Wikipedia Link Improvement Project

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This page documents ongoing tasks to fix Wikipedia and Wikidata related tags. Most queries here use Wikidata+OSM SPARQL query service. See also Quick fixes.

Wikipedia links in the "website"/"url" key

Often users add links to Wikipedia in website and url tags. They should be moved to wikipedia + wikidata instead. To fix:

  • Use the above query to view and fix each object

Missing Wikidata tags

iD editor automatically adds wikidata tag when a user adds wikipedia field. In JOSM, wikidata tag can be added with Data/Fetch Wikidata IDs command using Wikipedia plugin. These objects can be easily found with Overpass turbo using [wikipedia][!wikidata] query. There are several reasons why the wikidata tag may be missing:

  • In iD, user added wikipedia tag using "tags" instead of "fields" section. In JOSM, user forgotten to use Fetch IDs.
    • Using JOSM, use fetch IDs command in the data menu.
  • The wikipedia tag is incorrect, either because the title was entered incorrectly, or because it was deleted.
    • Find a Wikipedia title about the object, possibly in a different wiki language, or delete wikipedia tag.
  • The Wikipedia page exists, but there is no corresponding Wikidata entry.
    • Check if there is an article about this exact object in another Wikipedia language. If exists, link both Wikipedia articles using "edit links" in the list of languages on the left, and re-fetch.
    • If not, create a new Wikidata entry. You should always add at least one label, description, "instance of" statement, and a link to the Wikipedia article. Save and re-fetch.

Mismatching wikidata and OSM name tags

Any OSM feature that gets linked to a wikidata item should ideally have the same or very similar name as they refer to an identical geographical feature. Any mismatches in the name might indicate a potentially incorrect wikidata tag. One can review a list of recent wikidata tags on OSM with a mismatched name using OSMCha:

Mismatching wikidata and wikipedia tags

Both wikipedia and wikidata tags should consistently point to the same thing. wikidata tag must always point to the Wikidata entry that links to the same Wikipedia title as stored in the wikipedia tag. In some cases, wikipedia tag points to a "redirect page", whose target in turn is part of the correct Wikidata entry. While this is OK, the OSM SPARQL service does not store such informatiton, thus producing errors. It is better to fix wikipedia tags to point to the actual articles to help with quick verification.

Links to Wikipedia pages about multiple objects

Frequently, there is no Wikipedia article about the specific OSM object, e.g. a church, yet there exists a Wikipedia page that mentions the object. This page could either be a table or list of all churches in the area, or it could be a page about a town, with a section of the article dedicated to the church. In some cases, it could be a list of different concepts with the same name (disambig page, see disambig section below). In any of these cases, do not use wikipedia tag. Instead, use related:wikipedia (TBD!), and no wikidata tag at all.

Links to disambiguation pages

A disambiguation page is a page that lists multiple meanings of the same term. wikipedia and wikidata tags should never link to such pages. These items can be easily found by using ?wdId wdt:P31/wdt:P279* wd:Q4167410 query. In some rare case, Wikidata entries might have been incorrectly marked as disambiguations, and should be fixed (set proper "instance of", and remove a few main disambig descriptions). For all other cases, either find the right Wikipedia/Wikidata values, or remove them if there is no such entry. Having a link to disambig page has no value, with the possible exception of related:wikipedia tag as described above.

Links to list pages

Similar to disambiguation pages, lists can be found using ?wdId wdt:P31/wdt:P279* wd:Q13406463 query, and should be fixed to use the related:wikipedia tag, and no wikidata tag.

Links to page sections using a hash symbol

If wikipedia tag contains a "#" (a link to a page section), most likely it should also not use wikipedia tag, but instead use the related:wikipedia tag, and no wikidata tag.

Links to Concepts, Brands, Subjects, Networks


As described in Wikidata proposal, there are many cases when Wikipedia/Wikidata may be about the general concept, and not the specific object. For example, a McDonald's restaurant should not link to the Wikipedia McDonald's article because the article is about the brand, not this specific restaurant. Instead, OSM object should use brand:wikipedia & brand:wikidata tags. The brand:wiki... tag should also be used for anything brand-related, such as a supermarket or an ATM. Similarly, a statue of Einstein should use subject:wiki... tags, unless there is an article about the statue itself. subject:wiki* applies to many other cases, such as memorials boards and graves.

Linking to Humans

OpenStreetMap represents objects, but not human beings. When OSM object links to a human being, there is a very good chance that's a mistake:

subject:wikidata pointing to a sculptor

Duplicate tags in wikipedia & brand:wikipedia

Frequently the same value is set on both wikipedia and brand:wikipedia (or subject:wikipedia, ...). Only one of them should be set. Same thing for *:wikidata.

Duplicate tags on a relation and its members

As described in Key:wikipedia, the tag should only be set on a relation, not on its members. In general, most common tags should be moved to the relation, such as multilingual and international names, wikipedia, and wikidata. The name tag should remain on each member to simplify identification.