Wikipedia conference comes to Montreal for first time

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Wikimania Montreal
WATCH: The founder of Wikipedia and one thousand Wikimaniacs are in Montreal for the website`s annual convention. Matt Grillo attended the opening event – Aug 11, 2017

For the first time in its history, the annual Wikipedia conference is taking place in Canada.

The 13th annual Wikimania is taking place in Montreal and brings close to 1,000 people together from countries around the world.

“Wikipedia is a global movement, very diverse bunch of people coming together,” Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said.

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Those in attendance can network and share experiences.

“Knowledge you can get out of book, but understanding, you gain through conversations and through discussions,” Lodewijk Gelauff, a conference participant, said. “That is something where this conference is uniquely qualified for.”

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The free encyclopedia website was co-founded by Wales in 2001.

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It’s grown through the years, expanding beyond just an encyclopedia.

“Wikipedia is always there for you,” Katherine Maher, Wikimedia foundation executive director, said. “It can talk about ancient Greek history. It can talk about the mechanics of flight, but it can also tell you the answer to who is the actress on that show you were watching last night.”

Wikipedia has made improvements to validate information, but its founder urges caution.

“We try to warn you when we think there is a problem,” Wales said. “If you’re not sure about something, or something seems surprising, check the source.”

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Montreal executive committee vice-president Harout Chitilian says Montreal plans on making all city data accessible by December 2018.

He hopes to make public 311 requests to keep residents informed.

“It will also give citizens an idea of what’s happening in their neighbourhood and how their community is evolving,” Chitilian said. “If there’s any specific issues that are recurring in the community.”

Wikimania 2017 runs from Aug. 9 to Aug. 13.

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