Annual Report 2017
Now, the Wikivoyage association already exists for eleven years and gives active support for the work of the authors on the web-based travel guide project Wikivoyage by various means. This means a long term for a web project.
The project was established in 2006 with a first language version, the German one. The concern of this web project was and is to familiarize travelers traveling both privately and professionally with freely accessible knowledge on their travel destinations like for instance the country itself, its people and sights, to respect and to become acquainted with the native people and, thus, to contribute to international understanding. One year later, the Italian language version followed.
Of course it’s not easy to keep such a project going with just a few club members, authors, and supporters, especially if the project is still small and not so well known. However, nowadays we can state that we have achieved our goal and can assure the project both in terms of content, technology and finances in the future, too.
The application for the recognition as a Wikimedia Usergroup was successful: on 3 May 2017, the Wikivoyage association was recognized as the Wikimedia user group “WVA Wikivoyage Association”.
Development of the project
The association exists for about eleven years and is a sister project of the Wikimedia movement, fond of traveling, since 2013. The association actively supports the concerns of the Wikimedia movement. One of the goal of this project is to attract new volunteers for both Wikivoyage and the entire Wikimedia movement. In 2017, the Hindi branch became the 19th Wikivoyage branch.
Beside writing articles, members and authors made extensive adaptations to templates, the programming of modules, which can be inserted directly into the articles, as well as to mostly manually performed data transfers to the database project Wikidata.
According to the purpose of the association, the association has and will continue to support the communities by projects, public relations and cooperation with other non-profit organizations. The association’s own server is used for archival purposes and the implementation of new project ideas such as the provision of map tools, too.
In 2017, the focus of the association’s activities was again on increased internationalization and international perception of the project but also on the technical support in crosslinking with other Wikimedia projects like the Wikimedia Commons media repository, with other language branches of Wikivoyage and with the database project Wikidata. Collaboration between the various Wikivoyage branches should be encouraged.
For several years, the board actively participated in the preparations and discussions to recognize the association as a user group by the Wikimedia Foundation. On May 3, 2017 the association got its recognition as the Wikimedia user group “WVA Wikivoyage Association”.
The chairman of the association, Roland Unger, presented the project Wikivoyage to a broad public at the WikiCon 2017 in Leipzig, Germany, and at the WikidataCon 2017 in Berlin, Germany.
The board permanently informed its members about its work in newsletters via email.
The association currently has ten members. The number of members stagnated. The largest proportion of members were from Germany, one member is from Switzerland. In addition to the members, the association is supported by volunteer community members (volunteers, supporters). However, a larger number of members would be desirable.
In 2017, the number of active authors remained largely constant.
Collaboration with non-profit organizations in Germany and Austria
Both the collaboration with the non-profit Wikimedia Deutschland association in Berlin, Germany, started in 2012 and the collaboration with Wikimedia Österreich association in Vienna, Austia, started in 2016 were continued.
The association’s documents are published on the web at www.wikivoyage-ev.org in both German and English.
19th General Assembly (Online)
The statutory general assembly, which was held as an online meeting from 11 to 18 October 2017, was quorate with eight members. Essentially, the new budget, the minutes of the 18th General Assembly and the Annual Report 2016 have been confirmed.
Income and expenditure
The Wikivoyage association’s budget exclusively consisted in 2017 of membership fees and private donations.
Due to the non-profit status of the association no taxes are incurred.
The association maintains both an account with HypoVereinsbank (Unicredit) and a Paypal account to which foreign members can pay their contributions and donations.
The association’s charitable status was reconfirmed with the notice of exemption by the tax office of Halle (Saale), Germany, from June 16, 2017.
Contents and function
The Wikivoyage association ran a web server under the domain wikivoyage-ev.org also in 2017. The focus of this was on the provision of archived wiki systems for the collaborative creation of articles and information materials on countries, regions and locations of the world to the entire completion of the data transfer to the servers of the Wikimedia Foundation and the hosting of map tools.
Wikivoyage’s offer at the servers of the Wikimedia Foundation is aimed at readers who want to know more about other locations and countries as well as those who want to travel themselves and look for more practical advice.
The development of these articles has proceeded in a different extent. The cooperation is free to everyone and takes place exclusively on a voluntary basis. All contents of Wikivoyage can also be downloaded in their entirety from the server and can be used in various ways on the basis of their free open-source license (Creative-Commons-by-sa). The usage of this knowledge for instance on laptops and smartphones for reading without web connection was practically demonstrated, too.
All software customization specifically developed for Wikivoyage are freely licensed and publicly available. They can be downloaded from the servers www.mediawiki.org.
Development of the web presence
In the course of 2017, we stated an increase in awareness of the web domain www.wikivoyage.org and thus in page views and backlinks, too. During the year, the number of language versions increased from 18 to 19. The Hindi branch was added.
According to the purpose of the association, the association continues to support the communities by projects. The server of the association is used for instance for archival purposes and the implementation of new project ideas such as the provision of map tools.
Balance sheet at the end of the year
At the end of the year there were about 16,074 and 28,087 content articles in German and English, respectively. Furthermore, there were additionally a large number of organizational articles and discussion pages.
The count of edits on the German Wikivoyage reached the level of 1,000,000 in the morning hours of April 26, 2017.
For the simplified processing of the listings, which are created using the vCard template, the vCard editor was created in the German Wikivoyage branch on June 28, 2017. It is currently only available at the desktop version. The porting for the mobile view (vector skin) is in progress. The editor was developed from the listing editor of the English language branch and adapted to the needs of the German version.
Since 23 August 2017, there is a new feature for map markers created by the vCard template: the listing info. This feature is primarily intended for smartphone users. A pop-up window displays important travel-destination information that can be used to ask passers-by and taxi drivers for assistance on directions.
On September 5, 2017, an extended tooltip window was provided with map markers which presents coordinates and links to map tools.
Wikivoyage’s proposal to improve the Kartographer made in December 2017 at the 2017 Community Wishlist Survey was the most popular. The proposal was supported by 154 users from the entire Wikimedia community. In addition to minor improvements, the desires included adding the Zoom Level 19 for the OpenStreetMap maps and displaying geo names in the language of the user or wiki.
The new MapTools.js script, introduced on December 26, 2017, adds a link to the globe symbol of the Geo indicator to show and hide a map at the beginning of the article. This allows a map display even if no other map is included in the article.
Despite the tense situation in the field of server administrators, the operation of the association’s server could be ensured. There were no server failures.
Participation in events
DerFussi participated in this year’s Wikimania in Montreal, Canada, from the 9th to the 13th of August 2017. As an exhibitor in the Community Village he presented Wikivoyage with the poster “Wikivoyage — features and needs”. His contributions are available on Wikimedia Commons. In particular, the presentation of the features developed for Wikivoyage received with great interest.
Several members of the Wikivoyage association and authors of Wikivoyage took part in this year’s WinCon 2017, which took place from 08 to 10 September 2017 in Leipzig, Germany. The WikiConvention or shortly WikiCon is the meeting of the communities of the German-speaking Wikipedia and its sister projects. Roland Unger gave a talk about “Wikivoyage — status and outlook”. Unfortunately, it has to be said that Wikivoyage is little known among the Wikipedians. Also, the possibilities offered by the map tool Kartographer little known in other projects. In informal talks at the meeting many conversations took place.
User RolandUnger took part on October 28th/29th, 2017 at WikidataCon 2017 in Berlin, Germany. In the short lecture “Inserting data to Wikivoyage templates” he explained the experience gained on Wikivoyage when using Wikidata on the wiki. On the occasion of the 5th birthday of Wikidata birthday greetings from Wikivoyage were sent.
In the past, Wikivoyage’s Facebook offer was edited by one author only. The community has argued not only to maintain the offer, but to serve with other authors, too. In addition to the travel destinations of the month, travel tips, important newly created articles and travel news are now also presented.
International public relations
The association will focus its activities on the following tasks in the future, too:
- The association is also supported in its activities by volunteers who are not members of the association. In order to point out these possibilities of cooperation, corresponding pages on Meta (Wikimedia), the Wikivoyage wikis and the association’s site are created.
- Promotion of cooperation between the language versions with the aim
- to agree on uniform guidelines and rules,
- to avoid redundant work on geographic features
- to bring together the design and style of the language versions in fundamental ways,
- to support smaller language versions while establishing their wikis.
- Providing a human interface between the communities and the local Wikimedia chapters and user groups to promote projects and, in return, benefit from other projects such as “Wiki Loves Momuments”.
- Recruitment of new association members and supporters.
From June 6 to 8, 2017, ten students from the Friedrich Schiller secondary school in Pilisvörösvár, Hungary, created the Wikivoyage article about their hometown in a workshop under the guidance of user Denis Barthel. There are also several photographs that have been uploaded to the media repository Wikimedia Commons.