I think Wiktionary would be well suited to this sort of thing. Get the information, worry about the format later.
This sounds like the sort of thing that RDF would be suited to.
Some of this could be data-mined from the Wikipedia right now: dates of birth and death, professions, Nobel Prizes, etc. etc.
The main problem with this proposal is that there isn't any "natural" way to define the "slots" into which information should fit. Librarians and other information managers have been developing schema for organizing information for millennia, and there's still no standard way to categorize things. Take, for example, some seemingly basic categories like "people," "places," or "organizations." Most "people" have properties of being "male" or "female," but even here there are exceptions in the form of transsexuals, hermaphrodites, etc. The concept of "organizations" might encompass not-for-profits, corporations, government agencies, think tanks, charities, or sport teams, so under one scheme there would be a slot for "organization type," but some organizations fit more than one type. Moreover, it becomes difficult to determine what exactly falls into the category of "organization." Is a "family" an organization? A poker club? A criminal conspiracy? And some of the "slots" that are appropriate to one type of organization just don't fit with other types. For example, corporations usually have a "date incorporated" but this slot doesn't apply to families or even necessarily to charities.
I think any scheme of "slots" that someone develops would fail to encompass all desired ways of organizing information. Also, the more elaborate the scheme gets, the higher the barrier to participation by contributors.
Sheldon Rampton 01:35 Dec 23, 2002 (UTC)
Could this be used for WikiVentory as well?
Just wondering if this idea could be used in connection with the WikiVentory idea someone proposed.