Expanding knowledge access with the Wikimedia FoundationExpanding knowledge access with the Wikimedia Foundation
For 18 years, Wikipedia has been the internet’s encyclopedia, contributing to the vast knowledge available on the open web, and the Wikimedia Foundation has long shared in our mission of making information accessible to people around the world.
Our organizations have partnered throughout the years on initiatives that further our joint goals around knowledge access, including making information available through Google Search. Many individual Googlers also show their support for Wikimedia, through donations and from active participation in the community. We look forward to continuing our close partnership with new initiatives and commitments to achieving our shared goals.
As the next billion people come online, it’s critical that the content on the web reflect the diversity of its users. Currently, the web is lacking content in many local languages and thus restricts the information that people can access. By collaborating on programs to increase the availability of local language content and providing technology tools for Wikipedia editors, we aim to bridge this gap and empower local editors to serve their communities with relevant content in their native languages.
Creating new articles from scratch can be time and resource intensive for volunteer editors, and translation tools can be useful to help generate local language content. To make it easier for editors to create this native language content, we’re providing access to the Google Translate API through Wikipedia’s content translation tool at no cost. We’re also working with Wikimedia and their editor community to expand our Project Tiger initiative (now collectively referred to as GLOW – Growing Local Language Content on Wikipedia), which we piloted last year as a competition between 12 language communities in India to create more native language content. We will expand these programs with Wikimedia affiliates and volunteers to provide editors with resources and insights to drive the creation of new Wikipedia articles across 10 languages in India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and the Middle East and North Africa region.
Bringing local language information online comes with new challenges in maintaining Wikipedia’s content and citation standards. Google Cloud Custom Search API helps editors ensure contributions are appropriately cited from sources. Our Cloud Vision API enables editors to digitize public domain books in Indic languages to include more diverse, reputable sources for citations. Both of these tools will be provided to Wikimedia at no cost.
While efforts to empower editors will help them continue to add more information and knowledge to the web, we also aim to support the long-term health of the Wikimedia projects so they are available for generations to come. To that end, Google.org is donating $2 million to the Wikimedia Endowment, the first of Google’s contributions to its fund for long term sustainability. This brings our total support to more than $7.5 million, which includes an additional $1.1 million to the Wikimedia Foundation annual fund during a special campaign last year where Google employees helped decide where to direct Google’s donation dollars.
With this continued partnership, we look forward to the strides we can make in bringing more of the world’s information online and making knowledge accessible to all.