As noted last week by AuditCom chair Stu West.
Filed under: international,knowledge,popular demand,Uncategorized,wikipedia
A year after its announcement as the first new Wikimedia project since 2006, Wikidata has now begun to serve the over 280 language versions of Wikipedia as a common source of structured data that can be used in more than 25 million articles of the free encyclopedia.
By providing Wikipedia editors with a central venue for their efforts to collect and vet such data, Wikidata leads to a higher level of consistency and quality in Wikipedia articles across the many language editions of the encyclopedia. Beyond Wikipedia, Wikidata’s universal, machine-readable knowledge database will be freely reusable by anyone, enabling numerous external applications.
”Wikidata is a powerful tool for keeping information in Wikipedia current across all language versions. Before Wikidata, Wikipedians needed to manually update hundreds of Wikipedia language versions every time a famous person died or a country’s leader changed. With Wikidata, such new information, entered once, will automatically appear across all Wikipedia language versions. That makes life easier for editors and makes it easier for Wikipedia to stay current.” – Sue Gardner
The development of Wikidata began in March 2012, led by Wikimedia Deutschland, the German chapter of the Wikimedia movement. Since Wikidata.org went live on October 30, a growing community of around 3,000 active contributors started building its database of ‘items’ (e.g. things, people or concepts), first by collecting topics that are already the subject of Wikipedia articles in several languages. An item’s central page on Wikidata replaces the complex web of language links which previously connected these articles about the same topic in different Wikipedia versions. Wikidata’s collection of these items now numbers over 10 million. The community also began to enrich Wikidata’s database with factual statements about these topics (data like the mayor of a city, the ISBN of a book, the languages spoken in a country, etc.). This information has now become available for use on Wikipedia itself.
“It is the goal of Wikidata to collect the world’s complex knowledge in a structured manner so that anybody can benefit from it. Whether that’s readers of Wikipedia who are able to be up to date about certain facts or engineers who can use this data to create new products that improve the way we access knowledge.” - Denny Vrandečić, Wikidata project lead
The next phase of Wikidata will allow for the automatic creation of lists and charts based on the data in Wikidata. Wikimedia Deutschland will continue to support the project with an engineering team that is dedicated to Wikidata’s second year of development and maintenance.
Wikidata is operated by the Wikimedia Foundation and its fact database is published under a Creative Commons 0 public domain dedication. Funding of Wikidata’s initial development was provided by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence [AI]², the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Google, Inc.
More information available here:
Volunteers can get involved with Wikidata in many ways. Some of the first applications demonstrating the potential of Wikidata applications, and as a platform:
- The simia “tree of life” drawn from relations among biological species in Wikidata’s database
- “GeneaWiki” generates a graph showing a person’s family relations as recorded in Wikidata. See for example: the Bach family
I had never heard of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy before they started harrassing and legally threatening my friend Mako Hill. But they are clearly an organization that understands neither cross-cultural communication nor diplomacy.
There is also no possible outcome of this dispute that is in their favor. The Streisand effect can’t be reversed by filing law suits. Filing law suits will never make a diplomacy institute look good. And Wikipedia policy isn’t structured in such a way that it could ever have an article about them after this without mentioning the drama in the first place – even if enough editors one day changed their minds about notability.
Update: Cory D. was thoughtful enough to put up a note about the case on BoingBoing.
Filed under: international,knowledge,popular demand,Uncategorized,wikipedia
The various threads around Hypothes.is, the Open Annotation spec, and the campus-wide annotation projects at MIT, Yale, and Harvard are starting to converge. It’s nice to see a future pillar of the global web take shape – with no less friction but a more diverse audience than gathered to create the early Internet specs.
I’m at the Convergence Workshop at Harvard on the topic today, and will be at the iAnnotate workshop in San Francisco in 3 weeks. Consolidating notes on a “Hypothesis XXX” hackpad. [Btw: We dearly need a fully open hackpad equivalent with more reliable uptime than piratepad et al.! I default to HP when I have a doc that needs to sustain heavy editing and be guaranteed available during a narrow window of time at a conference... but I would much rather use a Wikimedia or similarly hosted service, with a more explicit guarantee of ongoing availability, at no cost ever.]
Java-Logs exist. They’re just like firestarters but they smell nice and are made of coffee grounds; wrapped in paper just like regular firestarters. Coffee machines produce lots and lots of grounds that get thrown out (ideally into compost but usually not. often they just sit around, uncompacted, and grow mold.)
So: someone should design a “Coffee Presser” add-on to traditional popular coffeemakers – and standalone for dumping the dregs from your French Press – that produces mini Java Logs and wraps them so you can hold then when spit out. Perfect for those climes suitable for both lots of hot coffee and nightly fires.
And at least seventeen more. (In Canada, works enter PD 50 years after the author’s final circumvention of their mortal coil.)
Happy Public Domain Day! Today millions of works – everything made by people that died in 1942* and not previously public – enter the public domain in most of the world.**
For a more US-centric view, with a heavy dose of “what were we thinking when we set up current copyright law?” activism, see the Public Domain Day summary by Duke’s insightful Center for the Public Domain. They also track the Alternate Universe Public Domain list for the simple alternate universe in which copyright laws remained as they were in 1976. This is a harder thing to visualize each year, since in this alternate universe so many other things (anything published between 1923 and 1955) would already also be free.
* in most countries
** but not in the US. The ‘Sonny Bono’ CTE Act created a backlog that will all enter the public domain in 2019.
Filed under: chain-gang,international,knowledge,meta,metrics,wikipedia
We hope this added intelligence will give you a more complete picture of your interest, provide smarter search results, and pique your curiosity on new topics. We’re proud of our first baby step—the Knowledge Graph—which will enable us to make search more intelligent, moving us closer to the “Star Trek computer” that I’ve always dreamt of building. Enjoy your lifelong journey of discovery, made easier by Google Search, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing what you love.
In the near future, I expect both Google’s knowledge graph, and the increasing awareness of the usefulness of such graphs, to change the structure and scope of industrial-scale knowledge processing. Thanks to all those working on these tools and solutions; see you in 2013!
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,international,Seraphic,Uncategorized
The Chilean national architectural exhibit, showcasing the country’s work at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Designed by my brother:
I asked Google Maps how long it would take to get from Boston to Amherst, MA (actual distance: ~90 miles almost due West, under 2 hours by car.) The answer:
I-90 E 19,456 mi, 523 hours
Driving directions to Amherst, MA, USA
This route has tolls.
This route includes a car transport.
This route includes a ferry.
This route may have road closures.
The “E” in “I-90 E” was the first indication that something was wrong. Then I digested the distance and time… and scrolled down a few pages. Now any route planning that takes you literally more than halfway \ around the world had better take in some amazing sights along the way. Luckily, this was the case.
The map knew where I was heading, but decided I started in Boston, Lincolnshire in the UK. And then decided I would want to travel the long way round: West. Of course that lets me take in Hong Kong, Hawai’i, and California… maybe worth the 3 weeks of transit. Let’s take a look:
The route straight across southern Russia looks interesting. Also the curving route through China to Hong Kong.
329. Jet ski across the Pacific Ocean
330. Continue straight
331. Slight left onto 県道350号線
Now we’re talking! Apparently you can jet ski straight from HK to Japan… maybe your car can use the teleporter. Don’t miss the slight left just past the big landmass.
389. Sail across the Pacific Ocean
390. Turn right onto Kalakaua Ave
Note it took 60 directions just to cut across Japan before getting back into the ocean… welcome to Hawai’i! From here the rest was pretty straightforward: Sail across the Pacific once more, then drive across the US, picking up I-90 (remember that?) soon after making the mainland. All in all, an enlightening trip and look into the heart of the route-finder. Which clearly has good taste in beaches.
Filed under: %a la mod,chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,international,meta,zyzzlvaria
via Global Voices, the Top 10 Chinese Internet Memes of 2012.
Filed under: indescribable,international,null,Too weird for fiction
ᔥ Omer Fast (video).
On the power and community of open source, from the WH Blog.
This isn’t written to publish their Drupal code, which they’ve been doing for some time and will continue to do (though they do announce creation of their own space within the Drupal community), it’s primarily about how and when open source is awesome and why it is the way to go for many practices. A great message to send; a small step towards more open tools for society.
Filed under: fly-by-wire,Glory, glory, glory,international,Uncategorized
This is a project I’ve had in mind for some time. From where do you draw your favorite problems? For a bit of inspiration, here is an excellent and insightful essay on why math education is so much stronger in Russia (for instance) than in the US and Brazil (for instance), focusing on the appreciation for and use of word problems.
Word Problems in Russia and America by Andrei Toom (↬ Jacob Rus)