New Case Study: Europeana

Ivan Herman recently pointed out a new semantic web case study: Enriching and sharing cultural heritage data in Europeana. According to the article, "Europeana provides access to millions of objects gathered from hundreds of libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions throughout Europe. To do so, it gathers descriptive metadata and links to Web resources from all of these institutions. The result is a set of highly heterogeneous metadata. This metadata has hitherto been processed by converting it to a very simple, flat, common-denominator format. This solution gets in the way of putting our data where users and application builders can benefit from it—or use it to build better services."

It continues, "In order enhance the way Europeana harvests, manages and publishes metadata, we have developed a new, Semantic Web-inspired approach: the Europeana Data Model(EDM). This community-developed model re-uses existing Semantic Web vocabularies (ontologies) such as Dublin CoreSKOS, and OAI-ORE, and adapts them to the Europeana context. EDM allows for the representation of multiple perspectives on a given cultural object. It also enables the representation of complex or hierarchically structured objects, such as in the archive and library domains. EDM allows us to represent contextual information, in the form of entities—places, agents, time periods—explicitly represented in the data and connected to a cultural object. We have documented several case studies that illustrate the challenges and benefits of applying EDM to cultural heritage collections." Visit the Europeana portal here.

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Image: Courtesy Europeana