Authors: Krishna Chaitanya Velaga
Edited by: Chinmayi S K and Rohini Lakshané
Reviewed by: Rohini Lakshané


GLAMorous is a tool used to analyse the use of files on different Wikimedia projects. "GLAM" in the name GLAMorous refers to the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector.

Wikimedia Commons is a multimedia repository, where photos, images, PDF files, videos, and audio files are hosted. (Some Wikipedias allow for image files to be locally uploaded. This is done only when the file is not available under an acceptable license on the Wikimedia Commons but it meets the criteria for non-free content, i.e., the Fair Use Policy.) GLAMorous allows to search for files based on the Category, the Gallery on Wikimedia Commons, the Username of the uploader, or the PagePile ID. The tool offers options to customise the search results. These options include, but are not limited to, the types of files you wish to track and the Wikimedia projects where the files are in use. Each of these options have been explained in detail later in this learning module. Organisers of Wikimedia events may find this tool particularly useful. The tool has two versions: GLAMorous and GLAMorous 2.

Why and when to use GLAMorous

Several media files are uploaded to Wikimedia Commons during and immediately after certain kinds of events such as photowalks, photothons, photography contests and image-donation drives. Some of the photos that are contributed may not necessarily be of encyclopedic value or of good photographic quality. In other cases, Wikimedia Commons may already have a large number of good-quality images on the same subject, say, a place of interest or a monument. In such cases, newly contributed files may not make their way into other Wikimedia projects. One of the ways of assessing the success or impact of Wikimedia events aimed at improving the coverage of media files on certain topics is to analyse the number of files that have been inserted on Wikipedia pages, Wikidata entries, and so on. This enables the organisers of the event to determine the percentage (or ratio) of the number of files that were uploaded and those that are actually in use on Wikimedia projects.

Using GLAMorous for the evaluation of an event

Organisers may create one or more new categories by the name of the event on Wikimedia Commons before the event starts. (It is advisable to create the Categories before the start of the event so that participants may include the category as they upload their files. It is a tedious task to categorize the files after they have been uploaded.) Examples of event-related categories are: "Museum Documentation Program 2018" and "Images from Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 in India".

Image: Screenshot of the search interface of Citation Hunt with its different search fields numbered from Field 1 to Field 4. We will take a look at each field in the subsequent sections of this learning module.

Search by Category or Sub-Category

To analyse the use of the files based on category, enter the name of the category without any prefix in the "Category on Commons" field, that is "Field 1" in the image above.

To view results that include sub-categories as well, set the depth level in the "Search Depth" field to "1" or a higher number depending on your requirement.

  • For example, consider the category "Maps of India". Setting the depth to 0 [zero] will return the images present in that category.
  • However, if you would also like to search sub-categories of it, such as "Locator maps of India" "Blank maps of India" and "Railway maps of India", set depth to the numerical 1.
  • The sub-category "Locator maps of islands of India" may contain categories within itself, say, for the cities or provinces in islands. To include those in your search, increase the depth to "2".

As you increase the search depth, more levels of sub-categories will be shown in the search results.

Search by username of an uploader

To analyse all the images uploaded by a user, enter their username in the search field entitled "OR user name", that is, Field 2 in the reference image above. Then follow the same steps mentioned in the "Search by Category or Sub-Category" section.

Search by Wikimedia Commons Gallery

Field 4 in the reference image of GLAMorous above, entitled "OR gallery pages (any namespace)" corresponds to the third field in GLAMorous 2. This field is useful to analyse the images placed on a gallery page of Wikimedia Commons. For example, there is a gallery page for the topic "India" at

Search by PagePile ID

PagePile is a tool used to manage lists of pages on Wikimedia Projects. Each list has an ID number. You may search by the PagePile ID if you are conversant with the use of PagePile.

Version-specific use

The main differences between the two versions lie in their search parameters and search output. GLAMorous offers better flexibility. It allows you to select the type of files and Wikimedia projects to search and offers the options to view limited results or extended results. The search parameters in GLAMorous 2 are less flexible, but its results are more detailed than those of GLAMorous. If you require simple data output but flexible search options, then use GLAMorous. For a more detailed output, use GLAMorous 2.

By default, GLAMorous gives you a list of all files belonging to the queried Category used on different Wikimedia projects [Refer to the screenshot below] and a percentage of total use. If you need to analyse the impact of a photography campaign, then check off the options for audio and video files. This will allow the tool to search only the image files from the specific Category of the campaign. The same should be done for audio and video files. Depending on the scope, a combination of different types of files is also possible. Similarly, if you need to analyse the use of files only on a specific Wikimedia project, say, on Wikipedia, the rest of the projects should be unticked. A combination of two or more projects is also possible.

If you need data about the articles on which these images have been used, enable the "Show details" option in the search parameters.

As stated above, if you need a more detailed dataset, then your choice must be GLAMorous 2. However, you will not have much flexibility with the search parameters. If you want to check the usage of a file only in the main spaces of Wikimedia projects, you may do so by enabling the "Namespaces" option in the process tab. If you wish to generate a permanent link to this query, use the Process tab. From the Global File Usage tab, you can view the number of distinct files used, the number of pages using these files and the total file usage, separately for each language of various Wikimedia projects.

If you wish to view the pages of the articles containing the images uploaded within a specific time period, using the Page views option under the Process tab. You need to set a start month and an end month to process the page views. The result is generated in the form of daily page views.

If you are interested in practising how to use the different options provided by these tools, both the versions of the tool offer predefined example categories, which can be used to load and check the various options.

Recommended uses

GLAMorous may be used to analyse the impact achieved by the following kinds of programs:

  • GLAM events (limited to Wikimedia Commons)
  • Photography contests, such as various "Wiki Loves" campaigns (Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves Earth and so on.)
  • Photowalks
  • Photothons

This text has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. Preferred attribution: Krishna Chaitanya Velaga, Community Toolkit for Greater Diversity. Attribution URL: