Thursday, March 03, 2016

#Wikidata - to share the sum of all data

The BBC featured an article about all the battles of the world in space and time. The cool thing is that the people from Nodegoat used data from Wikidata and DBpedia and consequently the article is not about Wikidata but about what you can do with its data.

Nodegoat enables people to bring data together and visualise it in a way so that people can comprehend it. The BBC article describes the "Geography of Violence map"; it includes data about all known battles ever that include place and time information. Most of the data is from DBpedia and some of it is from Wikidata.

There are two issues to consider;
  • Nodegoat available for everyone 
  • curating data from DBpedia and Wikidata
When Nodegoat is available at Wikimedia Labs, it will enable people to come up with new ideas, presenting data that is otherwise obscure. They will find that much data is missing or wrong and at Wikidata they can improve the data as they see fit. Lab1100 is considering what license for Nodegoat and when we would make Nodegoat available at Labs, it would give them a firm push towards a free license.

DBpedia is a real strong project; it has gleaned a lot of data from Wikipedia and its quality is high. When there is an error in the data you can only change it in Wikipedia and wait for DBpedia to update. With Wikidata you can update the data itself. The data that is included was largely retrieved with similar routines used by DBpedia so it actually makes sense to collaborate with DBpedia and have them update Wikidata as well.

When the sum of all data is available to all and when many tools are available to leverage the data, more people will have incentives to improve the underlying data. Sharing the sum of all data and providing tools that make a difference is the best way to fulfill our mission.

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