Annotating Wikipedia

The Semantic MediaWiki proposal looks really promising.

Anyone who knows how to edit articles should find the syntax simple and usable:

Berlin is the captial of [[is capital of::Federal Republic of Germany|Germany]].

Berlin has about [[Population:=3.390.444|3.4 Mio]] inhabitants.

All that fantastic data, unlocked. (I’ve been meaning to write on post on why explicit metadata is democratic.) Wikipedia database dump downloads will skyrocket.

There are also interesting proposals under Wikidata as well (though big forms make me uneasy), but those mostly seem more applicable to new data-centric projects, while the Semantic MediaWiki proposal looks just right for the encyclopedia. Gordon Mohr‘s Flexible Fields for MediaWiki proposal could probably serve both roles.

Once people get hooked on access to a semantic encyclopedia, perhaps they’ll want similar access to the entire web.

Via Danny Ayers.

6 Responses

  1. Gordon Mohr says:

    I like the syntax. I like placing the plain english and semantic markup for the same ideas in close proximity. I’m not sure I like the casual interleaving of plain-english and semantic markup, with the markup providing the ‘value’ that appears in the prose…. it might strain either the prose, the precision, or both. Example:

    Summers in San Francisco are [[Average Summer Temperature:=59F|cool]].

    But maybe it’d work… I could see a mouseover popping up the ‘rigorous statements’ underlying links/hot areas of text.

  2. […] Anyway, I predict that in the forseeable future your browser will be able to convert a Wikipedia article link into a home page link if that is your preference, aided by Semantic Mediawiki annotations or similar. […]

  3. […] On a marginally related note the Semantic MediaWiki project appears to be making good progress. […]

  4. […] I don’t have a whole lot more to say about Semantic MediaWiki than I said over a year ago. The summary is to turn the universal encyclopedia into the universal database while simultaneously improving the quality of the encyclopedia. […]

  5. […] MediaWiki several times as having the potential to tremendously increase the value of Wikipedia by unlocking (in the sense of making queryable) all of the data in the […]

  6. […] which for years collected ideas for first class data support in Wikipedia. I had linked to Wikidata I writing about the most prominent of those ideas, Semantic MediaWiki (SMW), which I later (8 years […]

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