Cross-Country Connections: Cabinet »« A Fire in the Neighborhood

I am way too excited to visit this church.

ZOMG I JUST LEARNED ABOUT WIKI LOVES MONUMENTS!!!!

Exploration! Adventure! Scavenger Hunt!

Okay…having used my weekly allotment of exclamation marks, let me take a deep breath and tell you about how I’m probably going to be spending my weekend.

I just clicked on a banner ad while I was in Wikipedia and was directed to the website Wiki Loves Monuments. It’s a big crowd-sourcing project designed to add photos to the Wikimedia library. And when I say “big” it’s like I’m saying “the sun is big.” 40 countries are participating and tens of thousands of people are expected to take part.

So here’s the exciting, scavenger hunt-like part. You don’t just upload any old photograph of any old monument; Wikipedia has a list of the monuments of which they want photos. I haven’t heard of a lot of these places so it’s time to go exploring! I downloaded the Wiki Loves Monuments app for Android – I can use the GPS function to help me find and identify local landmarks. But I can also find them beforehand using my country’s Wiki Loves Monuments webpage. Here’s the United States:

US level

Image shows a MapQuest map of the United States, Canada and Mexico with regional capitals displayed. Text at the top of the image includes instructions for how to use the interactive map.

When I get down to the Twin Cities level I start to see large circles indicating numbers of monuments in the area:

494 694 level

The 494/694 loops shows four blue circles with the number of monuments in those areas.

And at the city level – in this case, Minneapolis – exact location markers for each monument become visible.

Minneapolis level

Mapquest Map of Minneapolis – approximately 50 green markers are displayed.

I work in the southwest metro and one of the monuments that’s not too far from me is a Catholic Church called St. Hubert’s. When I click on the green tag, information about the monument comes up:

St. Hub

A zoomed in map of the Chanhassen/Eden Prairie/Minnetonka area. A pop-up window containing a photo of St. Huberts and the address of the church is visible, as well as four other green tags indicating other nearby monuments.

So…that’s how I’ve arrived at starting my weekend at a Catholic church.

I heartily support crowd-sourcing and free licensing (yay Creative Commons!), I love exploring, I love photography and I am a pretty frequent user of Wikimedia content. I am So. Excited. to get moving on this!

If you want to participate, make sure to check out the Wiki Loves Monuments webpage and the guidelines about uploading photos, find monuments in your country and area, and then go have fun! And if you are already participating or decide to start, let me know – maybe we will be able to do a post about the monuments that Biodork readers have visited!

Comments

  1. Ataturk says

    Another monument of local and geeky interest that you might want to bag for the wiki: the 45 degree latitude monument in Roseville. You’d hardly notice it unless you know it’s there, a small bronze plaque, about one foot square, mounted on a small granite boulder maybe a yard in diameter.

    Location: Just north of the University of Minnesota “farm” campus in St. Paul. Drive north from the campus on Cleveland Avenue. You’ll pass agronomy research field plots on your right, which stretch north of the campus buildings up to Roselawn Ave. The monument is at 45 degrees north latitude (duh!), about one block north of Roselawn on the east side of Cleveland, right by the sidewalk under a few pine trees (I think).

    The plaque says something like, “This plaque marks the 45th parallel, halfway between the equator and the north pole.”

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