Retrieving Historical Art from the Rijksmuseum


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.

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Great Britain declares War on the German Empire


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


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.

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Linked Open Data for Ultra Realistic Simulations


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?  

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Presentation: How to read a Trench Map


How to read a British Trench Map of the Western Front

Robert Warren, Big Data Institute

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

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Why you need a SPARQL server


The original title to this blog post was supposed to be "Hardening SPARQL Servers in the wild". But I've since changed it to "Why you need a SPARQL server" after reading a number of articles critical of SPARQL while at the same time juggling RDF/OWL sources without SPARQL stores and a multitude of APIs. The benefits of having a machine readable export format is gaining traction with data providers as a data-delivery model. However, the lack of support for search and discovery is still hampering data-delivery.

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New Dictionary of Terms About the Great War


Cover of book, as scanned by the Internet archiveA second dictionary has been added to the Muninn ontologies pages based on the Tommy's Dictionary of the Trenches by Arthur Guy Empey in the book Over The Top.

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Open Historical Map presentation at State of the Map Birmingham


A talk titled "Open Historical Map : Re-using outdated information" will be presented by David Evans at the State of the Map conference in Birmingham this Friday at 14:20 GMT. The talk is about the Open Historical Map, an offshot of the Open Street Map, that concerns itself with historical GIS information.

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The 100 year old April Fool's joke


Perhaps you think you're funny?

I'd like to see you pull a prank that still causes problems 100 years after the fact.

Take a look at this group of soldiers from the CEF. They pulled a prank on their enlistment officer about their date of birth. A good one.

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