The Wikimedia Foundation’s first major new project in 7 years is now feeding the biggest project in that stable, Wikipedia itself. But anyone can take structured data from Wikidata, due to its open license.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Wikidata, a centralized structured data repository for facts and Wikimedia’s first big new project in the last 7 years, is now feeding the foundation’s main project, Wikipedia.
The Wikidata project was kicked off around a year ago by the German chapter of Wikimedia, which is still steering its gradual development. For Wikipedia, the advantage is simple and powerful — if there’s a central, machine-readable source for facts, such as the population of a city, then any update to that data can be instantly reflected across all the articles in which the facts are included.
To posit a morbid example: a singer may have dozens or even hundreds of language versions of her Wikipedia entry and, if she were to die, the addition of a date of death to the Wikidata database would immediately propagate across all those versions, with no need to manually update each one (yes, I can also see how this might go horribly wrong).