When you want the official Facebook account or the LinkedIn for a famous person, what do you do? A quick Web search? It’s either that, ask a friend, or try to guess.
But there are other places that have that kind of information too, like Wikipedia. And if you’re looking to get such data on many people in the same category — lists of CEOs or active politicians, for example — Wikipedia might be a faster option. But how do you extract the data without doing a lot of poking and clicking and spending much more time than you would with a Web search?
I like this question. I answered it with RoloWiki. RoloWiki lets you specify a Wikipedia page and then shows you the content of that page. The difference is that the internal links to other Wikipedia pages are replaced with a function call that extracts a predetermined list of available Wikidata properties about that Wikidata entity (first and last name, date of birth, occupation, official Web site, Library of Congress reference ID, Wikimedia Commons category, LinkedIn ID, Facebook account, and Twitter account.) The area in which the Wikidata properties appear remains static so you can easily browse the page.
For example, say you used the default search of “List of chief executive officers” and clicked on the name of Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, you’d get a result like this:
Some of the properties are clickable and open external resources in a new tab.
Some people have more information than others. Some names (really common ones) will provide no information because of disambiguation problems. This was made mostly for people search, but it works for institutions as well. If you clicked on Pfizer after you clicked on Albert Bourla, it would look like this:
This tool is fun to use with those huge “List of” Wikipedia pages. Here are some to try:
List of current members of the United States House of Representatives
List of current United States senators
List of current heads of state and government
List of National Basketball Association head coaches
List of current BBC newsreaders and reporters