District health boards

This morning, between getting up and having breakfast, I wrote 16 Wikipedia articles. Here is the backstory.

Some people know that I dabble on Wikipedia. Stuff wrote about it a while back. Recently, health has been on everyone’s mind and what most people experience in terms of healthcare is organised by district health boards (DHBs). There are currently twenty DHBs, plus two that went out of existence in 2010. Wikipedia’s coverage of DHBs was woeful. The overview article was mostly ok. But only five of the twenty-two articles existed, and many of them in poor shape. One turned up yesterday. I wrote the other 16 this morning. How so?

Well, yesterday evening I prepared two documents; a word documents with text including all the usual Wikipedia markup. And a spreadsheet with the list of DHBs, plus a few details (their name, acronym if they have one, a simple description of the area covered, and a URL to their website). And then I ran a “mail-merge” and that produced the text that simply had to be copy-pasted into Wikipedia. That part of the job was done and breakfast was next. They were simple articles; here’s a link to the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board page as an example.

map for Nelson Marlborough DHB

Another editor had produced a series of DHB maps the other week, like the example above. So there’s a wee graphic to go with each article, which is cool.

Right, and when I did the next task later that day (linking each article to Wikidata) I spotted that another editor had added demographics to each article. He’s using a similar process: a dump of census data into a spreadsheet, sample text, and he then runs a script over it. He can then copy-paste the output into each article. Here’s a link to the Nelson Marlborough DHB article in its current state.

There are some Wikipedians up and down the country who provide this service for society in a volunteer capacity. I guess it’s our way of giving back.

But before I did all the above, I embarked on a task that turned out to be quite a big one. I like recording history and adding content that’s truly encyclopedic. To that end, I wondered who had been chairing each DHB at any one point? Here’s the answer (and I think it’s correct); there have been 81 chairpersons since DHBs got established in 2001.