Search engine for categories

+10 votes
Is it possible to search for profiles in categories using a search engine so that it is possible to search for profiles in [Category_1 AND Category_2]?  For example, is there a way to search for profiles of people who were 1. born in Sheerness, Kent AND 2. in the Royal Navy.  For the purposes of this example, assume that the individuals are in categories Sheerness, Kent AND Royal Navy?  I have not found a way to do this, and I can't believe there isn't a way.  Can you suggest anything?
in WikiTree Tech by Living Cowan G2G6 (9.6k points)
retagged by Natalie Trott
WikiTree+ is the way to do it, but in normal search. When you search for category, use _ for spaces.
So, exactly one profile comes up.

Oh, now I learned a new thing! I searched London Royal_Navy by birth location.

I'm still learning things about WT+ every day.
Malcolm, I just searched for persons with two location categories and it worked. You have to add the _ in the words in categories.

I also searched "Lawyers Notables" and got 44 hits. So, check it out.
Can't get any results for Titania Medway, though there should be one, Ruck-Keene-1.

As it happens, Medway has just been renamed and Ruck-Keene-1 has the category by its old name in the database.  Don't see how that stops the search working though.
WikiTree+ searches are performed on weekly dumps, so recent changes are not found.
Thanks for your suggestion.  The method seems to work.  I'll explore it in slower time and see how well it copes!

1 Answer

+8 votes
WikiTree+ is probably the answer.

It searches category content for the words.

But this won't give you the person profiles when the HMS XXXXX comes up.
by Natalie Trott G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
edited by Natalie Trott
Hi.  Thanks for your reply.  I have spent some time working wit WikiTree+ to explore the capabilities of searching categories.  I have come to the conclusion that what I was originally trying to do cannot be done.  I am thinking about how people would use information in Categories in a research activity.  Examples of the kinds of questions that people may want to ask could be:

1. Which people served on both HMS Titania (1915) and HMS Medway (1928)?  It should be possible to get a list of individual profiles that are in Categories [[HMS Titania (1915)]] and [[HMS Medway (1928)]].  The search engine should allow a search for Profiles in ([[HMS Titania (1915)]] and [[HMS Medway (1928)]]) and return a list of profiles matching the search criterion.  It does not do this.

2. Which people who were born in Australia were killed in action in France in the First World War?  There does not appear to be a way to do this search.

I could continue and list other possible searches. The point I want to make is this: There is a point where Categorization ends and the Search Engine begins.  There is a lot of activity in Categorization at the moment and there is a lack of focus because no one in asking the question: How are people going to use the Categories?

Your thoughts, please!

P.S. One success story is this: I was able to get a list of ships that were present at the Battle of Jutland.  Ships are in Categories, so the search is straightforward.

"..there is a lack of focus because no one in asking the question: How are people going to use the Categories?"  Well, if you listened in on our forum, it seems that question is addressed every day. We are reminded that categories are for grouping profiles (profile and free-space), and since we are a genealogical site, for the purpose of genealogical research. So, we do ask that question and others. If you read our project page, we have three goals:

  • Category maintenance
  • Category oversight and collaboration
  • Category vision
At present, the focus has been to overhaul the project to accomplish these goals, so there has been months of mapping this out, all while still maintaining the system. 

As for the utility of a category search engine that would allow "and", it would be something to ask Aleš Trtnik, who created WikiTree+. He is a member of our forum, though not a categorization project member, and he is always coming up with tools for us or expanding the ones we already have. I'll ask him to come here and give input.

Thanks, Malcolm. smiley

Well, I appreciate your thoughts, but I think you should count to ten before replying in that rather brusque manner.  There are various forums and groups, and I appear to have no access to them.
What? Brusque? I'm just telling you how we do things, Malcolm. I do respond rather formally to questions here, because I am representing my project. I want to give the clearest, most complete answer I can give. You don't have access to the google forum for the Cat. Project because you're not a member, and we can't have everyone freely join the project's forum/group because we'd have to squeeze project business between questions about categories. I would welcome you to join our project and be part of the process. You could help maintain categories and join discussions about the category system.

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