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I want to search Wikipedia for a list of people alive over 90 years old
August 29, 2014 5:57 AM   Subscribe

I want to use the massive wikipedia database to look for people alive in a given profession that match a certain criteria such as age or their alma mater.

Suppose, I want to find a list of political scientist currently alive who are over 85 years old and went to Yale, how would I go about doing this in Wikipedia? Or perhaps I am interested in finding fiction writers or authors alive who were born before January 1, 1924. What would be the best way to do this? What sort of language or application I would need to use to get this accomplished?
posted by RapcityinBlue to Education (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This Google search finds Wikipedia pages of people born between 1914 and 1923, where the phrase "Living people" is on the page (this is a Wikipedia category which only includes... you guessed it, living people):

Might have a few false positives of dead people who happen to have the "Living people" phrase on their page for some reason.
You could of course add more years if you want to check for people over 100, and add a job title(s) to narrow it down - for example: game show hosts over 90.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:18 AM on August 29 [2 favorites]

Looks like this post was made just for you! He takes a very introductory approach to learning to write a Ruby script to
...answer the question: According to Wikipedia, what is the average age of U.S. Presidents whose last names have more than six characters?
Here's a list you'll probably want it to iterate through.
posted by quinndexter at 6:22 AM on August 29

posted by vacapinta at 6:22 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]

Here's the SPARQ query for people born between 1914 and 1923 and in the Category: Living_people.

You can modify that to do a whole lot of queries that involve people.
posted by vacapinta at 7:07 AM on August 29

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