Places - People - Compounds | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong
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Places - People - Compounds

Two questions have come up:

  1. How to handle places that in turn consist of other places?
  2. How to link people to places?

1. How to handle places that in turn consist of other places?

eg the old army land around Admiralty was known as Victoria Barracks, and deserves a Place. But that area also contained several landmarks (eg Murray House, HQLF, etc) that deserve their own Places. How does a visitor to the bigger 'container' Place know there is a lot of extra information available in the smaller 'contained' Places?

Annelise, I can see you're struggling with the same problem with the Villas in Tytam Place.

Currently I'd recommend manually adding the html links between them. eg if you look at the Villas in Tytam, you'll see I've edited it to link the 'Palm Villa' text to its Place. Then in the Palm Villa place you'll need to add something like 'This was one of the Villas in Tytam', and link that text back to the Place.

An alternative for a Place that contained a long list of other Places would be to use a common tag to link them.

The work-around you are trying (using the "Previous place(s) at this location:" entries) isn't how those links are meant to be used. Their meaning is that a newer Place is built on the site of an older Place, and so replaces it. Please could you help me to delete the links you've added to the group places for the Tytam villas and the two family compounds.

2. How to link people to places?

Another good question from Annelise: "As to personalities, that is tricky.  Since these are "places", I'm thinking that if someone is associated with more than one "place" , there should be a better way to cross reference it. In this case, several members of a family are associated with several nearby houses.   I have the same situation with the Lo family compound in Mid-Levels, and Ho Kom Tong having two houses, Hom Tong Hall and Sai Uk."

What I'm planning.

My basic idea for recording Hong Kong's history is to record it in little pieces, then also record the connections between them.

Currently we have two building blocks:

  • Image
  • Place

and two connections:

  • Place appears in Image
  • Place replaces Place

If you're a regular contributor to Gwulo, I'm sure you'll agree it's an extra hassle to fill in the extra information to make these connections. But I hope you can also see the benefits it brings, making it easier to find related information, and cutting down on the duplication of information (and the errors that causes).

I have two extensions in mind for this year.

First add three new building blocks:

  • Person
  • Event
  • Printed Book

They can work with the existing connections we have. eg

  • Person appears in Printed Book
  • Event appears in Image

But I want to take it further and redevelop the way we handle connections. There are two goals:

  • Make it easier to create new types of connection
  • Allow anyone to create a connection

Some of the types of connection I have in mind are:

  • Place is part of Place (which will answer the first question above)
  • Person lived at Place (which will answer the second question)

But there are others. As we're adding more family information, I'd like to add basic family relationships, so:

  • Person is married to Person
  • Person is child of Person

And if we make adding a connection separate from creating a building block, then anyone can add a connection they know of. eg adding a "Place appears in Image" connection, even if you aren't the person that created the Place or the Image.


I'll start working on it in the next few weeks, but I'm guessing several months will pass before there is anything to try.

But to start preparing for this, it'll be helpful if you can start thinking how you add information to Gwulo. Long threads that cover several different topics won't gain any benefits from these changes. Keeping a thread on a single topic means it will slot right into the new system.

I'm still at the contemplating-my-navel stage on this, so questions & suggestions are very welcome.

Regards, David