Following on from the last update concerning the GSTAR web services, the final pieces of infrastructure for the case studies and demonstrator are nearly complete. Building on the API, a GeoJSON output format has been added so that results from GeoSPARQL queries can a) be accessed via a simple URL as with all other outputs and b) visualised using a web map or indeed any platform which can consume GeoJSON. Continue reading
With all the source data prepped and ready to go, the next step is to build some demonstrators to show how such geosemantic resources can be used in practice. Whilst very powerful, a Sparql endpoint is not the most friendly way of interacting with data resources, especially from within a web based application where options for programming are a bit limited. There is still quite some debate on this topic which will be covered in more detail in the thesis (watch this space; still on track for submission 1st/2nd quarter 2016!) but the approach I have opted for is an API using web services to provide a range of outputs via a combination of URLs and parameters. Continue reading
The session outline:
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)
Following on from my earlier post on CAA2015, my presentation entitled From interoperable to interoperating Geosemantic resources is now available on YouTube thanks to Doug Rocks-Macqueen and his Recording Archaeology project. Indeed, there are a whole collection of presentations from the conference (and numerous others conferences) available, all thanks to Doug’s dedication; his work is a great asset to the community and the growing resource he is creating is of enormous benefit so all thanks due to Doug.
One of the outputs from the Pilot Study was an approach to working with geospatial data within the broader framework provided by the CIDOC CRM ontology and the CRMEH archaeological extension. Whilst there is ongoing work by myself and others to add archaeological and spatio-temporal components directly to the CIDOC CRM, for the purposes of the GSTAR project, a lightweight approach has been developed and deployed to suit the needs of the project; CRMEH already adds archaeological excavation capabilities and the spatial extension presented here gives a range of geospatial capabilities, as provided by a mapping to GeoSPARQL.
After a longer than anticipated gestation, my Transfer Report has left my hands and is working its way through the administrative system to be externally examined. Fingers crossed, this is one of my last posts as an MPhil student and I will soon (post viva) be a PhD student proper.
The Transfer Report included a condensed form of the literature review and also a detailed report on Pilot Study. This Pilot Study was designed to lay sound foundations for the PhD research and involved implementing a system using geosemantic technologies, primarily to investigate ways in which semantic and geospatial data can work together but also to help me get to grips with the subject area and technologies available.
The full report will be made available in due course, once it has been examined (viva scheduled for end of November) and any corrections completed, but for now here is an update on some of the key findings of the Pilot Study and conclusions drawn.
The project aimed to provide a comprehensive survey of the Upper Palaeolithic resource, with a pilot study of the Mesolithic in England involving three counties. A comprehensive survey of these periods (c.38,000-c 6500 BP) was considered of particular importance because many of the sites and find spots represent evidence for the recolonisation of Britain after the Last Glacial Maximum by hominid groups. Unlike earlier recolonisations this event is part of the most northerly early migration of social groups of anatomically modern humans.
The major primary source of data for the survey is the invaluable and extensive archive compiled over many years by the late Dr Roger Jacobi. Securing this archive was identified as a priority in itself. The project included the digitisation of the Jacobi Archive, both as an image dataset and as a structured relational database, enhanced with additional information from SMR/HERs.
One of the outputs from the project is a Linked Data version of the outputs and Archaeogeomancy were pleased to be commissioned to undertake this component. Continue reading
Into the second month of the PhD now and things are starting to coalesce and take shape. A framework for development, testing and deployment of proposed demonstrators is emerging and I’m making good headway demystifying the world of geosemantics (at least, it’s becoming clearer in my head!).
So, as well as continuing with the literature review, I’m knitting together a whole bunch of tools:
- Java Development Kit (JDK) – the programming language at the heart of it all
- Maven – a project management and comprehension tool
- Eclipse – open development platform
- Jena – a Java framework for building Semantic Web applications
- Oracle 11g – relational Database Management System (RDBMS) with Spatial and Semantic components
- D2RQ – a system for accessing relational databases as virtual, read-only RDF graphs.
- AllegroGraph – a graph database
- Prolog – logic programming
- Protégé – ontology editor and knowledge-base framework
- GeoSPARQL – query language for geospatial data stored as RDF
- ArcGIS – Geographic Information System for data preparation, processing, etc
- GeoServer – open source GIS server written in Java that allows users to share and edit geospatial data.
I’ll be posting more along the journey. Next steps will be to complete the literature review, submit stage reports and use some real archaeological data. Exciting stuff!