Friday, February 16, 2007

An article in Nature ...

I am absolutely thrilled with the article that was published last Wednesday in Nature... It is a great article and it explains really well what we hope to achieve with relational data in MediaWiki. The only thing that is a bit sad is, that you have to pay $30 for the privilege of reading it.

The article is great, and what makes it special is the great presentation that Knewco has created to explain what we hope to achieve; this demo available at It presents some really impressive figures; it indicates the work done to integrate several important resources of the bio-medical domain, the numbers involved.

For me the most important point is that this is likely to be a very important stimulus to the Open Access movement. It indicates that it is possible to bring what was divided together. It allows people to work with the terminology of their field and also add data that is very specific. Information that goes much further than what was envisioned in what was once called the "Ultimate Wiktionary".

The whole notion of a resource that because of its roots already merged lexicology, terminology and ontology is really special. With the integration of such specialised data from different domains like the bio-medical, another really interested experiment will be under way when the data gets imported and merged. There is a nascent community for the bio-medical domain and, it will find that it will co-exist with the existing OmegaWiki community.

Both communities have everything to gain from collaboration; much of what the existing OmegaWiki community cares about will be seen as a fringe benefit. On the other hand, the translations that exist for concepts like malaria will prove to be of value when scientific articles are considered that were not published in English.

I am convinced that a bright future is ahead of us. We have this vision of what may come, I wish I could look into the future and see what it will be like. :)



Anonymous said...

I understand that it's using a version of Wikidata, but there seems to be some novel features, including some sort of term auto-highlighting. Will these be contributed to the Wikidata project?

GerardM said...

Some of the functionality will be part of "Relational MediaWiki" some parts of the functionality, including the "highlighting", will be available in OmegaWiki.