Commons:Structured data/FAQ

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These are some of the questions most often asked about the Structured data project.

What is this, and how long will it take?[edit]

The Structured Data project is an effort to store and present the vast amounts of data that Wikimedia Commons holds in an much more useful way. By organizing data on Commons, the process of using the site will be improved in uploading, editing, searching, viewing and reusing files.

Make no mistake, this is a very large project that will take a very long time. Commons has millions upon millions of pieces of data, a great deal of which is stored asynchronously. This project will occur in measured stages over the course of years.

Why is this important?[edit]

Wikimedia Commons is an immensely valuable place in advancing human knowledge as one of the only places on the internet that serves as a repository for only entirely free media. If all of the data that Commons holds was brought together and displayed in an organized manner, Commons' place as a source for preserving, curating and re-using media will be expounded in value to the rest of the world.

Is file meta data staying on Commons?[edit]

Yes. All file data will remain on Commons.

How will file information be structured?[edit]

There is still active discussion. Current consensus can be found here: Commons:Structured data/Modelling.

Will Commons still have templates?[edit]

Yes. Templates with structured data potentially can even be localized into languages other than English.

Will Commons still have categories?[edit]

Yes. Categories with structured data potentially can even be localized into languages other than English.

Will this be available for other Wikimedia projects?[edit]

Eventually, yes, we hope. The software development for implementing structured data on Commons is based on that used for and is being written with compatibility with other Wikimedia projects in mind. Information from Wikidata is already being used for sitelinks in Wikipedia and for some templates. Structured file description information from Commons should, similarly, be available where files from commons are used on wikimedia projects and elsewhere. This is a project which will develop over years as new tools are developed.

How can I help?[edit]

There will be many ways to participate during the development of the structured data project. As things get underway, an active way you can participate is by signing up to help out with the file metadata cleanup drive. There are millions of files across Wikimedia projects with missing or incomplete machine-readable data and the cleanup drive makes fixing files easy and trackable from project to project.

Other ways to participate, such as discussion the software through requests for comment on MediaWiki, IRC office hours for planning, and other initiatives as they come up will be posted on the Get involved page.