Posted By warren read more

One URI for the Great War

Jul
01

The Great War occurred again during a session at the #lodlam Summit in Sydney that was held in the Mitchell Library and hosted by the State Library of New South Wales.

One of our conversation turned on the use of a global subject identifier for the Great War since most systems still represent it as a series of strings: "The Great War, Great War (1914-1918), World War One, WW1, etc... Furthermore, different nations entered the conflict at different times (The United States entered the war in 1917) which implies that the event is seen as matching or not different views of the event, e.g.: Great War (1914-1918) versus Great War (1917-1918).

To get around this we created a global URI for any and all aspects of the Great War:

http://rdf.muninn-project.org/ww1/2b460

The term contains labels in several languages that we will keep adding on to and the human-readable term definition is "Any data related to the Great War" which should be wide enough for all usage. You don't need to agree with this definition: through the use of OWL, OWL2 and SKOS vocabularies you can further refine your own collection subject heading by linking to the above URL. The linking aspect is what will enable more people to find you collection and its holdings.

So, if you have a collection or items that are about anything related to the Great War, do:

  • Use the term directly as a subject heading, OR:
  • owl:sameAs's to it with your own subject heading, OR:
  • owl:differentFrom to it if you disagree with how we are going about this, OR:
  • skos:exactMatch to it if you live in the SKOS world and agree with the term, OR:
  • skos:closeMatch to it if you live in the SKOS world and the term is close to what you think the Great War should be, OR:
  • skos:broadMatch to it if you live in the SKOS world and the term is too broad for your needs, OR:
  • rdf:subClass to it if you live in the OWL/RDF world and the term is too broad for your needs, BUT:

Do link to the term if you are working on the Great War. Linking is the only way we are going to get Linked Open Data working for everybody.

 

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The Business Value of Linked Open Data

Apr
24

Note: The following is a synopsis of comments I made to the Publishing and Managing Linked Open Data in Cultural Heritage Institutions session at Museums on the Web 2015. I'm posting them after a follow up conversation with Cristina Pattuelli of the Linked Jazz Project.

What is the business value of Linked Open Data? What is the business case that drives you to support / invest / develop into yet-another-platform and what will it do for your business/library/museum/archive/store-front? Anecdotal, academic and one-off examples aside, why should you care?

A quick answer to these questions In three parts: because a) it promotes and facilitates citation (eg: Marketing), b) creates cost externalization opportunities  (eg: Get other people to do your work) and c) it leverages the idiosyncrasies of your business (eg: Your unique selling proposition).

Posted By warren read more

Muninn LODLAM Challenge

Apr
20

The Muninn Project is submitting the following video to the LODLAM Challenge, consider voting for it on the LODLAM Challenge Web Page . 

Posted By warren read more

Print your own Battlefield

Mar
27

The Muninn Project aims to programmatically recreate scenes of historical events using Linked Open Data - and with the ever-increasing availability of high-quality 3D printers, we are motivated to 3D-print these scenes. In this particular post, we will talk about how to 3D-print a battlefield: the trenches of Vimy Ridge. We believe that 3D-printed models of battlefields, such as the trenches of Vimy Ridge, could be quite useful to archeologists & other individuals studying past historical events, namely the Battle of Vimy Ridge. We will discuss how to retrieve 90m-resolution elevation data inside a bounding box from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), how to scale & project it with the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) and also how to convert it to an STL file that can be 3D-printed; we will also discuss how to retrieve lists of trench coordinates from the Muninn Project's SPARQL server, and how to extrude trenches on our model of Vimy Ridge before 3D-printing it. Lastly, we will discuss issues regarding the size & resolution of our model of Vimy Ridge and suggest how we might improve the quality of our model in the future. Thanks to Lawrence Willett for letting us use his 3D printer.

Posted By m4farrel read more

Reusing LOD Vocabularies: It's not all it's cracked up to be.

Mar
24

"Re-use data, re-use vocabularies", this has been the battle cry for Linked Open Data and Semantic Web enthusiasts since day one. Formally, the W3C Government Linked Data Working Group has published a Working Group Note on the matter where they state that "Standardized vocabularies should be reused as much as possible to facilitate inclusion and expansion of the Web of data". What seems to be a reasonable point of vue has been pushed a little bit too strongly of late.

Posted By warren read more

Transcribed CEF Medical Files as Linked Open Data on the Canada Open Data Portal

Feb
16

Word cloud from the transcribed contents of the medical case sheets

One of the collections that Library and Archives Canada has been digitizing and putting for access online has been the personnel records of the soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force sent to Europe during the Great War. A typical personnel file is a folder containing about 100 pages of documentation about the soldier himself and sometimes includes his medical records in the form of temperature charts, dental records and medical case sheets. In this project it was decided to focus on the contents of the "Medical Case Sheet" that is a lined form used by hospital staff to record information about their patient.

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Retrieving Historical Photos of Film Stars using DBpedia

Jan
29

This is a follow-up to the previous blog post on retrieving historical art from the Rijksmuseum. Like historical art, film star photos inform us about politics and human culture at particular times throughout history - but there are so many film star photos that it becomes difficult to devote sufficient attention to each individual photo. We can use DBpedia to retrieve historical photos of film stars and display them in our statistically generated scenes of historical events. We'll display both film star photos and historical art that best fit the contexts of our statistically generated scenes - and use the context of the scenes that they are placed in to interpret them for their historical significance.

Posted By m4farrel read more

Retrieving Historical Art from the Rijksmuseum

Jan
19

The Muninn Project aims to statistically recreate scenes of historical events using Linked Open Data. Historical art is rich with information important to the study of politics and human culture - but there is so much historical art to examine that it becomes difficult to devote sufficient attention to each individual piece of art. So, how might we resolve this problem of "information overload"? If we statistically recreate scenes of historical events, and retrieve relevant art to display in them, we argue that analysis of the art becomes easier with the additional historical context provided by the scene. Let’s try this.

Posted By m4farrel read more

Great Britain declares War on the German Empire

Aug
04

On August 4, 1914, Great Britain declared war on the German Empire for, among a long list of complex reasons, violating Belgian Neutrality as they attempted to invade France through Belgium. While the cabinet declared war on the German empire and not the King, this was primarily a constitutional delicacy. It was really the British Empire declaring war on the German Empire and that the Dominions and the British Indian Empire would support Great Britain directly was no more surprising than Austro-Hungary supporting Germany.

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