We've been spending quite a bit of time on WorldCat Identities lately, and have just put up a new version of the database. Typically we pull a copy of WorldCat every six months for research purposes, but WorldCat has been growing so quickly that it seemed worthwhile to do a quarterly update, so information from WorldCat up to the end of March is now reflected in Identities, as is the authority file information.
Here are some other changes:
- Corporate names show up in personal identities as related names (and personal names in corporate identities)
- Corporate name links actually work
- More Wikipedia links (doubled to 45,000)
- 600,000 links to the German national authority file
- Library counts for citations are now how many libraries hold at least one edition of a work, rather than counting each edition at each library separately
- Timeline colors are more distinct
- Formatting is more consistent across different browsers
Having corporate names in the related names section for a person looks useful to me. For example, Lorcan Dempsey's page lists three: UK Office for Library and Information Networking, the Electronic Libraries Programme, and the OCLC Office of Research. I didn't miss these when they weren't there, but now that they are they look indispensable.
The links into the German Authority file are really just the start of what we would like to do with national authority files (much of it through the VIAF project). In fact, the latest Wikipedia links used some of the preliminary VIAF files to do the matches. We are allowing multiple links, so pages like Marilyn Monroe's has a link both to the main Wikipedia page about her, plus one to a page about her death.
Probably the next big change we are planning is to do a more intense FRBRization of the records, bringing more names and titles together, which should help the whole system. We also hope to experiment with FAST subject headings, possibly showing a cloud of subjects associated with each Identity.