FactGrid:Troubleshooting Range

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Advice: best practice data structures

Repeated information - avoid it or go for it?

We have some 7000 documents in the database. Each document has an author, most documents have recipients and most documents mention other persons.

Organising Bode's data set Item:Q133: should we list all these documents in three sections? It might be interesting to do this because this is the point at which we show that we have far more information on the man than any other database.

I am otherwise not to eager to begin this because this was the reason why we left the Wiki and went for the database: The ideal situation is that we have every fact only once in the database. A data sheet on Bode should fill the "Bode as Author" section with a look into the database. Once we start creating lists we have to make sure that they are all constantly up to date and well organised - and a Bode data sheet with a list of 1123 documents he received will no longer be funny.

The ideal situation is a split of functions: A Bode page is created in data base retrievals. You geht the list as soon as you click at "more" freshly made from the data base. (There is a tendency to use Wikibase much like a Wikipedia page: have everything on Bode on "his page" and understand that the dataset Item:Q133 is all we know about Bode...)

Membership information: have the information on person? on the organisation or on an intermediate membership item?

We have about 1350 Illuminati search. Is being a member a personal thing, to be stated in the person's data set? Is it a thing on the account of the Order to be stated here Item:Q10677 - or shall we create items for each membership and refer to these items on both sides, person and organisation?

A particular problem is that mere membership information will not be the end of the story. Members progress in the order, they get degrees and reach positions. We will not be able to list these details as qualifiers of the respective membership (member of the Illuminati, begin date, place, proposed by, advanced to position x, date... [Wikibase will list all dates together])

Membership items could be complex but would they be operable? Would users know what to look for? --Olaf Simons (talk) 10:45, 20 November 2018 (CET)

Changing entities and cuts through time

See Münchner Buchhandel 1500–1850 at Wikipedia for the problem.

The Publishing House of Moritz Georg Weidmann becomes eventually the Olms Verlag - if we treat this as one company - how do we create different references for different times? Books have different imprints decade after decade - especially with the early modern practice to use the publishers' personal names in the imprints. Our system must be able to make sense of practically any imprint we find - and it should at the same moment understand how the changing imprint information is actually connected to existing companies. Munich does not have 57 companies from 1500 to 1850 but six under changing names.

  • How do we give the proper picture in queries with time frames (tell me how many bookshops Munich had in 1700)?
  • How do we best organise data on an item that goes from 1500 to the present?
  • Should we create different item under each name and state how these items are related?
  • Should we create one idem and state the changing names with begin/end information (sound better because a lot of information like the location might be stable)?

The same problem occurs with addresses. A city quarter can be torn down, the new quarter gets old street names - but are these still the same addresses? (They might have new geographic coordinates).

Recipients 1, 2, 3 - a good idea?

Regular communication from members into the Illuminati Order was a complex thing. Members met one a month in their local Minerval Church and handed in their monthly Quibus Licet ("to whom it may concern"), letters into the Order. The "local superior" would be the first reader. He would pass the letter to the Provincial leader who would answer as Basilus, the "Unknown Superior". The local superior of Gotha would be Christian Georg Helmolt (the first recipient), he would send the package of Gotha's "QQLL" (the abbreviation for the plural) to Johann Joachim Christoph Bode in Weimar (recipient 2) who could in turn pass the letters to Gotha's duke Ernest II. (recipient 3 in this case).

In order to link the respective places to which the letters were sent to the recipients I created different recipients which could now be spotted in different places.

One could organise this differently. User:Daniel Mietchen proposed to create an item for each transportation process. Would this be clever? How should we organise things with the aim to facilitate searches? --Olaf Simons (talk) 21:42, 6 August 2018 (CEST)

Alternative again proposed by User:Daniel Mietchen: take a look at Wikidata's P1545, series qualifier.
It all boils down to the question of best search results and optimal linking. One would love to see the bundling of information on higher levels of personal power. Search results again are a question of expectations: User have to get the information even if they do not know more about the availability. (That's why recipient 1-2-3 was probably bad - you do not know that these exist...)

What should we do with our 1500 transcripts of documents?

We are in need of a good place to offer transcripts (and eventually: scans).

Would Q22976 be a good place for the transcript of Item:Q22976?

Would it be better to have a direct input field for the transcript of full pages?

Could the reasonator as a standard unser interface grab transpripts from such wiki pages?

Could we use the Wikisource extension to offer scans side by side?


Daniel Mietchen hinted at Scholia https://tools.wmflabs.org/scholia/ and how that could change many of our problems. We could here use a software solution that embeds SPARQL queries. It could also embed the transcripts of texts which we have to present. We would basically decide how many sorts of database objects we have and compose templates of the searches they are supposed to embed. Question remains: who would compose this for us. (On the design front: it is not as cohesive as Magnus Manske's Reasonator.) --Olaf Simons (talk) 16:34, 27 November 2018 (CET)

Specific problems of our Wikibase Installation

GND Identifiers do not link

See Item:Q133. Why does the GND number not linkt to the GND as in Wikidata?

Wikidata has a function that allows quoting items via {{}} template, can we do that as well?

Does not seem to work... Side aspect: Wikidata states Q-Numbers like Q123, we state "Item:Q123" (and I have begun to link transcripts to the Q-Pages) --Olaf Simons (talk) 12:20, 23 November 2018 (CET)

Description 250 character limit

We have extended descriptions wherever we have foreign data inputs. Daniel Mietchen said we can modify the character limits on our own Wikibase instance - would be good to allow perhaps 1500 characters. --Olaf Simons (talk) 12:26, 23 November 2018 (CET)

Time: Hours and Minutes cannot be stated

We were trying to state events on single days, and did not manage to state hours or minutes, though the Sofware seems to offer the option. --Olaf Simons (talk) 12:26, 23 November 2018 (CET)

pdf upload

that should be a switch in the LocalSettings

QueryService related problems

QueryService gives January 1 as default answer for full year dates

If we give a full year (e.g. "date of birth") the Query Service will state that January 1 as the date.

QueryService gives output with wd:Q123 numbers

though the links do actually go into the FactGrid resource

QueryService example searches are Wikidata searches and do not work on our database

though the links do actually go into the FactGrid resource

Tools/features one would like to have

A tool to grab and import (selected) Wikidata information

If we have data on a FactGrid Item on Wikidate - could on think of a tool that can be used to grab these data as a set and to convert selected statements into FactGrid statements?

A multilingual interface to just offer information

The ideal development would be an additional tab on all wikibase-items. If you search for Johann Sebastian Bach you get a person's page that extracts information from the J.S. Bach data set and through additional searches. Bach's works will be listed on request - not from the information the specific Q-item is providing but from a database search: list all items with Bach as composer. List all documents with J.S. Bach as author. List all documents with J.S. Bach as receiver... Users get these lists only on request. The J.S. Bach display tells us that we can run this search and feed the information under the present header.

An option to feed information into historical maps

One would love to offer links to Gotha addresses of different centuries and decades and one would have to use different maps for this purpose. Gotha today has housing areas for about 50.000 inhabitants. Gotha in 1800 ended basically with the city walls that were just torn down. We do not yet have the expertise to present visual information on maps other than the default Open Street Map interface.

Requests for search scripts

P88 with P101

A search that states given names (P88) with the place in sequence (P101) information - in order to replace the P88 string property with 248 item property.

Search with descriptions output

to get all names that do not yet have a description (or that have an insufficient description)

Organisations that share members

It would be interesting to get an idea of organisations and their vicinity or adversity - also: their potential to succeed each other.

Specific FactGrid wishes

Important in joint ventures.


Important gain a more independent position in the eyes of university, library and archive people.

An interface to move the The Gotha Illuminati Research Base into the FactGrid

The The Gotha Illuminati Research Base https://projekte.uni-erfurt.de/illuminaten/Main_Page is a conventional media wiki and we should win a superior functionality here on the FactGrid.

A clearer idea of how we would like to be quoted

FactGrid datasets have specific research statements - but how do we want them to be referred to in footnotes? See Item:Q11305

Data we should like to have

  • Matrikel of German universities
  • Logis-Verzeichnisse Göttinger Studenten (halbjährlich)