How to use Wikidata: Things to make and do with 40 million statements


Markus Krötzsch

How to use Wikidata: Things to make and do with 40 million statements

Abstract. Wikidata, the knowledge base that everyone can edit, brings together data from all Wikipedias and many other Wikimedia projects. Supported by a highly active community, the dataset continues to grow in both size and quality. As of March 2014, well over 30 million statements have been collected, at a rate of more than 2.5 million new statements per month. All of this fascinating, rich, multi-lingual data is readily (and freely) available to almost arbitrary applications, both inside and outside of Wikimedia. Endless opportunities arise.

However, things are not always so easy. The audacious early adopter is faced with a number of questions: Which (useful) information do I actually find in Wikidata? Where to look for information? How should I get the data? What is the format of the data? How can I keep up-to-date with changes? These question are not always easy to answer, and example applications to learn from are still rare. The task of using the data may therefore seem overwhelming, so many great ideas for new applications, tools, or research projects remain unrealised.

This presentation addresses this problem by providing a practitioner's guide to using Wikidata today. We will look at inspiring applications that exist already, explain basic strategies for using the data, and introduce tools that help you to achieve this more easily. This will include the Wikidata Toolkit, a Java library for working with Wikidata that was developed in a recent Wikimedia-funded project. However, the focus will be on explaining the possibilities and where to find information rather than in discussing programming aspects in detail.

The talk addresses anyone who would like to see what is possible with Wikidata today, and especially those who would like to make creative use of the data. This may include researchers as well as tool developers. Much of the content of the talk is also applicable to Wikibase in general, so users of Wikibase sites other than Wikidata might also find this interesting.

Published at Wikimania 2014 (Talk)

Download PDF (last update: 28 Aug 2014)

Citation details

  • Markus Krötzsch. How to use Wikidata: Things to make and do with 40 million statements. In Keynote at the 10th Wikimania Conference. 2014.


This presentation was given as a keynote talk at the Wikimania 2014. You can also view a recording of the talk.

You can view the slides in any modern browser. They were prepared using Sozi and Inkscape; many thanks to these projects.

More information on the subject and citable references can be found on the page on Wikidata.

Applications and tools mentioned in the talk:

A related tutorial for developers was given in Wikidata Toolkit: A Java library for working with Wikidata.


Semantic Web, Wikidata, Semantic wikis