Since Wikidata contains more than 53.000.000 entities, it can be difficult to find a specific item just searching for its label.

For example, if you want to edit the page of John Smith (Q16014988), anglican priest, label search would return a huge list of omonymous to be scrolled manually in order to find the right one.

Supposing you already know that your John Smith is an english priest, you can restrict the search field using a filter.

SPARQL queries

SPARQL is a semantic query language for databases like Wikidata. In its simplest form, a SPARQL query is a phrase like:

    SELECT thing WHERE

      thing 	"has property" 			"some specific value"

So if, as in the above example, we want to search for all the English Anglican priests, the query to form is:

    SELECT person WHERE

      person	"has country of citizenship"	"England"
      person	"has occupation"		"priest"

In the previous query, the content of the word person is unknown while the "-encapsulated words refer to specific items or properties.

Of course one can combine phrases with one or more unknown variables to form complex sentences. For example, to retrieve the grandparents of Beethoven we can use the following query:

    SELECT grandparent WHERE

      parent 		"has child" 		"Beethoven"
      grandparent 	"has child" 		parent

Daty provides a simple graphical interface to form SPARQL queries (i.e. filters), which uses the Wikidata query service.