It’s easy to take the enormous volume of information we’re all now privy to, for granted. A transformative global information network exists online – but somewhere, someone is collating, editing and e-publishing the ‘facts,’ attempting to minimize the conjecture. Wikipedia is a tremendous public service resource – seemingly getting stronger everyday – and it still seems incredible that we have jettisoned the library in favour of the iPad. Oh how the mind boggles!
Advances to the ‘world’s encyclopedia’ continue apace with a large philanthropic cash injection recently from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Google, reports the Philanthropy News Digest. Indeed, $1.7 million has gone into Wikimedia’s coffers (the umbrella group driving the entire Wiki brand) to create Wikidata. A recent article in PND highlights the first new Wikimedia project since 2006: “Wikidata will support more than two hundred and eighty language editions of Wikipedia with one common source of structured data that can be used in all articles that are part of the Wikipedia site. The aim of the effort is to create a higher level of consistency and quality within Wikipedia articles…”
This is an exciting development for the site, allowing more nations, previously limited, to share, update and edit new data with a central language portal filtering and collecting the information. Wikimedia’s mission statement to “bring free educational content to the world” has just taken several steps forward.