Microformats allow us to label certain types of ordinary text content on Wikipedia pages so that software can recognise and process it. You'll find microformats on lots of other leading websites, too, such as The BBC, Facebook, LinkedIn and Upcoming.
Our use of microformats make it possible for your computer to extract such information from Wikipedia articles and then re-use it in other websites (to, say, convert, aggregate or chart it), or in computer programs (such as your calendar or address book, or Google Earth).
What: The microformats we use
- Details of people, organisations, and places (venues, settlements, etc.), all use the 'hCard' microformat. The coordinates of places use the 'Geo' microformat; their addresses sometimes use the 'Adr' microformat.
- Events (battles, record releases, etc.) use the 'hCalendar' microformat.
- Articles about products (cars, guitars, computers) use 'hProduct'.
- Food items use hRecipe
- Audio recordings (including spoken Wikipedia recordings) and articles about records etc. use 'hAudio'
- The names of living things use the 'species' microformat.
How: Using our microformats
There are two ways to use our microformats, by adding a tool to your web browser, or letting another website do the job for you.
Adding a microformat-aware tool to your web browser makes it possible to use the microformats described above. Examples include:
- Internet Explorer – Oomph
- Firefox – Operator
- You can add scripts to Operator to make it understand additional microformats
- Google Chrome – Microformats for Google Chrome
- Opera – @Rem's bookmarklet for microformats in Opera
Some websites allow you to submit the URL (address) of one of our web pages, and will then act upon the microformats on that page, for you. Examples include:
(The source code from some of these websites can be downloaded for installation on another server.)
Our microformats are read by, among others:
If you are interested in the technical side of things, here is more detail about microformats, what they do, and how they work:
- Microformats are an agreed set of HTML classes (and occasionally, though not yet on Wikipedia, rel attributes).
- Some tools will convert our microformatted data into RDF, KML, JSON and other data-exchange formats.
- hCard data can be exported as vCard files
- hCalendar events can be exported as iCal calendar entry files