Wikidata

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Wikidata is a sister project of Wikipedia that was announced as the “data revolution for Wikipedia”. The website wikidata.org allows users to enter numbers, dates, relationships, and many other types of information. This data can then be embedded into Wikipedia articles in all 285 language editions, while Wikidata itself is a multi-lingual website. As Wikipedia’s central data repository, Wikidata is on a good way to become the largest human-created database of encyclopaedic knowledge, with many commercial, educational, and scientific uses outside of Wikipedia.

As of today, tenth of thousands of (registered) users have contributed to this data source, and millions of statements have been collected. Wikidata thus realises the idea that started Semantic MediaWiki many years ago, but it refines it in several important ways.

Wikidata is developed by a team of people at Wikimedia Germany under the technical lead of Lydia Pintscher. With little more than a dozen people on the project, each of these brilliant folks have shaped the project in unique ways. However, the one person without whom the project would never have happened is without doubt Denny Vrandecic, who acquired the essential initial funding and served as the project's technical director until mid 2013.

My own contribution to the project is the specification of Wikidata’s data model, which is the basis for the ongoing implementation work. Jeroen De Dauw, Daniel Kinzler, and Denny have played important parts in this design.

Currently, I am working on Wikidata Toolkit, a Java library for working with Wikidata data. This work is partly supported by a grant of the Wikimedia Foundation.

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