Linked Pasts is a symposium series dedicated to facilitating practical and pragmatic developments in Linked Open Data in History, Classics, Geography and Archaeology. It brings together leading exponents of Linked Data from both academia and the Cultural Heritage sector to address the obstacles to and issues raised by developing a digital ecosystem of online open materials.
The two-day meeting was divided into one day of presentations and one day of breakout sessions:
Day 1 began with a series of papers on the themes of Time, Place and People, and issues relating to Open Data and Users.
Luckily, our colleagues at UNED recorded all of the presentations, so you can watch the videos of all of them via the links below:
- The J Paul Getty Trust’s Rob Sanderson gave the keynote address, in which he discussed the community challenges of practical Linked Open Data.
- Kai-Christian Bruhn (Mainz Centre for Digitality in the Humanities) who considered how to model time in the Linked Open Data cloud.
- Maxim Romanov (University of Leipzig) on how to represent historical geographical information in time and space using Linked Data.
- Nicole Coleman (Stanford Research Libraries) whose presentation considered how to link people from the past, as well as how people use Linked Data in humanistic research in the present.
- Gretchen Gueguen (Digital Public Library of America) reminded us that Linked Data projects and platforms are used by people with a range of skills, and need to be usable by everyone.
The second half of Day 1 focussed on reports from the researchers whose projects had been funded by 2016 Pelagios Commons Resource Development grants. These grants were intended to facilitate the creation or expansion of resources that had a wide benefit to stakeholders within the Pelagios community and beyond. Reports were presented by:
Nina Cengic & Neven Jovanović (Zagreb) – CROALA Index Locorum
Valeria Vitale (KCL) – Cross-Cultural After Life of Classical Sites (CALCS)
Glauco Mantegari & Sinai Rusinek (VLJI) – Kima: Towards a Hebrew Gazetteer
Karl Grossner – Linking Linked Places
Gimena del Rio Riande (CONICET) – Medieval Iberia through Pelagios Commons
Since Pelagios is a Commons and community, as well as an infrastructure, Day II was all about participation. All those present at the meeting took part in small group discussions which considered how to consider the interests of data providers, end users, gazetteers, and those working on questions beyond space and place. From there, we extracted three significant themes:
- How to merge and align data
- The need for infrastructural services/components
- How to manage documentation/tutorials suited to different stakeholders
Over the course of the day, we worked on these, and other themes, to come up with concrete plans and ways forward for Pelagios for the next 12 months. You can see the documentation of these discussions here.
Thanks must go to the team from UNED who ran the event on the ground, and to the Andrew W Mellon Foundation for their ongoing support.