Tracking image views and reuse in the Wikimedia ecosystems can give BHL staff insight into the impact and reach of specific campaigns, edit-a-thons, or targeted telework activities. Wikimedia has a suite of community tools that allow BHL to track metrics at the collection, page, and image levels.
BHL Image Use Statistics
BaGLAMa 2 is part of a suite of GLAM metrics tools that allows users to track image statistics by Wikimedia Commons Categories. To date, the 303,302 image files from BHL in Wikimedia Commons have been viewed over 620 million times!
Growing access – BHL Images have 620,702,570 page views. Image: Dearborn, 2023
BaGLAMa 2 not only tracks collection-level statistics but also can drill down into specific pages where BHL images appear, giving the total view count of the image on a particular page. The tool shows how BHL images strategically placed in a single Wikipedia article can result in thousands of views.
Because this image of Sorocelis reticulosa is embedded in the English Wikipedia article for “Animal”, it has received 295,023 views from just that one article alone. Image: Dearborn, 2023
In addition to seeing wiki page-level views for an image, one can also see total views on Wikimedia projects for a single image with the Media Views Analysis tool. The metrics from this tool allow us to drill down into the source of referral traffic requesting a media file, giving insight into any image’s overall proliferation on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
This BHL image has been viewed on Wikimedia Projects over 2 million times. Image: Dearborn, 2023
While statistics like these are needed to measure the impact of BHL’s outreach activities, they aren’t everything. Former BHL Communications Manager, Grace Constantino writes that real impact is sometimes not just a numbers game. In March 2019, the #HerNaturalHistory campaign showed that the value of these events is immeasurable:
“Although metrics are important, and offer a glimpse into one aspect of these events, the more impactful takeaways from these collaborations were the discussions that attendees had on topics ranging from open content, to information architecture, data storage, content curation, and more. In a sense, these crowd-sourcing edit-a-thons were a salon of sorts, where curious people who are passionate about open information were able to discuss strategies for how to make data more accessible and useful to the public, and work together to find and implement these solutions.” (Jackson & Costantino, 2019)
What is most inspiring about Wikimedia events and activities is that they foster both digital and human connections. Metrics can speak to the digital impact BHL media has globally, but the conversations and the spark of curiosity that fosters life-long passions underscores what this knowledge work is all about.