Participation to a Wiki Techstorm Workshop was a great experience both with respect to meeting interesting, knowledgeable and friendly people and to learning new tools for better sharing and feeding of WIKIPEDIA, WIKIDATA and WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.
Before the workshop, my understanding of these three entities was not clear; I assumed automated links between them while in reality, there exist only if they are made explicit.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS is a repository of free-use media: photos, videos, sounds and files written in JSON (a language I never heard of before the workshop, language that enables so transmit a human-readable description of an object).
On the other hand, WIKIDATA is a structured database; it is therefore more abstract and enables specific queries, which makes it more efficient for retrieving specific items, as long as they have been correctly and completely encoded. The queries are performed through SPARQL, a tool I never heard of before the workshop neither. Through the queries one can retrieve items of the WIKIDATA that satisfy specific criteria and for which we can ask to display some properties (for example an associated photo, if it exists, or a date of birth, if it is a person, or even displaying them on a map if the geographical coordinates are provided). Of course the efficiency of the tool depends on the quality of the database. The LISTERIA tool, based on SPARQL, gives it even more power by providing a mean to produce dynamic pages producing tables answering a specific query and updating the results as soon as they change in the data base.
OpenRefine was for me the most interesting tool, not only for its ability to transfer a bunch of data (full databases) to WIKIDATA in a semi-automated fashion, but also as a tool to clear some tables for our own use, highlighting conflicts, misspellings, duplicates, etc. The videos describing the tool are very useful.
The ability to produce maps from wikidata was another surprise for me and I highly appreciated the work done for the preparation of this workshop, shared as a Jupiter notebook in PAWS.
Although my contribution during these two days was very modest (contributing to https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T238333 using OpenRefine) I come home with the knowledge of the existence a bunch of tools that will help me for spreading knowledge about colors on WIKIPEDIA, WIKIDATA and WIKI COMMONS; I found another Wikimedia user interested in colors and volunteer to start some activity on the subject in WIKIPEDIA.
I heard and discovered much more tools I never heard of, such as: Python BeautifulSoup, Node.JS Cheerio, Node.JS Puppeteer, Wikiportret, WikiFlix, Wikibase, etc… Except for PattyPan that will save me time while introducing photos into WIKICOMMONS, probably I will never use them, but they all opened up my mind.
An important issue for me was the copyright. I got all clarifications with respect to my dual activities on colors: private and protected on the one side on my blog/site and shared and free of use on Wikimedia on the other side.
Finally the discussion with Georgia, my roommate were very stimulating and provided me with further insight on visualization, an aspect that I would also like to emphasis in my personal project.
Besides, the organisation of the workshop was just perfect, sessions on time, location excellent, the cultural crawl was a great opportunity to discover the RijksMuseum, to benefit from a special tour with emphasis on « Mothers » interpreted in a broad sense, and to see the beautiful exhibition on Rembrandt/Velasquez.
Thank you very much to Wikimedia Belgium for informing about the workshop and for funding my trip and stay.