Wikidata’s Query Builder: A Key to Unlock the World’s largest Collection of Linked Data

Open data ensures knowledge exchange and the creativity necessary for Free Knowledge in the 21st century. This is the reason why in 2012, the project Wikidata came into being at Wikimedia Deutschland, where the platform has been continuously developed in close collaboration with an international community of volunteers.  

Until now, users had to be proficient in SPARQL, the query language of Wikidata. With the Query Builder, searching for data in Wikidata becomes accessible to more people. Its visual interface is ideal for users who are curious about Wikidata’s possibilities, but have little or no experience in programming languages.

Open Data becomes Accessible to All

“Wikidata – created by thousands of volunteers – is an extremely broad and diverse collection of data that is accessible for everybody and can be used by all. We are pleased to enable even more people to make use of this data, for example for research purposes or visualizations in journalism and use it for their visualizations and research.,” states Franziska Heine, director of Wikimedia Deutschland’s software department and the organization’s deputy director.

Open Data’s Superpower

To quote Lydia Pintscher, Wikidata’s product manager at Wikimedia Deutschland: “Querying Wikidata is a superpower. With the Query Builder, you can access all the knowledge hidden in Wikidata’s connections and data.” The Query Builder doesn’t offer SPARQL’s full functionality, but it links to the Query Service, where users can view, edit or expand it.

How the Query Builder works

The Query Builder makes it easy for Wikidata users to query its linked data. Wikidata now contains over 94 million data objects – known as Items – ranging from historical and scientific facts to niche topics. For example, you can create a list of all female heads of state or the works of a specific sculptor from the 18th century. You can find a step-by-step tutorial for the query builder in the blog post and in the video.