(The German version of this article is here.)
Almost precisely one year ago, in March 2012, Wikimedia Deutschland started a completely new Wikimedia project – Wikidata. The goal of Wikidata is to create an open knowledge base about the world that can be read and edited by everyone. Wikidata is the biggest technical project that a chapter of the Wikimedia movement has ever undertaken.
The initial development of the Wikidata project is almost completed. Much has been achieved: the language links from Wikidata are already in use in four Wikipedia language versions (Hungarian, Hebrew, Italian, and English) and the other language versions will follow in the next days. The current state of Wikidata is nicely illustrated by the example of the page about Russia. With the help of staff, volunteers, and generous donations by [ai]², the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Google, the foundation for the first new Wikimedia project since 2006 has been laid: a scalable infrastructure that allows for the central management of data in a wiki in order to make them available on Wikipedia and beyond, for example on blogs or websites.
The board of Wikimedia Deutschland has decided to continue the development of Wikidata with a team of eight in 2013. Wikimedia Deutschland will fund this development by means of donations.
In the coming year, the team will be working on the further development and maintenance of Wikidata. This includes, among other things:
- the implementation of the third phase of Wikidata: the automatic creation and updating of lists and visualizations of the data in Wikidata
- extending Wikidata with other data types, e.g. geodata
- supporting the community in the growth and expansion of Wikidata, also when it is used outside of the different Wikipedia language versions
- the possibility of deploying Wikidata in further Wikimedia projects, e.g. Wikimedia Commons or Wikivoyage
We expect that Wikidata will become an integral part of the Wikimedia movement. The excellent cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation was an essential factor for this development: the Wikimedia Foundation not only operates Wikidata but also the many tools that have supported us during its development. We show our trust in the project and its goals by continuing to support Wikidata. In addition, we ensure the further development and maintenance.
Wikidata has the potential for more “great leaps”: Without the generous donations that funded the first year Wikidata would not have been possible. For the further expansion we hope to find additional partners who support us in reaching our goal of making the sum of all human knowledge accessible for every single person.