Wikidata:Fourth Birthday

Birthday banner for 4th Wikidata Birthday

Wikidata turns four!
Wikidata went live four years ago, on 29 October 2012. Over the past year the project has grown in amazing ways. In celebration of this anniversary, we have put together this page with some special notes, presents and thank yous as well as a party. Congratulations and best wishes for another great year! Stay as awesome as you are!
Community stories

Wikidata map, October 2016, by AddshoreEdit

Wikidata items map with difference, April 2016 to Oct 2016.png

Addshore created a tool to generate cool maps showing Wikidata items geolocalized around the world. This year he also made a map showing the differences between April and October 2016. Read more on his blog

10 cool queries for Wikidata that will blow your mind. Number 7 will shock you.Edit

That's not on BuzzFeed (Q5003490) but on the WMDE blog and it's a nice way to introduce newcomers to queries, by Jens Ohlig (WMDE) and Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE). Read in English or in German

4 years of Wikidata, by StrynEdit

Stryn has been involved on Wikidata since the beginning of the project! Read his birthday blog post

La réutilisation comme propulseur de contribution, by ShonagonEdit

Shonagon worked a lot on artworks, providing Crotos that displays artwork pictures from Commons when you enter a keyword, using Wikidata of course. You can read the story (in French) and discover his other tools.

The history between Ash_Crow and WikidataEdit

Ash_Crow who dug deep in his personal archives to tell how his history with Wikidata started! You can read it in English or in French.

Random item: Q14829494, by DennyEdit

As I sometimes do, today I hit the “Random item” link on Wikidata. Almost always I can find something I can improve, and almost always I learn some random fun fact that I usually forget within a few moments. Read more...

You know you're a Wikidata editor when 5.png

You know you're a Wikidata editor when...Edit

Short comic strip by Auregann and VIGNERON, with suggestions from other editors. Feel free to translate it in your own language!
A word from the development team
Today, Wikidata turns 4. Time to look back at the past year, look ahead towards what is coming next and of course celebrate.

Looking outsideEdit

The past year was the year Wikidata made its first steps into the mainstream. Here are just a few highlights:

We’ve reached the point where our data quality and quantity and tools are good enough for a lot of really interesting use cases, and the world is starting to notice!

All the Wikidata items with geo-coordinates

Looking insideEdit

Over the past year we made progress on a number of big topics: support for Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary, data quality, making Wikidata more accessible for more people, and most importantly giving more people more access to more knowledge.

Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary are the two biggest Wikimedia projects that we still need to support properly. For Wikimedia Commons this means making it possible to store all the metadata of a file like the license and what it shows as structured, machine readable data. Over the past year we’ve done a lot of groundwork for this and published the first demo system. For Wiktionary we went through another feedback round with the proposal and started working on automating the links between pages on different Wiktionary editions. There is still a long way to go for both projects but we’ve made good progress.

Data quality is hugely important for Wikidata. In the past this data quality has always been judged with the very crude measure of the number of statements that have a reference. However data quality on Wikidata is much more than that. The first step therefore was getting a better understanding of what it actually is. Nonetheless references are crucial so we set out to find ways to add more of them. One way is by automatically extracting them from reliable sources that mark up their texts to be read by machines. WikiCite, a conference about the future of citations in Wikimedia, also helped gain a better shared understanding of references and scholarly publications on Wikidata. Another piece of the data quality puzzle went live with ORES and ORES review tool. It helps to automatically classify edits to make it easier to spot and revert vandalism.

We’ve made Wikidata more accessible to more people via trainings, editathons, as well as improved documentation. The Wikidata community was present at numerous events throughout the year. Sessions about different Wikidata topics were offered at WikiCite in Berlin, Wikimania in Esino Lario, Wikicon in Stuttgart, WMCEE Meeting in Dilijan, a series of workshops in Paris and the Wikidata Tour Down Under to name just a few. For the improved documentation, have a look for example at the data donations page, the infobox tutorial, the Query Service help portal or Request a query.

I have always said that Wikidata is there to give more people more access to more knowledge and that this is what it should be judged on. I believe we’ve made great strides on this over the past year. We’ve added a mobile view to Wikidata, improved the user experience significantly and thereby making it usable by more people and made the Query Service much more useful by adding new features and making it easier to write queries. We’ve also thought about how to make it easier to edit Wikidata from Wikipedia for people who are not familiar with Wikidata. The most significant step towards giving more people more access to more knowledge I believe though we’ve made with the ArticlePlaceholder. It is currently rolled out in a first version on 9 Wikipedias (Esperanto, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Kannada, Latvian, Napolitan, Nynorsk, Odia and Welsh). It provides the readers of these Wikipedias with a data sheet for topics where no article exists in that language. With a bit more work over the next year, the ArticlePlaceholder will help them attract more readers, encourage more of them to become editors and ultimately share more knowledge in their language.

Looking aheadEdit

Over the next year our main targets will be support for Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary, data quality, more support for Wikipedia as well as user experience improvements on Wikidata.

However, I think we need to look at the even bigger picture. It is more important than ever to bring people with different points of view to the same table and have a conversation about their differences. But instead, we as a society seem to be more and more partisan and thinking more and more in terms of right and wrong, true and false, black and white. The world is more complex and nuanced than this. We are at the point where we don’t even acknowledge differences in opinion anymore. But that is a necessary first step to being able to talk about them. And we as a society have a lot to talk about… With Wikidata we are building one of the building blocks of making it possible to surface and record different views. We need to talk more about it, push it further and get more people to make use of it.

With this I’d like to say Thank You for an amazing year and please stay awesome, open, lovely, enthusiastic and positive. We’re doing no less than changing the world together - every single day. Let’s celebrate!

Lydia for the development team

Thank you all!
Thank you!

You can see or upload pictures in the Commons category.

Meetup in San Francisco, October 26thEdit

Wikidata 4th birthday meetup in SF

Meet Wikidata editors, celebrate the birthday, discover new tools, and share cake & coffee +!

  • Wednesday, October 26th, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
  • Red Door Coffee SF (111 Minna Street)

Wikidata Birthday in Turin, October 26thEdit

Lunch seminar regarding the state of Wikidata. Free access.

Wikidata bento in Tokyo, October 28thEdit

Thanks everyone!

Meet up with local Wikidata editors in Roppongi Hills (Q1071084). Free, bring your own bento (Q380532).


  • Three attendees
  • We discussed OpenStreetMap, Google Maps, Baidu Maps
  • We improved Nogi Shrine (Q3342690), discussed what properties and policies to use when describing Japanese religious buildings, and linked to its item from OpenStreetMap. This item can now serve as an example to vastly improve thousands of other shrine items.
  • We played with Harvest Templates, WDFIST, WikiShootMe!, Wikidata Game.

Meetup in Paris, October 29thEdit

After its general assembly on October 29th, Wikimédia France organizes an event, open to every editor, at the Cocon Ludique bar in Paris. Free food, board games, and a Wikidata birthday cake ;)

Mandatory inscription on fr:Wikipédia:AG 2016/Soirée, only 70 places available.

  • Saturday, October 29th, from 19:00 till 23:00
  • Contacts: Sylvain and Sarah

Wiki(data)Zaterdag in Utrecht, October 29thEdit

Eaten by many attendants!
Proof: group photo!

Meet up with local Wikidata editors on the two-weekly WikiZaterdag, together with a stroopwafel (Q267877) Wikidata (Q2013) cake (Q13276).

  • Saturday, October 29th, from 12:30 till 18:00
  • Wikimedia Netherlands office (Mariaplaats 3, 3511 LH Utrecht)
  • Contact: Sjoerd

Wikidata Hackathon in Kanpur, India, November 3rdEdit

Wikidata 4th birthday Hackathon in Kanpur
Wikidata Hackathon attendees in Kanpur

Hosting a Wikidata Hackathon, where we do some cool hacks like making tools for working with Wikidata. Free, bring your laptop!

Meetup in Berlin, November 4thEdit

Meet Wikidata editors, celebrate the birthday, discover new tools, play board games and eat a piece of cake!

  • Friday, November 4th, from 19:00 to 23:00
  • Wikimedia Deutschland office (Tempelhofer Ufer 24, 10963 Berlin)

Rennes, November 5thEdit

Wikidathon: editing and importing data


  • 6 attendees (5 regular Wikimedians + 1 mapper)
  • Work on: train stations, import of a museum catalogue…

Tokyo, November 6thEdit

Wikidathon: editing and importing data

  • Sunday, November 6th, from 15:00 to 19:00
  • Wikimedia Japan office (3-4-3 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda, Tokyo)

Event in Janakpur, November 1stEdit

Maithili Wikimedians User Group organized a small event for celebration of wikidata's 4th birthday anniversary.


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Birthday wishes from the community
  • Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to Wikidata! Happy birthday to you! J 1982 (talk) 11:09, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy 4th birthday Wikidata! May there be many more years to come. Mbch331 (talk) 07:19, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Congratulations, Wikidata! Stay awesome 🎉😊 Spinster 💬 08:21, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Congratulations from Armenia - Kareyac (talk) 12:47, 29 October 2016 (UTC) (cakeholder)
  • Congratulations! You are an awesome team. I still love Wikidata, although I haven't been so active this year. Was nice to see some of you in Wikimania this year. 😊 Stryn (talk) 13:34, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy birthday Wikidata! And thank all contributors and developer for growing Wikidata. 👏 (위키데이터가 어느덧 4주년이네요. 축하드립니다! 또한 위키데이터를 발전시켜온 모든 기여자분들과 개발자분들께 감사드립니다.) hibm98 (talk) 17:34, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy birthday Wikidata! Wow you've grown so big and mature! --AmaryllisGardener talk 21:27, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy birthday! Wargo (talk) 07:16, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Congratulations and happy birthday! --Gloumouth1 (talk) 19:56, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
  • I hope this project will grow and become really important and known! Martinligabue (talk) 20:54, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy birthday :-) Rzuwig 21:52, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy birthday! Keep up the good work! --ESM (talk) 07:37, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy birthday! Keep up this amazing and incredible work. Feliz aniversário! Continuem com este trabalho incrível e maravilhoso. Gato Preto (talk) 16:25, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy Birthday Wikidata ! Stay alive forever and ever. :-) — TBhagat (talk) 16:54, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Buon compleanno Wikidata! :-) --Phyrexian ɸ 18:16, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks everyone for making this the best community! Sjoerd de Bruin (talk) 10:43, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Vivat Wikidata! Greetings from Wikimedia RU! —Niklitov (talk) 21:38, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
  • عيد ميلاد سعيد Happy birth day --Mr. Ibrahem (talk) 13:07, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Many many Happy returns of the day Wikidata! Stay blessed.. Amit_gkp (talk) 08:36, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy birthday Wikidata! A bit late but meh lol.. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 17:07, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
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