Tuesday, November 05, 2013

#Wikidata - Date of death IV

Wikidata has currently only 175,586 people who are dead. We know about them because their "date of death" has been registered.  Obviously, this number is pathetic. The records held by the grim reaper needs to find their way into Wikidata as it did to the many Wikipedias.

When you consider that we know about 1,314,659 people, we find that our current death rate is 13,3%. As more than half the Wikidata items have no statements at all, it seems obvious that the number of people is likely to grow faster than the number of deaths.

A friend pointed out that when you analyse many Wikipedia articles, the text is just words based on what can be entered in Wikidata. The example he gave was Mr Gamani Corea, he was a Sri Lankan economist, civil servant and diplomat and died on November 3th. The Reasonator visualisation supports his argument.

At this time there is no article for Mr Corea in Tamil and Sinhala, the languages of Sri Lanka. Following his recent death it seems obvious that people will look up Mr Corea in their Wikipedia. When labels or Tamil and Sinhala are available, it is possible to do more than provide a not found screen. We could do a more reasonable job and provide something based on the Reasonator visualisation in stead.

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