The Power of Wikidata

Professional Forum

Friday, April 16, 2021: 11:00am - 12:00pm - - Professional Forum

Jennie Choi, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA, Andrew Lih, Wikimedia, United States

The Metropolitan Museum began working with the Wikimedia/Wikipedia community in 2017 with the release of over 375,000 public domain images uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Over the past two years the museum has continued its partnership with the community by adding records to Wikidata (the free, multilingual, structured database of Wikipedia) This has allowed the Met to provide greater access to its works, reach new audiences, and see the collection in new contexts. 

In this session we’ll take a deep dive into Wikidata as the world’s most popular linked open data project, by discussing how it works and how it benefits museums and cultural institutions. We will review existing use cases, and describe the process of contributing images and metadata. We will show examples of how the world’s top search engines and voice assistants rely on Wikidata to serve up results and answer queries. Along with these benefits, we will also discuss the technological, political and legal challenges facing museums in contributing content. We will demonstrate querying Wikidata and what can be done with the results in creating interactive visualizations and in artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.