Wikimania time! What to Bring


Have you made your packing list and checked it twice before hitting the road?

Wikimania 2012 is arriving in just two weeks! What with the tech talks, hackathon, and collaboration sessions everyone knows to bring their computers and smartphones but what about the not so glamorous items, the clothes and toiletries?

Well, honored attendees and speakers should be glad to know that, no matter where they will be staying, toilet paper will be provided in their rooms. While hostels may not provide them, hotels will also definitely include fresh towels, hand soap, and shampoo as well as clean sheets for the bed. Hostels will have lockers available, so make sure to bring a lock!

Everything else is up to the guest. Since this is Washington, DC in the middle of the summer, temperatures will most likely not dip below 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius) with stifling humidity, so dress lightly! Clothing made from rayon, linen, cotton, and silk are generally the best for hot, muggy weather. When walking around Washington DC, seeing the sights, meeting up with people, or just exploring the city, shorts, t-shirts, and sandals are perfectly acceptable as well as sunglasses and hats to soften the bright sun bouncing off of glass buildings and white sidewalks. At the conference there isn’t a dress code, but at the opening reception, nice-yet-comfortable clothes are encouraged, be they western style or national dress.

If there are plans to be out and about for hours in the sun, sunscreen and a water bottle are a must. There is a CVS grocery store/drug store right on Dupont Circle where the hotels are where guests can purchase sunscreen, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, razors, and shaving cream if they want to, so if you don’t have room in your luggage for these items, you can still buy them in DC.

Besides the necessary toiletries, guests should also not forget to bring plug adapters for their electronic devices if they come from outside the United States. Check out this Wikipedia article on power outlets in the US and make sure to purchase an adaptor that works for you! Books or something to do on the plane over are also recommended but are really based on personal preference and can be used as conversation starters if nothing else. “You’re reading a book on King Ludwig the Second? Wasn’t he a crazy monarch?” “Oh no, actually he was just misunderstood genius, he sponsored Wagner…” “You crochet baby socks?” “Actually they are smurf hats…” etc.

That’s about it on what to bring to Wikimania, besides bounding enthusiasm of course! Paper, pen, pencil, business cards and smiles don’t hurt to bring either.

We look forward to seeing you here!

Lisa Marrs, Outreach & Program Coordination, Wikimedia DC

Copyright info: FIAT Topolino Super (1948) mit Sonnenmarkise und Gepäckablage by Sigismund von Dobschütz, imported from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Blazing the DC Trail: 10 Things to See in DC

You’re coming to DC and you want to know what to visit but you want to stay away from the obvious sites and take the road less traveled by, away from the tourists on their Segways and hawkers at memorabilia stuffed stands. Luckily for you there are dozens of sites like this all over the DC area, here is our arbitrary list of the top 10 in random order.

1) Congressional Cemetery: Located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the Congressional Cemetery is the final material resting place for hundreds of notable names from US history including Congressman Henry Clay, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, David Herold, who was convicted and hung for his part in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, and Leonard Matlovich, America’s first openly gay serviceman. All of the tombs just mentioned and more now also sport QR codes to their Wikipedia pages so you can conduct your very own tours. Free Admission.

Miniture trees up close, looks like a small, private forest.

Missvain, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

2) The United States National Arboretum: Located in northeast DC about 10 minutes from the Capitol Building. The visitor center is open every day from 8am-4:30pm except December 25, from March 1 to October 31 the Visitor Center is open from 8am-5pm. The Arboretum features everything from lush East Asian gardens to spectacular columns, simulated environments from the Prairie to verdant forest. There are self guided tours and private and public tours available. Free Admission.







Trees in Fall colors reflected in a still pool of lilypad waters.

Agnostic PreachersKid, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

3) Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens: Located in northeast DC, just south of Route 50, Blatimore-Washington Parkway, Kenilworth Avenue intersection the park is open daily from 7am-4pm except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Preserving some of the original 4,000 + yera old wetland from before the time when European immigrants came and began destroying it, Kenilworth Park boasts both man-made and natural ponds and marsh. Popular in the summer are the flowers that bloom in the artificial ponds although the flourishing summer vegetation springing up from the marsh and tidal wetlands along the Anacostia River is also worth the time to walk, bike, or canoe by. Free Admission.







MamaGeek, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

4) The Monastery of Mount St. Sepulchre: Located in University Heights, a 14 minute walk from the Brookland-Cua Metro station, this monastery boasts not only of grand halls, but also of breath taking architecture and sumptuous gardens with gorgeous statuary. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, Sunday from 8am-5pm and Saturday from 9am-6pm. Free Admission.






5) Civil War to Civil Rights: Downtown Heritage Trail: Located in Washington’s Downtown, just east of the White House. Composed of 21 poster-sized, illustrated signs that combine storytelling with historic images, the trail follows the footsteps  of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Walt Whitman, and other Americans whose stories twined with the history of the US and its capital city. Those taking the trail are encouraged to follow it at their own pace, checking out the local characters, businesses, and restaurants along the way. Free Admission.

National Geographic Museum building

AgnosticPreachersKid, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

6) National Geographic Museum: Located at 17th and M Streets NW in downtown DC and open from 10am-6pm daily, the National Geographic Museum exhibits change every so often to reflect the richness and diversity of our world. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for members/military/seniors/students/groups of 25+, $4 for children 5-12 years old.








African American Civil War Monument

Epicadam, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

7) African American Civil War Monument: Located on U Street NW and Vermont Ave NW, the African American Civil War Memorial is a tribute to the United States Colored Troops (USCT) who fought for freedom during the Civil War. There is a sculpture of uniformed soldiers and a sailor with a family behind them situated in the center of a plaza encircled on three sides by the Wall of Honor. This Wall lists the names of the 209,145 USCT drawn from the official records of the Bureau of the USCT National Archives. Free Admission.








Front of Tudor Place House

Wknight94, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

8) Tudor Place Historic House and Garden: Located off Wisconsin and 31st Street NW, this Georgetown mansion and National Historic Landmark was once the home of the granddaughter of Martha Washington. Docent-led house tours and self-guided garden tours are available Tuesday through Sunday. The house itself is surrounded by five acres of extensive, verdant gardens. Adults $8, Seniors/Military $6, Students ages 7-18 $3, Garden only with self-guided map/audio tour $3, children 6 and under free.

Nave of the National Cathedral in DC.

Tim Evanson, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

9) Washington National Cathedral: Located off of Wisconsin Ave NW and Massachusetts Ave NW, the Cathedral is replete with beautiful  architecture and manicured grounds. Visit to learn more about the history of the Cathedral, tours are provided. $10 per person.








Garden with statuory pillar in center.

10) Hillwood Museums and Gardens: Located off Tilden Street NW and Lenora Ave NW, the Hillwood Museums and Gardens houses one of the most complete collections of Russian imperial art outside of Russia as well as a distinguished 18th-century French decorative art collection and 25 acres of serene gardensand natural woodlands for anyone to enjoy. It is open for roaming Tuesday to Saturday from 10am-5pm, tours are complimentary. Free Admission although adults are encouraged to donate at least $15.

Welcome to the Wikimedia DC blog!

Welcome to the Wikimedia DC blog!  Wikimedia DC is a local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, serving the greater Washington, DC region.  We support the advancement of general knowledge and the collection, development, and dissemination of educational content under a free license or in the public domain. We organize regular events, including Wikipedia meetups, edit-a-thons, workshops, and more, and also organize major conferences including Wikimania 2012. We engage in outreach initiatives, partnering with cultural institutions including the National Archives and Records Administration and the DC Public Library.

Follow our blog for the latest happenings and you can also keep up with us on Twitter at @wikimediadc.