Wikidata is a collaboratively edited knowledge base hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is intended to provide a common source of data which can be used by Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia,[4][5] and by anyone else, under a public domain license. This is similar to the way Wikimedia Commons provides storage for media files and access to those files for all Wikimedia projects, and which are also freely available for reuse. Wikidata is powered by the software Wikibase.[6]


Wikidata screenshot
Three statements from Wikidata's item on the planet Mars. Values include links to other items and to Wikimedia Commons.
Wikidata screenshot
A layout of the four main components of a phase-1 Wikidata page: the label, description, aliases and interlanguage links.
A article's list of interlanguage links as they appeared in an edit box (left) and on the article's page (right) prior to Wikidata. Each link in these lists is to an article that requires its own list of interlanguage links to the other articles; this is the information centralized by Wikidata.
Click here to visit the Wikidata entry for the article featured.
Wikidata screenshot
The "Edit links" link takes the reader to Wikidata to edit interlanguage links.

Wikidata is a document-oriented database, focused on items. Each item represents a topic (or an administrative page used to maintain) and is identified by a unique number, prefixed with the letter Q — for example, the item for the topic politics is Q7163 — known as a "QID". This enables the basic information required to identify the topic the item covers to be translated without favouring any language.

An item can have one or more statements. Information is added to items by creating statements, in the form of key-value pairs, with each statement consisting of a property (the key) and a value linked to the property.

This diagram shows the most important terms used in Wikidata

Development history

The creation of the project was funded by donations from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Google, Inc., totaling 1.3 million.[7][8] Initial development of the project is being overseen by Wikimedia Deutschland and has been split into three phases:[9]

  1. Centralising interlanguage links – links between articles about the same topic in different languages
  2. Providing a central place for infobox data for alls
  3. Creating and updating list articles based on data in Wikidata

Phase 1

Wikidata was launched on 30 October 2012 and was the first new project of the Wikimedia Foundation since 2006.[4][10][11] At this time, only the first phase was available. This enabled items to be created and filled with basic information: a label – a name or title, aliases – alternative terms for the label, a description, and links to articles about the topic in all the various language editions of.

Historically, a article would include a list of interlanguage links, being links to articles on the same topic in other editions of, if present. Initially, Wikidata was a self-contained repository of interlanguage links. No language editions were able to access Wikidata, so they needed to continue to maintain their own lists of interlanguage links.

On 14 January 2013, the Hungarian became the first to enable the provision of interlanguage links via Wikidata.[12] This functionality was extended to the Hebrew and Italians on 30 January, to the English on 13 February and to all others on 6 March.[13][14][15][16] After no consensus was reached over a proposal to restrict the removal of language links from the English,[17] the power to delete them from the English was granted to automatic editors (bots). On 23 September 2013, phase 1 went live on Wikimedia Commons.[18]

Phase 2

The initial features of the second phase were deployed on 4 February 2013, introducing statements to Wikidata entries. The values were initially limited to two data types (items and images on Wikimedia Commons), with more data types (such as coordinates and dates) to follow later. The first new type, string, was deployed on 6 March.[19]

The ability for the various language editions of to access data from Wikidata was rolled out progressively between 27 March and 25 April 2013.[20][21]

On 16 September 2015, Wikidata began allowing so-called arbitrary access, or access from a given Wikidata item to the properties of items not directly connected to it. For example, it became possible to read data about Germany from the Berlin article, which was not feasible before.[22] On 27 April 2016 arbitrary access was activated on Wikimedia Commons.[23]

Phase 3

Phase 3 will involve database querying and the creation of lists based on data stored on Wikidata.[9] As of October 2016 two tools for querying Wikidata (Wikidata:List of queries) were available: AutoList[24] and PetScan,[25] additionally to a public SPARQL endpoint.[26]


There is concern that the project is being influenced by lobbying companies, PR professionals and search engine optimizers.[27]

As of December 2015, according to Wikimedia statistics, half of the information in Wikidata is unsourced.[27] Another 30% is labeled as having come from, but with no indication as to which article.[27]

The bars on the logo contain the word "WIKI" encoded in Morse code.[28]

See also


  1. ^ https://www.wikidata.org/php/SummaryGet.php?FindGo=Wikidata:Introduction.
  2. ^ "Wikidata.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2017-12-04. 
  3. ^ https://www.wikidata.org/php/SummaryGet.php?FindGo=Wikidata:First_Birthday.
  4. ^ a b Wikidata (Archived October 30, 2012, at WebCite)
  5. ^ "Data Revolution for". Wikimedia Deutschland. March 30, 2012. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Wikibase — Home". 
  7. ^ Dickinson, Boonsri (March 30, 2012). "Paul Allen Invests In A Massive Project To Make Better". Business Insider. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ Perez, Sarah (March 30, 2012). "Wikipedia's Next Big Thing: Wikidata, A Machine-Readable, User-Editable Database Funded By Google, Paul Allen And Others". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Wikidata - Meta". 
  10. ^ Pintscher, Lydia (October 30, 2012). "wikidata.org is live (with some caveats)". wikidata-l (Mailing list). Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  11. ^ Roth, Matthew (March 30, 2012). "The data revolution". Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  12. ^ Pintscher, Lydia (14 January 2013). "First steps of Wikidata in the Hungarian". Wikimedia Deutschland. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  13. ^ Pintscher, Lydia. "Wikidata coming to the next twos". Wikimedia Deutschland. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
  14. ^ Pintscher, Lydia (13 February 2013). "Wikidata live on the English". Wikimedia Deutschland. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  15. ^ Pintscher, Lydia (6 March 2013). "Wikidata now live on alls". Wikimedia Deutschland. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Wikidata ist für alle Wikipedien da" (in German). Golem.de. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "talk:Wikidata interwiki RFC". March 29, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  18. ^ Lydia, Pintscher (23 September 2013). "Wikidata is Here!". Commons:Village pump. 
  19. ^ Pintscher, Lydia. "Wikidata/Status updates/2013 03 01". Wikimedia Meta-Wiki. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Pintscher, Lydia (27 March 2013). "You can have all the data!". Wikimedia Deutschland. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "Wikidata goes live worldwide". The H. 2013-04-25. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. 
  22. ^ Lydia, Pintscher (16 September 2015). "Wikidata: Access to data from arbitrary items is here". Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  23. ^ Lydia, Pintscher (27 April 2016). "Wikidata support: arbitrary access is here". Commons:Village pump. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "PetScan". 
  25. ^ "PetScan". 
  26. ^ "Wikidata Query Service". 
  27. ^ a b c Kolbe, Andrew (December 8, 2015). "Unsourced, unreliable, and in your face forever: Wikidata, the future of online nonsense". The Register. 
  28. ^ commons:File talk:Wikidata-logo-en.svg#Hybrid. Retrieved 2016-10-06.

Further reading

External links