Grants:IdeaLab/Wikidata Paintbrush

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Wikidata Paintbrush
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A Wikidata external tool to edit artwork items.
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idea creator
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community organizer
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this project needs...
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project manager
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community organizer
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created on19:25, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

The great majority of Wikidata artwork items have little or no property information. Queries of artworks types and subjects, which should be a great strength, are limited by the haphazard nature of which works have such data filled in.

What is your solution?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

An Wikidata external editor specialized to artworks, and particularly the "depicts" property. It should also make it easier to add data on the artist, genre, theme, materials, and culture of the artwork, as well as its physical type and whether it is part of a set.

It may incorporate Zooniverse-like elements to double-check on property values added.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Being able to easily query artworks across collections of a certain type, or depicting certain subjects. Using a visual query tool like Wikidata VizQuery can also make this data more broadly accessible to non-technical audiences, and it will grow much more interesting once there is a critical mass of such data on Wikimedia projects.

This will also make it easier to generate draft articles for Wikipedia, using something like {{Mbabel}}.

Eventually, such data may be of use to GLAMs themselves, as they develop other aspects of their own catalogs.

Get Involved[edit]


  • Community organizer I'm eager to work with both community and GLAM partners to more fully develop and fill out artwork properties on Wikidata, for WikiProject Metropolitan Museum of Art and beyond. Pharos (talk) 19:39, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Researcher I had a very similar idea in the past and do have some specific wishes and insights how I'd like such a tool to work + could provide good use cases and examples. Spinster (talk) 20:09, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I have a continuing interest in engaging various interest groups in the collaborative effort of enriching Wikimedia knowledge. I am interested in helping out in a way you see fit: research, design, organizing. Susanna Ånäs (Susannaanas) (talk) 07:22, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I could help test the tool, but also ask people in my surroundings (I work with small GLAMs) to give it a go and share their experiences. Would also love to help with stuff like user manuals, designing flow charts etc. Furthermore, I would also really like to set up a way to test this tool with art history students (if 'digital art history' is still part of their curriculum). Mtmlan84 (talk) 05:06, 23 August 2017 (UTC)


  • Would be great to have such a tool. I think it would be very interesting and attractive to engage art lovers in Wikidata. Spinster (talk) 20:10, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
  • This would be interesting and useful to have, not only for paintings for their own right, but as a test example for how subject-specific editing environments could be created tailored for the specific needs of many and various fields in the future. Paintings are an excellent place to test this concept as it can use of the existing network of WiRs in art museums to get lots of real-world feedback from their institutions' experts, and also because with the Sum of all paintings project there is a critical mass of existing dataset, relevant properties, and wikipeoject documentation. Wittylama (talk) 23:16, 26 June 2017 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of lightweight subject-specific tools. They are a great way of testing ideas in practice, and they could feed ideas and practices into long-term development of more widespread tools. Tools made with love will remain useful to the community in any case. – Susanna Ånäs (Susannaanas) (talk) 07:12, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a viable idea, and not too hard to create. Husky (talk) 18:23, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Good initiative! WMSE have previously worked with similar projects with design students. Some information in the Education newsletter, more detailed on their wiki (in Swedish but with images) and in this video. PS. I also have the students full reports that I could email to anyone interested. Ainali (talk) 14:07, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I think this is a very interesting tool with great potential for Wikidata art-lovers, GLAM-staff and possibly (art) students Mtmlan84 (talk) 05:08, 23 August 2017 (UTC)