Monday, March 02, 2015

#Diversity - the Lillian Smith Book #Award II

There are two ways of improving the content of Wikidata. It can be by adding large amounts of statements or by adding more details to existing data. As I was adding the details, I found that several award winners do not have an article. Adding them in Wikidata is easy and obvious.

Mr A.G. Mojtabai for instance received the award in 1986. Adding a red link in Wikipedia is not hard either. Thanks to the Redwd template, I linked him to both Wikidata and to Reasonator. One issue is that all these authors and the award are primarily known on the English Wikipedia. Consequently their work and relevance has at this time a limited public.

It would be nice when the presence of great information at Wikidata will lead to articles in other languages. The question is very much if it does.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

#Hackathon - the #genealogy of Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange

Visualising the genealogy of person can be extremely interesting. The tool that was the best we had exists in Reasonator and for the Dutch Royal family it did not really work. Too many people are involved.

The approach of a new tool developed at the hackathon in Bern is really interesting. It limits itself to five generations and it shows pictures of the people. It is nice to see princess Catharina-Amalia.

It is also great to notice that you can have the same information in for instance Chinese or Russian. When you click on one of the persons in the genealogy, it will produce the genealogy for that person..

At this time the new tool is very much in development. It is great to show why hackathons are so relevant.

#Diversity - the Lillian Smith Book #Award

Lillian Smith who is obviously white, openly embraced controversial positions on matters of race and gender equality, she was a southern liberal unafraid to criticize segregation and work toward the dismantling of Jim Crow laws, at a time when such actions almost guaranteed social ostracism.

The Lillian Smith Book award honours those authors who, through their outstanding writing about the American South, carry on Smith's legacy of elucidating the condition of racial and social inequity and proposing a vision of justice and human understanding.

It is obvious that these writers are important as sources for the subject and consequently, registering them as award winners is important. This was done by harvesting the information from the article using Magnus's LinkedItems tool,

Obviously more can be done.
  • including all her work in Wikidata; it does not need a Wikipedia article
  • including all the works of the prize winning authors
  • adding dates as a qualifier for the award winners
  • complete the list of award winners
  • work on similar awards
There is always more that can be done on a subject as relevant as this.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Harvest #Wikipedia categories

For many categories it is obvious what they should include. "Indiana State Senators" for instance will all be human. So when we know that an article is a human, we can safely deduce that they indeed hold or held a position as "member of the Indiana State Senate".  We can do similar things for alumni or members of a sports team.

When we harvest such categories regularly, Wikidata will become more inclusive than any Wikipedia. This is because we can harvest from similar categories from any Wikipedia.

We can, we should. harvest Wikipedia categories regularly. It will enrich Wikidata and we will become more aware of the full scope of the information held in all the Wikimedia Wikis.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

#Wikimedia #Labs - Risc analysis

Labs is a wonderful and successful project; more virtual machines are added all the time. More data is produced all the time and more people rely on it all the time.

Sounds good? It is!

From a management point of view it becomes increasingly problematic because for many of the most valuable Wikimedians it became a production resource and, as Labs is growing really quickly, it easily escapes the boundaries set earlier. Staffing, hardware it could all be better and it should all be better.

Having the best possible Labs will grow Labs even more. The best will outwit and outperform expectations. Classical budget think is a disservice to what we may achieve: share more information as widely as possible. One approach is to maintain a risc analysis of the services provided by Labs. It will help management to manage, to think and to use funds when the need and the justification is bigger than the budget

Today new virtual machines have been started that are starting to produce ZIM files based on the latest dumps. This will improve off-line reading of our projects a lot. The ZIM files will in future be and remain fresh..

This is just one day in the life of Labs...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#Wikidata - #Alumni by university or college in #India

As one of the most populous countries in the world, it is no surprise that India has many universities. The alumni of Indian universities or colleges can be found through a Wikipedia category.

Whenever tools are down I have been adding these alumni to Wikidata. It seems obvious that not all universities and colleges are represented. It is certain that many alumni cannot be found in these categories. This is because there may be no article about them or they have not been included in the category.

It is relatively easy to do this for India given that English is the main language for subjects about India. For China, Russia and Japan it is not so easy. Someone else has to get involved as I do not know the languages.

All of Labs is down again. So this time my customary hyperlinks are sadly absent..

Saturday, February 21, 2015

#Wikidata - the Stern–Gerlach Medal

The Stern–Gerlach Medal is one of many awards Wikidata knows about. Information is often available in a list within the articles. In some languages there are links to all those who received the award.

Having all the awards and all the people who received them in Wikidata is a massive undertaking. It can be argued that everyone who received an award has some notability..

Some people think that awards are not that important to categorise. Their way of thinking means that awards specifically relevant within a culture, a language become underrepresented. This is however an effect that diminishes in time.

It would be good when the lists were available to Wikipedias to use. When such lists become a service from Wikidata, it is easy to provide minimal information for the people that do not have an article yet. For best results it helps when all the associated labels are available.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where people died; a perspective on diversity

A wonderful new view is available thanks to Vizidata. It shows where people were born and were people died. The data is from a Wikidata dump so it is sadly static. Given that it is from Wikidata, you can safely assume that the data also exists in a Wikipedia ...

Italy is well pronounced in this view. It is because a lot of effort went into extracting data from the Italian Wikipedia. It follows that all the people the Italians care for are included as well. The fun thing of a view like this is that it is a historic view of what Wikidata covers and does not cover..

Apparently hardly anyone died in Africa in all the centuries.