Posts Tagged ‘CIDOC CRM’

The Importance of the Semantic Web To Our Cultural Heritage

oldmasterpaintingEarlier this year The Semantic Web Blog reported that the Getty Research Institute has released the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) as Linked Open Data. One of the external advisors to its work was Vladimir Alexiev, who leads the Data and Ontology Management group at Ontotext and works on many projects related to cultural heritage.

Ontotext’s OWLIM family of semantic repositories supports large-scale knowledge bases of rich semantic information, and powerful reasoning. The company, for example, did the first working implementation of CIDOC CRM search; CIDOC CRM is one of these rich ontologies for cultural heritage.

We caught up with Alexiev recently to gain some insight into semantic technology’s role in representing the cultural heritage sphere. Here are some of his thoughts about why it’s important for cultural institutions to adopt Linked Open Data and semantic technologies to enhance our digital understanding of cultural heritage objects and information:

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Art Lovers Will See There’s More To Love With Linked Data

The team behind the data integration tool Karma this week presented at LODLAM (Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives & Museums), illustrating how to map museum data to the Europeana Data Model (EDM) or CIDOC CRM (Conceptual Reference Model). This came on the heels of its earning the best-in-use paper award at ESWC2013 for its publication about connecting Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) data to the LOD cloud.

The work of Craig KnoblockPedro SzekelyJose Luis AmbiteShubham GuptaMaria MusleaMohsen Taheriyan, and Bo Wu at the Information Sciences InstituteUniversity of Southern California, Karma lets users integrate data from a variety of data sources (hierarchical and dynamic ones too) — databases, spreadsheets, delimited text files, XML, JSON, KML and Web APIs — by modeling it according to an ontology of their choice. A graphical user interface automates much of the process. Once the model is complete, users can publish the integrated data as RDF or store it in a database.

The Smithsonian project builds on the group’s work on Karma for mapping structured sources to RDF. For the Smithsonian project (whose announcement we covered here), Karma converted more than 40,000 of the museum’s holdings, stored in more than 100 tables in a SQL Server Database, to LOD, leveraging EDM, the metamodel used in the Europeana project to represent data from Europe’s cultural heritage institutions.

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Semantics at the British Museum

PoolParty, a sponsor of SemTech London 2011, recently interviewed Dominic Oldman, the deputy head of the information systems department at the British Museum: “PoolParty Team had the chance to talk with Dominic about the importance of semantic technologies and thesauri (SKOS) in the cultural heritage sector and the plans of the British Museum to integrate these technologies into their information systems.”

When asked about the purpose of the British Museum’s thesaurus project, Oldman responded, “The British Museum already uses thesauri as part of its collection record system. They include: object type (e.g. pin, cup), material (e.g. paper, stone), technique of manufacture (e.g. carved, incised)… Read more

SeMuSe the Future of Semantic Museum Data


Executive Summary

SeMuSe is an open and collaborative community based project to work on a Semantic Museum vision, and provides a forum for discussion of the future of applied cultural and natural heritage data management. Members of SeMuSe can greatly benefit from advancements made in the Semantic Technology community. The goal of SeMuSe is to help organizations and practitioners to introduce Semantic Technologies and concepts to cultural and natural heritage data management efforts and to capitalize on the results of more than a decade of Semantic Technology research. Emerging technology standards like RDF, RDFS and OWL and domain specific vocabularies such as museumdat and the CIDOC CRM ontology specification are a marriage made in Semantic Technology heaven, allowing to lead semantic cultural and natural heritage data management to its full potential – SeMuSe.

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