Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2008 voting now open

The 2008 competition is now open! So if you registered before 1 January 2009 and have at least 200 edits on any Wikimedia project, you’re eligible to vote. They’re pretty lenient guidelines so I hope there is a big turnout.

In 2008 there were 501 images declared to be Featured Pictures — quite an awesome feat (although I was surprised to see it was 13 less than 2007).

Again, voters may cast as many votes as they like in as many categories as they like. Last year, the top 28 across all categories went to the final round. This year,

Each category of images will have a first, second, and third place award in that category, plus a number of honourable mentions sufficient to make sure that 1/10th the number of images in each category get an award.

The winners and honourable mentions in each category will go on to the final round to determine the picture of the year.

The categories are Emblems and diagrams, non-photographic art and historic maps, people and human activities, objects and outer space, cities, architecture, constructions and related (one, two), nature views, panoramas (one, two), plants and fungi, arthropods (one, two), birds and other animals. You may notice there is quite a bit of overlap between the categories, some of which mark subjects (nature views) and others which mark formats (panoramas) or even meta-data like date. Having constructed the categories for 2007 I can only say it is a thankless task that will never please everyone. However this does a reasonable job at having all categories roughly the same size, and comparing “like with like”. (For some reason practically no one chooses historical restorations over cute mammals…)

Having about 50 images in the final round seems about right, too — enough to pore and agonise over without being a chore. I like that there will be category winners (new!) and so many “honourable mention” awards. We have so much talent, we can afford to recognise it all. :)

The actual mechanism of voting is also a bit different this year, using purely on-wiki voting, eschewing the custom-written software used last year. As a logged-in user, the experience is excellent — Javascript buttons under each image in each gallery, making it dead simple to cast a vote and also leave a comment. I only hope that it proves equally easy for the committee to tally up, and check false votes, at the end of the day! That is the worrying part.

For more info you can also check out the excellent Signpost write-up. But for now, get voting, and spread the word! You have until February 26, when Round 1 is closed.

16 February, 2009 • ,

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