Elsewhere online
April 02, 2012

Wikipedia Gets $1.7-Million to Organize Data

Wikipedia’s German chapter has received $1.7-million from Google and two foundations with roots in the world of technology, with the aim of making the nonprofit online encyclopedia more accurate, says The Wall Street Journal.

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (created by Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder), and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (co-created by Mr. Moore, co-founder of Intel) have teamed up with the search-engine company to support a project called Wikidata, which intends to automate and centralize “structured” data in the crowd-sourced encyclopedia, such as lists of the 10 tallest mountains in the world. The donors say they believe the project will make Wikipedia more consistent across each country’s version and cut down on the basic maintenance done by users.

Wikidata is the first grant project for the Allen Institute, says Mark Greaves, the institute’s vice president. “Currently Wikipedia is all about articles or pieces of text. This will add a data capability to” it, says Mr. Greaves, who added “it will become almost like the world’s almanac, not just the world’s encyclopedia.”