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OPLIN 4Cast #276: Wikidata

Posted in 4cast

It has been eleven years since the launch of Wikipedia changed the way people look for information on the Internet, and six years since the Wikimedia Foundation has started any new projects. Now they’re back with “Wikidata.” For many people, Wikipedia replaced the library’s encyclopedia; will Wikidata replace the library’s almanac?

  • Wikidata/Introduction (Wikimedia Meta-Wiki)  “Many Wikipedia articles contain facts and connections to other articles that are not easily understood by a computer, like the population of a country or the place of birth of an actor. In Wikidata you will be able to enter that information in a way that makes it processable by the computer. This means that the machine can provide it in different languages, use it to create overviews of such data, like lists or charts, or answer questions that can hardly be answered automatically today.”
  • Wikipedia’s next big thing: Wikidata, a machine-readable, user-editable database funded by Google, Paul Allen and others (TechCrunch/Sarah Perez)  “The data will bring all the localized versions of Wikipedia on par with each other in terms of the basic facts they house. Today, the English, German, French and Dutch versions offer the most coverage, with other languages falling much further behind. Wikidata will also enable users to ask different types of questions, like which of the world’s ten largest cities have a female mayor?, for example.”
  • Techies team up to make Wikipedia smarter (Digits/Shira Ovide)  “The Wikidata project hopes to link together each piece of information so when a Wikipedia contributor inputs revised facts, names and figures, this data will automatically update on every Wikipedia page in the world. The Wikidata backers said they believe the project will make Wikipedia more accurate and consistent across countries, and free Wikipedia contributors from doing basic maintenance on the encyclopedia’s pages.”
  • Data revolution for Wikipedia (PR Newswire)  “Besides the Wikimedia projects, the data is expected to be beneficial for numerous external applications, especially for annotating and connecting data in the sciences, in e-Government, and for applications using data in very different ways. The data will be published under a free Creative Commons license.”

Language fact:
There are more than 280 language editions of Wikipedia.