Swedish coastal water bodies on Wikidata Combining WFD data with Wikidata

Type: Report
Series: Oceanography 126
Author: Josefina Algotsson, Frank Van Der Stelt and Diala Abdoush


In accordance with the Water Framework Directive, the water district authorities report environmental information on Sweden’s surface water bodies to the EU.

Under the government commission Smartare miljöinformation to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Naturvårdsverket, the initiative was taken to adopt the reported environmental information on Sweden’s coastal water bodies to Wikidata and Wikipedia. SMHI has led the initiative with support from Wikimedia Sweden, the South Baltic Sea Water District Authority, the county administrative board of Jönköping and Wikimedia volunteers.

The aim of this project has been to make the environmental information about Sweden’s coastal water bodies more accessible to the public, to disseminate knowledge about status classification and create conditions for increasing environmental awareness among the public. The project has resulted in:

  • 653 new coastal water bodies are described on Wikidata.
  • Wikipedia articles on water management in Sweden, coastal water bodies and the SVAR database have been created.
  • A template for infoboxes on Wikipedia has been developed and can automatically retrieve and display the status classification of coastal water bodies.
  • The template for infoboxes on coastal water bodies is used in articles on coastal waters on Wikipedia.
  • The license for the SVAR database is set to CC0, which facilitates the use of the information and opens the possibility of using it in more ways than before.