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A gradually growing definition of the site's technological design challenges and decisions.


Wikidocumentaries is a Wikibase project, which aggregates content from Wikimedia projects, openly licensed GLAM archives through queries and from the visitors. It will deal with less notable topics, such as biographies or local history.

The first selection of items will cover the geographical area of Finland, people related to the the country, events in Finland etc. The selection may also be created organically on the go.

Content modules

Each page consists of content modules that are added to the page depending on the page type, topic type and available content. This lists ideas for them, not everything is created immediately. Each module is described in more detail on their own page.

  • Topic page header
  • Wikipedia article
  • Wikidata infobox
  • Local article
    • Testimonial article
    • Non-notable
  • Related content
    • Wikipedia article
    • Local article
    • User generated surveys/quizzes/enquiries
  • Images
  • Map
  • Newspaper articles
  • Data visualizations
    • Timeline
    • Family tree
  • Bibliography


The site will also host tools for working with the materials displayed

  • Photo geotagging
  • Mass tagging
  • Transcription
  • Map rectifying

Back end

The site runs on a Wikibase, which stores a subset of Wikidata items. Federation between Wikidata and Wikidocumentaries will take place both ways.

Other data to store in the Wikibase are definitions of APIs in various organisations where Wikidocumentaries expects to find content. The technology of Wikidocumentaries is based on previously untested setup of using Wikidata data to create the backbone of the site information.


Page = item in Wikidata and/or Wikidocumentaries. Each topic in Wikidocumentaries has a page.

  • The initial set of topics in Wikidocumentaries are created by selecting a set of Wikidata items and creating them in Wikidocumentaries.
  • When the user navigates to a page that does not exist in Wikidocumentaries, but for which there is an item in Wikidata (through a link in Wikipedia text for example), the page is automatically created.
  • The user may create additional topics in Wikidocumentaries with a set of minimum required properties.
  • The scope of automatically created item may at some point be defined as a Shape Expression, which will probably be stored in the Federated Wikibases registry. This definition can help add whole thematic areas at once in a coordinated manner.
  • The newly created items in Wikidocumentaries can be automatically imported to Wikidata, when they meet a certain criteria. This can also be expressed as a ShEx.


  • Can Wikidata properties be used LIVE in Wikidocumentaries?
  • What can be a realistic schedule for deploying Shape Expressions?

Front end

Wikidocumentaries starts by creating the necessary functionalities in the MediaWiki interface. The goal is, however, to create an independent interface that reads the underlying Wikibase and MediaWiki information through an API.