Structured Data on Commons Newsletter, July 19, 2017

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Structured Data on Commons Newsletter, July 19, 2017

Sandra Fauconnier-2

Welcome to the newsletter for Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons! You can subscribe to this newsletter on-wiki as well. Do inform others who you think will want to be involved in the project!

Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons?

The millions of files on Wikimedia Commons are described with a lot of information or (meta)data. With the project Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons, this data is structured more, and is made machine-readable. This will make it easier to view, search (also multilingually), edit, organize and re-use the files on Commons.

In early 2017, the Sloan Foundation funded this project (see documentation). Development takes place in 2017–2020. It involves staff from the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) and many volunteers. To achieve this, Wikibase support is added to Wikimedia Commons. Wikibase is the technology that is also used for Wikidata.

Recent developments: groundwork

  • A new and crucial technical step (federation) now makes it possible to reference data from one Wikibase website in another. Because of this, it will be possible to use Wikidata's items and properties to describe media files on Commons.

  • Another important piece of groundwork is under development: so-called Multi-Content Revisions. This feature allows structured data to be stored alongside wiki text, so that one wiki page can contain several types of content.

Team updates

  • Amanda Bittaker was hired as Program Manager for Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons. Amanda will take care of the overall management of the project.

  • Sandra Fauconnier (known as Spinster in her volunteer capacity) is the new Community Liaison. She will support the collaboration between the communities (Commons, Wikidata, GLAM) and the product development teams at the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland.

  • We have open positions for a UX designer and a Product Manager!

Talking with communities and allies

  • Long-term feedback from GLAMs. Besides the Wikimedia community, many external cultural and knowledge institutions (GLAMs - Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) are interested in Structured Data on Commons and are willing to provide feedback on the long-term plans for the project. Alex Stinson, GLAM strategist at the Wikimedia Foundation, is currently in contact with Europeana, DPLA, the Smithsonian and the National Archives of the United States. Alex is also looking for other GLAM institutions who might be able to advise on the long term. If you know of an institution or partner that may be appropriate for consultation, do get in touch with Alex.

  • Jonathan Morgan, design researcher, is starting to work on two projects:

What comes next?

  • The Structured Data on Commons team meets in the week after Wikimania to lay the groundwork for the next steps. This includes new backend development and design work, for better and more clear integration of the structured data in pages on Wikimedia Commons.

  • The project's information pages on Wikimedia Commons will receive a long overdue update in the upcoming months. The team will also work on more and better communication channels. Feedback, wishes and tips are welcome at the project's general talk page.

Get involved


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Sandra Fauconnier
Community Liaison for Structured Data on Wikimedia CommonsWikimedia Foundation

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