"The Wikipedia photo contest around cultural heritage"

An annual photography contest hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation around the world. Currently holds the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Photography Competition. It is awesome

Slow down, what is this?

Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) is a photography contest hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation and its local chapters around the world. WLM's objective is to spread the knowledge on the world's monuments and to preserve a graphic memory of them in an open, high-quality format, while rewarding the best photographers for their efforts.

In the 2012 edition, 35 countries around the world attracted 15,000 participants and more than 350,000 images were submitted. That's a lot of pictures1

Wikimedia? Don't you mean Wikipedia?

Wikimedia is the movement behind Wikipedia and several other projects, including but not limited to Wikibooks, Wikiquote and Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia is the parent project that aims towards the free access to the sum of human knowledge. It's also quite awesome

Whose idea was this?

In 2010, the guys at Wikimedia Netherlands gathered one day and realized that there were a lot of Wikipedia articles about historical monuments without a picture. It really sucked, because it's hard to talk about a thing of building without a picture of it. So they came up with a brilliant idea: "Hey, let's make a photo contest here in Netherlands! People will submit a lot of photos about these monuments, the articles will be vastly improved and the best photographers will get a sweet prize" The good people of Netherlands submitted more than 12,000 photos2 and everybody rejoiced because their cultural heritage was preserved and shared with the rest of the world

So when the contest was over, other Wikimedia chapters went to Netherlands, asking them for help to organize a similar contest, worldwide. "Sure thing!", the Dutch said and they sent millions of information packets about their successful photo contest to the rest of the world. The whole world united in a song of shutter sounds and everybody was happy.

I want in!

Cool! Be sure to have an active account on Wikipedia, Wikimedia and/or Commons. Check the list of monuments and photograph any and all that you may fancy. Upload your work before September ends! The 2013 edition will accept candidates from the following countries:

  • Algeria 
  • Andorra 
  • Antarctica 
  • Argentina 
  • Armenia 
  • Aruba 
  • Austria 
  • Belgium 
  • Canada 
  • Chile 
  • Colombia 
  • Czech Republic 
  • Estonia 
  • France 
  • Germany 
  • India 
  • Israel 
  • Italy 
  • Jordan 
  • Luxembourg 
  • Mexico 
  • Netherlands 
  • Norway 
  • Panama 
  • Poland 
  • Serbia 
  • Slovakia 
  • South Africa 
  • Spain 
  • Sweden 
  • Switzerland 
  • Tunisia 
  • Ukraine 
  • United Kingdom 
  • United States 
  • Venezuela

Since WLM is held in each country via the local Wikimedia Chapter, those countries without an official chapter or whose chapter did not organize in time for this contest will not be able to participate.

The main, general rules are very simple. You must submit a photo of a participating monument, that:

  1. Is self-taken and self-uploaded
  2. Is uploaded during September
  3. Is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licence
  4. Has a proper ID of the monument
  5. The participant must have an active email address enabled on Wikimedia Commons

One must take into account that every country has its own specific rules and regulations additional to these, so it would be wise to check out those as well.

Official links




1 For reference, the Louvre hosts around 7,500 paintings and a total of 35,000 objects

2 That's enough to have a different wallpaper on your computer every day for over 32 years

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