Thursday, June 04, 2009

The POTY results are flawed, and I can not do anything about it

Every year there is a POTY or picture of the year on Commons. This years results has been published and the winner is a picture with Horses on Bianditz mountain.

Many people were involved in the process, the result page is available in many languages and it is wrong. It is wrong because you would expect that Commons would credit the people who created the pictures and who made the pictures of a featured picture quality.

When you talk about digital photos, there is already a problem because how do I know that these horses looked like they do on the picture? In a way it does not matter because the picture is intended to be beautiful and it is. The story is different for the picture by Jack Delano and the picture by Dorothy Lange. These are historic pictures and it is important that their authenticity is validated. These pictures have been restored by Durova.

The two pictures have been restored with care, the work done has been documented, there is a reference to the origin of the file she worked on. There are versions made during the restoration process. All in all these pictures deserve to be in the final.

Restorations are not appreciated. People care more about another moth or panorama. The point is that while these winning horses make a pretty picture, they do not carry the same weight as an illustration on our projects. Restorations are important because of their relevance. Restoring images takes a lot of effort and this work is at least as important as the images by the people who know how to open and shut the diaphragm of their camera.

That was the first part of this rant, the second part is about adding the missing information, I cannot. It is too complicated for me. They are templates within templates within templates and to top it off, they are in the form of a table. This is MediaWiki usability at its worst

At the Wikimania in Buenos Aires, there will be a presentation about these pictures and our own restorers may not be credited. That is a travesty.
Thanks,
      GerardM
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