With more than fifteen million items compiled in the space of just three years, Wikidata is set to become the main open data repository worldwide.The eagerly awaited promise of linked open data seems to have finally arrived: a multilingual, totally open database in the public domain, which can be read and edited by both humans and machines.
Wikidata is a new step forward in the democratisation of access to information, which is why the most important thing right now is the questions we ask ourselves: what information do we want to compile? How does this new tool affect knowledge management?
With the introduction of the Internet, we now assume that information is just a click away.
Thousands of people around the world post their creations online without expecting anything in return: guide books, manuals, photos, videos, tutorials, encyclopaedias and databases. To ensure that the sum of all this knowledge reaches all human beings in their own language, free of charge, the Wikimedia Foundation runs many projects, free of charge, with one of the most successful being Wikipedia.
The English version of Wikipedia reached five million entries in October 2015.
But this version is culturally biased, with an over-representation of Western culture.
In fact, it only includes 30% of the items entered in the other 287 languages that form part of the Wikipedia project, which now has a total of more than 34 million articles.
Many of the articles that refer to a particular culture only exist in the language of that culture, as can be seen just by looking at the maps of geolocated items.
There is a lot of work to be done: it is estimated that in order to cover all human knowledge, an encyclopaedia today should have over 100 million articles.
Now that we know that it is possible and that everything is just a click away, we want to have the biographies of all the Hungarian writers available in a language that we understand, and we want it now.