Have a question for us?  Leave a message at the bottom of the page.

Commended 2018: Wemyss Bay railway station concourse, by Colin, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0
Commended 2018: Wemyss Bay railway station concourse, by Colin, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

How can I improve my chances?

Be original. Avoid taking standard tourist shots of well-known buildings or sites – we already have plenty of tourist shots of London’s Tower Bridge, and Edinburgh Castle, for example.   See our tips for more interesting angles. One of our judges has also written a useful blog post.

What are the guidelines on image size?

Please submit images that are as large as possible and do not “downsize for the web”. Wikimedia Commons is a media repository that values high resolution images for many purposes including print. Images below 5 megapixels are less likely to be considered for a prize as they lack usability at larger sizes, especially in print.

I am not the world’s best photographer. Do you still want my images?

Yes please! Even if you may not be entering in the expectation of winning a prize, your entry can still give you the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped to document your local built environment and cultural heritage, and that you have made your images freely available for future generations. Your entry may even end up on Wikipedia, especially if you have gone to the trouble of photographing a lesser-known site.

Can I enter as professional photographer?

Yes, professional entrants are welcome.

Do I have to give up the copyright in my entries?

No, as photographer you still retain copyright and moral rights in your submissions. However, as we want to encourage wide re-use of the images, we ask that you release your entries under a free licence (typically CC BY-SA 4.0).  That means you can’t charge people a fee for re-use, whether on Wikipedia or elsewhere, but you can require re-users to attribute you as the photographer.

How many photos I can submit?

You can submit as many as you like. Some people are taking photos of hundreds of buildings, and they will all be considered. Please be selective, though, and enter only your best shots: we don’t want large numbers of near-duplicates!

Can I use Photoshop to post-process my photos?

Yes of course: minor post-processing is encouraged. Building images can often be improved by judicious cropping, rotating, colour correction and so on. In some cases correction of converging verticals can also improve an image. But please avoid the temptation to over-process: this is a photographic not a computer art contest.

What are the red and green pins on the map?

Red pins are sites where we don’t yet have an image which has been linked to our Wikidata database. Green pins are where we do have a linked image. New photos are welcome in both cases. Red pins will eventually turn green, but updating the database is a manual process so may take a day or two.

How do I quickly pan across the map?

Zoom out, pan to the area of interest, then zoom back in.

Some countries use an international map called Monumental to accept entries.  You can use that map if you want to, but be aware of a limitation:  the filename is pre-defined and can’t be edited on entry.

I took some photographs outside the UK. Can I enter them as well?

Yes if they were taken in one of the participating countries. But you will need to enter that country’s section of the competition. Please visit the international upload page.

Can I enter even if I am not based in the UK?

Yes, of course! Please feel free to submit any photos you may have taken in the UK, for example during a previous holiday here.

What about structures that are neither listed buildings nor scheduled monuments?

This particular contest is targeted at listed buildings and scheduled monuments, but we more than welcome submission of photographs of non-listed structures, archaeological sites, and the built environment generally.  You can upload them via this link.

I’ve taken a much better photo than the one in the Wikipedia article. Can I replace the image in the article with mine?

If yours is quite clearly much better in all respects, then yes. But if there is any doubt at all it’s polite to post a message to the article’s talk page and say something to like “I think this photo is better than the current one. Does anyone mind if I replace the one in the article?” Add a link (using the format below) so that people can see your suggested image. Then come back a week later and make the change if no-one has objected.

Can I edit Wikipedia myself to add my photo to an article that doesn’t have images?

Yes, we’d be delighted! If you are not already a Wikipedia editor, see here to get started. Don’t forget to log in – see the very top right corner of your browser screen.

As your competition entry is already on Wikimedia Commons, it can easily be re-used on Wikipedia just by adding a link to the page in the format

[[File:NameOfYourFile.jpg|thumb|Some text to appear below the image.]]
This guide explains more.

Questions? If you have a question that is not covered by the FAQ, please ask below.


20 replies on “FAQ”

How does one nominate pictures taken on the Isle of Man?
Neither the interactive map nor the English database does include listed buildings / monuments there.

This is a superb project. I love it. For the last four years I got on my bike and cycled around the East End of London taking snapshots. Would you please reveal how many listed buildings (ie in scope) in GB or UK/IRL and how now recorded on this DB?

Hello Richard

using the interactive upload adds the prefix LB (listed building?) to Scottish data base entries. e.g. {{Listed building Scotland|LB31788}}. This renders the link invalid. I have deleted the LB manually on my Kirkwall and Fort William uploads and now they work fine. e.g. {{Listed building Scotland|31788}}.

The English path is working as expected. I ahven’t used the Welsh and NI version (yet?)

Any way to fix that?

Hello! We’ve spotted that issue and have raised it on Github, so hopefully Monumental can be changed so that the fields are being used correctly in the template. It is likely there will be a cleanup task for a bot after the competition has closed; the cleanup looks fairly straightforward (speaking as someone who doesn’t run bots!) but the ideal situation would be to fix the root cause as well.
In the meantime, while it does produce an annoying error it doesn’t effect how the images are entered into the competition so fixing it by hand isn’t compulsory – though all efforts to fix problems are of course welcome!

I think I have uploaded a photo for the Monuments project but it is still not appearing on the map after 48 hours. Have I done something wrong or is there a significant delay?

The photo relates to Cedar House Tudor House in Ripley Surrey.
The photo file was created at 16:29 on 3 September and the photo file name is 20220903 IMG_4470 WM

Incidentally, when I put ‘Ripley’ in the search facility for the map, I just get the option of one in California. What about the ones in Surrey and Derbyshire?

Thank You


I’ve just submitted a completely different photo, so hopefully that may work. I’ll get back to you if I still have problems.

Question: “How many photos I can submit?” Answer: Seems like a maximum of two per day. After that the site goes through the motion for the upload and then just does not complete. Can you test uploading a three/four/five images to different geo locations (as a basic user like me – not God mode nor MOD etc.) and see if there is a problem? I’ve changed browser and it still doesn’t work. Is it block on IP for a spam flood or something? Anyhoo… I’ve got a handful of images to upload and I’m stuck at the moment :o(.

That’s useful to know, I’ll give it a go. I’ve seen some people with lots of uploads, so I should be possible. Have you been uploading from a phone/tablet while out and about or from a laptop/desktop?

Thanks. From a laptop when back at home. Tried again and it looks like there is a file size limit as there is the error “POST…413 (Request Entity Too Large)” in the browser’s console log. The FAQ mentions to try files above 5 megapixels but there is no mention of an upper limit. My file was about 21MB. Can you advise what the file size limit is? Would be great to alert on screen as to the problem but even a mention on the FAQ as to a limit would help.

The video you shared is pretty conclusive: it looks like there’s a limit on the file size which I wasn’t aware of which is a bit frustrating. You can upload larger images using this form, up to 100MB. So you could use the map to look up the details of the subject of the photograph and then upload it this way, though that is more cumbersome. I’ve asked the folks who work on the tool to take a look at the maximum file size.

Some time ago I started to photograph commemorative plaques around my area and uploaded these to Wikimedia. As I thought they would be of wider interest
Subsequently I had to remove these as one of your moderators objected saying that the text on these images contravened copyright laws.
Could you clarify, will you allow images where the monument has a descriptive plaque ?

It’s a bit of a hedging answer but: it depends!

If the plaque/sign/text isn’t the main focus of the image, it’s fine. For example, in this photo there is a sign but it’s not the main focus of the image. If the photo was a close up of the sign, then there might be an issue.

My understanding is that if it contains prose that text will be copyrighted by default. If it’s a label, so just a couple of words, it shouldn’t be a problem unless there’s some artwork involved. Blue plaques seem to be fine as Wikipedia (well, Wikimedia Commons) has thousands of photos of them, close up too.

How old were the plaques you were photographing?

No your moderator objected to blue plaques and ones with only one or two words most p were at least 10 years old some much older.
It is of no matter as I simply moved them and all of my other written and image contributions to other sites which
a) weren’t so picky
b) had some form of universal moderation and appeal system which didn’t just rely on the whims of one individual.

A photo of a building local to me has been given the wrong name on your map, or rather, a building marked as ‘already photographed’ on the map is illustrated by a picture of the wrong building.
Is there any way this can be corrected?

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