Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Please let us support #Science at @Wikidata

When the BBC informs us about reforestation in Ethiopia.. It is Dr Tewolde-Berahan who informs BBC's Justin Rowlatt about the work that is done in preparation of planting trees.

It is a humorous piece of information that gets the message across; you can plant where trees were absent for generations and make the (local) climate change.

Consider; you now want to seriously know more about reforestation in Ethiopia. Where do you go to? Wikipedia, in all its magnificence, is rooted in its articles and thereby dated. Through its references however, there are links to its authors, to many more authors and their publications. Every article has in this way its concept cloud and it could be translated in a Scholia for an article.

The current Scholias are itself already a rabbit hole that leads in many directions and a Scholia for an article would be something different again. The article links to subjects, has its papers and by inference authors, they may link to newer papers, more papers, contradicting papers. They may lead to scientists who research similar notions for another locality.. Why not reforest Spain in France? When reforestation is possible in Ethiopia, what would be different to make this unfeasible in Europe?

And all this becomes possible when you consider Wikipedia as the jumping off point in any and all directions, not just within Wikipedia..

NB I know there are two fellows of the Ethiopian Academy of Science related to this subject. Who are they and how are they connected to Dr Tewolde-Berahan?

1 comment:

Egon Willighagen said...

Thanks. You bring up a use case of Scholia which we have not hit yet. Basically, what you are asking for is faceted searching: reforestation in the context of Ethiopia, or perhaps reforestation but only linked to geolocations in Ethiopia. Scholia has some functionality in this direction, but unsuited for this need. For example, you can compare two journals, or two authors, but in both the focus is on "comparing".