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Mock-up of the LInking Lives interface shows the way data is brought together.
Data modelling can be hard – takes timeVocabularies can be hardTransforming data hardXSLT hardNot many toolsWorth the investment?
Names are often entered into the Hub in different ways, despite the use of Rules.
One of the challenges of doing LInked Data is the plethora of vocabularies. It is hard to decide what we should use.
Our solution for matching names in the hub to names in VIAF was quite manual – it cannot be used when we up-scale. Many names are hard to match – may not have life dates.
Quotes from Linking Lives Evaluation:Researchers want a clearer idea of what is covered and they don’t always understand the results they see and why they get certain results in response to their searches. I can’t help thinking that, bearing this in mind, bringing diverse sources together may make it more difficult for users to understand and interpret results.“they remained cautious about the the principle of bringing sources together”serendipitous searching there was a feeling that it could potentially be useful but also that it could actually distract the researcher from what is relevant.“I think at PhD level there’s a kind of artistry to how you make your way through…I’ve certainly never come across a search engine that can do the same or be as complex as your own thinning patterns.”Whilst it could be said that it is not important for users to understand how data is pulled together under the hood, our research suggested that potential users, particularly advanced researchers, do indeed have an interest in how and why this information has been gathered together in a particular way.
Notes for UK Museums and the Web 2012 4 minute talkHi. I'm Adrian from Mimas - a national centre for innovations and data services based at the University of Manchester. Mimas has a number of services in the archives and libraries space, and is increasingly getting involved in museums and cultural heritage generally through various activities such as this project.This screenshot here is from the blog home page for the WW1 Discovery project that I'm project managing. The address is http://ww1.discovery.ac.uk. We started around Feb 2012 and are due to complete very soon.The project one liner is that "The WW1 Discovery project aims to make resources about the Great War more discoverable, and find new and innovative ways to present this content for the benefit of education and research" as on the slide here.So that's quite open ended sounding. What this actually means in practice is that this is a project aiming to exemplify the principles of something called the Discovery initiative funded by JISC, in this case around the subject of WW1. Discovery is essentially about two things, promoting 'open' in terms of open data and open licenses, and using aggregation and aggregated data to facilitate improved resource discovery. Discovery has a set of underlying technical principles. The overall aim is to demonstrate ways in which content can be presented to people and machines to maximise opportunities for educational and research innovation.WW1 Discovery is a proof of concept project that's creating an overlay API drawing in data on the Great War from a variety of library, archive and museum (LAM) sources including the National Maritime Museum, Imperial War Museums, the V&A, Oxford Great War Archive, the British Library and a number of other Discovery projects, as well as other more general aggregators such as Europeana, CultureGrid and the Archives Hub.If you not sure what an API is, it stands for 'application programming interface' and is a kind of back door for machines that some websites and services offer in addition to the human user interface 'front' door. Not many library, archive or museum institutions have APIs, especially museums in fact, - this has been one of our big challenges.There's information on the first release of the API detailed on our blog. It is very much a first release at the moment, and we do have issues to solve, in particular relevance ranking across the data sources. This is proving to be a major challenge that I'm not sure is validly solvable given the data we have access to. We're also working with two suppliers, 'We Are What We Do' who produce Historypin, and 'Mickey & Mallory' to produce a couple of user interfaces providing examples of the sort of things possible with aggregated open data. Again, the aim here is to demonstrate the Discovery initiative idea, finding new and innovative ways of presenting content to enhance education and research. We should be finished and releasing these very soon, so please check on the blog or keep your eye on twitter.
About the WW1 Discovery project
Using APIs and helping institutions set up APIs.
Challenges include the lack of APIs available to aggregate data.
Lessons from ‘Linking Lives’ and ‘WW1 Discovery’ Projects
Lessons from ‘Linking Lives’and ‘WW1 Discovery’ Projects Adrian Stevenson Senior Technical Innovations Coordinator Mimas, University of Manchester, UK @adrianstevenson
Martha Beatrice Webb Image WorksLife dates: 1858-1943Epithet: social reformer and Our Partnershiphistorian My ApprenticeshipFamily name: Webb The case for the factory acts Beatrice Webb’s diaries; edited by Margaret Cole The DiaryPlace of birth: Gloucester,EnglandPlace of death: Liphook, KnowsHampshire, England Biographical Notes from: Beatrice Webb letters Beatrice Webb (1858 - 1943). Fabian Socialist, social reformer, writer, historian, diarist. Wife, collaborator and assistant of Sidney Webb, later Lord Passfield. Together they contributed to the radical ideology first of the Liberal Party and later of the Labour Party. http://dbpedia.org/page/George_Bernard_Shaw from: Beatrice Webb, A summer holiday in Scotland, 1884. Beatrice Webb (1858-1943), nee Potter, social reformer and diarist. Married to Sidney Webb, pioneers of social science. She was involved in many spheres of political and social activity including the Labour Party, Fabianism, social observation, investigations into poverty, development of socialism, the foundation of the National Health Service and post war welfare state, the London School of http://dbpedia.org/page/Sidney_Webb,_1st_Bar on_Passfield
Some Challenges / Lessons Learnt• Steep learning curve• Difficult data, URI persistence• Linking data not straightforward• Keeping data up to date• How sustainable are the data sources?• Can you track the provenance of data sources?• Are data licensing issues covered?
Hub data inconsistencies• Winston Leonard Churchill• Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill• Churchill, Sir, Winston Leonard Spencer, 1874- 1965, knight, prime minister and historian• Churchill, Winston Leonard, 1874-1965, prime minister• Churchill, Sir Winston, 1874-1965, knight, statesman and historian
Thoughts on What Next?• We still need more convincing use / business cases – Clear articulation of what researchers actually gain by bringing diverse data together• We still need more and better tools – But this depends on use cases• Cultural heritage not working together enough – better collaboration on things like name URIs• Coordinated consistent approach for vocabs
WW1 Discovery Project• Exemplar illustrating principles of the JISC Discovery initiative• Discovery about advocating ‘open’ and ‘aggregating’• Make digital content more discoverable by people and machines• Building WW1 aggregation API www.discovery.ac.uk and discovery layer
WW1 Discovery: How?• Aggregate data from existing APIs – NMM, V&A, Europeana• Help others with example API – BL, MCR Archives, Welsh Voices, LSE• Formats: SOLR, RSS, OpenSearch, OAI- PMH, CSV
Some Challenges• Difficulties merging data – varied content – Relevance ranking dubious• Lack of content – images – geo-data• Content licenses not open• Lack of APIs
Adrian Stevensonadrian.firstname.lastname@example.org@adrianstevensonMore on Linked Data at:http://archiveshub.ac.uk/linkinglives/http://data.archiveshub.ac.uk/http://archiveshub.ac.uk/locah/
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