From Astro-Databank
Jump to: navigation, search


ADB structure
Astro-Databank is a special wiki. Its main content is not created and maintained like a regular wiki. The content exists in the ADB database which resides outside of the wiki systems.

The wiki content is 'read-only' and it is created / updated by a script, called adb2wiki, each time an entry in the database is created or modified.

A group of Adb Editors has the right to edit entries in the adb database or to add new ones. They do this by calling the adbedit web program, either via a link (visble for editors only) from a wiki page, or by accessing it directly via a special web URL.

For editors only: Access to adbedit

Internal documentation: adb2wiki

Rules for Editing

Please keep the very important Help:Editing Rules in mind. (The full text is in under that link)

  • Observe Copyright strictly: Please write all text you add to ADB yourself. Do not copy, not even a single half sentence. Be extremely careful with image right. You the Editor will be held personally responsible for every word or image you add to ADB.
  • Respect the work of other editors and their decisions. If you have the same information as an earlier editor, but come to a different conclusion about which time should be used in ADB, do NOT change it.
  • Respect privacy. Not everybody likes to find his/her intimate details in this public database, in the times of Google and Bing.

Using Adbedit

Home Screen

home / search screen

To find, view and edit an existing entry, type the name or part of the name of a person. The following rules apply:

  • to match the beginning of the name, prefix with it with ^
  • entering a number calls the adb record with this id directly
  • a % will match an arbitrary sequence of characters.


  • ^peter -> all last names beginning with 'peter'
  • , peter -> all first names beginning with 'peter' (note: space after comma)
  • peter -> the sequence 'peter' anywhere in the name, like in 'Schumpeter'
  • 27053 -> a particular record with ID 27053
  • mc%, paul -> all last names beginning with mc and having the first name paul. Will find 'McCartney, Paul', and also 'McDermott, Paul'. Note that if % is used in a search, it will not find the sequence anywhere in the name any more: if you search for barbara%duchess, 'Palmer, Barbara 1st Duchess of Cleveland' will not be found! You would have to search for %barbara%duchess% instead.

The records appear in order of their internal numbers, which reflects their creation date. if you want the newest entries, click on the 'last' link which appears with multi-page results.

New Person

Begin a new person

The entry process is divided into sub-units, each with its own [edit] button. It is rather obvious what has to go where. If not, compare with existing entries.


The format for names is fixed:

  • last name, given name
  • For nobility or mundane data, this format is not always practical. But a solution must be found in each case.
  • If a name contains accented characters, like é,è,ä,ö.ü,ß etc, it is useful to create the entry at first without these accented characters, and to save it to the wiki edition. Then edit a second time and change the name to the correct spelling with the accented characters. When this version is saved, the wiki system creates an automatic redirect page from the first version to the second. This has the great advantage that users find the person under both spellings.
We use only a limited set of special characters:
  • French: accented vowels, ç
  • German: Umlauts and ß
  • Italian, Spanish, Portuguese: accented vowels, nasal n
  • Slavic languages: accented s and c
Most of the rest can be English ascii transcription with no special characters.


Most persons will have M or F. There are special possibilities for sex change or persons with undefined gender, see the 'help link' under the yellow ? link.

Bio Link and Image Resource

The fields for Wiki link (2) and Image resource (2)
Public persons often have a Wikipedia page; many astrologers have already an Astrowiki (German) page.

For such persons a link to their Wikipedia page or Astrowiki page needs to be added.
To add the Wiki link, click on [edit] (red arrow 1). Two entry fields will appear.

Enter Wiki link and optional label
  • If it is a link to English Wikipedia, just use the top field and enter the wikipedia URL (copy it from another browser window where you have the wikipedia page open). Write nothing in the 'Label' field.
  • If it is a link to a non-Enlish Wikipedia page or a link to Astrowiki, write something in the 'Label' field, usually Astrowiki (German) or 'Wikipedia (Italian)' etc.
  • If there exists a forum thread in the Astro-Databank forum section, enter the number of the thread in the field Forum thread number

Enter links for image resource

To add the Image resource, click on [edit] (red arrow 2). Three entry fields will appear, named URL to image and URL to image page. Image can only come from wikis, like Wikipedia or the Astro-Databank wiki itself. You need to have the wiki page with the image open in another browser window. There, when you right-click an image, you see something like (depends on Browser and language) Copy Image Location and 'Copy Link Location.

  • use Copy Image Location and paste it into the field URL to Image
  • use Copy Link Location and paste it into the field URL to image page.
  • It is important that you understand the difference. The URL to Image is the actual image file, and it usually ends with .jpg or .png or another common image file format. The URL to image page is a Wiki link to the page which should information about the image. It will be used in Astro-Databank to provide access to the image source and the image license.
  • The third field is named Image caption in addition to name. It was introduced in November 2013 as a consequence of a copyright conflict with a Wikipedia photographer. Some photographers demand in their CC BY-SA license that they should be named directly at the image. If this is the case, you need to add in the field the text: photo by NNN. This text will automatically appear behind the name in (parenthesis). This field is also useful for photos which show more than one person, or for photos with special circumstances, as that way a small note can be added whicvh appears directly at the picture. In most cases however the third field can remain empty.
  • When you have filled the fields, click on the button Update. Adbedit will load the image from the image source and will create automatically a small 'thumb' image from it, with the shorter side 180 pixel long, for inclusion the database.

Pictures by the following photographers should not be used in ADB, because they are under suspicion of abusing Wikipedia as a legal trap, to persecute German re-users of such images if they commit the slightest error in picture annotation.

  • Martina Nolte
  • Harald Bischoff
  • Sven Teschke
  • Ralf Roletschek

Adding a forum thread

An ADB entry can have an associated discussion thread in the Astro-Databank discussion forum. A new thread there can only be opened by a forum moderator, usually the moderator named Astro-Databank. The login information for this moderator account can be requested from the Astro-Databank administrator, and is shared among several individuals.

A new thread can be opened for an interesting entry in Astro-Databank. Such new threads follow a standard format, an example is given here. It should contain an [img] entry for the small chart image from the ADB page, and a link to the ADB page. Often some specific questions regarding the chart are put in the opening thread.

If an ADB editor wants to participate in the forum discussion, he/she should do this under his own forum name. The m oderator account is used only for opening the new thread - or if necessary for editing or deleting unfit postings.

The forum thread number is entered in the appropriate field via adbedit.


Each biography entry must begin in a standard way, like:

American visionary and cultured man of letters. A remarkable 19th century scholar, he ..

Usually the nationality is the first word, followed by the essential property why the person is known and is present in ADB. In most cases, this is the profession.

The reason why this is important: In data exports, or in listing displays of ADB entries only the first few words of each biography are shown. These first few words MUST contain the essential things, and follow the standard established by Lois Rodden.

The name of the person, date and place of birth should usually NOT be repeated anywhere in the biography section.

Source Notes

The source notes are one of the most important areas of ADB. While they should be kept concise and terse, they have to give precise information about the origin of the birth time information and need to be honest. The original publications must be named with sufficient clarity, and the names of persons involved in the data collection should be mentioned (unless they asked to be anonymous). If the source is a web page, a screen copy of that page must be made, so that the quote will persist even when the web page does no longer. The screen copy (an image file) should be emailed to for addition to the ADB archive at Astrodienst. This can be done in bunches after several edits. Also other original documents should be scanned or photographed in high resolution and emailed, or paper copies should be sent to Astrodienst.

Alternative Birthtime

Example of a record with an alternative birthtime
There are occasionally data records where it is desirable to present not only the chart with the established birthtime, but also a second chart with an alternative birth time, or a chart with a rectified birthtime. Usually the ADB editor will make a decision and present only the chart for which the strongest documentary evidence exists, and mention alternatives in the text of the Source notes.

But sometimes, he/she will want to show the second chart as well.

Entry of Event type Misc : Alternative birthtime

For this purpose, a special event of type Misc: Alternitive birthtime or Misc: Rectified birthtime is added. A short text describing the nature of the alternative chart is put unto the Notes field of the event. If longer explanations are needed, they should be put into Source notes.

An event of this special type is not displayed on the wiki level among the events list, but just below the normal chart as an alternative.

This feature should be used sparingly. It is not advisable to show more than at most three variants, i.e. the regular time, and at most two alternative times.

The feature can also be used for charts without time, where the birth date is uncertain. Two alternative dates can be shown.

Policy for Relationships, Events and Categories

Policy for adding Releationship entries

Typical ADB entries have beetween 0 and 4 relationship entries. Please use reasonable judgement to keep a meaninful set of important and interesting relationships.

Nearly always added are

  • children
  • spouses and important love relationship partner
  • parents
  • siblings

Sometimes entered are

  • important associates, e.g. the band members for the Beatles

It is important to avoid relationship inflation.

  • Do not enter all 20 musicians with whom a jazz musician has played in various band configurations; enter only the one or two most important ones.
  • Do not enter all generals serving under Hitler, or all heads of state he had as friends or adversaries.
  • Do not enter all 80 sons of the king of Saudi Arabia, even when they are all in ADB.

Policy for adding event entries

A typical ADB record hold between 0 and 4 event entries. In the past history of ADB, the ADB entry was often the only source of information. In modern times with detailed Wikipedia entries for most interesting people, it is not necessary to replicate all the details via Event entries in ADB.

Please follow these rules:

  • If a person is not alive, add a Death Event record. It should also be mentioned near the end of the biography text.
  • If an event time is unknown, it is not necessary to add an event place.
  • If you find an old event entry with time 12 noon when in fact the time is unknown, change the time to 'unknown'.
  • Add important events from the private life, e.g. marriages, divorces, birth of children.
  • Avoid data inflation. For a writer who has published 30 books, do NOT add all the publication dates. For a footballer do not add all the goals he made. Etc.

Policy for adding category entries

Please add as many categories as you feel fit, but if you are on paid work time, limit the total time to not more than 5 minutes. Please follw these minimal rules:

  • Each ADB entry must have at least one category entry. In most cases, this is a vocation entry.
  • If somebody as famous (top 5% of profession), and a corresponding entry.