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Month: April 2014

Spaghetti Open Data

Spaghetti Open DataSpaghetti Open Data is made up of a group of Italian citizens interested in the release of public data in open formats, in order to make it easy to access and reuse.

Starting in 2010 they have had yearly conferences.

I was lucky enough to be invited to their conference this year (SOD14) as the keynote speaker talking about Wikidata, paid for by Wikimedia Italy.

An overview of the conference can be found at http://www.spaghettiopendata.org/page/conferenza-sod14

IMG_0004

Photo by: Homer Project. Harmonising Open Data

 

My talk went well and during the day many people came to discuss various things with me.

My presentation can be found on Google Docs.

As for my participation in the rest of the conference, well, I don’t speak Italian, so……

I can however say that Italy is a great place!

More Links

Media Hack Day 2014

the Media Hack Day logoThe Media Hack Day is an annual event held at Axel Springer | Plug & Play Accelerator in Berlin. The event for March 2014 can be found on hackerleague.org.

I attended representing the Wikidata API. Also in attendance were Axel Springer, storyful, Der Spiegel, sanoma, watchmi, Getty Images and embed.ly. It was in a great location, the food and rinks were great and it was generally well planned by the organizes and a pretty competitive crowd turned up.

At noon on the following day all hacks were presented to the API partners and all other attendees. The ‘News sightseeing’ hack was awarded a swag pack from Wikidata for making the best use of the API. They were also awarded the Axel Springer iPool and Getty Images prizes.

Details of the project can be found on hackerleague and the code can be found on GitHub and the teams blog post summary can be found on their own blog.

How ‘News sightseeing’ used the Wikidata API

Firstly it is important to say that at the time of the hackathon Wikidata didn’t really provide any good way to query the data it help, simply retrieve it, but luckily there was a query tool available that is currently located at https://wdq.wmflabs.org.

The code that interacts with the Wikidata API can be found in Aggregator/wikidata.rb.

Initially the code uses the 3rd party query tool to find a list of items matching the criteria in the query, the current query in an editor can be seen here or in the image below. The criteria basically look for items in Munich that are NOT roads but do have images and coordinate locations.
a Screenshot of query used at Media Hack Day 2014

The data for each item is then retrieved from the Wikidata API using the wbegtentities module.

Various parts are then stripped from the whole entity for use within the application:

  • The German label is used as a title
  • The German Wikipedia sitelink is used as a URL
  • The German description is used for content body
  • A statement with property P18 is used as an image
  • A statement with property P571 is used as the initial date
  • A statement with property P625 is used for the precise location

As a result the app has access to information (including images) of possible locations to go sightseeing around the user.

Read more about News Sightseeing

Or watch their demo video

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