The Making of Wikidata

Reviewed by Greg Wilson / 2023-05-16
Keywords: Open Access

It's easy to forget just how much progress "open" has made over the last twenty years. This new paper reflects on the evolution of one of the movement's quieter successes: a free knowledge base with over 100 million items and counting. Long may you run…

Denny Vrandečić, Lydia Pintscher, and Markus Krötzsch. Wikidata: The Making Of. In Companion Proceedings of the ACM Web Conference 2023. ACM, Apr 2023.

Wikidata, now a decade old, is the largest public knowledge graph, with data on more than 100 million concepts contributed by over 560,000 editors. It is widely used in applications and research. At its launch in late 2012, however, it was little more than a hopeful new Wikimedia project, with no content, almost no community, and a severely restricted platform. Seven years earlier still, in 2005, it was merely a rough idea of a few PhD students, a conceptual nucleus that had yet to pick up many important infuences from others to turn into what is now called Wikidata. In this paper, we try to recount this remarkable journey, and we review what has been accomplished, what has been given up on, and what is yet left to do for the future.