Wikidata:Requests for comment/Handle genealogical information

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An editor has requested the community to provide input on "Handle genealogical information" via the Requests for comment (RFC) process. This is the discussion page regarding the issue.

If you have an opinion regarding this issue, feel free to comment below. Thank you!

Hello! Genealogy is a very relevant subject if we want to include all the knowledge. Currently, notability criteria wouldn't allow creating items for people whose only known activity is being a far relative of some other item. But having this information could be very relevant in a project like Wikidata, as we can use all the strength of tools (OpenRefine, query system, automatic trees...) with a very small effort. A separate Wikibase instance can be created to handle this kind of information, but we can't use tools as OpenRefine, making the process extremely difficult.

Storing genealogical information is relevant to Digital Humanities and research, and can be used to Mix'n'Match other interesting catalogues, like migration registries or even PD census, and give more insights to historical events.

I would like to have your comments on this topic, before I start uploading items. -Theklan (talk) 16:04, 18 December 2019 (UTC)

@Theklan: could we have some examples of what you mean by « genealogical information »? Globally, I think the current notability rules are mostly good, maybe e can increase the criteria 3 to include « far relative » (but depends on how « far » we're speaking, me and my dog being technically « far relative » Face-wink.svg). Cheers, VIGNERON (talk) 16:15, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
@VIGNERON: Technically, anyone in a registry and their parents. for example -Theklan (talk) 16:20, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
Approximately what percentage of people in Ancestry.com's database who were born in the 19th century do you think this would include? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:59, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: I don't know how many people they have there... but why wouldn't we have everybody in a freely searchable wikibase-powered database? -Theklan (talk) 18:28, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't think that it's feasible to produce high-quality items. I also don't see the educational value in duplicating existing genealogy databases. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:41, 31 December 2019 (UTC)

ChristianKl (talk) 15:11, 24 June 2017 (UTC) Melderick (talk) 12:22, 25 July 2017 (UTC) Richard Arthur Norton Jklamo (talk) 20:21, 14 October 2017 (UTC) Sam Wilson Gap9551 (talk) 18:41, 5 November 2017 (UTC) Jrm03063 (talk) 15:46, 22 May 2018 (UTC) Salgo60 (talk) 18:10, 18 June 2018 (UTC) Egbe Eugene (talk) Eugene233 (talk) 03:40, 19 June 2018 (UTC) Dcflyer (talk) 07:45, 9 September 2018 (UTC) Nomen ad hoc Gamaliel (talk) 13:01, 12 July 2019 (UTC) Pablo Busatto (talk) 11:51, 24 August 2019 (UTC) Theklan (talk) 19:25, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Notified participants of WikiProject Genealogy

I'd like to propose a small project to show the potential of this option. And if everything goes ok, we can expand it to other places and databases. -Theklan (talk) 09:35, 24 December 2019 (UTC)

  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I think a small project would be fine. However, see Wikidata:WikiProject Limits of Wikidata and Wikidata:Federation input - since billions of items might be created in the end, I think a separate Wikibase for this (or several) would be more likely to be feasible. ArthurPSmith (talk) 20:59, 30 December 2019 (UTC)
  • In many cases it's not true that our current notability criteria don't allow this data. Migration registries and censi are serious sources. If you have a geneaological tree then the items in the tree provide structural value for other items.
If you want to import a particular database, write a bot permission request and lets discuss whether or not we want to have an import of the particular database in question.
As far as the value in duplicating existing genealogy databases goes, Wikidata can provide value by being freely useable in a field where none of the existing sources is freely licensed. Wikidata can provide further value by linking different datasets together.
Linking databases about patents in the 19th century with the authors of the patents is valuable. The same goes for busineess ownership and the authorship of various works. It would be interesting to have a dataset like the one we have about the scottish witches connected to genearological information. It's a huge limitation that databases like Ancestry only allow items for people and not for items with which those people are linked. ChristianKl❫ 13:14, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I echo VIGNERON's question: exactly what kinds of data are you talking about? Do you mean 1) Individuals that form a family tree (many of which would not reach notability); or 2) documentation supporting the w:Genealogical Proof Standard (some of which would not approach notability)? Or do you mean 3) entire trees? or do you mean 4) level of relatedness (parent, sibling, child, grandparent, great-grandparent, uncle/aunt, 1st, 2nd removed, etc.)? Please explain. - Kosboot (talk) 04:56, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  • My take on this topic is that Wikidata already supports including all useful genealogical data — if one works from sources. Because one of the key objections to including "general family history" in Wikidata is around the vast amount of unsourced material that exists in things like ancestry.com, and the best way to avoid this is to primarily include sources here in Wikidata and add the required genealogical information from those sources. (I hope I'm not misunderstanding what's currently acceptable to Wikidata!) For example, I recently uploaded scans of this letter to Commons, transcribed them on Wikisource, and therefore created an item for it here. This meant that the author (P50) and addressee (P1817) could both be added, with items for those people. Additionally, any other people mentioned in the letter could be added, and linked in the transcription (e.g. with the wdl template). In this manner, a lot of genealogical information is already permitted in Wikidata, and the bits that aren't are the bits that aren't backed by sources. Does that make sense, or am I quite off the mark here? —Sam Wilson 09:02, 12 January 2020 (UTC)