Wikidata & Wikisource Showcase

‘It’s not what you do, it’s what it does to you’ – engaging with the past, present & future in Wikipedia’s sister projects  

The Wikidata & Wikisource Showcase on Tuesday 2nd August will include the following sessions run by Navino Evans from Histropedia and the University of Edinburgh’s Wikimedian in Residence, Ewan McAndrew.

Find out more about what each of the sessions will cover below.

Time Session Room
10.00 – 11.05 Wikisource showcase – “It’s not what you do, it’s what it does to you” Pentland West
11.30 – 12.45 Wikidata showcase – The possibilities are endless Pentland West
14.15 – 15.00 Wikidata Advanced Tools workshop Holyrood

10am-11.05am Wikisource showcase – “It’s not what you do, it’s what it does to you.”

Libraries are under threat as never before with an estimated 450 closures in the last six years (Flood, 2016).

Safeguarding digital heritage and ‘the democracy of reading’ (Smith inShaffi, 2015) therefore has never been more important.

In this first session of our three showcase events for Repository Fringe 2016, we will introduce you to Wikisource: Wikimedia’s free library of openly-licensed source texts.

Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.” (Gaiman, 2013)

In this session we will explain:

  • Why Wikisource is receiving increased attention & affection.
  • How it adds value to the collections of libraries & archives.
  • The crucial role Wikisource plays in raising the visibility, accessibility & appreciation of out-of-copyright texts & their authors.
  • How Wikisource links to its sister projects: Wikipedia, Wikicommons and Wikidata.

Quotations or images from centuries ago can still touch or inspire, and as readers share this reaction online, the interested audience grows. The Wikimedia projects make it easy for people to enjoy and share out-of-copyright text, creating and satisfying a modern curiosity about past authors.”(Poulter, 2015)

What will the session include?

  • An introduction to what Wikisource is and how you can engage with it.
  • A practical activity where you will learn how to navigate Wikisource and proofread a page of text.
  • An introduction to how Wikisource links with Wikipedia (the free encyclopaedia), Wikicommons (the free media repository) & Wikidata (the free repository of structured data).
  • Examples demonstrating how texts can be uploaded, transcribed and proofread.
  • Examples demonstrating how everyone – libraries & archives in particular – can involve people around the world in having authentic contact with the past through Wikisource.

Like every Wikimedia project, Wikisource is free to use by absolutely anyone so people of all disciplines and walks of life are encouraged to attend this session. Basic knowledge of using the internet will be needed to get involved in the practical activity, but there are no other pre-requisites.

Anyone interested in libraries, archives & open knowledge repositories of all kinds should come away excited about the possibilities Wikisource, and its sister projects, offer!

What should I bring?

Bring a laptop if possible as this will be needed when we learn to navigate our way around Wikisource and for the practical demonstration of proofreading a page of Wikisource text. In addition, please have a think if there are copyright-free source texts you would like to see transcribed to Wikisource.

Please also create an account on Wikisource before arriving. This takes only a minute or two and if you have ever edited Wikipedia before, you can use the same login details.

References

Flood, Alison (2016). “Joanna Trollope: ‘UK cannot afford to close one single public library'”. the Guardian.

Shaffi, Sarah (2015).“Smith warns library closures threat to ‘democracy of reading’ | The Bookseller”. www.thebookseller.com.

Gaiman, Neil (2013). “Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming”. the Guardian.

Poulter, Martin (2015).“The Shiver: communion with the past in a digital age | Wikimedia UK Blog”. blog.wikimedia.org.uk.

11.30am-12.45am Wikidata showcase – The possibilities are endless

Wikidata – “the source for open structured data on the web and for facts within Wikipedia.” (Wallis, 2014)

Wikidata is a free and open data repository of the world’s knowledge that anyone can read & edit. Wikidata’s linked database acts as central storage for the structured data of its Wikimedia sister projects. It differs from Wikipedia in that it is completely language independent and its structured data can be read and edited by both humans and machines alike.

Using Wikidata, information on Wikipedia can be queried & visualised as never before. This alone has generated enormous excitement but the sheer versatility of how this data can be used is only just beginning to be understood & explored.

Did You Know: The answers provided by Google’s ‘Knowledge Graph’ panels were powered by its own structured data repository, Freebase, until Google decided to wind down Freebase in 2015 in favour of migrating their data to Wikidata & supporting Wikidata instead.

In this session we will explain why Wikidata is so special, why its users are so excited by the possibilities it offers, why it may overtake Wikipedia in years to come as the project to watch and how it is quietly on course to change the world.

What will the session include?

  • A practical activity where you will learn the ‘nuts & bolts’ of how to use and edit Wikidata, and help shape the future of open knowledge!
  • An introduction to methods for accessing the data in Wikidata. Wikidata is completely free to use in every imaginable way; from educational projects to full-scale commercial software applications – what will you do with it?
  • A showcase selection of the most exciting applications and visualisations that have already been built on Wikidata.

Who should attend?

Absolutely anyone can use Wikidata for something, so people of all disciplines and walks of life are encouraged to attend this session. Basic knowledge of using the internet will be needed to get involved in the practical activity, but there are no other pre-requisites.

Anyone interested in open knowledge, academic research, application development or data visualisation should come away buzzing with exciting new ideas!

What should I bring?

Bring a laptop if possible as this will be needed when we learn to use and edit Wikidata.

Please also create an account on Wikidata before arriving. This takes only a minute or two and if you have ever edited Wikipedia before, you can use the same login details.

References

Wallis, Richard (2014). “Google Sunsets Freebase – Good News For Wikidata? – Data Liberate”.

2.15pm-3pm Wikidata Advanced Tools workshop

This session will be a practical introduction to using some of the most powerful tools built around Wikidata.

You will learn how to:

  • Query Wikidata using their SPARQL endpoint
  • Create visualisations from live data, such as interactive maps, timelines, and bubble charts.
  • Use editing tools that allow you to make automated Wikidata edits based on SPARQL queries, Wikipedia categories, or tables in a spreadsheet.

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in learning more about advanced methods for accessing Wikidata in an automated way. This session will be quite technical in places, but some of the tools we will demonstrate can be used with only basic computer knowledge.

What should I bring?

Just a laptop is needed. All of the tools we will use are web-based. Please also create an account on Wikidata before arriving. This takes only a minute or two and if you have ever edited Wikipedia before, you can use the same login details.