Yes, it’s that time of year again: Time for the annual Day of Archaeology. And once again, my day does not involve any temples in remote jungles, crystal skulls or raiding any tombs. Indeed, as has become the norm, it does not even involve any digging of holes, artefacts or suchlike.
Yep, archaeology involves a much broader range of activities than many folk believe, many of which are lab based and/or computer based with the result that some archaeologists (myself included) rarely get to see daylight let alone travel to distant far off lands in search of ancient peoples. And this is one reason why I love the Day of Archaeology so much as the range of posts each year covers just about every aspect of archaeology and cultural heritage and goes a long way towards showing what we, as professional archaeologists, really get up to, shattering stereotypes perpetuated by the likes of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft.
Anyway, here’s my post for this year which focusses on the usual range of geospatial and geosemantic stuff and not being chased by angry tribespeople or making dramatic and implausible escapes from imminent danger and almost certain death (although I did get a small electric shock off a laptop power supply this morning…)
Linked Data and Semantic Web based approaches to data management have now become commonplace in the field of heritage. So commonplace in fact, that despite frequent mention in digital literature, and a growing familiarity with concepts such as URIs and RDF across the domain, it is starting to see fall off in Computer Science conferences and journals as many of the purely technical issues are seen to be ‘solved’. So is the revolution over? We propose that until the benefits of Linked Data are seen in real interconnections between independent systems it will not properly have begun. This session will discuss the socio-technical challenges required to build a concrete Semantic Web in the heritage sector.
The videos for the accepted papers:
The Syrian Heritage Project in the IT infrastructure of the German Archaeological Institute – Philipp Gerth, Sebastian Cuy (video)
Using CIDOC CRM for dynamically querying ArSol, a relational database, from the semantic web – Olivier Marlet, Stéphane Curet, Xavier Rodier, Béatrice Bouchou-Markhoff (video)
How to move from Relational to Linked Open Data 5 Star – a numismatic example – Karsten Tolle, David Wigg-Wolf (video)
The Labeling System: A bottom-up approach for enriched vocabularies in the humanities – Florian Thiery, Thomas Engel (video)
From interoperable to interoperating Geosemantic resources – Paul J Cripps, Douglas Tudhope (video)
Postgraduate Researchers Presentation Day – 2nd prize for best oral presentation
I am very pleased to report that I won an award for my presentation on the GSTAR project at the Postgraduate Researchers Presentation Day, held on 15th May 2015 at the University of South Wales Postgraduate Research Centre, Trefforest Campus.
LGD14 Barcamp, featuring open plan space and beanbags.
I was very pleased to attend this event co-organised by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) through the SmartOpenData project, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the UK Government (data.gov.uk), the Ordnance Survey (OS) and Google. Hosted by Google Campus London, the two day event comprised presentations, lightening talks and a barcamp, all focussing on the use of geospatial data within the world of Linked Data. It was refreshing to be amongst researchers, users, developers and commercial folk all working in this area; I for one picked up some good ideas to help with my research project and hopefully my contributions were of use.
It was certainly good to bring together the camps working in this area: the geospatial technologists on the one side and the web folks on the other (And people like me who have one foot in each camp, as well as limbs in other domains, my primary domain being digital cultural heritage of course). To make this stuff work it’s going to take both groups working together through their respective consortia, the W3C and OGC.
It’s been almost a decade since I was last digging at Avebury as part of the ‘Negotiating Avebury‘ project, so it was lovely to be invited along with my Avebury Archaeological and Historical Research Group (AAHRG) colleagues to visit the latest excavations at this amazing place, part of the current ‘Between the Monuments‘ project and following the team’s 2012 geophysical survey. This latest project features two of the site directors from the Negotiating Avebury Project, Dr Josh Pollard (University of Southampton) and Dr Mark Gillings (University of Leicester), joined this time by Dr Nick Snashall (National Trust) as co-director. Continue reading →