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.

Posted By warren read more

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.

Posted By warren read more

My Canada does not include Newfoundland (and other provocative LOD statements)

May
25

Relation 391196A given in working with historical data is that things will have changed since the data was created and this means that some interpretation is necessary to put the data in the right context. In Muninn's case the state of the world as it was in the 1910s is very different from the world of today in terms of things, places and people.

Posted By warren read more

Linked Open Data for Ultra Realistic Simulations

May
05

One of the uncomfortable questions that is often repeated with projects generating linked open data is "So, you've created a database. Now what?". You've created the datasets, published them in linked open data and created useful API's, SPARQL endpoints and maybe even a nice html layout for the data. But how do you actually use the data and does it actually ever get used?  

Posted By warren read more
Posted By warren read more

Presentation: How to read a Trench Map

Feb
24

How to read a British Trench Map of the Western Front

Robert Warren, Big Data Institute

Dalhousie University Club Pub, February 26th, 2014, 7pm

Posted By warren read more

Pages

Subscribe to The Muninn Project RSS