Wiki Loves Monuments

Monumental videos

on Feb 15, 2012

Besides the already known prizes for the best pictures in the several categories, we also announced a prize for the best monument video. Open Images has generously provided a Unlimited Spotify account for 20 months for the best video.

The winner of this prize is this French video about an old wallpaper printing machine (built in 1877). The video shows “the 26 colors machine”, famous for being the first one to use 26 colors for printing wallpapers. Such a machine was a moving piece, with gears, paint, paper and men around it: a video is the only way to make it live again. The video – one of a whole set videos – also unfold various viewpoints, from the tiny details of a golden cylinder to a view of the surrounding building.

It provides something that cannot be shown in a static picture: a sense of both beautiful details and the surrounding building, which is typical of industrial age. Video is incredibly useful for the encyclopaedic purposes of Wikipedia. Whether it is to visualise a chemical reaction, watch lifeforms evolve in their environment, or see how a machine actually works. If an image tells a thousand words, then imagine what you can tell in 24 images a second.

Les 26 couleurs. (L’œil et la mémoires, CC-BY-SA)

Just like the rest of the Wikimedia Commons, all videos, including the winning one are free to use, for any purpose, provided you follow the attribution requirement. All our videos are also encoded in an open format so that you can play them at home without proprietary software. There are also tools to add and translate subtitles, making the knowledge truly available to anyone.