Commons:Structured data/Modeling/Date

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You can help by working on guidelines and providing examples below. Visit the talk page to discuss this process in general.

The modeling of various types of times and dates in structured data, for files on Wikimedia Commons Wikidata mostly follows the standards used on Wikidata, which are outlined in d:Help:Dates. There are many properties related to time which are shared between Wikidata and Commons, and they are all listed in d:Wikidata:List of properties/time. The most relevant property to Commons is inception (P571), which is equivalent to date field in {{Information}} template, and which should be used for storing the time

  • photograph was taken,
  • document created,
  • painting or other artwork completed.

Modeling various sources related to Wikimedia Commons files[edit]

Case Equivalent to wikitext
"date = ..."
Example file Statement Comment
simple day precision date 2006-10-03
{{Taken on|2006-10-03}}
Victoria crater from HiRise.jpg
Normal rank
0 references
add reference

add value
more complicated date traditionally handled by {{Other date}} template {{other date|circa|1942-06}} PalmercarpenterA.jpg
Normal rank
sourcing circumstances circa
0 references
add reference

add value
more complicated date traditionally handled by {{Other date}} template {{other date|summer|2005}} Antelope Canyon Mittags.jpg
Normal rank 2005
refine date summer (northern hemisphere)
0 references
add reference

add value

Storing of imprecise dates[edit]

Sometimes dates like date of creation of some artwork are not precisely known. On Commons we traditionally used {{Other date}} and {{Complex date}} templates for that. On SDC we will use qualifiers developed on Wikidata and described in Help:Dates. Below is a copy of most relevant section.

Qualifiers can be used to explain or customize dates that cannot be fully represented in YYYY-MM-DD, YYY-MM or YYYY formats. The precision of the date being qualified should have a precision that encompasses the range described by the qualifiers, or be set to "unknown value" (["snaktype"] = "somevalue").

Example dates and how to save them
statement code Example from
circa 500 BCE 500 BCE / sourcing circumstances (P1480) circa (Q5727902) Pythagoras (Q10261) date of death (P570)
after 741 / earliest date (P1319) year 741 Swanachild (Q291747) date of death (P570)
before 140s / latest date (P1326) 140s Pius I (Q83198) date of birth (P569)
between 586 and 569 BCE / earliest date (P1319) 586 BCE
/ latest date (P1326) 569 BCE
Pythagoras (Q10261) date of birth (P569)
between circa 1600 and circa 1615 / earliest date (P1319) 1600.
/ latest date (P1326) 1615.
/ sourcing circumstances (P1480) circa (Q5727902)
Pieter Mulier the Elder (Q217640) date of birth (P569)
from 1384 / start time (P580) 1384. Mikołaj of Ściborz (Q11780990) floruit (P1317)
until 1515 / end time (P582) 1515.
from 1405 until 1420 / start time (P580) 1405.
/ end time (P582) 1420.
Master of Egerton (Q29609) floruit (P1317)
beginning of 11. century 11. century / refine date (P4241) beginning of (Q40719727) Parascheva of the Balkans (Q6967370) date of birth (P569)
middle of 18. century 18. century / refine date (P4241) middle of (Q40719748) Zlata of Maglen (Q2512266) date of birth (P569)
end of April 2011 April 2011 / refine date (P4241) end of (Q40719766) Hoegaarden 0,0 (Q2198961) inception (P571)
first half of 1900s 1900s / refine date (P4241) first half (Q40719687) Monogrammist E. D. (Q40912154) floruit (P1317)
summer of 1693 1693. / refine date (P4241) summer (northern hemisphere) (Q40720564) Hieronymus Janssens (Q3135313) date of death (P570)
autumn of 1653 1653. / refine date (P4241) autumn (northern hemisphere) (Q40720568) Adriaen van Utrecht (Q367970) date of death (P570)

Caution: distinction between a digital file, and a creative work shown/depicted in a file[edit]

When a file on Wikimedia Commons shows/depicts a creative work, date information about the file and about the depicted work are usually very different.

In some cases (when? criteria?) it is best to describe the creative work as an item on Wikidata to keep this distinction clear.


Modeling various dates and times related to Wikimedia Commons files[edit]

Type of metadata Notes Wikidata property Status
Creation date
  • In case of a photograph: the date the photo was taken
  • In case of a painting or other artwork: the date the painting was completed
  • etc.
inception (P571) ✓ Done
Publication date First time shared with a wider audience (affects copyright status) publication date (P577) Crystal128-configure.svg Work in progress
Date depicted Map or other representation of a specific date date depicted (P2913)
Example Example Example Crystal128-configure.svg Work in progress

General notes and remarks[edit]