Ants on parade: Commons now features 30,000 high resolution photos of ant specimens like this blind worker of an endangered species of ant from Madagascar, Adetomyrma venatrix. This particular specimen was collected from a rotten log near Toliara in 1993. The species and the genus was formally described in 1994.
AntWeb, a project to catalog and illustrate all the species of ant in the world, has released its content under the Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0 license. The project currently has images of 4400 species of ants and information about over 187,000 individual specimens. The AntWeb content was previously under a CC-By-NC license, as explained in a guest post by Waldir on Brianna Laugher's blog.
After prompting from Waldir and internal discussion, AntWeb decided to change their license to CC-by-SA. The AntWeb staff then uploaded over 30,000 of their images to Wikimedia Commons, using a bot. The images are high-quality, with metadata including image date and species information.
Waldir writes that there is still work for volunteers to do on the images:
This is just the beginning, though! As usual in the wiki world, you can help! There are articles to be illustrated in the various Wikipedia language versions (Magnus’ FIST tool comes in handy for finding them!). There are WikiSpecies pages to be illustrated. There are categories in Commons to be created to allow the ant category tree to be navigated and have every ant image reachable through it. And more importantly, there are these great news to spread and let people who are interested in ants know that they can now count on what’s possibly the greatest online repository of free, high-quality ant images.
Bookshelf project and public outreach wiki started
The Foundation has officially kicked off its "Bookshelf Project", which aims to develop educational materials about the Wikimedia projects. According to the Foundation blog post, the project aims to
create a core set of public outreach materials designed to recruit new, high-value Wikipedia contributors. The idea is that by increasing potential contributor awareness, fostering excitement, and providing the training tools new editors need to get started, we’ll draw many more new editors than we do today.
A list of the planned materials to be developed includes a welcome brochure; several leaflets, including "Wikipedia for Teachers", "Wikipedia for Journalists", and "Wikipedia for Corporate Communications Professionals"; several videos; and lesson plans for secondary school and university teachers.
The project timeframe aims to have materials developed and rolled out by Fall/Winter 2010. Marlita Kahn is the newly hired project manager. There are several volunteer opportunities associated with the project as well.
The Library of Congress research staff have confirmed that Wikipedia editor Roger Davies spotted a significant error regarding a British World War I recruitment poster. The LoC bibliographic record had identified the subject as Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, but other reliable sources claimed it was actually Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts. Roberts had earned the Victoria Cross pictured in the poster, but Kitchener had not. Both men were British field marshals who died during the first two years of World War I. The Library of Congress has confirmed the correction and will be updating its online record within a few weeks. A restored version of the Roberts recruitment poster was promoted to featured picture on 27 October 2009. This is believed to be the first time that a reliable source has misidentified the subject of a Wikipedia featured picture. More details are available at Durova's blog.
The award was approved for wider use with no opposition. However, there was consensus for the award not to appear on article talk pages; it will be awarded on user pages instead, much like a barnstar – but with criteria to be met. A table of all winners is maintained on the project page, along with the dates they achieved each stage.
Tips for preventing linkrot
Over the last week, several editors have rewritten Wikipedia:Linkrot into a comprehensive "how-to guide" on ways to prevent the phenomenon known as link rot, where external links, often used as references and citations, gradually become irrelevant or broken. The essay describes strategies to prevent or mitigate link rot through the preemptive use of web archiving services or by judiciously using the quote= parameters in citation templates.
Megan Hernandez has joined the Foundation as a development associate; she will be helping out with the annual fundraiser.
The Nokia Foundation awarded its 2009 award to Jimmy Wales on 4 November. The award had a theme of "open innovation."