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To:Discussion list for the Wikidata project. From:Gregor Hagedorn Subject:Re: [Wikidata-l] Data_model: Metamodel: Wikipedialink Date:Thu, 5 Apr 2012 23:10:45 +0200

On 5 April 2012 18:30, Denny Vrandečić <> wrote:
> The label and the description together are meant to be identifying.
> I.e. "Georgia - A country in central Asia", or "Frankfurt - A city in Hesse,
> Germany", etc.
> Additionally, the Wikipedia links provide quite some guidance to it.

I believe it will be difficult to craft labels that work as
definitions. A label is hinting, and may often be sufficiently precise
for the majority of purposes. If we speak of "Germany" it is very hard
to express in a simple string the different historical, geographical,
political delimitations that this term may carry.

In my own field of work even technical terms are often difficult to
resolve to a definition. In biology, the width of taxon delimitations
changes over time and with new research, and even technical terms in
morphologoy often have quite different meanings, depending on the
"school" that is being followed.

Or to cite a car example again: The label "Renault Kangoo" is
unspecific as to the version/revision/release of it, so technical data
that vary between these versions can not be added to it. However, the is in most Wikipedias also
subsumed under "Renault Kangoo". So it is a valid assumption that when
labeling something "Renault Kangoo" it refers to both of these
identical models sold under different names. But then, the "Nissan
Kubistar" is only equivalent to the first version/revision/release of
the "Renault Kangoo"...

This is not unsolvable, but if you want to import or add data to an
element, it will be very hard to judge from a short label the correct
concept. I was hoping that linking this to Wikipedia articles would
help, but this will be hard if a Wikidata page is linked to 40
Wikipedias, any given Wikidata editor can read only a handful of, and
with no support to distinguish between exactMatch and closeMatch.

My suggestions is to allow a differentiation of exactMatch and
closeMatch and instruct editors to use at least one exact match, and
considers this or these the defining wikipedia pages, whereas other
are added as close match.

Of course, the label will remain useful to stumble of changes in
definition of width of concept over time, and correct those after
consulting the revision number to which the original links was formed
(not present, but perhaps achievable by some timestamping and


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