Wikipedia and Big Data

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    Henry Brown
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    From Gigaom.com

    Wikipedia is now drawing facts from the Wikidata repository, and so can you

    Summary:

    The Wikimedia Foundation’s first major new project in 7 years is now feeding the biggest project in that stable, Wikipedia itself. But anyone can take structured data from Wikidata, due to its open license.

    The Wikidata project was kicked off around a year ago by the German chapter of Wikimedia, which is still steering its gradual development. For Wikipedia, the advantage is simple and powerful — if there’s a central, machine-readable source for facts, such as the population of a city, then any update to that data can be instantly reflected across all the articles in which the facts are included.

    To posit a morbid example: a singer may have dozens or even hundreds of language versions of her Wikipedia entry and, if she were to die, the addition of a date of death to the Wikidata database would immediately propagate across all those versions, with no need to manually update each one (yes, I can also see how this might go horribly wrong).

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