Wikidata has many, many statements about the real world, but also describes worlds of fiction or myth. Fictional entities can have almost all the same properties as real ones, but have at least one property that marks them as fictional. They should have instance of fictional character, or a subset such as fictional human, or even fictional pig. Wikidata presently has more than 40,000 fictional entities and this query gives an overview of their types.

There are also properties for present in work…

Prospero → present in work → The Tempest

…and from fictional universe

Hermione Granger → from…


One of my jobs brings me into contact with lots of economists, so although I’m not an economist myself the subject is much on my mind when I use Wikidata. The award received (P166) property links people or organisations to awards they have won. Maybe I can use this to find the most decorated economist?

The most prestigious award in Economics is the Nobel Memorial Prize, and Wikipedia and Wikidata have rich detail about the 79 (so far) laureates. My first instinct is to make an interactive map: it could be a map of their birthplaces, of institutions they’ve worked…


A new post has come out on the Wikimedia Foundation blog, introducing Wikidata and explaining why institutions should share data with it. The authors use the Harry Potter universe as an example of a world that can be explored with Wikidata queries, but also as a nice analogy for learning. People can improve Wikidata whatever their level of database skill, whether “wizard” or “muggle”; they just need to be patient and prepared to learn.

It’s a nice example of playing-with-Wikidata-but-not-the-day-job, just as I’m trying to do here with Wiki Playtime.

I contributed one query: the chart of group membership in…


This week the Voltaire Foundation have published my guest blog post which describes how we constructed Histropedia timelines to support the study of Voltaire’s works, along with a neat trick we used to increase readership of French articles about Voltaire. It follows the same format I’m using here at Wiki Playtime, but it’s in my day job.


Wikidata has a doctoral advisor (P184) relation, so the entry for a person can identify the person who supervised their doctoral degree.

There are some remarkable facts among these statements. For instance, chemist/ cognitive scientist Christopher Longuet-Higgins, who did amazing work on the psychology of music, was the doctoral advisor of both Peter Higgs (known for proposing the Higgs field and Higgs Boson) and Geoffrey Hinton (a huge name in artificial neural nets and machine learning).

However, I’m more curious about grand-doctoral-advisors, great-grand-doctoral-advisors, and so on: relations that connect people across centuries. …


Wikidata has entries for Members of Parliament and for constituencies, although at the moment the two sets of data are not linked together. Still, I’m interested in what we can do with the biographical data about MPs.

Let’s start by looking at the Parliament of the United Kingdom (other parliaments come later). MPs have the property position held (P39) -> Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom (Q16707842). Right now 10,708 items in Wikidata have this property (covering current and former MPs).

MPs also have the property educated at (P69) which connects them to schools and universities. So we can…

Martin L Poulter

Wikimedian In Residence at the Khalili Collections; Former Wikimedian In Residence at the University of Oxford, exploring open data and open content

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