Help:Selecting Images for the Wiki
| This help article will guide you as you edit in the Wiki. See Contributor Help for more help articles.|
Images enhance the educational value of the Wiki by illustrating the words and making the pages more interesting and attractive.
What to seek and what to avoid. Seek high quality images that are sharp, attractive and illustrate a genealogical educational point well. This may include examples of documents, maps, genealogically significant buildings, and memorable sites associated with a place. Ask yourself if adding this image will enhance the quality, dignity, and reputation of the Wiki, and improve the pages where it is displayed.
Size. As long as you stay under the 2 MB limit, bigger images are better. Choose the largest version of an image under 2 MB. If a small image (especially thumbnail size) is the only thing available it is usually best to look for an alternative larger image, or skip the image entirely. It is much better to shrink a large uploaded original than it is to enlarge a small uploaded original. If you cannot read the writing on an image it has little value.
Copyright. Under NO circumstances upload a copyrighted image, or an image that might be copyrighted unless you have specific written permission to use it on the Wiki. Be able to prove the exact copyright status of EVERY image you upload. During the upload list the copyright status of every image.
Dignity and purpose. Avoid small thumbnail size images, anything that will appear blurry in the Wiki, overly "cute" or cartoonish illustrations, and cheesy, shabby, undignified, or only marginally relevant images. Avoid maps that are so small that the labels cannot be read. Avoid adding images unless you have a page in mind for the image where it will be useful and support the educational purpose of the page. Avoid adding large numbers of images of a particular ethnic group without a pedagogical purpose in mind for each image.
Neutrality. The Wiki is for readers around the world. Prefer images that complement without patronizing a nation. Avoid overly patriotic images that sentimentally imply favor or disfavor of one nation, ethnic, political, or religious group over another. Wiki policy is to be neutral in word and image.
Format. If necessary, almost any image can be converted into one of the Wiki compatible file types: png, jpg, jpeg, doc, xls, ppt, bmp, pdf, pptx, docx, xlsx, or gif. You may be able to use "Save as" for an image in an incompatible format to switch format. Or you could import the image into Irfanview and use that program to save it in a compatible file type. Another option is to paste a screen shot ([Shift] [Print Screen]) onto the Irfanview edit screen.
Where to look for images. Assume all images on the Internet are copyrighted and therefore inappropriate for the Wiki unless you can prove otherwise.
Three major sources of copyright-free image sare:
- Wikipedia and the associated WikiMedia. The vast majority of images (but not all) on Wikipedia can be used in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Click any image in Wikipedia to see its file, description and copyright status. For example, see File:GoldenGateBridge.jpg.
- Creative Commons. Some Internet image galleries such as Google images and Flickr have a mixture of copyright and non-copyright images. Use the Creative Commons Search at http://search.creativecommons.org/ to find possible images for the Wiki. Be sure to follow each image's link to learn its own individual copyright status. For example, see File:Jewish cemetery.jpg.
- Self. If you create an image yourself and are the sole copyright owner, and if you are willing to license that image for public use on the Wiki, you can. For example, see File:Utah Territory 1856 map.png.
Restricted images. In case you find an image that you just cannot do without and that is copyrighted, or might be copyrighted, or in some other way is restricted, send for written or e-mail permission to use it on the FamilySearch Wiki. Include the copyright status and your permission with the image description when you do the upload. For example, see File:Tonga Wesleyan Church.jpg.
Preparing to upload an image.
1. Select the best, sharpest, and largest version of the image under 2 MB you can find.
2. Save a copy of the image on your computer in one of the Wiki compatible file formats.
3. Before you upload an image, get prepared by creating the image description including:
- Title. Choose the title you will give the image carefully to be descriptive, brief, and unique. Verify the spelling.
- Description. Give enough information in the description to help other contributors easily find your image using the Wiki search engine
- Source. Give the title, and other source information, especially the Internet URL, and any additional sources cited in your source. If possible, go to the most original source and cite it.
- Date. Give the date the image was created (not the date you uploaded it), or if that information is lacking, give the date the image was uploaded in the source where you found it.
- Author. Give credit to the person who created the image. In some cases this will be an Internet user-name, in which case please give us the user's Internet site as well, for example, "Wikipedia user."
- Permission. Give the exact permission(s) or license(s) you found for the image you will upload. For a partial list of possible licenses see Help:License templates.
4. Select one or more categories for the image. In most cases this will match the category for the page where you plan to display the image. For information about selecting a category see Help:Categorization.
5. Test out your image description by using the Template:Information. You do not have to use this template to upload an image, but it helps! Test the template with your description (and don't forget to add the test category) on a "sandbox" page. For help using templates see Help:Templates. For help creating or finding your own personal sandbox, see FamilySearch Wiki:Sandbox.
6. Copy and paste your description, preferably using the Template:Information, and category into the appropriate fields during the image upload process.