Category: Wikipedia

Perspective correction using GIMP

1:23 am PHT

As I mentioned on Facebook, a micro-hobby that I picked up recently is applying perspective correction on photos of NHCP historical markers in Wikimedia Commons such that they look as if they were photographed head-on and with horizontal edges looking horizontal and vertical edges looking vertical. An example result is the corrected photo of the Fort of San Pedro historical marker shown below.

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Maps and Ale at OpenStreetMap’s 10th Anniversary Celebration in London

11:58 pm PHT

As I mentioned in my previous post, aside from presenting at Wikimania 2014 about various collaborations between the Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap communities, I was also able to attend the London celebration of OpenStreetMap’s 10th anniversary. This was held in traditional fashion in an English pub. In the Philippines, social meetups are often held in American-style cafes like Starbucks; but in the United Kingdom, they are held in pubs. The London OSM community have regular fortnightly meetups usually held in pubs, and the 10th anniversary celebration was no different. So even though I’m not big on alcohol, I was pretty excited to go to a pub and meet like-minded map geeks.  :)

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Presenting about Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap at Wikimania 2014

3:51 am PHT

Many of my friends and colleagues know that I spend much of my free time contributing to OpenStreetMap and to the Wikimedia projects, of which Wikipedia is the most famous. I get a real sense of fulfilment in knowing that my voluntary work—whether online by contributing freely-licensed geographical data or encyclopedic content and media, or offline by organizing events, running workshops, or giving presentations—provides a tangible benefit to the whole world.

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Documenting the Philippines’ Cultural Heritage

1:34 pm PHT

Below is the speech I gave as President of Wikimedia Philippines during the Awarding Ceremonies of Wiki Loves Monuments Philippines 2012 held last night, October 20, 2012, at the Filipinas Heritage Library in Makati.

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The First Wikipedia Kapihan

4:09 pm PHT

A month ago on February 19, Wikimedia Philippines held its first Wikipedia Kapihan at Starbucks 32nd and 7th Bonifacio Global City. The Kapihan (Tagalog for “coffee talk”, approximately) is an unstructured meetup to introduce Wikimedia Philippines and the Wikimedia projects (not just Wikipedia) to similar and like-minded organizations. There have been plenty of Wikipedia-related meetups that have happened since 2007, but most of those have been among people who have contributed to Wikipedia. This was the first time that we had a meetup specifically targeted to people outside the editing community.

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Wikipedia 10: Wikipedia Takes Manila

4:21 pm PHT

Last January 15 was Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary. It’s a bit hard to believe that it’s been that long. But 10 years, especially on the Internet, is a significant length of time and it’s a testament to the universality of Wikipedia’s vision of sharing knowledge to everyone that this project—which in theory is a disaster, but in practice is a success—has lasted this long and is still thriving, having raised $16 million during the last annual fundraising.

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Wikimedia Philippines at Y4iT 2010

9:46 pm PHT

Before today, Wikimedia Philippines has not had a public event since it was founded back in April. Well, today was the first day of the Philippine Youth Congress in Information Technology 2010 (aka Y4iT 2010) and Wikimedia Philippines decided to become a Silver Sponsor of the said event. Y4iT is running from September 14 to 17 and is being held at the University of the Philippines Diliman at four venues: University Theater, UP Film Institute, Ang Bahay ng Alumni, and CSWCD.

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Recent Members’ Meetings of Wikimedia Philippines

1:57 am PHT

Here’s an update on Wikimedia Philippines (WMPH), which I’ve blogged earlier this year. The organization has had two members’ meetings already. The first one was the first Annual General Meeting held last May 15 at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in Intramuros and the second was the Second Quarter Meeting held last Saturday, June 19, at the UCCP Shalom Center in Malate, Manila.

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Wikimedia Philippines: Hello World!

7:07 pm PHT

After four long years of planning, meetings, online chats, and legal discussions, I’m very pleased to announce that Wikimedia Philippines Inc. is now a SEC-registered non-stock, non-profit corporation incorporated under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines! Hooray! And because of our SEC recognition, we are also the second official Wikimedia Foundation local chapter in Southeast Asia after Wikimedia Indonesia!  :-D

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A Local Coffee Table Book Plagiarizes Wikipedia

6:50 pm PHT

My fellow Wikipedian TheCoffee has spotted in a locally-produced coffee table book what appears to be plagiarism of text from Wikipedia. The book, titled Central Philippines, seems to be a tourism-oriented book containing pictures taken in and around the Visayas with brief introductory prose of the constituent provinces. It is these introductions that manifest the plagiarism. TheCoffee gave an example of Negros Oriental from the book:

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Of Decay Products and Retrograde Motion

11:19 pm PHT

Remember the Wikimedia illustration-for-pay project I blogged about last year? Hmmm, maybe not. (So read that blog post! Go on. I’ll wait.) anyway, the first round of illustration requests started last month and will run until early October. There are 50 needed illustrations in various fields such as biology (jellyfish cross-section), mathematics (Császár polyhedron), engineering (airborne wind turbine), and computer science (application virtualization). All but two of the illustrations will have a payout of $40 while the remaining will be worth $15.

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Pinoy Wikimedians at the Philippine Open Source Summit

6:21 pm PHT

Shown above is the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City where the first ever Philippine Open Source Summit will be held. The Summit will happen on June 23 to 24—that’s next week, Monday and Tuesday. Surprisingly, Microsoft Philippines is a major sponsor of the said summit so it’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft can contribute to the Open Source Community. (It’s also expected that there will be discussions and debates regarding Microsoft’s Office Open XML, an XML-based format for office documents that got ISO standardization early this year amid numerous controversies.)

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Wikipe-tan in Baro’t Saya

1:55 am PHT

かわいい! Meet Wikipe-tan. She’s the unofficial mascot and moe anthropomorph of Wikipedia. Here, she’s wearing the baro’t saya, the female national costume of the Philippines. Isn’t that cute?  :)

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Maps of Dinagat Islands

1:07 am PHT

Two weekends ago, I finally got around to creating the locator maps of the municipalities of Dinagat Islands, the newest province of the Philippines that seceded from Surigao del Norte in 2006, for use in Wikipedia. Locator maps are maps that show the where a place is in a larger area. In this particular case, I am showing the location of the municipality within the province of Dinagat Islands. Shown below is a rendering of the locator map for the town of Tubajon.

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Philippine Piso

2:41 pm PHT

Did that title rattle you? Was your grammar/spelling Nazi evil twin awakened by it? If yes, then you’re not alone. Filipino Wikipedians on the English Wikipedia had a long-running debate this year regarding the name of the Philippine currency and what to name the corresponding Wikipedia article.

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Earn Money by Contributing to Wikipedia?

1:31 pm PHT

In an announcement that’s sure to raise a whole lot of questions, the Wikimedia Foundation (the organization that handles Wikipedia as well as other free-content websites like Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikiquote) has resolved that it has received a $20,000 grant from Philip Greenspun, an Internet entrepreneur, to create various free-licensed illustrations for use on Wikipedia and other websites.

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WikiPilipinas is Not an Academic Philippine Encyclopedia

3:16 am PHT

Nope, that title you read above is not a critical opinion. It’s a statement of fact enshrined in WikiPilipinas’ Policies and Guidelines. As Mr. Gus Vibal, the founder of and WikiPilipinas, has said, WikiPilipinas is envisioned to be the one-stop-shop for all things popular and Pinoy. There you can find articles like the “Cutest PBA Players” or “Top 10 Philippine Female Movie Villains”, which while definitely are interesting to read, is of dubious value in an academic context. Hence the “not an academic encyclopedia” description.

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Tropical Cyclone Tracks from 1985–2005

11:34 pm PHT

It’s been a rainy week this week, and it seems the Filipino’s collective prayer for rain to stave of the impending water crisis worked. Well, it did cause a helluva lot of traffic last Wednesday, but at least we’re all safe, right?

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There is Currently No Point to Wikipiniana (aka WikiPilipinas)

2:07 pm PHT

The title above is my answer to the question, “Is there any point to Wikipiniana?” over at the main blog of the Bayanihan Blog Network. Well, what the heck is Wikipiniana? Wikipiniana (recently rebranded as WikiPilipinas) aims to be the largest online Philippine encyclopedia, written by Filipinos. Currently having more than 25,000 articles, most of them stubs (short placeholder information about the topic), Wikipiniana uses the same collaborative wiki model employed by Wikipedia, currently the largest online encyclopedia.

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Wikipedia and Credibility

1:05 am PHT

A top editor of Wikipedia was forced to resign his positions of authority amidst community outrage that he has been contributing under false pretenses. This scandal is possibly Wikipedia’s biggest test of credibility since the Seigenthaler controversy two years ago. See more coverage on Google News and Technorati.

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Topographic Maps Using SRTM3 Data

11:32 pm PHT

Last weekend, I played around with the public domain data obtained by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission or SRTM. I wanted to use this data to create topographic maps that I can contribute to Wikipedia.

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