to be able to have access to knowledge and that’s not just written text,” he said. “So you should be able to go to an article and not only be able to read about something, you should also be able to see it, you should also be able to hear it and you should also be able to watch it. That should be the end goal of any article on Wikipedia.”

Shankbone’s first contributions to Wikipedia were during law school. He couldn’t afford textbooks and noticed fellow students were relying on Wikipedia for summaries of legal cases. At that point he took his education outside of the classroom, and as he noted, “I started editing the caseloads on Wikipedia, and I began photographing and meeting very famous lawyers for Wikipedia.”

After law school he first started to contribute his photos to Wikipedia, but it wasn’t until the implementation of the Creative Commons license that he began to take his photographic contributions more seriously.

Shankbone explains that Wikipedians started enforcing the Creative Commons license, which meant copyright images were being removed, returning some articles back to their image-free state.

So Shankbone went out with his 2.3 megapixel point and shoot and started to capture images that he could contribute to Wikipedia under the Creative Commons license. At first he wasn’t focused on the technical aspects of the photos he took, “When I started to shoot it was more about the experience of showing up and taking the photographs than it was about the actual product.” But over the years, he concentrated on learning from the professionals he was shooting next to, and Warhol photographer Billy Name became a mentor. “I have some bad stuff from the early days, but I feel like over the years I really improved, and I’m proud of the work that I put out.”

In addition to contributing to Wikipedia, he is also an accredited reporter for English Wikinews, a free-content news source wiki. “I felt compelled to contribute to it cause I was already meeting people that were notable and taking their photographs, and I also sort of wanted to start just asking them questions,” he said. Shankbone has contributed forty articles to Wikinews on a variety of topics and he has interviewed some notable figures including a president of Israel, three Republican presidential candidates and Al Sharpton.

According to Shankbone, his contributions are about leaving a legacy. “I do have the desire to do something that outlives myself and something that somehow betters the world, at least more than I found it,” he explained.

Shankbone credits Wikipedia with providing him the platform to pass on his knowledge. “People should care about Wikipedia because it is the only way for you to contribute your knowledge and to actually examine reality. It used to be that people, unless they were a reporter, were just passive consumers of information, whereas Wikipedia teaches you to critically think about things.”

Profile by Alice Roberts, Communications Intern
Interview by Victor Grigas, Visual Storyteller

The Impact of Wikipedia: Srikeit Tadepalli and Noopur Raval

Srikeit Tadepalli and Noopur Raval, friends and Wikimedians

Contributing to Wikipedia is more than just editing for Srikeit Tadepalli and Noopur Raval, it’s about giving back by spreading the word about the movement. Although, Tadepalli and Raval are active editors, they primarily focus their efforts on community outreach within India.

Tadepalli began editing Wikipedia in 2005 while still in high school. His first entry was deleted as a copyright violation, but he was not deterred and he applied himself to understand Wikipedia’s guidelines and principles. Within the year, he became an administrator and quickly took to behind-the-scenes work, resolving disputes and fighting vandals.

He credits Wikipedia with helping him get into university. “I was given admission on a special merit, based on my Wikipedia contributions,” he said. He also noted that he was able to complete his MBA, which he said he “could have never dreamed of doing, considering my academic record before, so Wikipedia has saved my career.”

Already friends with Tadepalli before becoming a Wikipedian, Raval joined the movement as a “result of one of [Tadepalli's] outreach programs,” she explained. Raval is a PhD student in cinema studies. She attended a Wikipedia meet-up with Tadepalli in 2007, but didn’t start contributing until 2011. “GLAM was [my] entry back into Wikipedia, but then I started editing a lot as well,” she said. As part of GLAM, or Galleries Libraries Archives Museums, Raval has “a partnership with the National Crafts Museum in New Delhi,” where she works alongside museum staff editing articles about art objects and folk art of India in both Hindi and English.

Srikeit and Noopur at Wikimania 2012

Srikeit and Noopur at Wikimania 2012

In addition to GLAM, her most treasured contribution to Wikipedia is an article on the Kanchipuram Sari, which turned out to be a “personal journey,” explained Raval. “I started discovering which villages make it, how do they make [it], from which I jumped to the problems that the Kanchipuram Sari industry is facing.” Both Raval and Tadepalli credit Wikipedia with helping them learn more about their country and culture.

For the two Wikimedians, outreach comes in many different forms. From wearing a Wikipedia T-shirt to organizing a campus-wide meet-up, they have managed to get a lot of young Indians involved and contributing. Although each outreach session doesn’t provide a 100 percent retention rate, every new editor makes a difference. “A lot of them may not be receptive, but there is always the success rate. If you have a talk [with] 50 people and maybe 10 people will remember what you said, and 4 people might just come back. So it’s for those 4 people that we do stuff,” said Tadepalli.

Closing the gender gap and the knowledge gap related to Indian culture are the primary goals of their outreach. “This is the perfect time when people are going to be using Wikipedia to find out more about everything relating to India and the world. It’s about covering those tiny loopholes and gaps which have not been touched yet,” explained Raval, “If you aren’t representing something or writing about something, it probably means that it’s not noteworthy enough, which is not true.”

“Indians by themselves are represented as a minority in the Wikipedia community. Women are also a small, even smaller representative section. So I think it is very important for women to come in and have their voices heard as well. Because we need a balance on Wikipedia,” said Tadepalli.

Pointing to the famous Wikipedia globe logo of interlocking puzzle pieces, Tadepalli siad, “Each of us holds one puzzle piece from our part of information, we put it together and it grows, but we can never have all the puzzle pieces together, because all the information in the world continues to be generated and you can never have all of it together.” He said it is their social obligation to add their piece of the puzzle to Wikipedia.

For Tadepalli and Raval, “Wikipedia’s mission is to ensure the sum of all human knowledge is accessible freely to every single person on the planet. And this mission, although it seems large and unrealistic, Wikipedia is probably the closest anyone has ever gotten to realizing it.”

Profile by Alice Roberts, Communications Intern
Interviews by Aaron Muszalski and Dan McSwain

The Impact of Wikipedia: Oarabile Mudongo

(This video is part of a series for this year’s Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser. You can support Wikipedia and free knowledge by contributing at You can also view this video on YouTube.)

Oarabile Mudongo discusses the way Wikipedia has changed his life.

Growing up in Francistown, Botswana, Oarabile Mudongo was determined to reach his goal of attending university and being able to provide for himself and his family, as well as helping his community.  “I need to achieve more so that I can bring something home, help my parents, and also advise my friends and the community,” explained Mudongo. “ Looking at the fact that my parents got  nothing much to share with us or to provide to us, I really need to work hard.”

Mudongo developed a passion for computer engineering as a result of a computer lab endowment to his high school by a local mining company. “The main idea being that they wanted to boost the performance of students through fetching sources to read on the Internet,” he said.

The first time he used one of those computers, he was scared to touch it. “What if I destroy it?” he said. “Am I going to repay, and my parents don’t have the money to come and repay this? I was very cautious.” He has since become quite adept with computers. “I see myself being successful in life,” he said, “And that really drove my potential up until where I am right now.”

Mudongo was first exposed to Wikipedia while doing research for one of his projects as part of a local math and science fair project. “Most of the information that I got when I was in that group, the Math and Science Fair group, I relied much on Wikipedia,” he said. His projects later qualified to compete at the national level.

At that point he was hooked on computers and Wikipedia. Although he was told in school that he shouldn’t trust Wikipedia, he knew the awesome resource that it was for him and his classmates. When confronted with a Wikipedia-doubting teacher, he responded with the simple statement that “for one to understand what Wikipedia is, he or she needs to make a closer interaction with Wikipedia or Wikimedians. That’s when you understand that Wikipedia is indeed a solid rock.”

Mudongo first edited Wikipedia in 2011, just two years after coming in contact with his first computer. As part of the Setswana Wikipedia Challenge, he joined classmates in a friendly Wikipedia editing competition with the grand prize of a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend Wikimania 2012. The goal of the challenge was to translate English Wikipedia articles into Setswana and whoever got the highest marks based on the quality of the article and the richness of the language won the coveted prize. “I managed to win the challenge. I made it to D.C.,” which was a lifelong dream, he said.

Mudongo has only edited Wikipedia in Setswana, a language spoken by 4.5 million people in Southern Africa. He dreams of a day when a Wikipedia exists in his mother tongue Kalanga. “That is just my dream actually, to have a page where you can edit in Kalanga,” he said. As for topics, he mostly edits on tourism, articles related to Botswana and to his major, network engineering.

Mudongo credits Wikipedia with helping him succeed in school and in life, but with a drive like his, it’s hard to imagine him not succeeding in everything he does.

Profile by Alice Roberts, Communications Intern
Interview by Victor Grigas, Visual Storyteller

The Impact of Wikipedia: Mei Jiun Kwek

(This video is part of a series for this year’s Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser. You can support Wikipedia and free knowledge by contributing at You can also view this video on YouTube.)

Mei Jiun Kwek discusses the importance of Wikimedia Commons for academic research.

Mei Jiun Kwek uploaded her first image to Wikimedia Commons while working as a scientific assistant at Crops for the Future (CFF), an international partnership organizations based in Malaysia. Since that fateful first picture, Kwek has contributed numerous images to Commons on behalf of CFF and sometimes her own work. “I contribute images on crop species, mainly on neglected and underutilized crops,” said Kwek.

Although her family doesn’t have an agricultural background, Kwek’s love of botany developed “during my bachelor and my master’s time, [when] I spent a lot of my time working in the forest to collect plant specimens,” she explained. Botany provides Kwek with a deeper understanding regarding the diversity of nature that surrounds her native Borneo. “I might think that these trees are all the same, they are green, they are trees, they don’t have a name, but actually they do.”

Kwek’s role at CFF is to document publications, “not only working with Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons,” but also to assist with the dissemination of the organization’s scientific publications. CFF has over 250 completed and ongoing development projects aimed at enhancing productivity and consumption of underutilized and neglected food crops for better health and nutrition of local communities, Kwek said. Researchers like her recognize the need for their research to be freely accessible to everyone.

“We do not want the publications to be sitting on a shelf or only disseminate a few physical copies to our partners only. We want more readers to access the books,” explained Kwek.

Her user page gallery has now more than 50 images on neglected and underutilized crops and some of them are used in the related Wikipedia articles. “We found it better for us to put them in a public repository where everyone can see, everyone can use, and it is for educational purposes. That’s why we go to Wikimedia Commons.”

She explained that CFF no longer uploads images directly to the organization’s blog. “We link to Wikimedia Commons and we don’t upload photos to the website server, we make uploads to Wikimedia Commons, and then we use it on our website.”

She has also tried to convince researchers from similar organizations to do the same; however, she has been met with resistance. “They are just not excited to do that because they prefer to develop their own database, they prefer to upload the picture to their own organizations’ websites. They prefer to publish their knowledge in physical books, rather than contribute that idea to Wikipedia. Actually, I believe in the agriculture community or in the researcher community, they are not aware of the potential with working in Wikipedia,” she said.

Kwek argued it is the responsibility of agriculture researchers to translate their research into practice for the general public. “When you look into the crop article, you can find that you have basic information on the plant morphology characteristics, you know the name of the plants, you have information on the distribution, and on the taxonomic sites. But you don’t have information on the breeding of the plants. We have a lack of information on the culinary use, the nutritional use, and the post-harvest handling of all these plant species.”

According to Kwek, the vast potential of utilizing Wikipedia and its sister projects to improve the understanding and awareness of agricultural context, especially for neglected and underutilized crops, is still unrealized. “This is where the scientists or where the agriculture researchers can contribute their knowledge from that area,” she said.

Though she has already added significantly to free knowledge, Kwek said she is not finished. “There is still a lot of opportunity for me to do work in Wikimedia Commons. I can upload a lot more photos, images, and create more pages, more categories, especially on underutilized crop species.”

Profile by Alice Roberts, Communications Intern
Interview by Victor Grigas, Visual Storyteller

The Impact of Wikipedia: Erlan Vega

(This video is part of a series for this year’s Wikimedia Foundation fundraiser. You can support Wikipedia and free knowledge by contributing at If you have trouble viewing the video below, try watching it here.)

Erlan Vega explains how Wikipedia and Wikcionario influenced his life.

When Erlan Vega stumbled upon Wikipedia in 2005 while doing research for his father, he couldn’t have imagined how it would change his life. Vega was studying to become an English teacher in La Paz, Bolivia. While on Wikcionario, the Spanish Wiktionary, he met a fellow Wikipedian and they not only worked together to fight a vandal, but helped each other learn their respective languages.

“We made a sort of a non-written deal that, I teach you Spanish, you teach me English. And we corrected each other and we learned the language by editing on Wiktionary in English and Spanish,” he explained. “My English got so much better.”

Vega credits his experience with Wikipedia in helping him pass the needed English certification, “when I finished my studies in English, I was so proficient in the language that I passed my certification test.” Vega got hired on the spot and, he said, “I got married because I got a little bit more stability, and I have a daughter because of that. So, Wikipedia has changed my life. I don’t know how my life would have been had the projects not been started.”

As an English teacher, Vega finds Wikipedia to be an empowering tool. “In my education system, people don’t usually write. They don’t write, they don’t create. They just receive information, and they’re supposed to memorize it and then they have the test,” he said. Wikipedia gives students the ability to create something rather than just regurgitate facts. “Giving a person the opportunity to be creative and to be recognized for something they write” was a turning point in his life, and he hopes that his students have the same opportunity.

Like a lot of people, he uses Wikipedia as a first step in researching a topic. “Wikipedia opens the door for people that want to go further,” he explained. On Wikipedia, “there is a reference, then you go to your library. There’s a lot more there. Books are hidden in your library. What we are doing is to try to get the best of them and show it to you.”

Vega finds his role as an administrator (a bibliotecario on Spanish Wikipedia) to be similar to a janitor.  As problem-solving janitors, “we go, we mediate, we try [to] solve things, we try to understand the two positions and see what we can do about it,” he explained. “I don’t like to think of [myself] as a police officer. I like to think of [myself] like a friend who helps you find your way in Wikipedia, helps you find a way to share this dream we all have.”

“I write on Wikipedia because I believe it’s the first place where you can find knowledge to share with others. I mean, at some point, somebody wrote an article that I was interested in, and I think I owe it the same to the person and to the world to do the same, in a sense.” Wikipedia is about giving back.

As a teacher, father, and husband, Vega is busy, but he enjoys spending his free time on Wikipedia and hopes other people find the time to join the community as well. “Many people say, ‘I don’t have time for Wikipedia.’ Yes you do. You do a lot of things that only are for you, that you are the only recipient of those benefits. Why not give back something to the community,” he said. “We are a great community. If people at any time doubt it, join us, we will be happy to have you.”

Profile by Alice Roberts, Communications Intern
Interview by Victor Grigas, Visual Storyteller

Wiki Loves Monuments 2012: the Russian finalists

Hermitage pavillion in Tsarskoe Selo, Finalist, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Russia

More than 16,000 images were uploaded by 1,047 photographers in the Russian national Wiki Loves Monuments contest, highlighting the stunning diversity of Russia’s cultural heritage. Among the top-ten finalists are several of Russia’s historic churches, a panorama of the Nikolo-Ugreshsky Monastary, a peaceful photograph of the iconic Priory Palace on Black Lake and colorful image of the Hermitage Pavillion in St. Petersburg.

Learn more about Wiki Loves Monuments at the international site and see the other Russian winners here. Be sure to read here tomorrow, 3 December, as we announce the international winners!

Alice Roberts, Communications Intern

The Round Tower in Vyborg, Finalist, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Russia

Priory Palance on Black Lake, Finalist, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Russia

Wiki Loves Monuments 2012: the Polish finalists

Church St. John of Nepomuk, 1st place, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Poland

Photographers in Poland were extremely busy in September uploading photographs for the national Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 contest. Poland saw the most submissions, with over 51,000 images uploaded by 680 photographers.

The top ten images include an array of national monuments, from a peaceful park bridge to a German concentration camp in the city of Lubin. First place was awarded to a photograph of the Church St. John of Nepomuk; second place went to the intricate golden ceiling of the main refectory of the Lubiaz Abbey; and the castle ruins at Ogrodzieniec won third prize.

Be sure to check out the other winning photographs from Poland, and read here tomorrow as we announce the grand prize photograph and the other winning images.

Alice Roberts, Communications Intern

Main refectory in Lubiąż Abbey, 2nd place, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Poland

The castle ruins at Ogrodzieniec, 3rd place, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Poland

Wiki Loves Monuments 2012: the Czech finalists

Gymnázium Josefa Kajetána Tyla, 1st place, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Czech Republic

Photographers in the Czech Republic uploaded over 17,000 photographs as part of the 2012 Wiki Loves Monuments contest. Of the 398 photographers that submitted images, 3 talented individuals won the top three spots from a diverse pool of monument photographs.

First place went to a black and white photograph of the Gymnasium of Josef Kajetan, with the statue The Winner in the foreground. Second place went to a photograph of an iron works plant in the industrial city of Vitkovice, and third place went to a shot of a statue of St. John of Nepomuk, one of the patron saints of the Czech Republic.

To learn more about Wiki Loves Monuments, visit and be sure to check out the other winning photographs from the Czech Republic. The international grand prize photograph and other winners will be announced on Monday, 3 December 2012.

Alice Roberts, Communications Intern

Ironworks, 2nd place, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Czech Republic

St. John of Nepomuk, 3rd place, Wiki Loves Monuments 2012, Czech Republic