More Picasso paintings in one year than all the Vermeer paintings?

Answering an art history question with SPARQL.

Sometimes a question pops into my head that, although unrelated to computers, could likely be answered with a SPARQL query. I don’t necessarily know the query off the top of my head and have to work it out. I’m going to discuss an example of one that I worked out and the steps that I took, because I wanted to show how I navigated the Wikidata data model to get what I wanted.

Last month in Populating a dataset from Wikidata I talked about pulling data out of Wikidata and using it to create triples, and I hinted about the possibility of updating Wikidata data directly. The SPARQL fun of this is to then perform queries against Wikidata and to see your data edits reflected within a few minutes. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly edits showed up in query results, so I thought I would demo it with a little video.

One-click replacement of an IMDb page with the corresponding Wikipedia page

With some Python, JavaScript, and of course, SPARQL.

I recently tweeted “I find that @imdb is so crowded with ads that’s it’s easier to use Wikipedia to look up movies and actors and directors and their careers. And then there’s that Wikidata SPARQL endpoint!” Instead of just cursing the darkness, I decided to light a little SPARQL-Python-JavaScript candle, and it was remarkably easy.

Playing with wdtaxonomy

Those queries from my last blog entry? Never mind!

After I wrote about Extracting RDF data models from Wikidata in my blog last month, Ettore Rizza suggested that I check out wdtaxonomy, which extracts taxonomies from Wikidata by retrieving the kinds of data that my blog entry’s sample queries retrieved, and it then displays the results as a tree. After playing with it, I’m tempted to tell everyone who read that blog entry to ignore the example queries I included, because you can learn a lot more from wdtaxonomy.

Extracting RDF data models from Wikidata

That's "models", plural.

Some people complain when an RDF dataset lacks a documented data model. A great thing about RDF and SPARQL is that if you want to know what kind of modeling might have been done for a dataset, you just look, even if they’re using non-(W3C-)standard modeling structures. They’re still using triples, so you look at the triples.

SPARQL full-text Wikipedia searching and Wikidata subclass inferencing

Wikipedia querying techniques inspired by a recent paper.

I found all kinds of interesting things in the article “Getting the Most out of Wikidata: Semantic Technology Usage in Wikipedia’s Knowledge Graph”(pdf) by Stanislav Malyshev of the Wikimedia Foundation and four co-authors from the Technical University of Dresden. I wanted to highlight two particular things that I will find useful in the future and then I’ll list a few more.