Forums: Index > Watercooler > Concepts


I was introduced to the idea of SMW Concepts by Robin a few days ago and have read all the documentation on this site and SMW's site, too. I'm afraid I am missing something. I understand why we would want to do this. I just don't understand the how. I tried to create a user sandbox to play around with it, but is gave me an error message about it being unable to run unless it's in a "Concept:" page. So I started Concept:Sandbox and tried again. It's still not running my queries and I just don't understand why not.

Is there a place where one can go to get a step-by-step tutorial on this?

If not, can someone please give me a nudge in the right direction? Lanica 16:45, June 7, 2010 (UTC)

LATER: I realized that it's not running in 'preview' but it works when I save the page each time. *Thumps head*

How are we planning to use this? Are we trying to replace every category? Is there a framework for page creation being set up or can I just make whatever pages I want to?

For Example: If I enter 'Birth nation::Germany' 'Death nation::United States', would I call that page 'Concept:German Emigration to the United States'. Or 'Concept:United States immigrants from Germany'. It would include all years and could be broken down by dates once it becomes too large. Do we see a need for that? I think this (concepts as a whole) could become a huge project, I don't know where to there a coordinator? Am I getting way ahead of the plan? Lanica 17:37, June 7, 2010 (UTC)

Thurstan and rtol (and probably Lanica!) are more familiar with the "concept" than I am, but anyone can join in. Lanica can be interim coordinator until we have an election. I guess she has looked at Help:Concepts and at Thurstan's Category:Born in New South Wales example(s). As I think I said on Familypedia:Concepts very recently, it will be highly desirable to have concept pagenames matching category pagenames where the subject-matter is near enough to the same, e.g. Concept:Migrants from Germany to the United States, which I have just created, by moving Lanica's sandbox, and categorized and annotated. I'm working on a related sort of page at Resided_in_New_South_Wales. After we have created, linked, and categorized a few dozen, we will see how to fit them together and what directions we might turn in. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 06:56, June 8, 2010 (UTC)

Ordering namesEdit

I just added a few pages like Concept:Migrants from the United Kingdom to Australia and the names are all in order by last name, but the index letters are the first. Anyone know how to fix this quirk? Lanica 15:32, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

Excellent use of the concept.
Concepts gather pages with particular properties. "birth nation" is a property of the page rather than the person, so the listing is alphabetic on page name.
If you just want to display those born in the UK and died in Australia, use

{{#ask: [[Birth nation::United Kingdom]] [[Death nation::Australia]]|sort=surname}}

Esther Abrahams (c1767-1846), George Edwin Adams (1823-1897), Mary Ann Adams (c1807-1875), James Ainslie (1808-1860), Mary Stewart Ainslie (c1830-1925), Georgina Gordon Ainslie (c1845-1929), Amily Annie Ainslie (c1831-1915), Mercy Albury (1834-1884), John Albury (1823-1855), Charlotte Albury (1819-1891), Mary Ann Albury (1821-1906), Margaret Ann Albury (1831-1913), John Albury (1794-1868), Jonas Harold Alcock (1843-1933), Frederick Alcock (1807-1869), Richard Alcorn (c1799-1879), John Alderton (1806-1893), William Aldridge (1772-1832), Janet Algie (c1851-1940), Andrew Allan (1798-1837), Mary Amanet (1788-1827), William Amos (1812-1895), William Andrews (c1844-1928), Thomas Ainsworth Anlezark (1771-1834), George Anstey (c1838-1869), William Apps (1813-1901), Moses Baker Apps (1833-1875), Eleanor Apps (1815-1854), Reuben Apps (1837-1898), William Apps (1835-1911), William Apps (1822-1870), Edward Arbon (1819-1896), Thomas Arbon (1823-1872), Frederick Arbon (1846-1910), Phoebe Janet Arbuthnot (1881-1973), Thomas Archer (1790-1850), William Ernest Archer (1754-1833), Esther Arndell (1781-1846), Thomas Arndell (1753-1821), John Arndell (1772-1805), Frederick Arnold (c1851-1925), Charlotte Sarah Arnold (c1873-1952), Charles Artlett (1838-1906), Thomas Arundell (1806-1860), Ann Jackson Arundell (1831-1919), Edward Edwin Ashdown (c1836-1904), William Ashenden (1829-1867), William Vint Aspinall (1828-1862), Lydia Jean Austen (1820-1872), Frank Urquhart Austin (c1854-1916)... further results


{{#ask: [[Birth nation::United Kingdom]] [[Death nation::Australia]]?children-g1|sort=surname}}

Esther Abrahams (c1767-1846)Rosanna Abrahams (1787-1837)
George Edwin Adams (1823-1897)George Samuel Adams (1855-1888)
Albert Andrew Adams (1856-1933)
Hannah Jane Adams (1858-1943)
William Henry Adams (1860-1893)
Helena Agnes Adams (1863-1910)
Alfred Stephen Adams (1864-1941)
Sydney Arthur Adams (1869-1963)
Vincent Winter Adams (1871-1942)
Ambrose Reginald Adams (1873-1942)
Elizabeth Adeline F Adams (1875-1940)
Harold George E Adams (1877-1959)
Adela Ann F Adams (1879)
Archer Hunter Adams (1881)
John Frederick Adams (1883-1962)
Ernest Eaton Adams (1886-1950)
Mary Ann Adams (c1807-1875)Elizabeth Pederick (c1827-c1838)
William Henry Pederick (c1830-1904)
Susan Adams Pederick (c1833-1856)
James Adams Pederick (1836-1910)
John Pederick (1839-1930)
Hannah Maria Pederick (1843-1930)
Robert Adams Pederick (1845-1919)
Ellen Pederick (1848-1937)
Louisa Pederick (1852-1926)
James Ainslie (1808-1860)Archibald Ainslie (c1827-?)
George Ainslie (c1828-?)
Mary Stewart Ainslie (c1830-1925)
Amily Annie Ainslie (c1831-1915)
George Ainslie (c1833-?)
Euphemia Ainslie (c1835-?)
John Marshall Ainslie (c1837-?)
John Marshall Ainslie (c1839-?)
Jemima Ainslie (c1843-?)
Georgina Gordon Ainslie (c1845-1929)
Jemima Ainslie (c1848-?)
Mary Stewart Ainslie (c1830-1925)Mary Johanna Hadden Cox (1854-1931)
Georgina Gordon Ainslie (c1845-1929)Mary Ainslie Fairweather (1871-1953)
Emily Jane Fairweather (1873-1931)
Alexander Fairweather (1875-1875)
Jemima Fairweather (1877-1877)
Robert Fairweather (1879-1886)
Frank Fairweather (1881-1882)
Jessie Fairweather (1883-1973)
Jean Fairweather (1884-1885)
Ainslie B Fairweather (1889-1964)
Amily Annie Ainslie (c1831-1915)Mary Ainslie Anderson (1866-c1932)
Mercy Albury (1834-1884)Mary Ann Sheather (1853-1933)
Stephen James Joseph Sheather (1855-1924)
Margaret Jane Sheather (1857-1931)
Mary Matilda Sheather (1859-1894)
William John Sheather (1861-1924)
Charles Henry Sheather (1862-1939)
Abel Robert Sheather (1864-1935)
Edward Albert Sheather (1866-1912)
Jesse Ernest Sheather (1868-1933)
Henry Claude Sheather (1870)
Clement George Sheather (1872-1926)
Ernest Manning Sheather (1874-1875)
John Richard Sheather (1875-1876)
Mercy Sheather (1877)
John Albury (1823-1855)Emily Albury (1844-1917)
Rachel Ann Albury (1847-1924)
John William Albury (1849-1889)
Elizabeth Albury (1850-1937)
Henry Albert Albury (1852-1878)
Harriet Albury (1854-1935)
Charlotte Albury (1819-1891)William Byrne (1841-1921)
James Henry Byrne (1843-1936)
John Albury Byrne (1844)
Annie Margaret Byrne (1846-1931)
Charlotte Byrne (1848)
Thomas Arthur Byrne (1850-1885)
Margaret Albury Byrne (1851-1936)
Nicholas Byrne (1854-1935)
Sarah Jane Byrne (1856-1861)
Mary Theresa Byrne (1859-1882)
Mary Ann Albury (1821-1906)Hannah Buckman (1844-1890)
William Buckman (1854-1924)
Edward Buckman (1859-1918)
Jabez Buckman (1843-1870)
James Buckman (1846-1923)
Naomi Buckman (1850-1854)
Jesse Buckman (1851-1932)
Rachel Buckman (1856-1932)
Benjamin Buckman (1857-1946)
Francis Thomas Buckman (1862-1942)
Margaret Ann Albury (1831-1913)
John Albury (1794-1868)Charlotte Albury (1819-1891)
Mary Ann Albury (1821-1906)
John Albury (1823-1855)
Henry Albury (1825-1908)
Abel Albury (1829-1892)
Margaret Ann Albury (1831-1913)
Mercy Albury (1834-1884)
William Albury (1836-1891)
Robert Albury (1838-1902)
Sarah Albury (c1841-1847)
George Albury (-)
Jonas Harold Alcock (1843-1933)Emily Rose Alcock (c1867-?)
Henry Caleb Alcock (c1868-?)
Louisa Ann Alcock (1870-1962)
Clara Phoebe Alcock (1874-1964)
Mabel Amelia Alcock (1878-1963)
Edwin Lawrence Alcock (1881-1926)
Harold Mortimer Alcock (1884-1969)
Frederick Alcock (1807-1869)Walter Alcock (1833-c1840)
Arthur Alcock (1834-1906)
Ann Maria Alcock (1837-1918)
Harriet Alcock (1839-1895)
Lavinia Alcock (1841-?)
Jonas Harold Alcock (1843-1933)
Mary Ann Alcock (1846-1851)
Walter Alcock (1849-1882)
Richard Alcorn (c1799-1879)Sarah Jane Alcorn (1826-1908)
Richard Alcorn (1828-1906)
Mary Ann Alcorn (1830-1905)
John Alcorn (1833-1918)
William Richard Alcorn (1834-1838)
Henry Richard Alcorn (1836-1915)
Elizabeth Alcorn (1838-1885)
Thomas Stedman Alcorn (1841-1844)
Matilda Frances Alcorn (1843-1936)
Emma Jemima Louise Alcorn (1845-1847)
Alfred Alcorn (1848-1863)
Charlotte Alcorn (1851-1851)
John Alderton (1806-1893)Elizabeth Alderton (1840-1916)
Mary Ann Alderton (1842-)
Hannah Alderton (1844-1935)
John Alderton (1847-1934)
James Alderton (1849-1929)
Patrick Alderton (1852-1898)
Daniel Alderton (1857-1943)
William Aldridge (1772-1832)Elizabeth Aldridge (1818-1890)
Edward Aldridge (1826-1909)
Jane Aldridge (1815-1817)
Ann Aldridge (1820-1869)
Sophia Aldridge (1823-1907)
Mary Aldridge (1829-1910)
Janet Algie (c1851-1940)Harriet Marion Fulljames (1868-1956)
Janet Mary Fulljames (1870-1926)
Eunice Fulljames (1872-c1908)
Margaret Fulljames (1874-1946)
Mary Jane Fulljames (1877-1953)
Elizabeth Fulljames (1880-c1946)
Annie Fulljames (1882-?)
William Fulljames (1883-1884)
William Fulljames (1887-1887)
Andrew Allan (1798-1837)Augusta Sophia Sarah Allen (1824-1890)
Frances Caroline Allen (1826)
Andrew Bayly Moore Allen (1829-1863)
Henry Edward Augusta Allen (1831-1887)
Teignmouth George Paget Allen (1833-1833)
Emmeline Helen Allan (1837-1904)
Mary Amanet (1788-1827)Samuel Gilbert (1806-c1827)
John Gilbert (1807-1866)
Mary Anne Gilbert (1812-c1827)
Charlotte Gilbert (1814-1862)
Maria Gilbert (1815-1883)
Sarah Gilbert (1817-1817)
Sarah Gilbert (1818-1891)
Hannah Gilbert (1819-1852)
Thomas Gilbert (1821-1912)
Susannah Gilbert (1822-1865)
Martha Gilbert (c1825)
William Gilbert (1826-1838)
Susannah Gilbert (1829)
William Amos (1812-1895)Mary Ann Amos (1841-1934)
William Amos (1842)
William George Amos (1843-1900)
Elizabeth Blanch Amos (1844-1896)
John William Amos (1846-1887)
Lucy Maud Amos (1848-1919)
Emma Amos (1849-1940)
Ellen Amos (1851-1942)
Jane Amos (1854-1921)
George Amos (1855-1879)
Alfred Amos (1856-1937)
Anne Amos (1858-1943)
Edward Amos (1860-1912)
Ada Maria Amos (1862-1960)
William Andrews (c1844-1928)William Harold Foster Andrews (1876)
John George Andrews (1878)
Elsie Grace Andrews (1880-1957)
Frank Leonard Andrews (1881-1936)
Anne Lenora Andrews (1884)
Edith May Andrews (c1886)
Florence Blanche Andrews (1888)
Catherine Precilla Andrews (1891)
Hilda Eliza Andrews (1894)
Thomas Ainsworth Anlezark (1771-1834)James Anlezark (1806-1874)
Sophia Anlezark (1807)
John Anlezark (1812-1889)
Thomas Anlezark (1815-1815)
George Anstey (c1838-1869)George Malcolm Anstey (c1862-1935)
Minnie Julia Stuart Anstey (1864-1866)
Bella Louisa Anstey (1867-1894)
Frank Stuart Leworthy Anstey (1869-1911)
William Apps (1813-1901)William Apps (1835-1911)
Reuben Apps (1837-1898)
Horace Apps (1839-1839)
Elizabeth Apps (1840-1915)
Harriet Apps (1842-1930)
Thomas Apps (1844-1911)
Seymour Apps (1846-1917)
Mary Ann Apps (1849-1925)
John Apps (1851-1872)
Julia Apps (1853-1855)
Charles Apps (1855-1946)
Moses Baker Apps (1833-1875)Richard Henry Apps (1856-1935)
Ann Elizabeth Apps (1858-1895)
Edwin Apps (1861-1932)
Emily Apps (1864-1902)
James William George Apps (1867-1949)
Alexander Carlton Apps (1870-1954)
Alfred Apps (1873-1945)
Sydney Apps (1875-1875)
Eleanor Apps (1815-1854)Mercy Eggins (1837-1838)
James Eggins (1839-1925)
Sarah Jane Eggins (1841-1928)
Charles Eggins (1843-1924)
William Eggins (1845-1845)
Alice Eggins (1846-1916)
George Thomas Eggins (1848-1926)
Samuel Apps Eggins (1850-1942)
Eleanor Eggins (1852-1928)
Reuben Apps (1837-1898)Mary Elizabeth Apps (1860-1943)
William Apps (1861-1941)
Thomas James Apps (1863-1905)
Caroline Apps (1865-1948)
Reuben Apps (1867-1938)
Philadelphia Apps (1870-1929)
Arthur Ernest Apps (1872-1891)
William Apps (1835-1911)Alfred Apps (1860-1941)
William Charles Apps (1862-1936)
James Apps (1864-1950)
Seymour Apps (1866-1946)
Mark George Apps (1868-1945)
Emma Elizabeth Apps (1870-1929)
Thomas Apps (1873-1945)
Stephen Apps (1874-1951)
John Apps (1877-1955)
Reuben Apps (1880-1967)
Philadelphia Apps (1881-1943)
Harriett Apps (1885-1967)
William Apps (1822-1870)John Apps (1848-1855)
David Apps (1849-1900)
Jane Apps (1851-1921)
Mary Apps (1853)
William Apps (1856-1906)
Elizabeth Apps (1859)
Annie Apps (1861)
Edward Arbon (1819-1896)Eliza Arbon (1841-1847)
Russell Arbon (1843-1847)
Frederick Arbon (1845-1845)
Thomas Arbon (1823-1872)Frederick Arbon (1846-1910)
Charles Arbon (1849)
Martha Arbon (1850-1931)
Thomas Arbon (1852-1853)
Elizabeth Arbon (1853)
Thomas Arbon (1856-1926)
Mary Ann Arbon (1858-1935)
Robert Arbon (1860-1932)
Sarah Arbon (1864-1947)
Alfred Arbon (1866-1866)
Alfred Arbon (1867-1973)
Emily Edith Arbon (1869)
Barbara Arbon (1871)
Frederick Arbon (1846-1910)Frederick Arbon (1872)
Mary Ann Arbon (1874)
Robert Arbon (1877-1893)
Hannah Arbon (1879)
Thomas Arbon (1881)
William James Arbon (1884)
Florence Elizabeth Arbon (1886)
Edith May Arbon (1889)
Charles Edward Arbon (1891-1971)
Phoebe Janet Arbuthnot (1881-1973)
Thomas Archer (1790-1850)William Archer (1820-1874)
Thomas William Archer (1817-1844)
William Archer (1819-1819)
Martha Elizabeth Henrietta Archer (1821-1853)
Joseph Archer (1823-1914)
Eleanor Archer (1824-)
Susan Ann Archer (1825-)
Ellen Archer (1825-)
Henrietta Archer (1826-)
Maria Davies Archer (1827-)
William Ernest Archer (1754-1833)William Harvey Archer (1788-1879)
Thomas Archer (1790-1850)
Edward Archer (1793-1862)
Joseph Archer (1795-1863)
Esther Arndell (1781-1846)Elizabeth Emily Hovell (1811-1848)
Arndell John Palmer Hovell (1813-1827)
Thomas Arndell (1753-1821)John Arndell (1772-1805)
Esther Arndell (1781-1846)
John Arndell (1772-1805)Samuel Arndell (1797-1874)
Esther Arndell (1797-1828)
Robert Jackson Arndell (1797-)
Jane Arndell (c1800-)
Frederick Arnold (c1851-1925)Charlotte Sarah Arnold (c1873-1952)
Minnie Mary Arnold (-c1944)
Frederick Arnold (c1877-c1878)
Walter John Arnold (c1879-1947)
Edith May Arnold (c1881-c1952)
Jessie Maude Arnold (c1883-c1952)
Ernest Edward Arnold (c1886-c1950)
Elsie Stella Arnold (c1888-c1965)
Herbert T Arnold (c1891-1984)
Charlotte Sarah Arnold (c1873-1952)William Arnold Mason (c1896-1973)
Frederick Ambrose Mason (c1898-c1941)
Jessie Isabell Mason (c1900-1990)
Grace E Mason (c1902)
Marjorie Elspeth Mason (c1907-1987)
Jean Eleanor Charlotte Mason (c1912-2002)
Charles Artlett (1838-1906)Lucy Ettie Artlett (1868-1928)
Gertrude Artlett (1869-1956)
Thomas Arundell (1806-1860)Ann Jackson Arundell (1831-1919)
Thomas Arundell (1842-1909)
Elizabeth Arundell (1840)
George W Arundell (1845-1890)
Ann Jackson Arundell (1831-1919)Mary Jane Barrett (1848-1925)
Florence Emerline Barrett (1850-1853)
Elizabeth Anne Barrett (1852-1928)
Emily Barrett (1854-1937)
Sarah Barrett (1855-1934)
Louisa Barrett (1859-1939)
Florence E Barrett (1860)
George Thomas Barrett (1861-1900)
Henry Charles Barrett (1863-1918)
Agnes Amelia Barrett (1865-1944)
Selina Alice Barrett (1868-1922)
Charles Frederick Barrett (1871-1955)
Alice Barrett (1874-1896)
Edward Edwin Ashdown (c1836-1904)Gladys Elizabeth Ashdown (1886-1958)
Gordon Edward Ashdown (c1888-1943)
Vera Louise Ashdown (c1890-1969)
Edward Edwin Ashdown (1895-1958)
Dorothy Victoria Ashdown (c1897-1988)
William Ashenden (1829-1867)Eleanor Ashenden (1853-1878)
Fanny Amelia Ashenden (1856-1923)
Cecilia Ashenden (1858-1926)
William Henry Ashenden (1860-1929)
Agnes Ashenden (1862-1936)
George Ashenden (1865-c1884)
Herbert Edwin Ashenden (1868-c1955)
William Vint Aspinall (1828-1862)Anne Aspinall (1859-1947)
Arthur William Vint Aspinall (1862-1944)
Lydia Jean Austen (1820-1872)William Bramble (1840-1892)
Elizabeth Bramble (1842-1843)
George Henry Bramble (1844-1917)
Rachel Bramble (1846-1936)
Eliza Bramble (1848-1928)
Amelia Hanson Bramble (1851-c1918)
Jesse Bramble (1853-1928)
Lydia Bramble (1853-1938)
Jane Elizabeth Bramble (1857-1935)
James Solomon Bramble (1859-1944)
Annie Bramble (1862-1919)
Frank Urquhart Austin (c1854-1916)William Clifford Austin (1881-1926)
Frank Thomas Austin (1883-1935)
Henry James Austin (1886-1887)
Joseph James Austin (1888-1890)
Herbert John Austin (1891-1892)
Louisa May Austin (1893-1956)
Catherine Violet Austin (1897-1968)
... further results
rtol 18:12, June 9, 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Richard. Your expertise in such matters is greatly valued. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:21, June 14, 2010 (UTC)
Yes, thanks from me as well. Makes perfect ;) Lanica 13:30, June 14, 2010 (UTC)

Combining with category searchEdit

Many thousands of current articles have been manually or programmatically entered into categories related to places. Not all of them will be caught by the above birth/death coding. We want a way to combine them. The page for displaying the result, as far as I can see, is the article with the same pagename, such as Migrants from the United Kingdom to Australia. I think we can combine a category search with a facts search, and by using magic words and other templates we can get easily-remembered standard templates to apply to any such category with very little manual work, in the same way as we do with the county categories such as {{B-us}}.

So, how to combine in an article the facts search (as above) - {{#ask: [[Birth nation::United Kingdom]] [[Death nation::Australia]]?children-g1|sort=surname}} - and a category search such as:

|[[Category:{{BASEPAGENAME}}]] <!-- being, e.g., Migrants from the United Kingdom to Australia -->
| ?Birth date
| ?Birth locality
| ?Death date
| ?Death locality
| ?surname
| ?Father
| ?Mother
| ?joined with-g1
| ?joined with-g2
| ?joined with-g3
| limit=15
[[Category:{{BASEPAGENAME}}| ]]

(Examples of the latter at Resided_in_New_South_Wales and Born in Lanarkshire, both of which I hope to improve by using this combination).

I presume that it needs an "OR" between the category search and the "Birth..." [implied "AND"] "Death...". But do they hang together like that?

I guess we will have to sacrifice the original "sort by surname" if we want sortable columns by various things, but we can make "surname" a separate sortable column as above.

When the result spits out hundreds of pages, it will be time to have a note on the page telling users how they can copy the code to a new page and substitute UK and Australia with smaller areas, for example, to get a more manageable focused list.

Robin Patterson (Talk) 13:21, June 14, 2010 (UTC)

{{#ask: [[Birth nation:Mars]] OR [[Category:Born on Mars]]}} should work.
It may be better, though, to run a bot to change categories to properties. rtol 15:30, June 15, 2010 (UTC)
Bots are not supposed to be able to change a category to something in another namespace, and I wouldn't want them to (for reasons that are partly explained in the first two sentences of this section). Creating a concept page with the same pagename as a category (in bulk), however, would be a good move in principle; but it would be best to give such concept pages workable content right from the start, so it needs planning and discussion. See Category:Born in 1914. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:58, June 16, 2010 (UTC)

Selection of columnsEdit

Why are we including all the additional columns? If the title is 'migrants from' why are we including things that are outside that parameter? I vote for keeping the page as clean as possible: page name and surname (for sorting). Lanica 13:27, June 14, 2010 (UTC)
The additional columns will help searchers who have non-standard information, e.g. don't know the surname but do know the spouse name and death locality (or a few probable localities). If all that you want shown is the page names (in surname order), we can do better with just the category, because you get three columns and therefore need less scrolling. Surname order can be arranged for groups of categories related to person pages, and we can put such pages into those categories using SMW, in the same way as we have done it for surname categories. Then for a big group of people (when we have millions in the database), such as migrants from Europe to Minnesota, we can have a concept that specifies the surname or variants, e.g. Concept:Migrants from Europe to Minnesota named Olson or Ohlson or Olsen. — Robin Patterson (Talk) 14:58, June 16, 2010 (UTC)

Draft proposal to create thousands of conceptsEdit

Can a bot do this?Edit

(Starting with a basic one not combining two or more facts; even one like this for every single fact would take us over 7 million pages, and combining facts would result in billions or bigger numbers)

  1. Find a page [[Category:Born in Xyz]] that has not been found previously in this bot run - but if no more of them, STOP
  2. Create page [[Concept:Born in Xyz]] - but if it already exists go back to START
  3. Put the page in [[Category:Concepts about birthplace|Xyz]] and [[Category:Xyz|*Concepts]]
  4. Add to the text {{seealso|Category:Born in Xyz}}
  5. Add the query blah blah SMW SMW blah blah = Xyz etc (this will need to include coding for locality, county, nation, etc - unless we could more simply concentrate on one at a time using categories to find them)
  6. Publish page and return to START

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 15:05, January 2, 2012 (UTC). Small amendments -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:43, January 3, 2012 (UTC)

If not, can it do something similar?Edit


Improvements on the above?Edit

(It's now 4am and I got out of bed to record this brainwave, so I haven't checked anything much yet.) -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 15:05, January 2, 2012 (UTC)

Other comments?Edit

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 15:05, January 2, 2012 (UTC)


As mentioned above, this could get out of control.

Special:SemanticStatistics told me a few minutes ago that "This wiki contains 7,045,215 property values for a total of 574 different properties". Most of those "property values" (commonly called "facts") are entered by contributors, but some (e.g. age of mother at death) are derived. Each of those facts could have its own concept: Born in 1760, Born in 1761, Born in Ohio, Born in the United States, Female, Married on the 7th day of a month, Buried in November, Birth sourced from IGI, Died at sea, Child of Willem Overmars (c1796-1849), Mother of Hendrikus Overmars (c1837-1893), Middle names "John Henry", Father's given name Walter, Died of consumption, and so on. We already have thousands of categories for many of those facts. Where we have a category, it may be a good idea to create a matching concept (linking to and from it, so as to improve coverage of the database while not all articles fully comply with SMW). Hence my above-suggested initial run. But a fact such as "Child of Willem Overmars (c1796-1849)" is likely to be completely covered on a single existing page (Willem's own page in that example), so no category or concept is worth while.

The next step up is combining two or more facts into one category or concept. We've done a few already, such as the migration-from-one-place-to-another categories and the "Surname in place" categories. Others have been discussed, such as "Born in Ohio in 1860". Combining just two would theoretically produce nearly 25 trillion (half of seven million times seven million) - but would be much less because many combinations are impossible (e.g Born in 1600 and either Born in 1900 or Died in 1500). Some combinations are possible but redundant (e.g. Born in Ohio and Born in the United States): those could have value in, for example, checking for events that had a locality, county, or state without a country listed. Other possible but unlikely combinations could lead to other checks: "Males with given name Elizabeth", for example.

Combining three or more would take us beyond trillions of theoretically valid concept pages.

Most of the resulting concepts would be of interest to so few people (if any) that our time (and Wikia's servers) would be better used in the writing of clear instructions for people to create their own SMW inline queries.


A search of a database such as WorldConnect somehow produces the sort of combination discussed above. WorldConnect doesn't have an actual page for each of the trillions of combinations that could be entered in a search box. Its software must use some sort of dynamic query system. SMW can do that too, here, now : see Semantic MediaWiki/demo query-subquery and Special:Ask and Help:Displaying information. And we can probably offer searchers more boxes to choose from!

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 12:47, January 7, 2012 (UTC)

Progress by October 2013Edit

Thurstan and I have been trading opinions since I re-examined Lanica's "Migrants from the United Kingdom to Australia" and created similar pages for other target countries, states, and provinces. Thurstan added an improvement (ortiginally to the "UK to France" page) to make more use of the actual concept in addition to a mere table. Then I reread some of the SMW website help pages. Have we used #concept (rather than #ask) - as on - anywhere? -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 04:57, October 2, 2013 (UTC)

Use for surname variants and categoriesEdit

We make hyphenated and prefixed surname categories into subcategories of the base names. Example at Category:Piper-Smith (surname). We don't yet (but we could) include other sorts of variant surnames. To save people from having to scour subcategories, presumably a concept or simple "ask" could collect everyone. Like this: Smith (surname)/variants?

In fact, couldn't our surname categories all have a subpage like that, whether or not they have variants? Even semi-automatically created, or at least with a standard opening paragraph giving instructions on how to "roll-your-own"??

I'm open to having someone point out the advantage (if any) of using concepts there instead of queries.

-- Robin Patterson (Talk) 01:43, November 8, 2013 (UTC)

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