Wikidata is a new project that “aims to create a free knowledge base about the world that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike.” The project was started by the German chapter of Wikimedia, the organization that oversees Wikipedia and related projects, and is he first new Wikimedia project since 2006.
Wikidata has its roots in the successful Semantic MediaWiki project, and the Wikidata development team is lead by Dr. Denny Vrandecic, a well known member of the Semantic Web research community and one of the Semantic MediaWiki creators in 2005. The project is funded by Paul Allen’s AI2 foundation (which funded Semantic MediaWiki), Google, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Wikidata will expose the data that underlies Wikipedia and other sources as RDF and JSON and also allow people and programs to query the data as well as adding or editing data.
For more information, see an Wikipedia’s Next Big Thing on Techcrunch or the Wikimedia press release on Wikidata. You an also see a recent Wikidata presentation by Denny and view his talk on the nascent Project at the 2011 Wikimania conference.
Wikimedia fans in our area will find it easy to attend Wikimania 2012, which will be held July 12-15 at George Washington University in the Washington DC area.