Wikimedia Foundation

To support the extension of structured data from Wikimedia Commons across all Wikimedia content, improving the search function and making it easier to read, edit, and access knowledge

  • Amount $2,100,000
  • City San Francisco, CA
  • Investigator Katherine Maher
  • Year 2020
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge

With help from a prior grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation in 2017 launched an ambitious project to add structured metadata to files in the Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia’s repository of more than 65 million photos, videos and other media files. The project allowed users to add machine readable information to each file, including information on the file creator, the copyright status of the file, and the object, event, or subject depicted. This structured metadata makes files in the Commons much more easily discoverable, searchable, and shareable, and since 2017, metadata has been added to more than 11 million files in the Commons.     Funds from this grant support an expansion of this project and will help Wikimedia expand its use of structured metadata to the entire universe of Wikimedia sites, including Wikipedia and Wikidata. The potential benefits of this project are significant. For example, with content metadata, machine prompts could suggest appropriate images to add to a page being edited or could identify data that appears on the Spanish-language version of a Wikipedia article, but is missing from that page in Vietnamese. Grant funds will support the development of a set of structured data standards to apply across Wikimedia products, the creation of editing tools and interfaces to help users implement those standards, and outreach and public engagement efforts to engage the global Wikimedia community in the process. Over the three-year grant period, the project aims to add structured metadata to 5 million Wikipedia articles.

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