Saturday, April 19, 2014

#Wikidata - Eli Saslow, Pullitzer prize and George Polk award winner

No #Wikipedia article for Mr Saslow yet though. Some work is done on the George Polk award and, it was found that among many others, Mr Saslow was missing.

To demonstrate the potential for quality of Wikidata, missing winners were added. Some of the issues that were found were:

  • people do not have an article
  • people are not part of the George Polk awards recipients category
  • people do not have a Wikidata item
  • some of the recipients are not people
Mr Saslow is a great example of a person who you would expect to have a Wikipedia article. But given the way the community works, he will get one once someone feels the need to write it.

When journalism and sharing information is important for you, consider this: the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting currently has only one recipient.. Mr Saslow. His alma mater has three alumni, two more were added for him not to be alone. His employer, a major quality newspaper, has one employee .. 

But still, the fact that Wikidata does know these things demonstrates that its quality is improving.

Friday, April 18, 2014

#Wikidata - awards and politics

Edward Snowden received the Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize. For some Mr Snowden and the Ridenhour prize may be controversial. However, it does not mean that they are irrelevant or not notable. The award has been added to Wikidata together with many of its recipients.

Several of the recipients do not have a Wikipedia article and that is fine.. This may change. The Ridenhour prize was named after a Mr Ridenhour. He was a journalist and he received the George Polk Prize. This was not obvious because on the article there was no reference to the category. This has been remedied.

The world is an imperfect place and we can improve it by cherishing the people who matter. By stating the obvious, by sharing in the sum of all knowledge.

PS This is the George Polk Award Recipients category and, this is its Reasonator entry.

#Reasonator - #Taxonomy, picture this

When you are are on a train, a bit bored, it helps when your railway company provides you with free Wifi, mine does. It is the perfect setting to add pictures of species to Wikidata. To do this the latest tool by Magnus is really good.

The "Wikidata species images on Commons" is the perfect companion for those idle moments. All you do is look at pictures and decide what pictures shows off a species best. When you do not like any of them, that is fine too. You also have the option to add range maps for a species.

The result of all this can be experienced in the Reasonator.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Baglama - #statistics that make a difference, that demonstrate impact

Arguably the #GLAM partners of the #Wikimedia foundation are its most relevant partners. They share through us a wealth of imagery and data. Among other things they help us illustrate our articles.

What they provide us with is high in numbers and high in quality. It is dropped in Commons and, it is then for the Wikimedia communities to make use of this wealth.

Baglama, one of Magnus's finest tools, has had a refresh and it shows again what impact any given collection has. It shows the page views they generate. This information is vital; how else can you prove that providing us with freely licensed media files makes a difference, gains a public? What better way to convince that we make a difference?

The Tropenmuseum for instance has much of its impact in Indonesia. Its collection is used more on the Indonesian than on the Dutch Wikipedia. 

What the Tropenmuseum collection proves is that Western museums can have a big international relevance. When they collaborate with us, they have an impact in the countries where their collection originated. This message is as relevant to the Wikimedia communities as it is to the GLAM institutions. We could and should care more about those collections that are not "local". Collections that are typically underfunded.

#Wikimedia #Commons - Mr Tadeusz Łobos

The picture that illustrates the article about Mr  Łobos is licensed under the CC-by-sa license. Consequently it is a picture that should be available for use in Wikidata. It is not because it was not uploaded to Commons.

When a picture like this one is to be made generally available, it has to be uploaded again to Commons. It is a hassle and another round of bureaucracy will decide if this picture may remain at Commons.

There are many pictures that should be generally available and are not. In a similar way there are many pictures that are considered to be not generally available and as a consequence are no longer available at all.

All media files are equal in that they are in need of the same quality of meta-data and they are all equal in that their copyright and license situation is the same never mind where they have been uploaded.

The consequence is that the scope of a Wikidata approach to media files should not restrict itself to Commons.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#Reasonator - Greene County, New York

Greene County is just another county in just another US state. In it you find towns, villages and "census designated places". The first line of contact for all kinds of administrative issues is the county.

For a long time, it was the state who was considered the right level of "is in the administrative-territorial entity" in this case it is New York. This has been remedied and at the same time many other villages, towns and whatnot have been associated with the lowest level of an administrative-territorial entity they have to deal with.

When you reason like the Reasonator, you can go up the food chain and find the state, the country a place like Climax has to deal with. It is just one way the Reasonator makes information for you out of the Wikidata data.

#Wikidata - an old soldier from Russia

My interest in Mr Styrov is that he died in 2014, on January 26 to be precise. In the info-box on the article that is dedicated to him, it is just one of several facts. Among them there is the rank of Rear Admiral he held in the Soviet Navy and the many awards he received. Among them is the order of Lenin.

With Mr Styrov added as someone who died in 2014, we are closer to the point where Wikidata knows all the people. When we are, we can make a report that will signal the latest people who are known to have died in the last year.

This can be of interest to people who want to know things like:
  • Do we know that this person who has an article on our Wikipedia has died
  • Fellow country men who died and do not have an article on our Wikipedia
  • What person are notable enough to have an article on our Wikipedia
When such reports become available, the data in Wikidata gains a purpose. Some may see it as getting Wikipedia to use the data by the back door, but isn't it there to be used?

#WMhack - last years demo

At last years hackathon, one highlight was the map showing the history of Islamic states. It makes clever use of Wikipedia and it makes information available in Arabic and English.

This year the hackathon will be in Zurich and one of the main subjects are maps and how it relates to Wikidata. The history of Islamic states is relevant in all languages and it would be cool when we can update this application to make use of Wikidata.

In this map,  all the different states have an overlay. There must be a map for each state at each interval. This app shows the different rulers at a time.

When we have such overlays available to us, we can do more than show the rulers, the centres of power. We could show the battles, the wars, the conquests. They happen in between the changes of the maps.

Maps that show areas grow and wane in time are another area where Wikidata can be a real help if only because it links to information in so many languages.

#Wikidata, #maps and #sprites

Maps are static but many maps define something that is very much alive. Take the "raid on the Medway". It shows two flotillas, it indicates how they move. It does not show anything happening of the other side of this battle. It does not show positions.

A sprite is a two-dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger scene. It can be put on a map. Picture this, the same map of the raid on the Medway and two little sprites moving in time along the indicated lines.

Technically it is not much of a challenge. It becomes interesting when it starts moving on a real map, an OpenStreetMap for instance. Add the moments when we have images that show scenes of a battle, an occurrence and we get something that becomes relevant.

Technically it seems doable. It seems like a challenge that brings together the parts that already exist. It will be really exciting when it brings Wikidata, Commons, OpenStreetMap together. It will help us explain about events. It is part of sharing the sum of all knowledge.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#Wikidata - The dead at the #Arabic #Wikipedia

As the #quality of Wikidata can be measured, it is important to be inclusive when what is measured are the people who died in 2014. People die in every country like this gentleman from Saudi Arabia.

According to the article, he died Thursday, 12 May 1435 AH, that is the same as 13 March 2014. Google translate transliterates the title as "Zaid bin Mohammed portal". That is enough reason not to use the transliteration as the title for the item.

When you read the article it is about Mr bin Mohammed and does not give the impression of a portal page.. That is for someone who understands the Arabic Wikipedia to fix.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

#Wikidata - ประนอม รัชตพันธุ

When #Quality is the objective and when quality is to be measured, it helps when there is something that demonstrates how Wikidata provides quality. The 2014 deaths provides a great opportunity; currently we know about 2108 people who died.

Making this list complete is not always that easy, the lady whose portrait you see, has an article on the Thai Wikipedia it is indicated that she died and, with Google translate I find the following:
Born October 1, 2457
Province, Thailand
Died 17 January 2557 (99 years).
Thailand Nationality
The Thai dates have to be converted to Gregorian dates, it is great that there is functionality around that helps with the necessary conversion. The question that is if our Thai users can enter their dates in the Thai format.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

#Wikidata - George Bookasta

Mr Bookasta has an article on the English Wikipedia. Until recently there was no item for him on Wikidata. With a new tool by Magnus, the Creator, items were added for all articles that are in the categories of people who were born or who died after 1850.

Since then two inter language links were added for Mr Bookstra. Thanks to a query we can track who is added to the category of 2014 deaths and are not known to be dead in Wikidata.

As all the people who died in 2014 have their deaths noted, it is only a matter of keeping up. The article for Mr Bookstra is small but includes many bits of information that can be added to Wikidata. One thing that I did not add is that he was also a bigband leader.