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Sadik Shahadu

What I Learned from WikidataCon 2019 in Berlin, Germany

5 min read

For the first time, I received a full scholarship to attend WikidataCon in Berlin from 24th October to 28th October 2019. It was my first time in Berlin and I had just returned from CivilServant Wikipedia research summit in Stockholm. 

 

Prior to attending WikidataCon 19, I introduced Students of the University of Cape Coast to Wikidata (most of them were totally new to it). 17 out of 25 attendees managed to create their accounts and made their first edits on Wikidata. All 25 attendees were later added on to our community whatsApp group after the session. A platform we use to discuss topics around Wikidata and other Wikimedia projects. 

 

Upon  Arrival For WikidataCon 19 at Ander Urania

 

I arrived at the hotel with a fellow WikidataCon scholar, Mohammed Sadat abdulai on the 23rd October 2019 at 10am. It was an exciting moment for me because I was going to meet many Wikidata enthusiasts from around the world. I then moved to ander urnia where we had our briefing ahead of the official event day as volunteers.

 

Scholars Get Together At WMDE

 

Being a recipient of WikidataCon 2019 Scolarship, I joined other scholars at the WMDE Berlin office to enjoy a “ welcome party”. I had the opportunity to meet many contributors from different countries. The food, the drinks and the fruits, everything was just awesome. 

 

Serendipity! I served as a volunteer for Babysitting and live streaming. It was my first and it is definitely not going to be  the last time to stand behind the camera and control the live streaming. 

 

WikidataCon Day One

 

After an incredible opening keynote delivery by Léa Lacroix, I then moved to the ‘Glimpse over Wikidata session’.

At midday, I joined another keynote session by Benjamin Yang. It was great to learn Why collecting lexical data is one of the best ways we can help support underserved and endangered languages.  After that, I then moved to volunteer for Babysittinng and returned later for practical hands-on workshop on ‘Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons’. I discovered how organising Structured Data on Commons can be fun.

 

One of the reasons why I attended  WikidataCon 19 was to learn how to reuse Wikidata for other languages. I must say I did meet my expectations.

 

WikidataCon Day Two

 

Moving on to day 2 was more than I anticipated. I needed to learn more about infoboxes, Wikicite, Wikidata query services and SPARQL. It was truly fulfilling and fun. I had the opportunity to learn how to query data from Wikidata using SPARQL and a lot more on infoboxes. The day ended so well with yet another volunteer role (Live streaming volunteer). I stood behind the camera to livestream a session. An exciting moment it was playing with the camera for the first time in that capacity. Right after the session I asked myself: how did I do that?.

The entire day was stressful yet intriguing because I tried to catch up with a lot of sessions. Wait, how can I forget the meditation session? It was my first time practicing it and I totally loved it. I felt so relaxed and relieved after the session. 


Wikibase and iNaturalist Adventure

 

The first time I heard about Wikibase was early last year. Honestly, I had no idea what it is and what is does. As curious as I was, I decided to join the Wikbase workshop on Sunday at the office of the WMDE office. It was exciting to explore something I was totally new to. 


Takeaways:

 

  • Learned new things on Wikidata integrator

  • Played with open refine wikibase on github

  • Explored Cocoda Mapping Concordance Tool

  • Experimented with wikibase command line

  • Thanks to WMDE, I can now docker-compose a wikibase instance. 

 

Finally, I managed to installed wikibase on my linux operating system after a long struggle. Wikibase docker was the new ‘ishh’ for me and I absolutely enjoyed the workshop. At least I managed to installed Wikibase on my computer all by myself. So cool!

One of the key things I also learned from the Wikibase workshop was changing a logo on media wiki.

 

At 3pm, I joined the iNaturalist workshop participants for a forest adventure in Berlin where we took photos of plants and uploaded to the iNaturalist app. 

 

What Next After WikidaCon

 

On the 2nd of November, I gave a talk on Wikidata at the Ghana tech lab monthly community meetup in Accra where I shared my WikidataCon experience with the participants.

I also gave an introduction to Wikidata presentation at 2 of our bi weekly virtual community meetup. 

Our pending grant will also host a series of Wikidata contests in Ghana (Grant application is long overdue).

I am also involved in the planning of 2020 the Wikidata birthday celebration in Ghana. 




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All work on this website by Sadik Shahadu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.