I've been playing with the mediawiki API to draw a timeline of popular scientists through the last centuries using the number of revisions in wikipedia as the Y-axis. The java code generating this timeline is available here:WikipediaBioEdits.java. This code:
- loops over the articles having a Template:infobox scientist
- gets the categories of an article and retrieves the birth/death dates threw the categories 'Births_by_year' and 'Deaths_by_year'
- gets one picture in an article an resizes it to 64px
- counts the number of revisions for an article
At the end, the generated timeline looks like this: (best viewed with firefox):