Wikidata, Wikimedia’s new project for structured data, is still in development but today we are taking another step towards bringing it to all Wikipedias and the world. Today we have enabled the first phase of Wikidata on the first Wikipedia: the Hungarian Wikipedia.
The project so farWikidata has been online in a limited state since the end of October 2012. Since then a lot has happened. Important community pages have been created and used extensively, introductory and help pages have been written, bugs fixed, new features developed and of course a lot of item pages have been created – over 2 million by now. Over 3 million edits were done since the start of Wikidata by currently over 500 active editors. The first administrators have also been voted on and there are currently 68 of them. All this is much more than we, the development team, had hoped for. Thank you to everyone who is taking part in making Wikidata an amazing and useful project. We feel humbled to play a role in it.
In this first phase it is possible to create item pages, give them labels, descriptions and aliases in different languages and add links to the Wikipedia articles on the topic in various languages.
What happens now?Now that the editors (with the help of a few bots) have collected all these links to articles on the various Wikipedias it is time to make use of them. This starts on the Hungarian Wikipedia today. So far linking between an article in one language edition of Wikipedia to an article on the same topic in another language edition of Wikipedia happened by adding a special link in the wikitext of the article, called a language link. This had to happen in each article in each language. This redundancy caused a lot of issues. Starting today we want to move to a different system – one where all these links are just stored once in Wikidata and each Wikipedia gets its language links from there. Starting today on the Hungarian Wikipedia language links are coming from Wikidata. The existing language links in the wikitext will continue to work until an editor decides to remove them.
The next steps
Over the next weeks we plan to enable this feature on two more Wikipedias that have requested it, the Hebrew and Italian Wikipedia.
All this work is the basis for the second phase of Wikidata that we are working on in parallel and that is starting to take shape. Phase 2 is about storing information typically found in infoboxes like the number of inhabitants of a country, the length of a river or the date of birth of a famous person.
Wikidata is a new project and this is your chance to help shape it. There are many ways to contribute. This page explains how to contribute as an editor, developer, translator and much more.
Staying up to date
The best way to keep informed about everything happening around Wikidata is our weekly newsletter.