[Wiki Loves Monuments] Fwd: Moving monuments database to Wikidata

Nicolas VIGNERON vigneron.nicolas at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 07:32:49 UTC 2015

2015-07-31 3:25 GMT+02:00 Romaine Wiki <romaine.wiki at gmail.com>:

> Hi all,
> In this discussion I see multiple things being suggested, or maybe only
> thought of.
> * Moving the monument database to Wikidata: for the 2015 edition it will
> not be possible because of the amount of workload. If it is possible for
> the 2016 edition I do not know, but keep in mind that there is more needed
> then only moving some data from location A to location B. There is a
> complete infrastructure behind it that needs to work. Let's not think too
> light hearted about this, the infrastructure is vital and crucial.


* Lists of monuments maintained in one place: sorry to say, but to get this
> completely maintained only in Wikidata is a fairytale. Not because it is
> not possible, but because there are people involved and there are
> requirements set for articles/lists by communities. From the Wikidata
> perspective it sounds perhaps ideal to maintain it in one place, but then
> the (whole) Wikipedia perspective is missing. Then you can say that you
> edit Wikipedia a lot, but then you missed the point. There is a big clash
> between some users who have the Wikidata perspective who think a lot of
> codes in Wikipedia articles is okay, and users from the Wikipedia
> perspective who think all those codes in articles are not okay. Wikipedia
> is strongly built from the perspective that anyone can edit articles, and
> this is something that made Wikipedia big and is often considered an
> important characteristic of Wikipedia. Of course you can say that users can
> edit Wikidata when there are codes in Wikipedia, but that is thought too
> simple for multiple reasons. There will be communities that want to choose
> themselves which photo they want to show in their monument list (instead
> the photo from Wikidata), many descriptions of monuments in the list are
> altered and have footnotes and internal links, many descriptions and other
> fields are edited/expanded/updated, while Wikidata shows a different text
> or Wikidata has not the possibility to contain certain complex data. And
> the majority of users on Wikipedia experience Wikidata as too difficult to
> easily work with (seeing the Dutch community). (These are just a few issues
> of a lot more. And this is of course not specifically WLM, but generic.)

« completely maintained only in Wikidata » is maybe a fairytale but for me
the goal is more : « mainly centralised on Wikidata ».

Did you take a look at the example on frwp I gave?
The french community already use Wikidata (for monuments, for people,
etc.). Wikidata are *never* forced on frwp (that's a very bad idea and bad
practice), you can always use a local value instead of the wikidata value.
Sure it's not always perfect - and it took a long time and a lot of
explanations and efforts - and some frwp users are still grumbling and
complaining but globally it works fine. The grumblers leave the wikidatan
in peace and even collaborate quite peacefully ;) No clash here on frwp.

> I think that the ability to edit the lists in ways Wikidata can't handle,
> is especially wanted on Wikipedias of the local language. At the same time
> I think that we need to work to the situation that for example monuments
> from the Netherlands can be shown on a list in the Japanese Wikipedia and
> many others. Maintaining lists in 200+ Wikipedias is not possible I think,
> so the idea of a centralised database is needed, but needs more thinking
> about how this can work in practise.
> Another issue there is, is that Wikipedia is built on being able to click
> on top of the page and edit it without having to struggle with codes. Their
> are and will be a lot of Wikipedias where it is not acceptable to put a
> large amount of codes in the main namespace. A solution for that is simple,
> like categories, lua, portals, etc automated lists need their own
> namespace, like a list namespace. Then the article namespace remains freely
> editable and at the same time the information of automated lists is
> available in the local Wikipedia in the local language.

With Wikidata, there is actually less code visible in the article (and
thanks to the VisualEditor it's even less visible).

* Having all monuments in Wikidata: I am not sure if anyone mentioned this,
> but this should be the first step and only when this is completed we can
> think of further steps. And then I assume all the data of the database can
> be added to Wikidata, I am not sure if this is possible. Nevertheless I
> think all the monuments should have an item in Wikidata. For some countries
> this is the case already, for most countries this seems not the case. For
> these monuments in Wikidata we need to set some criteria. There are
> multiple criteria to be set, but one of them is at least to have **every**
> monument in Wikidata having a unique identifier.
> Also all monuments in Wikidata need additional information to be able to
> identify a monument in Wikidata as a monument on location. These include
> address, coordinates, municipality or other administrative territorial
> entity (this should be the lowest level possible), type of monument, and
> more. And there are more criteria that need to be set before it can be used
> worldwide.
> If it is not possible to set for every monument a unique ID, Wikidata is
> not suitable for usage in Wiki Loves Monuments. A unique identifier for
> each monument is crucial throughout the whole infrastructure, the
> infrastructure has been built on this.

When there is no external ID, can't the QXXX ID of Wikidata items be used ?

> * Lists, rows in lists, articles about an individual monument on
> Wikipedia, categories on Commons and Wikidata items all need to be
> connected with each other. I think it is already possible for a part in
> Wikidata. However, this is far from ready to be used. Adding information to
> Wikidata is great, and that is what many people do, but there is a high
> need for connecting Wikidata items with for example categories on Commons.
> For any future tooling, scripts, gadgets, etc, this is needed in general,
> but specific for WLM too. The importance of this part is so much
> underestimated.


For instances, on the 18k items about french monument right now on
Wikidata, around 6k don't have a Commons category (P373). But mostly
because there is no Commons categories, so we're creating them by hand when
needed and appropriate; and again it takes time, a lot of time !

But it's not because it's difficult and complex that it can't be done!

In many ways, I find Wikidata easier than Wikipedia and that Wikidata will
make life easier for Wikipedians.

Cdlt, ~nicolas
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