Extension:CommonsMetadata

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CommonsMetadata

Release status: stable

Implementation API
Description Attempts at extracting metadata from commons pages
Author(s) Brian Wolff (bawolfftalk)
MediaWiki 1.22+
PHP 5.3+
Database changes No
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
Download
Hooks used
GetExtendedMetadata

ValidateExtendedMetadataCache
UnitTestsList

Translate the CommonsMetadata extension if it is available at translatewiki.net

Check usage and version matrix; code metrics

Issues:

Open tasks · Report a bug

The CommonsMetadata extension is an attempt at extracting metadata from Wikimedia Commons pages. It adds some extra information to the imageinfo API, based on templates and categories in the image description.

The extension in its current form is intended to be a temporary solution, eventually replaced by Wikidata on Commons.

Motivation & design choices[edit | edit source]

See http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2013-August/071593.html

The assumptions of this extension are the following.

  • At some point in the future, wikidata will take over handling metadata at commons. In order to avoid disruptive changes, which will soon need to be changed again, the extension should work with commons metadata as it currently is (so not introducing new parser functions). Hence screen scraping.
  • The content of many of the fields on a commons description page include rich formatting (In particular: Links, italics, bold. In some cases more complex things like embedded images)
    • As a result, extension outputs parsed html (wikitext sucks, plain text doesn't capture the data)
    • Futhermore, the data tends to be formatted for human display, rather than (for example) machine formatted dates. When the date field says something like "circa 1600s", its hard to convert that to a precise date (otoh, many examples can be).
    • To carry that forward, also apply formatting to exif metadata, which is controlled on wiki (For example, commons links the camera name to a wikipedia article)
  • If we can't extract info from the description page, but the file has the author tagged in exif/XMP/iptc metadata, we should use that as a fallback.
  • Ideally such a system would be as commons-inspecific as possible, with the commons and non-commons part separated.
  • Commons description pages have multilingual descriptions. Lots of users probably just want one language.
    • In this implementation, it applies per language conventions to dates and things. Additionally for explicitly multi-lingual fields (description), there is an option to return all, or just a single language. Even in single language mode, some things are still language specific (like the thousands seperator on numbers)

Installation[edit | edit source]

  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called CommonsMetadata in your extensions/ folder.
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php:
require_once "$IP/extensions/CommonsMetadata/CommonsMetadata.php";
  • Done! Navigate to "Special:Version" on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.

Testing[edit | edit source]

Warning Warning: If you're developing or testing this extension, we do NOT suggest you copy the Commons templates for image metadata, as they take extremely long to compile and have complicated dependencies like Scribunto. Instead, get an expanded version that has only wikitext/HTML and put in the various parameter references (or don't) manually. You can find an example (to be used with Special:Import) here. Or use Vagrant which includes certain templates by default.

When testing with remote images (e.g. Commons images if you have enabled $wgUseInstantCommons), you can set $wgCommonsMetadataForceRecalculate = true; to force CommonsMetadata to parse the description page of the image and extract the metadata (normally, if the remote repository had CommonsMetadata installed as well, it would just copy the API output from there).

Usage[edit | edit source]

Use the imageinfo API, and include extmetadata as an image info property specified via iiprop.

Example usage:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/api.php?action=query&prop=imageinfo&format=json&iiprop=extmetadata&iilimit=10&titles=File%3ACommon%20Kingfisher%20Alcedo%20atthis.jpg

View this example in the API sandbox:

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:ApiSandbox#action=query&prop=imageinfo&format=json&iiprop=extmetadata&iilimit=10&titles=File%3ACommon%20Kingfisher%20Alcedo%20atthis.jpg

Returned data[edit | edit source]

The extension currently provides the following items in the extmetadata field of the response (the field names were chosen, where possible, to follow the IPTC-IIM format used in EXIF headers):

Data based on machine-readable data in the Information template:

  • ImageDescription - image description
  • Artist - author name (might contain complex HTML, multiple authors etc)
  • Credit - source
  • DateTimeOriginal - time of creation (space-separated ISO 8601 timestamp whenever possible, but can be any other textual description of a date, possibly with HTML mixed in)
  • ObjectName - title (for a book/painting; otherwise just the file name)
  • Permission - contents of the Permission field of the template. Can be a lot of things (license template, OTRS id, details on how to attribute...)
  • AuthorCount - the number of templates with authors (e.g. Book, Photograph...). The number of actual authors might be higher if a template describes multiple authors in a single string.

Data based on machine-readable data in the Location template:

  • GPSLatitude - latitude
  • GPSLongitude - longitude

Data based on machine-readable data in the license template:

  • LicenseShortName - short human-readable license name
  • LicenseUrl
  • UsageTerms
  • Copyrighted - True or False (for public domain images)

For multi-licensed images these values are currently unreliable.

  • Attribution - custom attribution that should replace Artist + Credit (can also originate from the Information template)
  • AttributionRequired - booleanish (phab:T86726), tells whether there is a legal requirement to attribute
  • NonFree - booleanish, true means the image is not under a free license. (Used for non-Commons images only.)

Other data:

  • CommonsMedadataExtension - contains the metadata parser version number; mostly for internal use
  • License - a best guess at the license of the image (mostly for internal use by MediaViewer, might change; LicenseShortName is probably more reliable)
  • Categories - a |-separated list of the categories of the image.
  • Assessments - a |-separated list of the assessments of the image (currently five values are supported: poty, potd, featured, quality, valued). Based on parsing category names, probably won't work for images not hosted on Commons.
  • DeletionReason - if set, the template is being considered for deletion. (Based on the nuke template, probably not reliable outside Commons.) It contains a deletion reason, but it is phrased to be applicable for a log entry, so it might be misleading (e.g. past tense when actually it is not yet decided whether the image will be deleted).

See also[edit | edit source]