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LinkedOpenData/Strategy2021/Joint Vision

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A view of the Wikimedia Linked Open Data web
A view of the Wikimedia Linked Open Data web


Our vision for our work in Linked Open Data:

We work towards a future in which people share the power to collect and organize the data that shapes humanity's understanding of the world.

Diverse communities around the world participate in Wikidata and in a network of specialized Wikibases, co-creating an open and free global knowledge graph in a thriving Linked Open Data web.

This is the basis upon which people, companies and institutions of all sizes can generate new insights, build new apps and services, and change the world for the better.

In working towards this vision, we expect a great variety of individuals will be positively impacted:

  • People all over the world benefit from high-quality, verifiable information that incorporates many perspectives.
  • Communities all over the world find inspiration and participate in determining how the world's digitized knowledge is organized.
  • Technology creators of all shapes and sizes rely on the data in our ecosystem, recognizing and utilizing its high quality.
  • Researchers, activists, journalists and other curious minds gain new insights that have a positive impact on the world.
  • Wikimedia projects and other knowledge curators collaborate in shared spaces, reducing individual workload.

Linked Open Data and the Movement Strategy

With Linked Open Data we can connect information and make knowledge discoverable. It is machine-readable, designed to link to other data and to enable semantic querying. Wikidata and Wikibase are part of the Linked Open Data web.

Linked Data - San Francisco
Linked Data - San Francisco
By Jeblad - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23471203

The strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement aims to create an essential infrastructure for the ecosystem of free knowledge. Linked Open Data is integral to our strategic direction, and its two pillars are knowledge as a service and knowledge equity.

Knowledge as a service: Linked Open Data organizes and links the world’s digitized knowledge in a machine-readable way, which enables knowledge provisioning in any format and makes knowledge more findable. It also fosters knowledge creation.

Knowledge equity: Linked Open Data makes data available to technology we use every day, in a way that aims to represent the world equitably. This also strengthens the Wikimedia projects, especially smaller ones, by allowing efforts to be pooled and combined. Furthermore, it enables the analysis of data for gaps and biases.

Linked Open Data also creates new opportunities for participation, thereby growing the movement.

Guiding principles for the Linked Open Data portfolio

  • Openness: Wikidata and the Wikibase Ecosystem are deeply rooted in the Free, Libre, and Open movement. Our products should lead to more free and open data; everyone should be able to join our movement.
  • Sustainability: Wikidata and the Wikibase Ecosystem are here to stay. Our partners can trust that we will be around in the future; we will always aim for sustainability over unhealthy growth.
  • Knowledge equity: Wikidata and the Wikibase Ecosystem intend to level the open data playing field. Linked Data should be a common good and available to everyone who needs it. Everyone should find themselves represented in the Linked Open Data web. We will continually increase our understanding and act to ensure that our communities and our data represent the world in an equitable way.
  • Co-creation: Our content and tools are created collaboratively; Wikidata and the Wikibase Ecosystem are part of the larger Linked Open Data movement. Our positive impact in the world is strongest when we work together.
  • Utility: The data in Wikidata and the Wikibase Ecosystem should be used to make the world a better place. Because our resources are limited, we must direct our efforts where they will have the greatest benefit for the most people.


Strengthen Wikidata

We want people all over the world to benefit from high-quality, verifiable information that incorporates a variety of perspectives. However, this is only possible if they encounter the information, in apps and services they use. At the same time, we want people to be empowered to collaboratively collect and organize important data about the world, attaining the aforementioned goal of high-quality information. For both aspects, we must strengthen the Wikidata project and its use by others. It provides general-purpose data about the world, opens the way to sources of knowledge all across the web, and enables communities from all around the world to participate in the creation and organization of it all.

The Wikidata products provide data and an ontology that others can use and build upon.

The Wikidata product portfolio includes Wikidata.org, its supporting tools and Wikidata’s support for Wikimedia projects.

Wikidata.org is the Wikimedia knowledge graph project. It contains general-purpose data about the world, data on written words, data supporting other Wikimedia projects and extended routing information that makes it an important part of the Linked Open Data web.

Examples of tools that support Wikidata include QuickStatements, Listeria and Wikidata Lexeme Forms; examples of support for Wikimedia projects include Wikidata Bridge, ArticlePlaceholder and Lua modules which provide access to Wikidata’s data.

Build out the Wikibase Ecosystem

Knowledge must be discoverable to have an impact. Being able to explore and synthesize existing information helps people create new knowledge. To support this, we want to co-create a distributed knowledge graph that represents the world in an equitable way. To foster this knowledge graph we provide Wikibase, a software platform for collaboratively modeling and maintaining Linked Open Data. We also strive to provide ways of connecting data so that participants across the Ecosystem can benefit from each other’s data and ontologies.

Our Wikibase product portfolio expands the knowledge available through Linked Open Data.

Wikibase Suite is a software bundle that helps users create self-installed and self-maintained Wikibase instances that have greater customization needs. It is primarily targeted at larger institutions with massive amounts of data, usually with their own technical staff and infrastructure that can run a production Wikibase instance.

Wikibase.Cloud is a software-as-a-service offering launching in 2022. Its primary target groups are research groups, private individuals and less well-funded organizations that want to share free and open data with the world but that lack the dedicated resources needed to maintain the software themselves. It is designed for ease of use rather than maximum customization.