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Last week LinkedUp were represented at Wikimania2014, the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual conference. The event held at the Barbican in London spanned over 5 days with a hackathon and education pre-event as part of the activities. LinkedUp had a stand in the Community fair area and had lots of chat’s with attendees about Vici and the LinkedUp Project.

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LinkedUp Stand at Community fair

“Wikipedia belongs in Education”

Education was a key theme of the event and some of the key ideas and talks are highlighted in the post Wikimania 2014: Wikipedia belongs in Education on the Open Education Working Group web site.

“The best thing to do with your data will be thought of by someone else”

Data also played a role with several sessions on Wikidata: “a knowledge base that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike. It is for data what Wikimedia Commons is for media files: it centralizes access to and management of structured data, such as interwiki references and statistical information. Wikidata contains data in every language supported by the MediaWiki software”.

Lydia Pintscher, Product Manager for Wikidata, Wikimedia Deutschland, introduced the current state of Wikidata. She explained that the potential for Wikidata lies in its multilingual application and in resolving conflicting taxonomies, it is not about centralisation – Wikidata is a hub of decentralised data. “We need to give more access to more knowledge to more people, not only in English“.

Other sessions included a talk from Markus Krötzsch on How to use Wikidata: Things to make and do with 30 million statements and a wikidata toolkit workshop. The toolkit is an open source java library for working on wikidata and other wikibase sites which includes a selection of tools e.g. Reasonator.
Matt Jukes, head of Digital Transformation at the Office of National Statistics also made a proposal on Wikidata and Official statistics. There was also an open data round table featuring:

  • Chair: Jemima Kiss, Head of Technology at The Guardian
  • Nigel Shadbolt, Chairman Open Data Institute
  • Lydia Pintscher, Product Manager Wikidata
  • Markus Krötzsch, Semantic web & Wikidata expert
  • Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Author Big Data
  • Mike Bracken, Executive Director of Digital in the UK Cabinet Office
  • Rufus Pollock, Founder of Open Knowledge
  • Peter Murray-Rust, Shuttleworth Fellow in machine readable scholarship
  • Elizabeth Marincola, Chief Executive Officer of The Public Library of Science
  • Richard Stirling, International Director Open Data Institute

Videos of the sessions are available online.

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