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[Wikidata] Random item: Q14829494

Denny Vrandečić vrandecic at gmail.com

Tue May 10 21:15:42 UTC 2016

Just a little story I wanted to share.  As I sometimes do, today I hit the “Random item” link on Wikidata. Almost always I can find something I can improve, and almost always I learn some random fun fact that I usually forget within a few moments.  Today might be different. The link took me to Q14829494, the beetle species Linsleychroma monnei. The species didn’t have much information on it: it is a species, it had the genus, Linsleychroma. A link to the Encyclopedia of Life and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. There were links to seven different Wikipedia language editions - the usual suspects for species, Cebuano, Indonesian, Waray-Waray, Minangkabau, Vietnamese, Dutch and Swedish. If you’re around on Wikidata you recognize this list as the language editions who have used bot created articles extensively.  The articles had hardly more information than Wikidata. Two of them had a sentence about the larvae being damaging to wood, some included that the species lives in Panama. They all listed the taxon author, Giesbert 1998, which was missing in Wikidata, so I thought, let’s add that to Wikidata. All I need is to find or create an item for Giesbert. Shouldn’t be too hard.  OK. A bit of Googling and the name of Giesbert seems to be Edmund F. Giesbert. Now there seems to be an actor that usually uses the name Ed Gilbert, but who might have been born as Edmund Giesbert. Probably just a coincidence. Although, English Wikipedia doesn’t say so anymore - that changed in just two months ago, when the user fixed the typos on this page and changed Giesbert to Gilbert. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ed_Gilbert&diff=712105192&oldid=712096468 ]  I also reached out to the Raidohist, the editor who fixed the name difference.  But many other sources on the Web still claim that Gilbert’s name was Giesbert. Unfortunately, many of them seem to be copies from Wikipedia, and thus prone to citogenesis. IMDB doesn’t say Giesbert, but Gilbert, so do a few of the other sources. So maybe Wikipedia sourced that error?  Gilbert died in 1999 in Beverly Hills. Giesbert’s papers had no institution, but listed his private address - this happens rarely, for researchers without affiliation. Giesbert’s address? Beverly Hills. And then stumbled upon this obituary for Frank Hovore [ http://oldsite.the-signal.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=33168&format=print], mentioning that Frank’s old friend of thirty years, Edmund Giesbert, had died in 1999.  Are Gilbert and Giesbert the same person? Was the actor who voiced in a number of Disney’s shows and played in Dallas and Knight Rider, the same person describing Linsleychroma monnei and other bugs and beetles?  Wikidata also has a number of identifiers for Gilbert, including for the Library of Congress and VIAF - and finally, the Library of Congress seems to give the best clue: “Edmund F. Giesbert, educ. at the Univ. of Chicago; works in the film, TV and radio industries in Los Angeles, and pursues the study of Coleoptera (Cerambycidae) as a serious avocation.” Based on that, I decided to merge the newly created Gilbert into the long-existing Giesbert.  If I am wrong - which I might easily be - feel free to fix it. -------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: <https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikidata/attachments/20160510/c30878a3/attachment.html>

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