Proposal talk:Remove link to Wikidata from infoboxes

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Wiki was broken

Sorry if this is the wrong place to talk about this issue.

InfoBoxes were "broken" yesterday. But also the link in the sidebar to edit the data item was removed.
I don't know when exactly.

Also Special:EntityData seem to be removed.
This URL is used by Sophox to access a Data Item element.
For example, run this SPARQL query and click on osmd:Q1079 corresponding to alt_name key.

--Pyrog (talk) 08:14, 27 April 2022 (UTC) --Pyrog (talk) 10:24, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

Rationale against removal

I encourage people to list here arguments against removal of this external links, I think that it may be better than my attempt to create an unbiased summary Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 09:46, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

  • summary : real problem (too many wrong match between an osm tag and a wikidata item), wrong solution (hide, desynchronize, turn structured info into free text) instead of "use only correct match and do not encourage the addition of a wrong match".
    long version : infoboxes give a summary of infos about a tag. for ex "require, combinaison, see also tags". i see no improvement to move structured wikidata/wikipedia match into a "see also" free-text section. Saying that they will not be lost since copied in the dataitems is even worse, since it means that a "incorrect osm-WP match" for the wiki is a correct osm-WP match looking at the dataitems, which only worsens the desynchronization between the 2 bases which should only be a representation of the same information. if a match is wrong (="not the same thing in osm and wikidata), then it must be deleted both on the wiki and on the dataitem (and in this case only, it could be a "see also this topic on wikipedia". if it's valid for dataitem, it's also valid for the wiki. In my opinion the problem is "Search Wikidata" which gives the impression that some information is missing and therefore "request" contributors to add a match at all costs, a wrong if necessary. I would gladly support any proposal who would like to not display "Search Wikidata" (in the same way that you don't have an "add proposal link" link for all the pages without one.) but I am opposed to any proposal to desynchronize even more wiki<>dataitems and also opposed to any proposal to transform structured information into "free text" information (and if accepted, your proposal also does not include editing each page to transform the current structured info into free text in the "see also" section, so for wiki users, it causes a loss of information). the current presentation could also be simply displayed in the "see also" section of the infobox, for example
    See also
    read more on wikidata (the number itself is not very interesting). splitting the proposal in 2 (hide "Search Wikidata" <> desynchronization and destructuring of the wiki for wikidata) is also an option.

--Marc marc (talk) 11:12, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

  • loses the power of wikidata instead of a better use.
    example with species=Acer platanoides
    if a wikidata is associated to this tag, it would allow each editor to display the term in the user's language, without that, each project create a translation project where the human would be denigrated by adding a Xth copy of the same information (I'm talking about adding a translation of a key in a preset, and not at all importing Wikidata in osm)

--Marc marc (talk) 11:12, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

dog=* <=> Q144 is wrong AND this key is poorly named regarding its actual definition. As Marc said, removing display of wikidata won't prevent errors and will hide them to more people, preventing them to make improvements. We need completion and accuracy. Most of it is achieved in OSM by showing what seems wrong to people. Our map isn't improving because we hide things to users, it improves because we show them. Let's apply the same to the wiki please Fanfouer (talk) 13:22, 10 April 2022 (UTC)
My position is that OSM tag <-> Wikidata links are both (a) not useful (b) quite often simply wrong. So I do not consider errors in them as something very important as it is not useful anyway Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:34, 10 April 2022 (UTC)

Yes please

I strongly support this idea. I find these links to be a big pain to confirm as correct or false.

Often people create a new page to document a tag by copying an old page, so inevitably there are copy-paste errors where certain things are not updated. If the key or value is wrong or the description or photo is from the other page, this is obvious. But there is no way to see if the wikidata link is wrong, unless you open the page in wikidata. This is a hassle and it means the wikidata links are often incorrect.

Even when a user has tried to get the correct link, often they just find the closest-sounding title in wikidata, but this usually does not directly match the tag with the same name in OpenStreetMap. --Jeisenbe (talk) 05:08, 7 January 2021 (UTC)

Shouldn't we translate the item name instead of hiding it? I mean, hiding anything won't prevent errors and this will make harder to correct them.
We need better handling of data items/wikidata items, not less visibility. Fanfouer (talk) 13:24, 10 April 2022 (UTC)

Affect to linkage in Wikidata

Does or how does this affect linking the other way around from Wikidata to OSM? How will links to OSM be established in Wikidata in the future? Are possibilities of use by combining databases and OSM lost for the future? --Chris2map (talk) 13:36, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

See Proposed_features/remove_link_to_Wikidata_from_infoboxes#No_information_loss - everything will be still in data items, nothing will be lost. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 14:52, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
"Does or how does this affect linking the other way around from Wikidata to OSM" - how this linking is created? It should be not affected or trivial to fix if someone is parsing wiki pages Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 14:52, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, this means that Wikidata links can only be entered on data items, and I can or should continue to enter Wikidata links on data items? --Chris2map (talk) 15:04, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Anyone will be able to add Wikidata links on data items, this will be not affected at all. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:13, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

From data items too

I support removing that link. It's good because on 3456 pages we can only see "Search Wikidata". And clicking this link won't find anything. For example: -> Search Wikidata will search for "admin_level=2" which obviously doesn't exist becasue it's just an OSM tag. 3456 is just for English pages. If we sum up all languages, 1016 DE, 503 ES, 534 FR ... there will be more than ten thousand.

If we remove it from infoboxes, it should be also removed from data items because it's a mirror of the infobox. When they were created, they were a copy of infoboxes. maro21 18:15, 17 January 2021 (UTC)

  • Data items (in theory at least) are supposed to be used for more things that just copy of infobox. I am not aware about any actual use in this way (it is mostly cached and outdated copy of infoboxes in format annoying to edit and use), but in theory more may be there. I am explicitly not proposing removal from infoboxes as (1) While I am heavily interested in OSM Wiki I am not interested in data items at all (2) for strategic reason - at least some people would be against such complete removal Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 18:40, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Some of the examples on SPARQL examples use properties that aren't mirrored in the infobox for lack of space, such as incompatible with. There are also some outstanding, shovel-ready requests to use data items more extensively, such as to customize the image associated with each preset based on the country being edited. [1] But I agree that the link in the infobox needs more context if it's going to remain. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 19:16, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
"Incompatible with" is actually present in the infobox, see Tag:name=Walmart (from series of entries representing initial failed attempt to create NSI) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:29, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Ah, right, that comes from the data item, even though there's no dedicated infobox parameter for it. (I'm so glad we aren't actively maintaining brand entries this way, by the way.) But anyways, my point is that the data items have use cases beyond what people have traditionally used the wiki pages for, for the simple reason that they're straightforwardly machine-readable. I recognize that this is orthogonal to whether or how we keep the Wikidata link in the infobox. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 20:26, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

+1, Wikidata is not OSM

I have spoken out against this a long time ago. I don't have the time or patience to dig through history to find out who added it and based on which discussion. I took exception particularly to the message displayed if no link to Wikidata has been established yet, essentially this is trying to get OSM users to spend time on a different project. "Hey while you're here why don't you improve Wikidata by adding information there". This is not as bad as "Hey why don't you do some mapping in Google too" since Wikidata is an open project at least, but it is a different project with different rules and customs; personally I don't want to spend my time contributing to Wikidata, and I don't want visitors to the OSM wiki to get the impression that we as OSM actively recommend Wikidata editing. --Woodpeck (talk) 13:47, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

I created Proposed_features/remove_link_to_Wikidata_from_infoboxes#History to document that it was added without any real discussion Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 14:13, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Some pages here, such as Key:brand:wikidata, do proactively promote Wikidata editing, by way of explaining how to create a Wikidata item that's well-formed so that it doesn't get deleted. Several mappers have asked for additional guidance after seeing their first Wikidata contributions marked for deletion, so it would be helpful and not at all misleading to keep that content where mappers would look for it. That said, linking to Wikidata from every infobox on the wiki is a bit of a different beast, just because it's so widespread and prominent compared to links to sites that are more obviously in the OSM ecosystem. If the link remains, I think it should go under the existing "Tools for this tag" section, and ideally Help:Infobox#Tools for this tag would explain what each of the tools is for. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 19:23, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
It's completely appropriate to have that information at Key:brand:wikidata or Key:wikidata which are tags which specifically are meant to be used to link OpenStreetMap objects to Wikidata objects. Anyone at those pages will be interested in Wikidata in some way, and since all tags are optional it is fine to have help for users who want to do something with Wikidata. What is inappropriate is having a link or mention of wikidata (or wikipedia) on every Tag or Key page here, including unrelated ones. --Jeisenbe (talk) 05:50, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

+1 This avoids an unending friction

The two projects of WikiData and OSM have, ultimately, a very different approach and a very different goal. Wikidata is, by their own words, a "knowledge base". It is meant to document the world but not be a part of it. At first glance this may seem the same to OSM, but it isn't. That would be like saying a dictionary is the same as language. They are distinctly different.

The fact is that OSM is a living "document". It is meant to evolve. It is meant to reflect the local knowledge first. If a new building is added, the map is updated. It lives, its local and it follows people.

Yes, we know that the best way for your local map to be useful to me is if we share tags and concepts. And this list is the prime example of that need and of the differences between people.The tagset we care about (covid19 tags, anyone?) is a living thing that evolves.

So wikidata is more like a dictionary and OSM is more like daily-speech. Now imagine what happens when people are forced to only use dictionary words in their daily speech?The language dies. That is what happens. OSM is meant to be a living thing and marrying it to wikidata is always going to give friction because the goals are different. Kaartjesman (talk) 16:33, 10 April 2022 (UTC)

After the vote

Assume the vote passes. How are you going to remove it from infoboxes, do you have a bot or know someone who can run a bot and remove them? maro21 22:28, 30 January 2021 (UTC)

Infoboxes will be modified to stop processing wikidata parameter and to stop showing data item entry. Wikidata parameter at this stage will remain in page code. I will also try to make a bot edit removing this parameter, but that is not done in one go as
  1. trying to approve multiple things at once reduces chance that it will pass
  2. supporting this change and opposing bot edit, leaving removal for human edits during other editing is a valid position (though I am not sharing it)
  3. there is no accepted method for running bots in Wiki, and I want to avoid either
    1. Approval bot run by full scale proposal (poor precedent)
    2. Running bot without approval
  4. So before bot run I would establish some consensus for that
  5. What requires establishing some bot policy first
To avoid mixing template edit, bot policy setup and bot approval this proposal concerns solely editing templates and not removal of parameters from wiki articles
Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 06:55, 31 January 2021 (UTC)
In case of opposite votes due to leaving dead parameters I would retry failed proposal differently, after establishing bot policy. Similarly in case of proposal failing for some reason that can be fixed Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 07:02, 31 January 2021 (UTC)
"Wikidata parameter at this stage will remain in page code" - the title of the voting is "to remove link from infoboxes", not from the template. Such change in the template could be done after the discussion on a talk page, the 2-weeks vote is not necessary for that...
If there is no bot policy and if the vote passes you don't need anything else to remove Wikidata from infoboxes.
I saw some bots running on this Wiki, e.g. User:TigerfellBot . maro21 17:13, 31 January 2021 (UTC)
I added explicit "displayed" in "I propose to remove this link from displayed infoboxes as as confusing, unnecessary and not worth using infobox space." Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:33, 31 January 2021 (UTC)

A bigger deal than usual

For those who haven't been following these discussions closely, this RfC goes far beyond the standard for getting something changed in the infobox templates. Templates such as {{ValueDescription}} are only protected to guard against vandalism and poorly thought-out changes that fill up the job queue. In general, it should be no big deal to periodically revisit the list of links at the bottom of the infobox to remove less relevant links with a modicum of discussion. Even as an ardent proponent of Wikidata, I wouldn't mind making such a change myself. But Template talk:Description#Remove wikidata from this template became unexpectedly contentious, leading to this proposal. Unfortunately, the level of detail and rigor in this proposal could give the impression that it aims to do much more than curate some links, such as affecting the actual usage of data items or Wikidata in the database. Hence the disclaimer in the middle of the proposal, which could probably be more prominent. As things stand, an administrator like myself would think thrice before touching the Wikidata link at all because of both the previous discussion and this RfC that's been in limbo for the better part of a year. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 02:38, 23 November 2021 (UTC)

@Minh Nguyen: to be strict, it was not in limbo but I was (and still am) going through Category:Mismatched wikidata and Category:Not copied wikidata - and also through pages that should be listed there but are not what needed creation of an additional software. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 14:48, 23 November 2021 (UTC)

And small part of that that should be fixed (and is likely of interest for data items fans anyway) is following:

Automatically generated categories

@Minh Nguyen: - not sure are you interested in helping again, but in case you would be interested... Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:12, 22 February 2022 (UTC)

@Mateusz Konieczny: Did you want help with infoboxes that are mismatched? These categories currently appear to be empty. Is that correct? – Minh Nguyễn 💬 20:49, 22 February 2022 (UTC)
@Minh Nguyen: to my big suprise I actually finished this process, which I started in 2020! Sorry for a confusing ping. I am now planning to reread it and submit it again to RFC Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:02, 22 February 2022 (UTC)


Moving entries to data items is just what Yurikbot is set up to do, isn’t it? --Andrew (talk) 18:42, 4 April 2022 (UTC)

It is not working, problem was reported. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:24, 4 April 2022 (UTC)
It seems that it made its last changes in June 2020. Why is the bot no longer running? Who is responsible for the maintenance of the bot? Is it technically possible that the template updates the data item itself? --Hufkratzer (talk) 15:21 & 18:28, 11 April 2022 (UTC)
Someone could host the software, or there could be financial support to get it back. --Andrew (talk) 18:15, 11 April 2022 (UTC)
I don't understand that. Was is the problem with running the bot? Who needs financial support and for what? --Hufkratzer (talk) 18:28, 11 April 2022 (UTC)
Yuri lost his hosting. --Andrew (talk) 19:02, 11 April 2022 (UTC)
Running this bot should be trivially cheap, but noone is willing to maintain it and code is poorly documented. I would not run it, even if paid for it, as I consider data items as a bad idea. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:44, 12 April 2022 (UTC)
"Who is responsible for the maintenance of the bot?" noone Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:44, 12 April 2022 (UTC)

"I consider data items as a bad idea"

Could you, please, tell us more?

--Pyrog (talk) 16:10, 25 April 2022 (UTC)

One of primary problems is broken watchlisting, if you watchlist data item you get notification about translations in every single language (mostly incomprehensible for you) and there is no way to stop this. It makes watchlisting useless. (there are some other issues but either personal preferences or minor ones outweighted by benefits) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 16:43, 25 April 2022 (UTC)

Removal of migrated parameter from infoboxes - bot edit

See Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 13:02, 18 September 2022 (UTC)


I found two more places where remnants of 'wikidata' remain:

maro21 20:22, 18 May 2023 (UTC)

Removed, I think. There is still something on and Template:DescriptionLang/doc/table6 and I have no idea how this pages work Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 05:49, 21 May 2023 (UTC) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 06:02, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
I purged the rest from Template:DescriptionLang/doc/table/row (diff), moved "Rendering" to table 5, so table 6 is empty now. --Chris2map (talk) 18:25, 21 May 2023 (UTC)