I think you've hit an important point here: we need to consider the place of library authority data in a much larger context before we make large investments in time and energy 'repurposing' what we already have. The example you show of name authorities in a wikipedia world is a particularly nice example, since the Wikipedia entry contains (way at the bottom) a link to VIAF.
Remembering that authority files were never intended to provide user-friendly information but instead disambiguate the names authors used in their work (or corporate bodies used over their lifetimes) for the purpose of determining uniqueness suggests that those two resources providing information about the same person actually have two different roles. Over the last few years there have been intermittent calls for libraries to start adding the sorts of information that Wikipedia offers, but so far the sheer cost of doing that has deterred most of those efforts, thankfully. Libraries aren't in a position to compete with Wikipedia in those arenas, and vice versa (which Wikipedia seems to have figured out, but we haven't yet).
But the LCSH issues are quite different. Harking back to the issue Owen brought up (asking his important question about whether text strings should be included, a la MODS), and asking a few more:
Is LC still intending to provide URIs for complete strings as well as the components? How does that work in a LOD environment? There are a lot of unanswered (and largely undiscussed, afaik) questions about whether pre-coordination is a viable strategy going forward, and just figuring out how to encode them in XML doesn't help much, because, as Jon Phipps points out in his post a few years ago (
It's my understanding that http://id.loc.org
does not include a large swath of the precoordinated strings, certainly not those derived from pattern headings, but also others (for reasons I'm not clear about). What are the implications of that, and is it possible to get some information up on the site about what's missing, and why?
I'd sure like to see some discussion about that sort of thing on this list ...