The number of uploaded files to touch 10 million soon

Wikimedia Commons ( may not be as well-known as Wikipedia. But the multilingual free-content media repository is poised to reach a milestone in which Indian contributors have played a role.

At present, Wikimedia Commons, a source of freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute, has a database of 99,84,064 files. It is expected to reach the mega milestone of 10 million uploaded files any time this month. The five millionth file was uploaded on September 9, 2009. So, the project has doubled in size in the past 17 months and is still growing, says Wikimedia Foundation.

Media files on Wikimedia Commons are viewed by over 400 million visitors every month, via more than 250 language Wikipedias that use photos from the Commons, it says.

The content on Wikimedia Commons is a resource used by bloggers, individuals and organisations that want to illustrate content with free media.

In five years, Wikimedia Commons may become the largest repository of free media in the world, says the Foundation. It is difficult to point to a number of contributors to the Commons as anybody can contribute photos besides which, they can use pseudonyms too.

The contributors include Indians as well.

Srikanth Ramakrishnan, a class 12 student of Vijaya College, Bangalore, has contributed 50 photos of transport and infrastructure of different cities, particularly Bangalore, to the Commons. “Several of my classmates look up the Commons to take photos for using as wallpapers on their computers and mobile phones,” he said. About tracking how many times the photos he uploaded to the Commons were used and by whom, he said that Wikipedians acknowledged the use but not others.

Sreejith K, a software engineer in Bangalore, has contributed at least 100 photographs of places, people, and government offices. However, he feels that not all contributors send good quality photos.

“If someone can get photos with commercial value, why should they give it to the Commons?” he said.

Over the last one-and-a-half years, Rajesh Odayanchal, a software engineer in Bangalore and Wikipedian, has added to the Commons 50 photographs of historical places, simply for the “satisfaction”, he gets. He said: “I don't want any credit. Anyone can use them.”

Sreejith said that 1,500 photographs were uploaded during an ongoing online “Malayalam loves Wikimedia” initiative (April 2 to 17).

  • Media files on Wikimedia Commons get 400 million visitors every month
  • Content is a common resource used by bloggers