Wikipedia and the Semantic Web


Markus Krötzsch, Denny Vrandecic, Max Völkel

Wikipedia and the Semantic Web – The Missing Links

Abstract. Wikipedia is the biggest collaboratively created source of encyclopaedic knowledge. Growing beyond the borders of any traditional encyclopaedia, it is facing new problems of knowledge management: The current excessive usage of article lists and categories witnesses the fact that 19th century content organization technologies like inter-article references and indices are no longer sufficient for today's needs.

Rather, it is necessary to allow knowledge processing in a computer assisted way, for example to intelligently query the knowledge base. To this end, we propose the introduction of typed links as an extremely simple and unintrusive way for rendering large parts of Wikipedia machine readable. We provide a detailed plan on how to achieve this goal in a way that hardly impacts usability and performance, propose an implementation plan, and discuss possible difficulties on Wikipedia's way to the semantic future of the World Wide Web. The possible gains of this endeavor are huge; we sketch them by considering some immediate applications that semantic technologies can provide to enhance browsing, searching, and editing Wikipedia.

Published at Wikimania2005 (Conference paper)

Download PDF (last update: August 1 2005)

Citation details

  • Markus Krötzsch, Denny Vrandecic, Max Völkel. Wikipedia and the Semantic Web – The Missing Links. In Proceedings of the First International Wikimedia Conference (Wikimania-05). Wikimedia FoundationProperty "Publisher" has a restricted application area and cannot be used as annotation property by a user. 2005.


This was our very first paper on introducing semantics into Wikipedia. It might be of some historical interest, but it is certainly not an up-to-date description of Semantic MediaWiki. See the topic page on semantic wikis for more recent publications. The current main reference is recommended on the SMW page.


Semantic wikis