Pelagios Working Groups consist of members of our community who are dedicated to working on particular historical periods or creating new tools, services and resources for discovering and representing historical geography. WGs also play an important role in the governance of Pelagios through its Commons Committee. They have access to funds in order to hold international workshops and create resources such as maps, datasets or software.
Working Groups 2018
In previous years, the areas of Working Group activity had been decided by and coordinated through the work of the Pelagios Investigative Team and/or the Pelagios Commons Committee. This year, however, we have extended the model of our successful Resource Development Grant scheme model, and solicited applications from the community in order that they may take more ownership of organising activities within the Pelagios Commons. The three successful proposals range across disciplines, materials and countries to encompass texts, gazetteers and non-Cartesian representations of space in the US, Europe and Australasia. They are:
The working groups and coordinators for 2018 are:
Linked Texts Working Group (Coordinators: Matteo Romanello & Hugh Cayless)
This WG seeks to address the problem of linking to digital texts with a granularity down to the passage level. Although there exist a number of platforms and identifier schemes for referring to texts, at present there is no broadly agreed upon way of citing digital editions in a resolvable way. This is important because persistent identifiers can enable common references to works (e.g. the Iliad) and to specific editions of that work (e.g. the Venetus A manuscript of the Iliad). The Linked Texts WG will build on existing and emerging standards and frameworks to develop recommendations for fully resolvable URIs for citable passages of texts, linked to relevant resources.
Urban Gazetteer Working Group (Coordinators: Susanna de Beer , Janelle Jenstad & Valeria Vitale)
This WG seeks to address the problem of linking resources within a city. While current community gazetteers (like Pleiades or Geonames) operate at the global level and provide the backbone for the Pelagios method of linking materials based on common references to places at the settlement level, when considering place-references connected to large settlements with a rich cultural heritage (like Rome or Athens) the results are often too generic or overwhelming to be truly informative. The Urban Gazetteer WG will create a set of common guidelines for the development of new gazetteers that model single monuments and/or locations within cities as places, and assign them individual URIs.
Australia LAMLOD Group (Coordinators: Erik Champion & Susan Fayad)
This WG seeks to address the problem of linking materials between academic research and cultural heritage in an Australian context. This is not so much about extending Pelagios linked data practice to an entirely new continent, though that is important; the problem this WG seeks to address is the multi-layered and contentious representation of cultural heritage, namely: the vast scale of Australian landscapes and historic journeys; the local and highly specific Aboriginal ways of describing, navigating and experiencing the landscapes with hundreds of different languages; and the specific problem of integrating UNESCO designated built and natural heritage with its surrounding ecosystems. The LAMLOD WG will create landscape data and visualisation displays, investigate related cultural artefact knowledge (Indigenous and colonial), and build towards the integration of linked open data and 3D models.
The Pelagios Working Groups and Coordinators for 2017 were:
Linked Pasts Working Group (Coordinators: Timothy Hill & Karl Grossner)
The intention of the Linked Pasts Community & Sustainability Working Group (WG) is to bootstrap Linked Pasts into becoming a viable, long-term and self-sustaining project.
Ultimately the aim is to stimulate the start of a virtuous cycle – for Linked Pasts to foster a scholarly community, and in turn provide it with tools enabling this community to contribute to and develop Linked Pasts. In order to achieve these aims, the WG proposes to:
- Scope, and develop a Linked Pasts online publication, complete with plans for implementing a commissioning, review and technical platform
- Develop a high-level exploration plan for a technical infrastructure for Linked Pasts and linked data stores.
Multilingualism Working Group (Coordinator: Gimena del Rio Riande & Juan Manuel Escourido)
Pelagios Commons Multilingualism Working Group is an interdisciplinary network of researchers from different countries who gather to work on:
- Translating relevant tool interfaces (Pelagios Commons, Recogito/Peripleo and tutorials) that may help non English speakers to use Pelagios Commons tools.
- Opening the use of Pelagios tools to different projects about times and geographies around the world.
- Creating communities of users working in different languages.
- Helping those communities to understand and use Pelagios Commons tools in personal and collective research projects or teaching through specific documentation and the Working Group forum.
This group works closely with the Pedagogy Working Group, since they produce tutorials and specific literature in order to assist in the use of Pelagios for research and teaching.
Pedagogy Working Group (Coordinators: Sarah Bond & Chiara Palladino)
This group arose out of discussions around the difficulties faced by small-size projects (particularly those within Universities and High Schools) who lack teaching resources for acquainting students with GeoHumanities-related disciplines, who do not have platforms for sharing and making showcases or are unable to benefit from the existence of a platform for publishing results of their work. Therefore this group aims to:
- Promote the integration of Pelagios into course syllabi by effectively providing a range of resources for individual and institutional users
- Establish independent workshops to facilitate integration and the creation of open access content which allows for adaptable “ready made” exercises for students.
- Create and maintain lasting relationships with classroom-focused digital projects
- Maintain a platform of communication and education, by involving users and institutions already interested in spatial humanities projects and learning
- Advance the current situation of Pelagios Commons within a more general audience of non-experts, involving educational distance-learning institutions, Libraries, consortia, and individual users with an interest in self-learning geospatial humanities.
Time Working Group (Coordinators: Adam Rabinowitz &Wolfgang Schmidle)
Temporal concepts and vocabularies, including periods and events, are a natural counterpart to geographic places. Although the temporal component is sometimes ignored in place gazetteers, it is desirable to find ways in which place and period gazetteers can work together and inform each other. This may lead to a unified data model for place gazetteers and period gazetteers based on spatio-temporal entities, such as the extent of a given city at a particular moment. This temporal component fits closely with the place-based goals of Pelagios, but it has not yet been fully integrated into the Pelagios environment. Therefore this working group aims to:
- Create a directory of existing LOD period gazetteers, standards, and data models, so that Commons members know where to find these resources;
- Develop simple rules for working with these period gazetteers and developing new ones, in terms of both adding data and using identifiers in local datasets
- Promote the connection of LOD gazetteers for periods to each other and to LOD gazetteers for places.