From what you've described, this sounds like
impressive detective work. (:
On Tue, May 10, 2016 at 2:15 PM, Denny Vrandečić <vrandecic(a)gmail.com>
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
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. [
I also reached out to the Raidohist, the editor who fixed the name
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 [
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
If I am wrong - which I might easily be - feel free to fix it.
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