Wikimedia Israel and the Israel Film Archive bring Short films from Israel’s History to Wikidata

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Analysis of the amount of times cities in Israel appeared in historic short films (query by Keren Shatzman)

A joint technological effort between Wikimedia Israel and Israel Film Archive resulted in thousands of short videos from the history of Israel being uploaded to Wikidata for research and metadata collection.

Volunteers from Wikimedia Israel assimilated these films during a marathon editing session at the Israel Fim Archive in Jerusalem’s Cinematheque. Due to the collaborative endeavor, nearly 1,000 links to archived films were added to the Hebrew Wikipedia. As a result of the information contained in the films, the editors were able to expand and refine various entries.

Researchers and analysts can analyze this data to gain valuable insights into Israel’s aspects that arise about Israeli society at given times in history. For example, they might look at the number of films produced in Israel each year, the genres of those films, and the distribution of those films across different platforms.

One of the key benefits of using Wikidata for this type of analysis is that it allows researchers to easily access a wide range of data from multiple sources.

In this way, it is possible to gain a complete and nuanced understanding of the history of Israel as it resurfaces in these short films, and identify patterns and trends that may take time to be apparent from one source.

The metadata about the films – data such as the year and place of filming, recorded characters’ names, etc., is accessible to the general public through Wikidata.

In this way, it is possible to perform a multidimensional analysis of multiple data and produce answers to questions we could not answer in the past.

For Instance: A query has been made through Wikidata regarding The percentage of women who appeared in the news dailies between 1927-1972.

It was demonstrated through this query that women represented approximately 13.5% of the people featured in the historical films – 201 women out of 1,475 characters.

Researchers from various fields, who are interested in using these thousands of historical films as raw research material, will now be able to do so. The relevant areas of research are diverse and include. The rest is history, communication, sociology, anthropology, and gender.

‏This can help to foster a sense of community among scholars and enthusiasts of Israeli film history, as well as general Israeli history,  and can lead to new insights and discoveries that might not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of the Wikimedia Israel community.

By utilizing the powerful use of Wikidata and multimedia, Wikimedia Israel strives to promote the spread of free knowledge in Israel, bring history to life and help people across the board to expand their worldview and perception of reality.

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