Technical Usability of Wikidata’s Linked Data

Evaluation of Machine Interoperability and Data Interpretability
  • Nuno FreireEmail author
  • Antoine Isaac
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 373)


Wikidata is an outstanding data source with potential application in many scenarios. Wikidata provides its data openly in RDF. Our study aims to evaluate the usability of Wikidata as a data source for robots operating on the web of data, according to specifications and practices of linked data, the Semantic Web and ontology reasoning. We evaluated from the perspective of two use cases of data crawling robots, which are guided by our general motivation to acquire richer data for Europeana, a data aggregator from the Cultural Heritage domain. The first use case regards general data consumption applications based on RDF, RDF-Schema, OWL, SKOS and linked data. The second case regards applications that explore semantics relying on and SKOS. We conclude that a human operator must assist linked data applications to interpret Wikidata’s RDF because of the choices that were taken at Wikidata in the definition of its expression in RDF. The semantics of the RDF output from Wikidata is “locked-in” by the usage of Wikidata’s own ontology, resulting in the need for human intervention. Wikidata is only a few steps away from high quality machine interpretation, however. It contains extensive alignment data to RDF, RDFS, OWL, SKOS and, but a machine interpretation of those alignments can only be done if some essential Wikidata alignment properties are known.


RDF RDFS OWL Semantic Web 



This work was partly supported by Portuguese national funds through Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) with reference UID/CEC/50021/2019, and by the European Commission under contract number 30-CE-0885387/00-80.e.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INESC-IDLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Europeana FoundationThe HagueThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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