Presented by

  • Peter Neish

    Peter Neish

    Peter is a data nerd who works in higher education. He has interests in data management training, planning and open science. Peter has previously worked at libraries, research organisations and government, using his background as a researcher and computer scientist to make databases and information more open, standards-based and linked. He has contributed to national and international data initiatives and transfer standards. Peter is currently a member of the Wikimedia Australia committee.

  • Alex Lum

    Alex Lum

    Alex Lum has been an editor on Wikipedia since 2005, an administrator on the English Wikipedia since 2008, and a prolific contributor to OpenStreetMap and Wikidata. He has a background in computer science and data analytics, and is currently working in online and print publishing in the higher education sector. Alex is on the committee of Wikimedia Australia, the national chapter of Wikipedia that supports local libraries, education and cultural organisations to improve the coverage of Australian content and sources in Wikipedia and related projects.


Wikidata is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the organisation behind Wikipedia. It has the aim of developing a free and open knowledge base of structured data from Wikipedia, as well as WMF’s other projects and beyond. Wikidata classifies over 100 million items (such as people, places, objects and works) into a highly extensible ontology, which can then be linked to other Wikidata items or external datasets. Powerful query tools allow visualisation of the data as maps, timelines and a variety of charts and tables, or the data can be exported in a variety of structured formats. This talk will introduce Wikidata and explain how data is structured, modeled and referenced. It will demonstrate how data is edited and the various tools used to wrangle data. The talk will also look at how wikidata is used by Wikipedia itself and also communities who need an open, crowd-sourced, referenced database to support their work. The talk will also demonstrate how wikidata can be queried using SPARQL, the Wikidata API and other tools and how it can be visualised. YouTube: LA Archive: