Yes, it is possible to extract data with templates. A very simple demonstration (and about my limit of template-wrangling...), is: go to (random Queensland city article) and preview (don't save!) an edit with "{{#property:p1082}}" pasted in. Property1082 is "population", and you'll see that it shows the 2014 population as specified at (Bundaberg).
Also, notice those 3 tiny vertical squares next to each value at Wikidata: Those are the "rank" and only one of them can be marked as "preferred"; in the Bundaberg population that is the most recent 2014 value. Hence it knows which of the many historical population numbers to use.
There are a few live examples of data extraction in - A good one is Template:Infobox_anatomy - e.g. if you check the wikitext at you'll see that no specific values are given for 3 of the parameters that are showing in the infobox, they're all coming from Wikidata.
At Enwiki, the place to request help with the creation of specific templates, is

Currently, Wikidata advises only using data within other templates (such as infoboxes and authority control boxes) and not in prose. This is also often individually discussed at each community, e.g. Enwiki last discussed it exhaustively in 2013, with relevant conclusions at - the talkpage there, would be another good place to ask for help or clarification.

Adding info to Wikidata, is sadly not as simple as uploading a spreadsheet. It is done one change at a time, though is often sped along via bots/scripts/tools. I would suggest asking who added the population data to Bundaberg how they did it - If that editor doesn't know how to semi-automate the process for bulk data, then ask for help at (or perhaps skim old requests if so inclined).

Hope that helps, or at least leads you towards clearer answers
(n.b. this is all with my volunteer hat (coming from the wrong email account, but the one subscribed to this list) and might contain errors (corrections appreciated). I just have an amateur enthusiasm for Wikidata, and look forward to the time when infoboxes at all Wikipedias contain up-to-date statistics with minimal redundant effort. :-)

On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 1:44 PM, Kerry Raymond <> wrote: 

However, I have a problem and I wonder if Wikidata can help with it. We have a census in Australia every 5 years and the population data from the most recent census (2011) is a standard item in every lede and infobox for any Australian place (town/suburb/locality) article on en.WP at least. However, maintaining that information is a massive tedious manual task. As a consequence, we still have lots of articles with 2006 census data while the 2016 census is coming at us like a freight train. The 2016 census will be the first one done primarily online (normally we fill out a long paper form and so there are months of data entry which delays the release of the data) and the data will be released around mid-2017. Now all this population data is available as spreadsheets under CC-BY license.


My question is this. Can we update these spreadsheets into Wikidata and then create some kind of template on en.WP which can extract that data from Wikidata. I am thinking something like:




Which we could embed in, say, the lede and which would produce something like


In the 2016 Australian census, Childers reported a population of 12,345. <ref>….</ref>


Where the 12,345 (and probably some components of the citation) would be extracted from the 2016 spreadsheet entry for Childers. I’ve asked a few people if this is possible to automate in this way and I get the standard response “it might be but I don’t know enough about Wikidata”.


We have a similar problem with climate data where again we can probably obtain spreadsheets with the data under a suitable license if we had a way to automatically incorporate it into articles within the current massive manual effort.


Do you have any advice for us? I am sure we are not the only nation with this census problem, although I realise that in some countries the data may not be released in suitable formats or with suitable licenses.




From: Wiki-research-l [] On Behalf Of Gerard Meijssen
Sent: Friday, 20 November 2015 5:18 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>; Research into Wikimedia content and communities <>; WikiData-l <>
Subject: [Wiki-research-l] Quality issues



At Wikidata we often find issues with data imported from a Wikipedia. Lists have been produced with these issues on the Wikipedia involved and arguably they do present issues with the quality of Wikipedia or Wikidata for that matter. So far hardly anything resulted from such outreach.

When Wikipedia is a black box, not communicating about with the outside world, at some stage the situation becomes toxic. At this moment there are already those at Wikidata that argue not to bother about Wikipedia quality because in their view, Wikipedians do not care about its own quality.

Arguably known issues with quality are the easiest to solve.


There are many ways to approach this subject. It is indeed a quality issue both for Wikidata and Wikipedia. It can be seen as a research issue; how to deal with quality and how do such mechanisms function if at all.

I blogged about it..



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