Monday, September 30, 2013

#Wikidata qualifiers

When you state that someone is a "Fatimid Caliph", it helps when you can qualify such a statement. The Fatimid Caliphate ended centuries ago so it helps when you can state the start date, the predecessor, the end date and the successor of that Fatimid Caliph.

Qualifiers are particularly relevant when there are multiple "offices held" by a person. It is customary for Islamic nobility to gain experience as a governor of a part of the realm. This ensured relevant experience it also was the start of a power base and lead frequently to insurrections.

The current iteration of the qualifier functionality is powerful. It can do with several improvements.
  • every qualifier deserves its own source. 
  • when standard qualifiers are identified, it makes sense to have them in a particular order
  • the software harvesting information for Wikidata is not yet qualified to enter information properly
  • external data resources have to learn how to deal with Wikidata's qualifiers
At this time the only option is entering data manually. As you read the articles, you learn about so many factoids. You also learn how much work can be done to make Wikidata shine even brighter.

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