Saturday, February 07, 2009


The request for help on the Tel Aviv construction site has turned up a few nibbles and one wonderful bite. What you're looking at is a new restoration of Dizengoff Square, available in full resolution here. Thanks go to Ynhockey for the assistance.

A key element of restoring historic photography for encyclopedic purposes is the ability to recognize the significance and historic nature of a scene. I've never been to Israel and fortunately for Wikipedia, Israel's copyright law is relatively generous. So the request for input on the Tel Aviv construction site prompted him to contact me. He didn't have an answer on the original question, but we went through the Library of Congress archives together and he identified an important location at the heart of Tel Aviv that has undergone significant changes since the photograph was taken 65 years ago. Without his help I wouldn't have understood its significance since I've never been to Israel.

So now, if all goes well, Wikipedia might gain its first featured picture about Israeli history. That's important both for encyclopedic purposes and for balance. Last year, working with several Palestinian editors, I helped raise the article about Palestinian costumes to good article status and restored a few photographs about Palestinian culture. In collaboration with another Israeli editor, Jaakobou, I had helped a few new articles about Israeli culture reach Wikipedia's main page at the 'Did you know?' section, but hadn't contributed to any featured content about Israel yet. With the current situation it's important to be evenhanded.


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