Submissions/Opasnet Base: Mediawiki as a database UI

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission
Opasnet Base: Mediawiki as a database UI
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Juha Villman
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
National Institute for Health and Welfare
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

Opasnet is a Mediawiki-based website and workspace for an open mass collaboration project that aims to improve societal decision-making. Original idea was to focus on environmental health related decision-making but as the method evolved the scope has been widened to cover policy-making in any field. Opasnet aims to collect, synthesize, and communicate people's values and scientific information by using Open Assessment method (method will be described in presentation).

Opasnet Base is the latest addition Opasnet -website. It is basically a MySQL-database which is used to store and retrieve the results of variables and data from studies. Opasnet Base is designed to be flexible enough to store information in almost any format: probability distributions or deterministic point estimates; spatially or temporally distributed data; or data with multiple dimensions. Current version of Opasnet Base consist of 15 tables and it is separated from Mediawiki's default database to guarantee best possible reliability in case of massive database queries. Base is also running on it's own server.

Opasnet Base UI is used through a special page in Mediawiki. UI is most easily accessed through a link in any wikipage which contains results in Opasnet Base -database. Link is automatically generated. User-interface displays basic information about selected variable (name, sample size, mean, unit) and before making the query for results the user can set limits to variable's dimensions (ie. choose only years between 2000-2004). This limitation is needed because one variable can have up to 10 000 rows of results in database.

One of the biggest challenges in future will be to develop easy enough to use interface for storing data into Opasnet Base. Currently it is done though Analytica program which is not open source software. Our aim is to make storing data into Opasnet Base available for everyone.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted? Yes
Slides or further information (optional)
Poster PDF, Opasnet Base special page: and Opasnet website:

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  1. Kocio 01:32, 4 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]