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Wikipedia and Wikidata at OSCAL '23
By: Marios Magioladitis

This year OSCAL had a special section on Wikipedia and Wikidata. A Wikidata workshop gave the participants the opportunity to understand the basic principles and have hands-on experience of collaborative editing.

The Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL) is an annual event that has been captivating the hearts and minds of tech enthusiasts, developers, and open-source advocates in Albania and beyond since its inception in 2014. This gathering of like-minded individuals in the heart of Tirana has become a hub for innovation, collaboration, and the celebration of open-source technology.

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Marios talks about Wikidata

OSCAL stands as a testament to Albania's growing tech community and its commitment to fostering the principles of open source. The conference offers a unique platform for both experts and newcomers to explore the vast world of open-source software and technology. It features a diverse array of workshops, presentations, and discussions that cater to all levels of expertise.

One of the hallmarks of OSCAL is its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. The conference is open to everyone, encouraging participants of all ages and backgrounds to engage with open-source technology. This inclusivity has helped foster a vibrant community of learners and innovators, making OSCAL a critical driver of tech literacy in Albania.

OSCAL's speakers and presenters come from a wide range of disciplines and regions, offering attendees a comprehensive view of open-source technology and its global impact. These thought leaders share their insights on the latest developments, trends, and best practices in the open-source world, making OSCAL an essential event for those looking to stay at the forefront of technology.

Furthermore, OSCAL has played a pivotal role in putting Albania on the map in the open-source community. Its growth and popularity have attracted international attention and participants, establishing Tirana as a hotspot for open-source technology in the region.

Workshop on Wikidata and SPARKQL

One notable feature of OSCAL is its attention to open knowledge, with several talks and workshops dedicated to Wikipedia and its related projects. Wikipedia, one of the world's largest open-source initiatives, is a topic of great interest at OSCAL. Talks often cover a range of Wikipedia-related topics and discussions on the legal and ethical aspects of contributing to Wikipedia. This year the relation between article creation and artificial intelligence was also highlighted.

On behalf of the Wikimedia Community, Marios Magioladitis gave an introductory talk on Wikidata called "Wikidata for beginners" where he tried to inspire participants to participate in this open and collaborative endeavor, democratizing knowledge and making it accessible to a global audience. Marios talked Wikidata's core principles, the problem of missing Wikidata items for important entities and terms, the problem of misinformation and many other things. The talk served as a preparation for the workshop that followed.

The titled of the workshop was "Wikidata and SPARQL Workshop: Unlocking the Power of Open Data". The "Wikidata and SPARQL Workshop" was a hands-on session designed to introduce participants to the fascinating world of open data and demonstrate the potential of Wikidata and SPARQL in various domains. The workshop targeted individuals with little or no prior experience in working with these technologies and it was based on the Wikidata challenge that was given to University students in May this year during the Ionian Wikithon 2023, which was a Wikimedia Hackathon satellite event.

In conclusion, the Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL) is not just an event; it's a testament to the power of open-source technology and the strength of community collaboration. It is a platform for learning, networking, and celebrating the principles of open source that are shaping the future of technology. OSCAL's continued success ensures that the open source movement in Albania will only grow stronger, benefitting the nation's tech landscape and the global open source community.