Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wikipedia on iSpecies


I've added snippets from Wikipedia to iSpecies results, in part inspired by FreeBase. This makes use of the XML export format . For example, the URL http://en.wikipedia.org / wiki / Special:Export / Luzon_Montane_Forest_Mouse returns XML, with the wiki markup enclosed in the tags <text xml:space="preserve"></text> I use some simple regular expressions to strip some of the markup out, including the taxobox, then I grab the first 100 words of the article to display on the iSpecies page (together with a link to the original article).

Because a species may have multiple names, we need to handle redirection. For example, the URL http://en.wikipedia.org / wiki / Special:Export / Apomys_datae returns
<text xml:space="preserve">#Redirect [[Luzon Montane Forest Mouse]]</text>

which tells us that the content is to be found at http://en.wikipedia.org / wiki / Special:Export / Luzon_Montane_Forest_Mouse.

There's still some polishing to do, but the Wikipedia snippets add something to the iSpecies results.

34 comments:

Hoang Viet Anh said...

Great job you did. How about using spinet form Wikispeices, they seem to be more focused.

Rod Page said...

More focussed, but much poorer in content. Compare the treatment of Physeter catodon on Wikipedia and Wikispecies. No contest.

Hoang Viet Anh said...

Yes, you are right. Wikipedia still have a much larger content. No contest too. I like the idea of iSpecies very much, so I just keep thinking about way for improvement. I started a name database for forest folora species with focus on local name for Vietnam.

http://gfd.dabbledb.com/publish/forestspeciesdatabase

That site use iSpace for species description lookup and so far it work very well. Originally I was prepared for some programming to extract information from NCBI, but iSpace saved me all of the hard job. Thank you.

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