All major projects of the Wikimedia Foundation are collaboratively developed by its users using the MediaWiki software. All contributions are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (except Wikinews, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5), meaning that their content may be freely used, freely edited, freely copied and freely redistributed subject to the restrictions of that license. See also our link to all projects.
Please note that while other sites may also use MediaWiki software and therefore look similar to our projects, or may have a name that includes 'Wiki-' or '-pedia', or a similar domain name, the only projects which are part of the Wikimedia Foundation are those listed below.
Wikipedia started in January 2001, and currently offers more than ten million articles written in 273 languages. The largest Wikipedia is in English, with more than three million articles; it is followed by the German, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, and Portuguese editions, each of which contain more than half a million articles. Over twenty-five other language editions contain 100,000+ articles, and more than 150 other languages contain 1,000+ articles.
Wikipedia is also known for its community. In 2004 Wikipedia won the Webby Award for "Community" and the Prix Ars Electronica's Golden Nica for "Digital Communities". Since the start of the project, over 650,000 registered users have made at least ten edits to Wikipedia. The total number of accounts created on the English Wikipedia alone exceeds 10 million. However, most edits on that language's edition come from a few thousand of its most dedicated users.
Some Wikipedias release or plan to release regular snapshots. The German Wikipedia is released twice a year as a DVD, in collaboration with Directmedia Publishing, and the Polish Wikipedia has released one DVD of content.
Wiktionary is a project to create a multilingual free content dictionary in every language. This means each project seeks to use a particular language to define all words in all languages. It actually aims to be much more extensive than a typical dictionary, including thesauri, rhymes, translations, audio pronunciations, etymologies, and quotations. The project started in December 2002, and as of October 2010 is available in over 150 languages with over 3,000,000 entries in all. The largest language edition is English, followed by French, Lithuanian and Chinese. All four of them have more than 300,000 entries each, while 19 languages in total have more than 100,000 entries each. 67 other languages have at least 1,000 entries.
Wiktionary works in collaboration with the Wikimedia Commons. Many sound files have been uploaded to Commons to provide Wiktionary and other projects with examples of pronunciation.
Wikiquote is a repository of quotations taken from famous people, books, speeches, films or any intellectually interesting materials. Proverbs, mnemonics or slogans are also included in Wikiquote. The project started in July 2003.
Wikibooks aims to build a collection of free e-book resources, including textbooks, language courses, manuals, and annotated public domain books. It aims to help both (self-)instruction of students and teachers in high schools and universities.
As of October 2010, the largest Wikibooks is in the English language, with over 35,000 modules from over 2,500 developing books. The German and French follow, each has over 9,000 modules. The project started in July 2003 and now has over 139,000 modules from over 5,000 developing books, across over 100 languages.
Wikisource is a multilingual project, started in November 2003, to archive a collection of free and open content texts. It is not only a superior format for storing classics, laws, and other free works as hypertext, but it also serves as a base for translating these texts. At the beginning, source texts in all languages (except Hebrew) were all on one wiki. However, Wikisource now has several editions in many individual languages.
As of October 2010, Wikisource offers 880,000 source texts in total. The largest is the English Wikisource, with over 150,000 works. Then Russian and Chinese with each containing over 100,000 source texts.
Wikispecies is an open, wiki-based project to provide a central, more extensive species database for taxonomy. Launched 14 September 2004, Wikispecies is aimed specifically at the needs of scientific users, and as of October 2010, has over 240,000 entries. There are plans to help Wikispecies collaborate with the Encyclopedia of Life project when the latter is more fully underway.
The Wikinews project was launched in December 2004 with the mission to report the news on a wide variety of subjects. Contributors from around the world write news articles collaboratively. Reports range from original reporting and interviews to summaries of news from external sources. All reports are required to be written from a neutral point of view.
Currently Wikinews has two aims: providing a free content alternative to commercial news sites and making sure that articles are fact-checked and reviewed thoroughly.
Wikiversity is a project dedicated to learning materials and learning communities, as well as research. It was set up as a Wikimedia project (in "beta" phase) on 15 August 2006 with the English and German Wikiversities, as well as the multilingual coordination hub. Despite what its name may suggest, Wikiversity is not limited to university (or tertiary) level materials, but is open to materials and communities of all learner levels. The way it can facilitate learning activities and communities is still being explored, but is centered around the model of 'learning by doing', or 'experiential learning'.
As of October 2010 there are over 30,000 learning resource entries across 12 languages. The English version contains over 13,000 and both French and German have over 2,000 entries.
Wikivoyage aims to create the world's largest free, complete, and up-to-date world-wide travel guide. Wikivoyage was launched in January 2013 and is written by volunteers in the same spirit of sharing knowledge that makes travel so enjoyable. The project began in December 2006 as a German language fork of a site named Wikitravel, and joined the Wikimedia Foundation project family as a beta with 50'000 articles in seven languages. Wikivoyage is now available in nine languages.
Wikimedia Commons was launched in September 2004 to provide a central repository for free photographs, diagrams, maps, videos, animations, music, sounds, spoken texts, and other free media. It is a multilingual project with contributors speaking dozens of languages, that serves as a central repository for all Wikimedia projects.
The project is growing rapidly. In December 2012, it reached fifteen million multimedia files, having surpassed 10 million in April of the previous year. Wikimedia Commons received an honorary mention for Digital Community at the 2005 Prix Ars Electronica awards.
The project has three community-driven mechanisms for highlighting quality contributions: Featured pictures which acknowledge the cream of the crop, and Quality images, which recognise well-composed creations by Wikimedia editors. Since 2006 it has run a Picture of the Year competition, which invites the wider Wikimedia community to share in the celebration of the inspiring free content imagery. Two pages, Meet our photographers and Meet our illustrators, showcase a selection of the highly skilled contributors who choose to use free content licenses and donate their work to the Wikimedia Commons.
For more information on Commons, please see Spotlight on Wikimedia Commons.
Wikidata was launched in October 2012 and aims to create a free knowledge base about the world that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike. It will provide data in all the languages of the Wikimedia projects, and allow for the central access to data in a similar vein as Wikimedia Commons does for multimedia files. Wikidata is a new Wikimedia hosted and maintained project.
The MediaWiki open source community maintains several software projects. The MediaWiki engine is used by all Wikimedia projects and many other sites. Its core functionality is being expanded through extensions, customizations, and mobile applications. Developers can use the MediaWiki API to build applications interacting with sites like Wikipedia. MediaWiki welcomes technical volunteers for development, testing, system administration, documentation, design, and promotion.