Wikipedia (CDSW)

From CommunityData

In this project, we will explore a few ways to gather data using the Wikipedia API. Once we've done that, we will extend this to code to create our own datasets of Wikipedia edits or other data that we might be able to use to ask and answer questions in the final session.


  • Get set up to build datasets with the Wikipedia API
  • Have fun collecting different types of data from Wikipedia
  • Practice reading and extending other people's code
  • Create a few collections of different types of data from Wikipedia that you can do research with in the final section

Download and test the Wikipedia API project[edit]

If you are confused by these steps, go back and refresh your memory with the Day 0 setup and tutorial and Day 0 tutorial

(Estimated time: 10 minutes)

Download the Wikipedia API project[edit]

  • Right click the following file, click "Save Target as..." or "Save link as...", and save it to your Desktop directory:

  • The ".zip" extension on the above file indicates that it is a compressed Zip archive. We need to "extract" its contents. To do this, click on "Start", then "Computer" on Windows or open Finder and navigate to your Desktop directory if you are a Mac. Find on your Desktop and double-click on it to "unzip" it. That will create a folder called wikipedia-cdsw-master containing several files.

Test the Wikipedia API code[edit]

Startup your jupyter notebook as usual. Using jupyter open in your browser, navigate to the wikipedia-cdsw-master folder that you saved on your Desktop and open wikipedia-test-anon_nonanon.ipynb.

Run all the cells in the notebook. Cell 4 should take some time and output messages like pulling data iteration 0. Cell 5 should output a dictionary of IP addresses and counts and cell 6 should output a dictionary of user names and counts.

If you don't get this output or see any error messages ask a mentor for help right away.

Topics to cover in the session[edit]

Main Wikipedia API[edit]

Page View API[edit]

Questions to answer[edit]

Warm up questions:

  1. When was the article about the Panama Papers created? (i.e., when was the first edit to the article made)
  2. When was the most recent edit to the Panama Papers article?
  3. Think of two articles that interest you. Which ones were created first?
  4. Which have been edited most recently?

Medium Difficulty Questions:

  1. Print the users who made revisions to an article of your choice (try an article about a current event) in the last day.
  2. How many edits did user "Freeknowledgecreator" make in the last day?
  3. How many total edits did user "Freeknowledgecreator" make?"

How many views did Panama_Papers have…

  1. the day it was created?
  2. the first week?
  3. How does this compare to the articles that interest you?

How many edits did it get in…

  1. the first 24 hours?
  2. the first week?
  3. How many edits did the articles that interest you get?

More difficult questions:

  1. Who made the total most edits to the article?
  2. What’s the number of edits per day in the first two weeks of the article?
  3. What’s the peak number of edits per hour of the article? When did it occur?
  4. Who were the top editors during that hour?
  5. What day did it have the most views, and how many views did it have?
  6. How many views did it have per day?
  7. How many views did it have per day on German Wikipedia?
  8. Who’s the person named in the Panama papers with the most views to their Wikipedia page?