Sunday, February 23, 2014

#Wikipedia categories are #lists and an #ontology in a way.

When you look at Wikipedia categories, they refer to articles that fit certain criteria. What you may also find other more specialised categories and "meta articles".

Take for instance the category "Painters by Nationality". You will expect that all articles about people; they are "human" and they are all painters. The category "Indian painters" includes painters who have the Indian nationality. It has a subcategory "Indian woman painters" they have the female gender.

When people want to know their names in Hindi, Gujarati or Telugu, they can find them and even add the missing ones.

By implication, suggestions for Wikidata statements can be made when articles are added to categories. They are what defines the "list" in Wikidata. Suggestions can be ignored but the consequence is that Wikidata will not know them as belonging in that category.

Suggesting what categories articles belong to is much harder. However, when an article on the same subject exists in another language, categories that are shared between the languages are obvious targets.

All this hinges on a shared understanding of what categories are.

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