Wikidata:WikiProject Historical Place

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The goal of this WikiProject is to discuss a recommendation for describing change of a place over time.

Historical names and boundaries of places[edit]

Boundaries of administrative entities change over time. Areas are united, split, relocated or terminated. The names of places vary over time and in different languages. They are related to the changes in administrative borders as well as dependent on context, dialect, regime etc.

  • Record current best practises
  • Identify challenging questions
  • Create necessary missing properties
  • Create pilot imports

Change over time[edit]

Add the results of discussion here, discuss on the talk page or the Wikidata-wide project chat!

A sequence of items vs. changing properties of one item[edit]

How long does a place remain the same item, and when is a new item required?

Examples of a single persistent item[edit]

Examples of a changing item[edit]

Properties to connect predecessors, successors, merges and splits[edit]

How to link entities hierarchically to historical administrative units[edit]

Hierarchy over time[edit]

Historical location vs current location[edit]

located in the present-day administrative territorial entity (P3842)

View and sort out existing classes for historical administrative division (Q19832712):

Useful classes:



  • In this case the change of the containing country of Oslo has been described with the property country (P17). Here is a related discussion.

<add more>

See also[edit]

See also properties for #Historical_regions below or merge the topics.


Properties for time[edit]

Qualifiers for time[edit]

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
start timeP580Point in timestart time: when a statement starts being validJapan <capital> Tokyo
<start time> 1868
end timeP582Point in timeend time: when a statement stops being validJapan <capital> Heian-kyō
<end time> 1868
earliest dateP1319Point in timeearliest date at which an event could have happened. Use as qualifier for other date propertiesdate of birth of Jesus <earliest date> -
latest dateP1326Point in timeunknown: latest possible time that something could have occurred. Use as qualifier for other date propertiesdate of birth of Jesus <latest date> -
point in timeP585Point in timepoint in time: date something took place, existed or a statement was true; for providing time use the "refine date" property (P4241)2012 United States presidential election <point in time> -
valid in periodP1264Itemtime period when a statement is validTübingen <valid in period> standard time-
  • Further fuzziness can be defined using the date property's precision.
  • Examples needed


  • Names in different languages, contexts, administration, script systems
  • Change of names over time and in relation to boundary or administrative changes.
  • Which datatypes and properties are used.


  1. Should place names be modeled as a property of a place or as separate items, either Q-items or L-items for lexical entries?
  2. Are place names in the scope of the Wikidata project. Current guidelines here: Wikidata:Lexicographical data/Notability#Proper Nouns

Properties to use for historical names[edit]

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
official nameP1448Monolingual textofficial name: official name of the subject in its official language(s)Germany <official name> Bundesrepublik Deutschland-
native labelP1705Monolingual textnative label: label for the items in their official language (P37) or their original language (P364)Moscow <native label> Москва-

These are based on practices that are used currently in Wikidata.

Qualifiers for the spelling[edit]

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
transliteration or transcriptionP2440Stringconversion of script: conversion of text to alternate script (use as a qualifier for monolingual text statements; please use specific property if possible)Mohamed Ben Ahmed Convention Centre <transliteration or transcription> Jāmiʻat Wahrān 2 Muḥammad Bin Aḥmad and L9300 <transliteration or transcription> L8168-
ISO 9:1995P2183StringISO 9: the Latin transliteration of Cyrillic text (used as qualifier)Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky <ISO 9:1995> Pëtr Ilʹič Čajkovskij-
Revised Hepburn romanizationP2125StringHepburn romanization: romanized Japanese following the Revised Hepburn romanization systemTokyo <Revised Hepburn romanization> Tōkyō-to-
Georgian national system of romanizationP2126StringGeorgian national system of romanization: transliteration of text from Georgian script to Latin script according to the Georgian national system of romanizationGeorgian <Georgian national system of romanization> kartuli ena-

Source statement[edit]

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
stated inP248Itemreference: to be used in the references field to refer to the information document or database in which a claim is made; for qualifiers use P805; for the type of document in which a claim is made use P3865Property talk:P248-
reference URLP854URLURL: should be used for Internet URLs as references. Use "Wikimedia import URL" (P4656) for imports from WMF sitesGeorge Washington <reference URL>
quotationP1683Monolingual textcitation: quotation supporting the statement claim (to be used in the reference or qualifier field only, no quote marks)Curaçao-
object named asP1932Stringuse as qualifier to indicate how the object's value was given in the sourceBefore the embers <object named as> Léon Grandetsubject named as
  • There are several other generic source statements, such as date, page, chapter etc.



Tartu (Q13972)

Properties for places[edit]

  • Select which features are in the scope of this project
  • List the key properties for each type of place feature and how change is expressed
  • Which WikiProjects should be connected with each feature?
  • What external expertise is available?
  • Identify missing properties. Note: Data type geographic shape is pending for the time being.

Generic, authority control[edit]

There are hundreds of identifiers marking geographic places. Here's a list of all Wikidata properties for authority control about places.

Please introduce significant identifiers here:

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
GeoNames IDP1566External identifieridentifier in the GeoNames geographical databasePiton de la Fournaise <GeoNames ID> 935877-
OpenStreetMap relation IDP402External identifierOpenStreetMap relation: identifier for a relation in OpenStreetMapBerlin <OpenStreetMap relation ID> 62422-
Pleiades IDP1584External identifieridentifier for a place in Pleiades hosted at pleiades.stoa.orgGortyn <Pleiades ID> 589796-
Trismegistos Geo IDP1958External identifieridentifier of an ancient place on trismegistos.orgUlpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa <Trismegistos Geo ID> 30060-
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names IDP1667External identifieridentifier in the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic NamesSiena <Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names ID> 7011179-

Place type matching[edit]

Also consider Pleiades place type (proposal). Link to wherever the work will be carried out, Mix'n'Match?

Administrative entities[edit]

There is a Request for Comments about modelling Countries, subdivisions, and disputed territories

Which features are in the scope of this project

For example country, region, city, village, hamlet

Related WikiProjects

Historical regions[edit]

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
has part(s)P527Itemhas part, consist of and meronymy: part of this subject; inverse property of "part of" (P361). See also "has parts of the class" (P2670).
using has part to link to present day administrative entities. It may be worth creating items for each point in time when the scope differs.
Occitania <has part(s)> Occitaniapart of

Houses, buildings and monuments[edit]

Which features are in the scope of this project
Key properties for the feature
Missing properties
Related WikiProjects
Expertise, participants

Natural features[edit]

Which features are in the scope of this project
Key properties for the feature
Missing properties
Related WikiProjects
Expertise, participants

Streets, roads[edit]

Which features are in the scope of this project
Key properties for the feature
Missing properties
Related WikiProjects
Expertise, participants



There are several datasets that are ready to be imported or are already being imported to Wikidata. List them here to make referencing them easier. Note the source and the Wikidata destination. Make remarks about decisions that were needed or need to be solved for the import to happen.

You can also introduce a dataset and ask for community discussion about importing it.

Resources: Historical Gazetteers[edit]

Add any resources you will find a useful reference or a future import. If a non-open source has been added, please make a note!



Local / national[edit]


[+] Add yourself to the list

The participants listed below can be notified using the following template in discussions:
{{Ping project|Historical Place}}