DNA : Wikipedians set out on mission to capture Mumbai landmarks

Armed with cameras and the belief that some of the city’s landmarks deserve to be featured in cyberspace, a group of Wikipedia volunteers trudged along Mumbai’s streets on Sunday, identifying notable spots and capturing them on film.

The photographs will be contributed to Wikimedia Commons, a repository for copyright-free images, sound and other media files.

“Mumbai has several monuments and famous spots. But, some of them find little or no mention on Wikipedia,” said Anshuman Fotedar, a financial analyst and member of the group.

The aim of the exercise was not just to put the city’s landmarks on the virtual map but also to increase awareness of Wikipedia and its culture in the city.

Fotedar added that many people want to give something back to the vast online encyclopaedia but are unable to figure out how to start contributing. “The English-language Wikipedia has grown quite a lot over the years, thanks to the efforts of regular contributors. This exercise was meant to introduce new contributors to areas they can help with,” he said.

The group, comprising mostly students and young professionals, was, however, stopped from taking pictures by security guards at the Bombay House. In the end, the authorities agreed that shooting the building was not prohibited.

Besides the photowalk, the group took part in discussions on other projects that Wikipedia India volunteers are working on.

“There is an initiative called GLAM through which Wikipedia collaborates with prominent art galleries and museums to help with articles related to culture,” Fotedar said. Another project focuses on promotion of Indian language Wikipedias.

Tinu Cherian

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