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25 April 2013, 12:43

Wikidata goes live worldwide

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The German Wikimedia FoundationGerman language link has announced that its Wikidata project has now been deployed on all language versions of Wikipedia and is ready for use around the world. In an announcement on the foundation's blog, Lydia Pintscher described the event as a "huge step for Wikidata".

Wikidata, Wikimedia's first new project since 2006, provides a central repository of factual data that can be used and re-used in different Wikipedia articles without having to manually edit every article if the underlying data changes. By using Wikidata, Wikipedia editors can easily embed information such as the population of a city, its official crest, or the ID of a movie on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) in articles and info boxes. This ensures that changes to the data in the Wikidata database will automatically be reflected in every article and box using this information. Among other tasks, this makes the job of localising articles easier as it eliminates a lot of copy and pasting of data when alternate language versions of articles are created or updated.

The database already includes over 8 million different objects. The community of Wikipedia editors will now have to find ways of using this resource as effectively as possible, a process that has only just begun. The data is licensed under the Creative Commons CC Zero licence and the Wikimedia Foundation says it is collecting it not only for Wikipedia, but also for everyone else who wants to use it.

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