Sunday, November 23, 2014

#Commons - the Como Cathedral

The Como Cathedral is a cathedral in Como, Italy. In it you will find works of art that are represented in Commons. This link to the works of art is established through an "institution template". It was easy to link the Como Cathedral by adding this: "| wikidata    = Q1101730" in the template.

At the moment there are 1149 templates waiting to be linked to Wikidata. With this link established, it is possible to either populate these templates with information from Wikidata or populate the templates with information from Wikidata.

It is a precursor for easily finding files in Commons that are linked to institutions. Many of them are GLAM partners of us and it is yet another way of establishing how important they are to us.

#Wikimedia #chapters, the data

Guess what, Wikimedia chapters are linked to many other organisations. These organisations are known in Wikidata and now the chapters are known as well.

For many GLAM partners we have all kinds of statistics. We could link the partners to the chapters that they are connected to.. It is the basis for information on the usefulness of the chapters.

#Wikimedia - the point of #collecting #data?

If #Wikidata is one thing, it is useful. It was useful from the start by including all the Wikipedia articles who are linked to articles in other languages. In the next phase statements were added and more and more articles were added that did not link to other articles. They were needed because they were a part in the expression of a statement. Then for all articles Wikidata items were created and still more items were created because they were needed in the statement of expressions.

There is a point to linking the articles. It enables people to read about the same subject in other languages. There is a point to adding statements to items; it enables articles to be linked to whatever. This combination enables us to report on Wikipedia in ways not yet done.

If you want to know about the gender division; currently these are the men, the women in all our projects. Since June 2014 90,850 more items became known to be women and 445,240 as men. Interesting but this information is not in a format that is "academic" or useful.  Having this information in a bar chart with regular intervals gives more insight in what we have. Using old dumps for this is one solution. Breaking the information up per Wikipedia provides even more granular information.

Providing statistics in this way is good for several reasons:
  • it is public and verifiable information
  • it stimulates people to add statements about gender
  • it stimulates people to write about men and women
  • it makes it obvious that it is Wikidata where we know these things

Friday, November 21, 2014

#Wikimedia - first #standardisation, then #specialisation

The hardware and software used by the Wikimedia Foundation is increasingly standardised. It uses the same software and the configuration is centrally maintained. Good news; it makes for a stable platform. A stable platform allows us to share in "the sum of all available knowledge".

With this process well under way, special attention can be given to special projects. It has probably escaped your attention that the WMF now has a "Services group". They are the engineers that support the standalone software components that often run on their own machines and have very specific jobs, such as "generate a PDF from this article".

Wonderful news. When it did not escape your attention, did you notice that Stas Malyshev is getting up to speed on the Wikidata Query Service[1], figuring out what we need to do to make it suitable for widespread deployment of WikiGrok[2])?

Effectively it means that Magnus's query tool will be used by an updated version of the Games [3]. Now is that not sweet; Wikidata data being USED to leverage our community to improve Wikidata even more.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

#Wikimedia & Project #Gutenberg - the sum of all knowledge

"To share in the sum of all knowledge" is the vision of the Wikimedia Foundation. The Swiss chapter does understand this really well. It has adopted Kiwix, an off line reader for content that is published in the ZIM format.

Project Gutenberg is a well established organisation dedicated to the digitisation of books. Its catalogue of 50.000 public domain books is now available to everybody, everywhere and offline as well.

Thanks to a hackathon, all books are now available in the ZIM format, you can search in all the books at the same time. The best news is that not only has this work been done for a first time, it is build in such a way that it can be easily repeated.

Future deployments may include all the books of Wikisource, books from other sources and even copyrighted works as well. The point of Kiwix is that it is an enabler, it allows for the dissemination of knowledge and to achieve THAT is what our aim is.

Congratulations to the Swiss Wikimedia chapter for providing the sustained support of this valuable project.

#Wikidata - C. Rudhraiya; #filmdirector from #India

Mr Rudhraiya studied at the Adyar Film Institute and, he recently passed away. According to some, he brought fame to his alma mater. Mr Rudhraiya also studied at the St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli.

The point is not so much that Mr Rudhraiya was a studied man, it is more that we know this about him. As more information like this is known about "living persons", they get a better representation in Wikidata.

At this time only two movies of Mr Rudghraiya are known to be directed by him. There must be many more. It is possible to know all the people he worked with by connecting him through his movies, With more data this information becomes more complete.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

#Wikipedia - Nel Garritsen, a Dutch swimmer

Mrs Garritsen is one of only a few people who are known to have died and has an article in the Dutch Wikipedia. In that article it is currently not known that she died. We know it in Wikidata courtesy of the article in the English Wikipedia.

Every Wikipedia do things their own way. By not having categories for people who died in a given year, there is no way to know about the recent deaths known in the Dutch Wikipedia. It is also not possible to indicate to the Dutch Wikipedians what people are known to be dead in other sources.

Mechanisms like this help to ensure that proper information is available for "living people". Arguably, maintaining categories with the people who died in a given year are a valuable instrument in an implementation of "BLP".

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#Wikidata - Carl Sanders, is not the 74th "List of Governors of #Georgia".

It is said that the community is always right. It also has a short term memory and its consensus is not necessarily what you hope for.

Take Mr Sanders, he died recently and it was indicated that he was a "List of Governors of Georgia". It is an old argument that is the result of some bad practice at Wikipedia. The Wikipedia article includes mainly a list and consequently it is to be called a list. There is no article about the subject itself and hey "it must be a list in Wikidata as well".

It is simple to fix the situation for the governor of Georgia. All articles are lists, there is no Wikipedia that has both a list article and an article so I had the item identify the subject.

Using the category I added many of the "missing" governors, there were only 15 humans known to be governor of Georgia. I made all of them a politician and an US-American.

The community has every right to rehash old arguments. I just follow the old consensus and wait for the dust to settle yet again.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

#Wikimedia NL - my #Wikidata presentation - #WCN2014

The presentation I gave at the 2014 Dutch conference in Utrecht went well. Sadly, for whatever reason I found that it is not yet on Commons. That can be remedied.

When I present, the slides include the main points so when people doze off, they can always find what it was all about. This presentation is very much my view on Wikidata. I presented in Dutch and the slides are in English so that it can be easily re-used.

The points I made are:
  • Knowing about Wikidata and its development is best understood thanks to the stats
  • Appreciating the information included is best done through the Reasonator
  • Wonderful tools exist that are sadly NOT part of plain vanilla Wikidata
  • Why and how I make so many edits ... the method in my madness
  • The Dutch Wikipedia COULD activate Wikidata search.. to share in the sum of all available knowledge
  • Much knowledge is not known to the Dutch Wikipedia
  • Wikidata already knows about much meta data on Commons thanks to the Creator templates

Saturday, November 15, 2014

#Wikidata - Jens Brugge; a judge from Norway

Mr Brugge, a high court judge from Norway died. According to the article about him, his lineage is illustrious. Many generations in the Brugge family were quite notable.  It can be seen in GeneaWiki2 and, it can be shown inline or in a separate window from the Reasonator.

There is an increasing amount of genealogical information available in Wikidata. The value of all this data is not in having it, it is in using it. At this time 29,337 people are known to have a father and 13,336 people are known to have a mother. Obviously, these numbers will only increase and become more complete. Would it not be wonderful to share this information in Wikipedia articles as well?