A layout of the four main components of a phase-1 Wikidata page: the label, description, aliases and interlanguage links.
A Wikipedia article's list of interlanguage links as they appeared in an box (left) and on the article's page (right) prior to Wikidata. Each link in these lists is to an article that requires its own list of interlanguage links to the other articles; this is the information centralized by Wikidata. Click here to visit the Wikidata entry for the article featured.
The "Edit links" link takes the reader to Wikidata to interlanguage links.
Wikidata is a document-oriented database, focused on items. Each item represents a topic (or an administrative page used to maintain Wikipedia) and is identified by a unique number, prefixed with the letter Q — for example, the item for the topic politics is Q7163 — known as a "QID". This enables the basic information required to identify the topic the item covers to be translated without favouring any language.
An item can have one or more statements. Information is added to items by creating statements, in the form of key-value pairs, with each statement consisting of a property (the key) and a value linked to the property.
This diagram shows the most important terms used in Wikidata
Centralising interlanguage links – links between Wikipedia articles about the same topic in different languages
Providing a central place for infobox data for all Wikipedias
Creating and updating list articles based on data in Wikidata
Wikidata was launched on 29 October 2012 and was the first new project of the Wikimedia Foundation since 2006. At this time, only the first phase was available. This enabled items to be created and filled with basic information: a label – a name or title, aliases – alternative terms for the label, a description, and links to articles about the topic in all the various language ions of Wikipedia.
Historically, a Wikipedia article would include a list of interlanguage links, being links to articles on the same topic in other ions of Wikipedia, if they existed. Initially, Wikidata was a self-contained repository of interlanguage links. No Wikipedia language ions were able to access Wikidata, so they needed to continue to maintain their own lists of interlanguage links.
On 14 January 2013, the Hungarian Wikipedia became the first to enable the provision of interlanguage links via Wikidata. This functionality was extended to the Hebrew and Italian Wikipedias on 30 January, to the English Wikipedia on 13 February and to all other Wikipedias on 6 March. After no consensus was reached over a proposal to restrict the removal of language links from the English Wikipedia, the power to delete them from the English Wikipedia was granted to automatic ors (bots). On 23 September 2013, phase 1 went live on Wikimedia Commons.
The initial features of the second phase were deployed on 4 February 2013, introducing statements to Wikidata entries. The values were initially limited to two data types (items and images on Wikimedia Commons), with more data types (such as coordinates and dates) to follow later. The first new type, string, was deployed on 6 March.
The ability for the various language ions of Wikipedia to access data from Wikidata was rolled out progressively between 27 March and 25 April 2013.
On 16 September 2015, Wikidata began allowing so-called arbitrary access, or access from a given Wikidata item to the properties of items not directly connected to it. For example, it became possible to read data about Germany from the Berlin article, which was not feasible before. On 27 April 2016 arbitrary access was activated on Wikimedia Commons.
This section needs to be updated. In particular: the original phased plan seems moribund, or at least de facto unofficial. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(July 2018)
Phase 3 will involve database querying and the creation of lists based on data stored on Wikidata. As of October 2016 two tools for querying Wikidata (Wikidata:List of queries) were available: AutoList and PetScan, in addition to a public SPARQL endpoint.
This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(August 2018)