Projekt:Öppen databas för offentlig konst 2013/Crowdfunding

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Help us gather information about works of art in Sweden and release the data to the public, free from copyrights


We are happy to announce the plans to continue our project of creating a free Open Database of Public Art in Sweden! However, we need your support to get our database as big and useful as possible!

It is fascinating, but today Sweden – among many other countries – lacks a national registry of public works of art! That means that there is no organization or person that has a real overview of what artworks we have in Sweden and where they are located. Obviously, this is a great loss for the interested public, for researchers and educational institutions and for the tourism industry. Despite the obvious need there were no plans to create such a service by the relevant actors.


Around a year ago we at Wikimedia Sverige, a Swedish NGO focusing on supporting free knowledge in general and Wikipedia in particular, therefore decided to take on this task and create the first open database of this kind in Sweden – a project designed so that it would also be easy to expand to include other countries.

When we started contacting municipalities we quickly realized that the situation was even more problematic than we first anticipated.


Why public works of art and why you should care?

Art plays a central role in all societies and cultures and is an integral part of what makes us human. To better understand art is to better understand ourselves. Society each year spends large sums to ornament the public space. However, during our pilot in 2013 we realized that many municipalities don’t even themselves know what works of art there are in their area, nor exactly where the artwork is located. They simply do not keep the data about the artworks in order. This seems to be because the legislative protection for the works of art is weak and that other actors than the municipalities also own works of art in the public space.

This is a big problem as many public works of art are moved, vandalized or stolen every year and there is a need to digitally preserve them. This requires both information about them as well as good and descriptive images. If we don’t do this, we risk losing part of our cultural heritage. But if we do, we create an enormously valuable knowledge and research base. We ask for your help to reach this goal and show the municipalities that people care about this art and that the information about them should be easily searchable and possible to experience online for inspiration, recreation and learning!

However, at this point we know that the data from the municipalities is not complete. Thus our idea that we will use the power of crowdsourcing to improve on the missing data. We will also, as part of the project, work hard on integrating the database into Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.


Everybody should be able to enjoy the art treasures that the public owns and this open source project will help to do that. Everybody can reuse the data we gather in anyway they like! We strongly believe that databases like this are a great foundation for innovation and cool new products.

The money we gather through this kickstarter will help us cover the cost of getting at least another 25 datasets of artworks from different organizations such as municipalities or regions into our database and to improve our website

But the project has greater benefits than simply collecting data about artworks. Since this is the first time a structured effort of collecting datasets from municipalities all over Sweden has been done we also view this as an opportunity to inform the municipalities about the value of open and structured data. We have already seen how our interaction has led to internal discussions within some municipalities and it is our hope that our project will thus facilitating future open data projects. Your support for this project will hence also support more open data in general!

Help us to reach your municipality, and perhaps even your country!

Stretch goals

$7,500 – On top of the existing 50 datasets we will gather another 25 datasets and add them to the database.
$10,000 – We will gather another 10 datasets and add them to the database, which will make a total of 85 datasets + we will also create a website that is more advanced and easy to use.
$15,000 – We will hire a technical wizard to internationalize this tool. Making public art accessible in your country as well! $20,000 – We will gather another 25 datasets and add them to the database + organize geo-tagging events to get the public to go out and gather coordinates of the works of art (as these are most often missing from the official data).
$25,000+ – We will continue to gather datasets from the rest of Sweden’s municipalities.

The levels

$5 – Contributor: A warm fuzzy feeling for making the world a little bit better with free information for everyone. Every dollar counts, thanks for the contribution!
$10 – Contributor: A personal thank you email from CEO Jan Ainali + more warm fuzziness.
$25 – Contributor: The above + 3 votes in the decision for the first 10 new municipalities to contact!
$50 – Big Contributor: The above + A personally signed thank you letter from Jan Ainali, a Wikipedia pencil + a A4 print of one of the beautiful images of works of art that we have in our database. The motive will be a surprise for you and will be hand picked by our staff :-). Add $6 USD to ship outside of Sweden.
$75 – Supporting Member: On top of the above you will also get a one year membership in Wikimedia Sverige and get regular updates about our work through our newsletter (in Swedish). Add $6 USD to ship outside of Sweden.
$100 – Supporting Member: All the previous + your name will be added to our website where we list all the major donors that made this project possible. Add $6 USD to ship outside of Sweden.
$250 – Benefactor: Votes, personal letter, print, membership, your name on + two extra prints of artworks in our database. Add $6 USD to ship outside of Sweden.
$500 – Benefactor: All the previous + you will get a specially designed t-shirt. Add $6 USD to ship outside of Sweden.
$1,000 – Patron: All the previous + an invitation to Wikimedia Sverige’s office to meet the staff working with the project and suggest improvements (or an online meeting if you cannot travel to Stockholm). Add $6 USD to ship outside of Sweden.
$2,500 – Project Consultant: All the previous + you can choose up to 5 municipalities that we should start contacting for data. Add $6 USD to ship outside of Sweden.