Times of India : "Shooting city for web viewers"


MUMBAI: On Saturday morning, a group of 40 Mumbaikars armed with cameras gathered outside the Oval Maidan before setting out on a photo-walk to ensure their city is well-represented in the realms of cyberspace where information can be accessed for free.

Speaking about the popular free online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, Nikita Belavate, a student, said, "Many Wikipedia articles on city landmarks do not have photos. We want to change that." Belavate was one of the organizers of the photo scavenger hunt, 'Wikipedia Takes Mumbai', which concluded in the afternoon.

At the end of the shoot, the group uploaded over 200 pictures to Wikimedia Commons, the repository of free multimedia files that supplies photos to all Wiki sites. "We took over 800 photos and will soon upload the others," Belavate said.

The landmarks photographed included Babulnath Temple, Nehru Science Centre and Bandra Talao. "We had a list of places like the mint and Arthur Road Jail," said Neeraj Pattath, a volunteer photographer. "For pictures that don't have a mention on the website yet, a new stub can be created with a few lines describing them," said Pranav Curumsey, a regular contributor to the site.

Financial analyst Anshuman Fotedar, who took pictures of St Thomas Cathedral, INS Vikrant and Yazdani Bakery, said, "It was a way to learn more about the city and its cultural history." For civil engineer Milind Vedpathak, who photographed Kanheri, Mahakali and Mandapeshwar caves, it was a "campaign to promote a side of Mumbai that wasn't about slums and beggars".

The event was also meant to spread awareness about "Wiki culture". "We helped people set up their Wiki user IDs and showed them how to use Commonist, a tool that lets users upload large number of images," said Karthik Nadar, a banking student.

Tinu Cherian

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