Hi Maarten,

Just to say I strongly disagree on your characterisation of the use of this ID as a "hack" and that it should be actively discouraged. Not all countries are as fortunate as others, and having comprehensive coverage of all the relevant sites on Wikipedia with unique identifiers from state bodies is a massive hurdle to overcome for many of us. Assuming that the whole world can meet you at the standard you are accustomed to is incredibly unfair, and dismisses the difficulties many countries face in this regard.

In the Irish context we have found the P2186 a very neat solution to a systemic issue we face regarding data on Irish monuments and other listed buildings, and in the 4 years since we started using those IDs with Monumental, it has not only facilitated a huge amount of participation, but the Irish system has not been updated to a point that we have another system of unique IDs to fall back on. And this is an EU country with supposedly all the benefits that that entails. An alternative "scalable solution" has yet to otherwise manifest.

Fair enough if you don't like a particular system of IDs, but I don't think completely writing it off is fair on those for whom it has been incredibly useful.


On Tue, 4 May 2021 at 22:40, Maarten Dammers <maarten@mdammers.nl> wrote:
Hi Josephine

On 29-04-2021 11:27, Josephine Lim wrote:
> Hi all,
> Hope you are all safe and well. After having finalized our plans for
> WLM integration into the Commons app based on community feedback
> (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Mobile_app/WLM , which was
> posted to this mailing list a couple of months ago), we have started
> work on implementation.
Good to hear you're working on this! One of things I see on that page is
the mention of the importance of the unique ID. That was always the case
before we had Wikidata. Now every Wikidata item has an unique qID so
that makes the unique identification a lot easier.
> We have run into a bit of an issue, however, that we are hoping to get
> help with. The initial plan (based on the discussion at
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikilovesmonuments/2020-July/009263.html
> and at the abovementioned wiki page) was to use Wikidata as our data
> source, displaying all Wikidata items with the identifier property of
> P2186 (Wiki Loves Monuments ID) on our map.
I'll say it a bit stronger than the other commenters: Don't ever use
P2186 (Wiki Loves Monuments ID). That's the horrible hack/work around
that got introduced for countries that didn't have a well documented ID.
> However we have now found out that some countries don't use P2186 at
> all. Someone kindly linked
> https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:WikiProject_WLM/Status#Table to
> me, and based on that it seems that there is a rather large variety of
> identifiers that different countries use.
> Realistically speaking, it would be really difficult for us to account
> for every possible identifier that every country uses, and it would
> also make stability and maintenance much more tricky. We can try, but
> it would be risky and tedious.
> On the other hand, it was suggested to me that if there is WLM
> community consensus that P2186 should be used as a universal
> identifier, countries might be willing to adopt P2186 for the sake of
> harmonization.
Relic from the past. Usage should be reduced, not expanded.
> Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Why do you need the ID again? What problem are you trying to solve?
Every in scope item should have heritage designation (P1435) on it. You
can just query SPARQL for that with distance or bounding box to get
anything nearby.
Also because most (all?) heritage properties need this P1435, it's
usually added as a constraint for which you can query, see
https://w.wiki/3HBM (and https://w.wiki/3HBW to check).

For fun and to show what's possible, a query of all different types of
monuments around the tripoint where Belgium, German and the Netherlands
meet: https://w.wiki/3HBm

I'm sure we can figure out a nice scalable solution.


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PhD in Digital Media
Project Coordinator Wikimedia Community Ireland
Secretary of the National Committee for Commemorative Plaques in Science and Technology