we plan to drop the wb_entity_per_page table sometime soon, because
it is just not required (as we will likely always have a programmatic
mapping from entity id to page title) and it does not supported non
-numeric entity ids as it is now. Due to this removing it is a blocker
for the commons metadata.
Is anybody using that for their tools (on tool labs)? If so, please
tell us so that we can give you instructions and a longer grace period
to update your scripts.
Jura1 created a wonderful list of people who died in Brazil in 2015 . It
is a page that may update regularly from Wikidata thanks to the
ListeriaBot. Obviously, there may be a few more because I am falling ever
more behind with my quest for registering deaths in 2015.
I have copied his work and created a page for people who died in the
Netherlands in 2015 . It is trivially easy to do this and, the result is
great. The result looks great, it can be used for any country in any
The Dutch Wikipedia indicated that they nowadays maintain important
metadata at Wikidata. I am really happy that we can showcase their work. It
is important work because as someone reminded me at some stage, this is
part of what amounts to the policy of living people...
as you know, Tpt has been working as an intern this summer at Google. He
finished his work a few weeks ago and I am happy to announce today the
publication of all scripts and the resulting data he has been working on.
Additionally, we publish a few novel visualizations of the data in Wikidata
and Freebase. We are still working on the actual report summarizing the
effort and providing numbers on its effectiveness and progress. This will
take another few weeks.
First, thanks to Tpt for his amazing work! I have not expected to see such
rich results. He has exceeded my expectations by far, and produced much
more transferable data than I expected. Additionally, he also was working
on the primary sources tool directly and helped Marco Fossati to upload a
second, sports-related dataset (you can select that by clicking on the
gears icon next to the Freebase item link in the sidebar on Wikidata, when
you switch on the Primary Sources tool).
The scripts that were created and used can be found here:
All scripts are released under the Apache license v2.
The following data files are also released. All data is released under the
CC0 license (in order to make this explicit, a comment has been added to
the start of each file, stating the copyright and the license. If any
script dealing with the files hiccups due to that line, simply remove the
The actual missing statements, including URLs for sources, are in this
file. This was filtered against statements already existing in Wikidata,
and the statements are mapped to Wikidata IDs. This contains about 14.3M
statements (214MB gzipped, 831MB unzipped). These are created using the
mappings below in addition to the mappings already in Wikidata. The quality
of these statements is rather mixed.
Additional datasets that we know meet a higher quality bar have been
previously released and uploaded directly to Wikidata by Tpt, following
Contains additional mappings between Freebase MIDs and Wikidata QIDs, which
are not available in Wikidata. These are mappings based on statistical
methods and single interwiki links. Unlike the first set of mappings we had
created and published previously (which required multiple interwiki links
at least), these mappings are expected to have a lower quality - sufficient
for a manual process, but probably not sufficient for an automatic upload.
This contains about 3.4M mappings (30 MB gzipped, 64MB unzipped).
This file includes labels and aliases for Wikidata items which seem to be
currently missing. The quality of these labels is undetermined. The file
contains about 860k labels in about 160 languages, with 33 languages having
more than 10k labels each (14MB gzipped, 32MB unzipped).
This is an interesting file as it includes a quality signal for the
statements in Freebase. What you will find here are ordered pairs of
Freebase mids and properties, each indicating that the given pair were
going through a review process and likely have a higher quality on average.
This is only for those pairs that are missing from Wikidata. The file
includes about 1.4M pairs, and this can be used for importing part of the
data directly (6MB gzipped, 52MB unzipped).
Now anyone can take the statements, analyse them, slice and dice them,
upload them, use them for your own tools and games, etc. They remain
available through the primary sources tool as well, which has already led
to several thousand new statements in the last few weeks.
Additionally, Tpt and I created in the last few days of his internship a
few visualizations of the current data in Wikidata and in Freebase.
First, the following is a visualization of the whole of Wikidata:
The visualization needs a bit of explanation, I guess. The y-axis (up/down)
represents time, the x-axis (left/right) represents space / geolocation.
The further down, the closer you are to the present, the further up the
more you go in the past. Time is given in a rational scale - the 20th
century gets much more space than the 1st century. The x-axis represents
longitude, with the prime meridian in the center of the image.
Every item is being put at its longitude (averaged, if several) and at its
earliest point of time mentioned on the item. For items without either,
neighbouring items propagate their value to them (averaging, if necessary).
This is done repeatedly until the items are saturated.
In order to understand that a bit better, the following image offers a
supporting grid: each line from left to right represents a century (up to
the first century), and each line from top to bottom represent a meridian
(with London in the middle of the graph).
The same visualizations has also been created for Freebase:
In order to compare the two graphs, we also overlaid them over each other.
I will leave the interpretation to you, but you can easily see the
strengths of weaknesses of both knowledge bases.
The programs for creating the visualizations are all available in the
Github repository mentioned above (plenty of RAM is recommended to run it).
Enjoy the visualizations, the data and the script! Tpt and I are available
to answer questions. I hope this will help with understanding and analysing
some of the results of the work that we did this summer.
We lack several maintenance scripts for the clients, that is human
readable special pages with reports on which pages lacks special
treatment. In no particular order we need some way to identify
unconnected pages in general (the present one does not work ), we
need some way to identify pages that are unconnected but has some
language links, we need to identify items that are used in some
language and lacks labels (almost like ,but on the client and for
items that are somehow connected to pages on the client), and we need
to identify items that lacks specific claims and the client pages use
a specific template.
There are probably more such maintenance pages, these are those that
are most urgent. Now users start to create categories to hack around
the missing maintenance pages, which create a bunch of categories.
At Norwegian Bokmål there are just a few scripts that utilize data
from Wikidata, still the number of categories starts to grow large.
For us at the "receiving end" this is a show stopper. We can't
convince the users that this is a positive addition to the pages
without the maintenance scripts, because them we more or less are in
the blind when we try to fix errors. We can't use random pages to try
to prod the pages to find something that is wrong, we must be able to
search for the errors and fix them.
This summer we (nowiki) have added about ten (10) properties to the
infobokses, some with scripts and some with the property parser
function. Most of my time I have not been coding, and I have not been
fixing errors. I have been trying to explain to the community why
Wikidata is a good idea. At one point the changes was even reverted
because someone disagree with what we had done. The whole thing
basically revolves around "my article got an Q-id in the infobox and I
don't know how to fix it". We know how to fix it, and I have explained
that to the editors at nowiki several times. They still don't get it,
so we need some way to fix it, and we don't have maintenance scripts
to do it.
Right now we don't need more wild ideas that will swamp the
development for months and years to come, we need maintenance scripts,
and we need them now!
John Erling Blad
Hi, it's first of July and I would like to introduce you a quarterly goal
that the Engineering Community team has committed to:
Establish a framework to engage with data engineers and open data
We are missing a community framework allowing Wikidata content and tech
contributors, data engineers, and open data organizations to collaborate
effectively. Imagine GLAM applied to data.
If all goes well, by the end of September we would like to have basic
documentation and community processes for open data engineers and
organizations willing to contribute to Wikidata, and ongoing projects with
one open data org.
If you are interested, get involved! We are looking for
* Wikidata contributors with good institutional memory
* people that has been in touch with organizations willing to contribute
their open data
* developers willing to help improving our software and programming missing
* also contributors familiar with the GLAM model(s), what works and what
This goal has been created after some conversations with Lydia Pintscher
(Wikidata team) and Sylvia Ventura (Strategic Partnerships). Both are on
board, Lydia assuring that this work fits into what is technically
effective, and Sylvia checking our work against real open data
organizations willing to get involved.
This email effectively starts the bootstrapping of this project. I will
start creating subtasks under that goal based on your feedback and common
Engineering Community Manager @ Wikimedia Foundation
On Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 7:15 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen(a)gmail.com>
> To start of, results from the past are no indications of results in the
> future. It is the disclaimer insurance companies have to state in all their
> adverts in the Netherlands. When you continue and make it a "theological"
> issue, you lose me because I am not of this faith, far from it. Wikidata is
> its own project and it is utterly dissimilar from Wikipedia.To start of
> Wikidata has been a certified success from the start. The improvement it
> brought by bringing all interwiki links together is enormous.That alone
> should be a pointer that Wikipedia think is not realistic.
These benefits are internal to Wikimedia and a completely separate issue
from third-party re-use of Wikidata content as a default reference source,
which is the issue of concern here.
To continue, people have been importing data into Wikidata from the start.
> They are the statements you know and, it was possible to import them from
> Wikipedia because of these interwiki links. So when you call for sources,
> it is fairly save to assume that those imports are supported by the quality
> of the statements of the Wikipedias
The quality of three-quarters of the 280+ Wikipedia language versions is
about at the level the English Wikipedia had reached in 2002.
Even some of the larger Wikipedias have significant problems. The Kazakh
Wikipedia for example is controlled by functionaries of an oppressive
regime, and the Croatian one is reportedly controlled by fascists
rewriting history (unless things have improved markedly in the Croatian
Wikipedia since that report, which would be news to me). The Azerbaijani
Wikipedia seems to have problems as well.
The Wikimedia movement has always had an important principle: that all
content should be traceable to a "reliable source". Throughout the first
decade of this movement and beyond, Wikimedia content has never been
considered a reliable source. For example, you can't use a Wikipedia
article as a reference in another Wikipedia article.
Another important principle has been the disclaimer: pointing out to people
that the data is anonymously crowdsourced, and that there is no guarantee
of reliability or fitness for use.
Both of these principles are now being jettisoned.
Wikipedia content is considered a reliable source in Wikidata, and Wikidata
content is used as a reliable source by Google, where it appears without
any indication of its provenance. This is a reflection of the fact that
Wikidata, unlike Wikipedia, comes with a CC0 licence. That decision was, I
understand, made by Denny, who is both a Google employee and a WMF board
The benefit to Google is very clear: this free, unattributed content adds
value to Google's search engine result pages, and improves Google's revenue
(currently running at about $10 million an hour, much of it from ads).
But what is the benefit to the end user? The end user gets information of
undisclosed provenance, which is presented to them as authoritative, even
though it may be compromised. In what sense is that an improvement for
To me, the ongoing information revolution is like the 19th century
industrial revolution done over. It created whole new categories of abuse,
which it took a century to (partly) eliminate. But first, capitalists had a
field day, and the people who were screwed were the common folk. Could we
not try to learn from history?
> and if anything, that is also where
> they typically fail because many assumptions at Wikipedia are plain wrong
> at Wikidata. For instance a listed building is not the organisation the
> building is known for. At Wikidata they each need their own item and
> associated statements.
> Wikidata is already a success for other reasons. VIAF no longer links to
> Wikipedia but to Wikidata. The biggest benefit of this move is for people
> who are not interested in English. Because of this change VIAF links
> through Wikidata to all Wikipedias not only en.wp. Consequently people may
> find through VIAF Wikipedia articles in their own language through their
> library systems.
At the recent Wikiconference USA, a Wikimedia veteran and professional
librarian expressed the view to me that
* circular referencing between VIAF and Wikidata will create a humongous
muddle that nobody will be able to sort out again afterwards, because –
unlike wiki mishaps in other topic areas – here it's the most authoritative
sources that are being corrupted by circular referencing;
* third parties are using Wikimedia content as a *reference standard *when
that was never the intention (see above).
I've seen German Wikimedians express concerns that quality assurance
standards have dropped alarmingly since the project began, with bot users
mass-importing unreliable data.
> So do not forget about Wikipedia and the lessons learned. These lessons are
> important to Wikipedia. However, they do not necessarily apply to Wikidata
> particularly when you approach Wikidata as an opportunity to do things in a
> different way. Set theory, a branch of mathematics, is exactly what we
> need. When we have data at Wikidata of a given quality.. eg 90% and we have
> data at another source with a given quality eg 90%, we can compare the two
> and find a subset where the two sources do not match. When we curate the
> differences, it is highly likely that we improve quality at Wikidata or at
> the other source.
This sounds like "Let's do it quick and dirty and worry about the problems
I sometimes get the feeling software engineers just love a programming
challenge, because that's where they can hone and display their skills.
Dirty data is one of those challenges: all the clever things one can do to
clean up the data! There is tremendous optimism about what can be done. But
why have bad data in the first place, starting with rubbish and then
proving that it can be cleaned up a bit using clever software?
The effort will make the engineer look good, sure, but there will always be
collateral damage as errors propagate before they are fixed. The engineer's
eyes are not typically on the content, but on their software. The content
their bots and programs manipulate at times seems almost incidental,
something for "others" to worry about – "others" who don't necessarily
exist in sufficient numbers to ensure quality.
In short, my feeling is that the engineering enthusiasm and expertise
applied to Wikidata aren't balanced by a similar level of commitment to
scholarship in generating the data, and getting them right first time.
We've seen where that approach can lead with Wikipedia. Wikipedia hoaxes
and falsehoods find their way into the blogosphere, the media, even the
academic literature. The stakes with Wikidata are potentially much higher,
because I fear errors in Wikidata stand a good chance of being massively
propagated by Google's present and future automated information delivery
mechanisms, which are completely opaque. Most internet users aren't even
aware to what extent the Google Knowledge Graph relies on anonymously
compiled, crowdsourced data; they will just assume that if Google says it,
it must be true.
In addition to honest mistakes, transcription errors, outdated info etc.,
the whole thing is a propagandist's wet dream. Anonymous accounts!
Guaranteed identity protection! Plausible deniability! No legal liability!
Automated import and dissemination without human oversight! Massive impact
on public opinion!
If information is power, then this provides the best chance of a power grab
humanity has seen since the invention of the newspaper. In the media
landscape, you at least have right-wing, centrist and left-wing
publications each presenting their version of the truth, and you know who's
publishing what and what agenda they follow. You can pick and choose,
compare and contrast, read between the lines. We won't have that online.
Wikimedia-fuelled search engines like Google and Bing dominate the
The right to enjoy a pluralist media landscape, populated by players who
are accountable to the public, was hard won in centuries past. Some
countries still don't enjoy that luxury today. Are we now blithely giving
it away, in the name of progress, and for the greater glory of technocrats?
I don't trust the way this is going. I see a distinct possibility that
we'll end up with false information in Wikidata (or, rather, the Google
Knowledge Graph) being used to "correct" accurate information in other
sources, just because the Google/Wikidata content is ubiquitous. If you
build circular referencing loops fuelled by spurious data, you don't
provide access to knowledge, you destroy it. A lie told often enough etc.
To quote Heather Ford and Mark Graham, "We know that the engineers and
developers, volunteers and passionate technologists are often trying to do
their best in difficult circumstances. But there need to be better attempts
by people working on these platforms to explain how decisions are made
about what is represented. These may just look like unimportant lines of
code in some system somewhere, but they have a very real impact on the
identities and futures of people who are often far removed from the
conversations happening among engineers."
I agree with that. The "what" should be more important than the "how", and
at present it doesn't seem to be.
It's well worth thinking about, and having a debate about what can be done
to prevent the worst from happening.
In particular, I would like to see the decision to publish Wikidata under a
CC0 licence revisited. The public should know where the data it gets comes
from; that's a basic issue of transparency.
In another thread, we are discussing the preponderance of problematic
merges of gene/protein items. One of the hypotheses raised to explain the
volume and nature of these merges (which are often by fairly inexperienced
editors and/or people that seem to only do merges) was that they were
coming from the wikidata game. It seems to me that anything like the
wikidata game that has the potential to generate a very large volume of
edits - especially from new editors - ought to tag its contributions so
that they can easily be tracked by the system. It should be easy to answer
the question of whether an edit came from that game (or any of what I hope
to be many of its descendants). This will make it possible to debug what
could potentially be large swathes of problems and to make it
straightforward to 'reward' game/other developers with information about
the volume of the edits that they have enabled directly from the system (as
opposed to their own tracking data).
Please don't misunderstand me. I am a big fan of the wikidata game and
actually am pushing for our group to make a bio-specific version of it that
will build on that code. I see a great potential here - but because of the
potential scale of edits this could quickly generate, we (the whole
wikidata community) need ways to keep an eye on what is going on.
I'm creating an app that provides Wikidata info in slide-out menus on
top of Wikipedia pages. Here's a video of a prototype:
Much of the app will be implemented as REST services in the cloud, and
one item of functionality required will be a REST service that returns
the Q id given a Wikipedia URL (in any language). Another REST service
required will return a Wikipedia URL given a Wikidata Q id and language
code (e.g. "en" or "pt-br").
Does anything like this currently exist?
I've created a very rough REST API for Wikidata and am looking for your
* About this API: http://queryr.wmflabs.org
* Documentation: http://queryr.wmflabs.org/about/docs
* API root: http://queryr.wmflabs.org/api
At present this is purely a demo. The data it serves is stale and
potentially incomplete, the endpoints and formats they use are very much
liable to change, the server setup is not reliable and I'm not 100% sure
I'll continue with this little project.
The main thing I'm going for with this API compared to the existing one is
greater ease of use for common use cases. Several factors make this a lot
easier to do in a new API than in the existing one: no need the serve all
use cases, no need to retain compatibility with existing users and no
framework imposed restrictions. You can read more about the difference on
You are invited to comment on the concept and on the open questions
mentioned on the website.
Jeroen De Dauw - http://www.bn2vs.com
Software craftsmanship advocate
Hey everyone :)
Things seem to be going well so we'll move forward and give another
bunch of projects access to the data on Wikidata. They so far only
have access to the sitelinks. This will be: Wikispecies, MediaWiki,
Meta and Wikinews. We'll do this on 2. December.
Lydia Pintscher - http://about.me/lydia.pintscher
Product Manager for Wikidata
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24
Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg
unter der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das
Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.