Structured data for GLAM-Wiki/Reconcile

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Structured data for GLAM-Wiki

People, places and other concepts in your data need to be 'matched' with their corresponding Wikidata items.

Reconciliation: matching people, places, keywords and other concepts with Wikidata

When you upload structured data to Wikimedia projects from an external dataset, at some point it will be necessary to 'translate' or reconcile your data items to their equivalents on Wikidata. Most frequently, reconciliation happens for the following types of data:

  • People and organizations (or 'agents') – often creators of works (painters, sculptors, architects, photographers, authors, editors, publishers...)
  • Place names – for instance names of municipalities or countries
  • Keywords – terms and subjects with which collections are described
Cornelis Martinus Vermeulen: Van der Borght, Nicolaes (17e eeuw); koopman te Antwerpen, 1703. Collection FelixArchief

The FelixArchief (municipal archive of Antwerp, Belgium) has contributed a set of media files to Wikimedia Commons in 2019. Their source data set, exported from their collections database, contains names of people that are formatted in the following way:

Vermeulen, Cornelis Martinus
Michiels, Jean Baptiste
Lauwers, Frans
Ghémar, Louis
Van Veen, Otto
Mostaert, Jan

Note that the institution uses a Lastname, Firstname notation for names of people.

The reconciliation process is the specific (and crucial) step where the corresponding Wikidata item or entity is looked up:

Original text string Corresponding Wikidata item
Vermeulen, Cornelis Martinus Cornelis Vermeulen (Q2997496)
Michiels, Jean Baptiste Jean Baptiste Michiels (Q21396012)
Lauwers, Frans Frans Lauwers (Q42899838)
Ghémar, Louis Louis-Joseph Ghémar (Q16214059)
Van Veen, Otto Otto van Veen (Q785355)
Mostaert, Jan Jan Mostaert (Q577279)

Not all people, places, keywords in your data will already have Wikidata equivalents. It is OK to create new items. Be thorough during the reconciliation, though. Creating many duplicate Wikidata items must be avoided, as these cause a lot of cleanup work for the Wikidata community!

How to reconcile data with Wikidata

Several tools and software environments are able to reconcile (external) data with corresponding Wikidata items. These tools are suitable for different circumstances. When you are preparing collections data for an upload to Wikidata and/or Wikimedia Commons, OpenRefine is probably the most powerful tool to use.

Developers - API

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