Submissions/New Frontier: Using Wikidata on Commons

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This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 3014 Subject - TWD
Title of the submission
New Frontier: Using Wikidata on Commons
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)


Author of the submission

Jarek Tuszynski aka Jarekt

type of submission


Language of presentation


E-mail address



Country of origin

Poland & US

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia DC

Personal homepage or blog

Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)
In May 2016, a longstanding feature of "arbitrary access" to Wikidata was activated on Commons allowing any page on Commons to access properties of any Wikidata item. This change finally allowed Commons to start using information from Wikidata and sharing information from Commons with larger community of Wikidata. Currently there are efforts to rewrite numerous infobox templates using Lua, and reconcile and move their content to Wikidata. That includes "Authority Control", "Creator", "Institution", "Artwork" and "Object location" templates. Details of this effort will be described and discussed.
Commons is a multilingual project and we spend a lot of effort on providing information to the final users in their native language. This effort can be greatly improved by Wikidata, where each item can have labels in any language. In the years before Wikidata, a very specific template style was developed that used interwiki links to provide translated label and link to wikipedia article in users language. Those templates are being now replaced with calls to wikidata. Past and future work in this effort will be described and discussed.
Wikimedia Commons is fundamentally different then Wikipedia projects, since it does not use main/article namespace much and most useful information resides in "File", "Category", "Template", "Creator" and "Institution" namespaces. As a result the way Wikidata links to Wikipedias is not ideal fit for Commons project. It is still unclear how "sitelinks" from Wikidata to Commons will be organized and the current state is a mix of several approaches, making Wikidata database unpredictable and hard to use. Several possible approaches and their consequences will be discussed. Differences between how Wikidata links to Wikipedias and Commons also affects tools used to perform much of work on Wikidata, making some of the most powerful tools not very useful.
What will attendees take away from this session?
  • will learn where to find more info on novel approaches to writing templates that interact with wikidata
  • will learn about a long term project of transferring data from Commons to Wikidata
  • will will gain insight into commons-wikidata interactions
Theme of presentation
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?

intermediate to advanced

Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Slides used
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Interested attendees

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  1. John Andersson (WMSE) (talk) 08:54, 14 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 21:50, 22 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Gnom (talk) 13:13, 26 March 2017 (UTC) Let's make Wikipedia green![reply]
  4. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 15:47, 28 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 18:12, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Jsamwrites (talk) 13:50, 9 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Susannaanas (talk) 14:42, 9 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Rhododendrites (talk) 20:56, 10 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Thiemo Mättig (WMDE) (talk) 13:35, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --MB-one (talk) 09:42, 10 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Yann (talk) 18:46, 17 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Beat Estermann (talk) 08:50, 28 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Mlemusrojas (talk) 14:45, 1 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Peaceray (talk) 13:31, 11 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]