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The factbox is a box at the bottom of wiki pages which summarises the semantic data that was entered into a page. This also helps editors to check whether Semantic MediaWiki actually «understood» the supplied information as intended. Users can read the factbox for getting a quick overview, and for using its links to further information. Note that the factbox can be switched off by the site administrator, as some wikis do not wish to show the added information on each page (see Help:Configuration).

Factboxes show information in two columns: the left column displays the property that some information belongs to (e.g. population), while the right column shows the value of that property (e.g. 3,410,000). Each property name is a link to the property's article in the wiki, where one can normally find more information about a property's meaning and usage. Annotations in the factbox usually provide links to involved wiki pages, and for properties that support units of measurement, the factbox also shows converted values in other units.

The icon Search icon.png next to each property value links to a simple search on special page "SearchByProperty" (direct example). See also below on this page. For example, if an article contains the annotation [[is located in::Germany]] then its factbox links to a search listing all pages with the same annotation, i.e. everything located in Germany. Similarly, the header of the factbox shows an icon Browse icon.png that links to a simple semantic browser for the given page (see below).

The factbox may also show an icon Service links icon.png that when clicked links to external web services that provide more information about a property value. For example, a property for specifying geographic coordinates might link to online mapping services that provide aerial images and maps of the chosen location. Wiki administrators can choose the links that each property displays; see the help page on service links for details on how to do it.

Special properties, i.e. built-in properties that are relevant to SMW, are displayed in italics and show a tooltip when hovering the mouse over them (requires JavaScript). This emphasises their special meaning and helps editors to spot errors.

Finally, the factbox contains a link to retrieve the factbox contents in the machine-readable OWL/RDF format, as explained in the section on Semantic Web technologies in SMW.

Editors can put the behaviour switches __NOFACTBOX__ and __SHOWFACTBOX__ on any page to hide or display (if nonempty) the factbox on any page, independently of the global wiki configuration.

A live example for the factbox is on the demo page Berlin where it was enabled with __SHOWFACTBOX__.

Since Semantic MediaWiki 1.9.1 it is also possible to see historical data, i.e. data annotated on an older version of a page when used via page action "history" (&action=history).1

See also

  • Factbox not showing presumably due to using memcached
  • Factbox is not displayed when using the MobileFrontend2