Saturday, August 31, 2013

A #chicken and #egg issue for #Wikidata

Many a #Wikipedia uses bots to generate articles. The same data is often used to create articles or to enrich articles on multiple Wikipedias. When this is first uploaded to Wikidata, there are already Wikipedias that do not need any update. With some clever templates, the information will appear automagically. Only when an item does not have an article, the article needs to be created with an appropriate template. The article needs to be linked to Wikidata for the data to be found.

There are issues with the execution of this model but the most important one is a cultural one; when you work with data to generate stubs, there are benefits to concentrate first on Wikidata. The biggest benefit is that the data is integrated from the start and a close second is the ability to easily use it in another Wikipedia and maybe in Wikivoyage as well.

At this stage of the Wikidata game there are important issues:
  • many datatypes are not yet supported
  • many datatypes cannot be imported yet with a bot
This means that we cannot import all the data to Wikidata yet and at this time the import will be a combination of a traditional import to a project and the use of data from Wikidata.
You may find that the data already exists in other projects and you are likely to find differences. Finding these issues and curating them is crucial to all of them. The trick is to make sure that this is done only once and, this is where Wikidata shines.

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