First part of phase 1 of Wikidata is online

Lydia Pintscher

1. November 2012

Die deutsche Version dieses Artikels ist hier.

Two days ago we launched the first part of the first phase of Wikidata development on wikidata.org. Let me explain what this means quickly.

The Wikidata project is divided into 3 phases. The first phase is about centralizing language links. Articles about the same topic on Wikipedias in different languages are connected by links in the sidebar on the left of each page. These links are saved in the source of each article in each language. This means a lot of duplication and the problems that come with that. The goal of the first phase is now to store them just once in a central place, wikidata.org, and then have the Wikipedias request the list of links from there.

What we have done two days ago is to launch the central part of this, wikidata.org. In the next weeks we will do the necessary work to let the Wikipedias make use of the links that are being collected there now. We will start with the Hungarian Wikipedia, because they volunteered to help us testing the system.

So far this is not too exciting: we are collecting language links which are currently not used anywhere. The really exciting parts come when the data is used on the Wikipedias, and then in phase two of the Wikidata project: in phase 2 we will centralize the data that is shown in infoboxes in Wikipedia articles. These infoboxes show the reader the most important information about a subject at a glance. They contain things like the number of inhabitants on articles about countries. Once this data is stored in a central place a lot of great things can happen. The most important thing for Wikipedia is that the data can then be easily shared between different language versions of Wikipedia. This will help especially the Wikipedias that only have a small number of editors.

In the third phase we are going to build on the work done in phase 2 and allow to create listings and visualizations based on the data available on Wikidata.

Community members have already started creating documentation, places for discussion and other important project infrastructure. This will continue over the next weeks and you are invited to join.

To find out more about the development of Wikidata please have a look at our project page on Meta and on the new wiki at Wikidata.org.

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