Semantic Wikibase Released


Posted on 2020-09-03 by Jeroen De Dauw


You can now use Wikibase data in your Semantic MediaWiki with our new extension "Semantic Wikibase".

Both Wikibase and Semantic MediaWiki are extensions to MediaWiki that allow you to work with structured data within your wiki. They each serve their own use cases and have different strengths and weaknesses.

Our new Semantic Wikibase extension allows you to get the best of both worlds. Data added in the form of Wikibase items and properties is automatically made available in Semantic Mediawiki (SMW). This means you can use it with all SMW functionality, such as embedded visualizations, autocompletion in forms, export in RDF/JSON/CSV/etc and more.

Embedded visualizations

Wikibase on its own does not allow you to visualize or query the data stored in your wiki. You can install the Wikibase Query service and write SPARQL queries, though this is technically challenging. With Semantic Wikibase you can place queries directly into wiki pages without installing and maintaining extra software services. This is done with a simple query language designed for use in wikis, and can get you anything from a simple static list to fancy interactive visualizations that can dynamically gather additional data.

You can learn more about SMW queries on the SMW website.

Data translation

The connection that Semantic Wikibase provides is one way. It will make your Wikibase data available in SMW but not the other way round. Data coming from Wikibase is seamlessly combined with what you have stored in SMW itself, if anything.

Semantic Wikibase can also help you if you want a simplified projection of your Wikibase data. The Wikibase data model is more complex than just property value pairs associated with wiki pages / items. Each value has a rank, can have qualifiers and can have references. This is in contract with SMW, where people typically stick to property value pairs. Semantic Wikibase only stores the main values of Wikibase statements into SMW. This makes querying and visualizing the data a lot easier.

You can view details in the documentation on GitHub.

Installation

You can install Semantic Wikibase for free, as it is fully open source and released under a free license. We thank Frans AL van der Horst for enabling initial development. Contact us if you are interested in funding additional development.

View the installation instructions and documentation.

Wikidata, qualifiers and more

Semantic Wikibase only helps you if you have a Wikibase installation yourself. But what if you want to query data from another Wikibase, say Wikidata? This would be super cool. And this first version of Semantic Wikibase is a step in that direction. Find out more in Using Wikidata in Your Wiki.

Besides support for remote Wikibases, here are a few potentially useful features that the extension does not yet have.

Data translation:

  • Ability to whitelist or blacklist entities from being translated
  • Ability to whitelist or blacklist statements from being translated
  • Translation of qualifiers, references, statement rank and other non-main-snak data
  • Support for Entities other than Items and Properties
  • Translation of Item sitelinks

Properties:

  • Detection and possibly prevention of property name conflicts between Wikibase and SMW
  • (Multilingual) descriptions of Wikibase properties on SMW property pages
  • Grouping of Wikibase properties on Special:Browse

We would love to hear your thoughts on which features you would like to see next. You can also fund development of new features.

Participate

Join the Semantic Wikibase Telegram to share your ideas and use cases or to ask questions.

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