Earlier 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: