Creating Listeria lists is a great way of finding out what information Wikidata possesses and, by extension, what Wikipedia may be missing.
- WikiProject Women in Red use Wikidata red lists to ascertain where to focus their editing efforts when creating new pages about notable women.
- MySociety use them to identify politicians missing from Wikidata as part of their EveryPolitician project.
But there are other ways of getting data out of Wikidata.
Getting data out of Wikidata
For getting data about individual Wikidata items (or groups of up to 50)
Run advanced queries and get back data for up to around 200k items
Download all available data for large scale local processing of any size
What is SPARQL? Visit www.query.wikidata.org
SPARQL is a programming language for querying ‘linked data’ stored on the web.
It’s essentially a set of commands that allow you to find exactly the data you want.
Learning SPARQL will allow you to query Wikidata, but also the countless other data sources offering a SPARQL query service
- E.g. Show me a list of all Female Chemists, along with their date of birth, place of birth, and the map coordinates of their place of birth.
How hard would it be to do that using Google!?!
- Video tutorial 1 – Getting started building SPARQL queries.
- Video tutorial 2 – SPARQL query workshop.
Practical – a SPARQL query about ships.
- Ships on Wikidata that have an article on Wikipedia BUT only 3 or fewer statements on Wikidata.
- Timeline of ships, colour coded by type – With extra filters for ‘country’ and ‘operator’
Note: The colour code is a bit misleading here as some of the ships will have multiple “type” (e.g. instance of “ship” and instance of “battleship” on the same item), but it does give a good general picture.
- Timeline of ships, colour coded by country – Extra filters for ‘type’ and operator’
- Map of shipwrecks
The task is to contribute to the data available to either:
- The ships on Wikidata above. Using information from the Wikipedia articles can you add more data? Can it be referenced from a reliable source using the Reference URL? Check prominent examples such as RMS Titanic to see how many properties could be included.
- The notable women in medicine Listeria list. Can more be added? Place of birth data? Date of birth data? Place of education data? Can it be referenced with a Reference URL? If not we can use the property Imported from and the value English Wikipedia as a placeholder reference.
To add a reference
- Check the Wikipedia page to see if a reference has been added.
- If not, Google search depending on what you are looking to reference; place of education, place of birth or date of birth.
- Once you have found corroboration from a reliable published source, copy the URL web address and paste into the Reference URL field in Wikidata. Click Save.