The problem

The PFAF database we used for our initial import has a more limited concept of plant uses than Practical Plants. For each use we specify a plant part (Leaves), a use type (Edible), a use (Tea) and a short description of that use where necessary.

The PFAF database lacks a dedicated field for plant part, and so the use data is somewhat mixed up. Sometimes the use is a plant part, eg Fruit, and sometimes it is a use, eg Jam. The only way we could deal with this automatically was to assign uses with either an Unknown part or an Unknown use depending which piece of data was available.

Furthermore, the usage notes are not assigned to each use but rather grouped into 3 note fields for each use type: edible, medicinal and other (material on Practical Plants).

Cleaning up

There are a number of tasks necessary to convert the PFAF data into useful semantically annotated data.

Correcting Unknown parts and uses

Update! We've since added a new field "Preparation" to edible & medicinal uses. This isn't pictured in these screenshots! We'll update these instructions soon :)

Correcting unknown uses.png

Using the associated notes, find the correct use for the relevant part (or visa versa) and enter it.

Adding use notes and grouping uses and parts

Transfer the notes from the general notes field to the details field of the relevant use. Note that in many cases parts and uses can be grouped by entering a list separated by commas. Eg. The Leaves and Flowers might be usable for Tea (enter "Leaves, Flowers" in the part field) or the Leaves might be edible Fresh and Cooked (enter "Fresh, Cooked" in the use field). See the screenshot attached for an example.

Only group where the parts can be used for the same thing, or the uses are very similar.

  • "Leaves, Fruit" used for "Tea, Jam"... Nope! This creates confusing articles. This should be entered as two separate uses.
  • Leaves used for Tea, Greens... Nope! These two uses are two different to group together, separate them.
  • Sap used for Syrup, Sweetener... Great! The uses are similar enough to be discussed together.
  • "Fruit, Flowers" used for "Jam, Jelly"... Yes! Both parts can be used for the uses that follow, which are very similar. It makes sense to discuss them together

Adding missed uses

In some cases, there are uses present in the notes which were not present as data items in the PFAF database. These need to be added as a new use item following the same pattern as the above steps.

An example

These before & after images show how a section of notes can be converted into logically grouped uses.

Affected Articles

Here is an A-Z list of all the plants affected. In addition to this, we have a Google Spreadsheet Document which orders all pages by the amount of visitors they get. If you can, use that document to prioritise the cleanups, and mark them as "Done" when you have finished. Thanks!

Plants with Unknown parts

Plants with Unknown uses