1. Eleanor Whitworth

    FROM EXPORTABLE TO USABLE: LODLAM MELB

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    The 2nd LODLAM Melbourne workshop, held 31st July, focused on place-names and ANZAC data. Around 20 participants attended from memory organisations, tertiary institutions and government departments. It was great to have solid presence from the HuNI team, as their plenary session was held in Melbourne the day before. Various projects, possibilities and issues were discussed and the group agreed to share information on data subsets and investigate opportunities to share it – either as open data, or linked open data. A full write-up is here. Our biscuits may have been fresher, but they were far less topical than this one:
  2. Adrian Stevenson

    Radically Open Cultural Heritage Data at SXSW Interactive 2012

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    I had the privilege of attending the annual South by South-west Interactive, Film and Music conference (SXSW) a few weeks ago in Austin, Texas.    I was there as part of the ‘Radically Open Cultural Heritage Data on the Web’ Interactive panel session, along with our fellow LODLAMers, Jon Voss, Julie Allinson from the University of York digital library, and Rachel Frick from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). We were well chuffed that Mashable.com picked up on it as one of ’22 SXSW Panels You Can’t Up This Year’. I’ve written about our session and a few of the other sessions over the UK Discovery blog for those who wanting the full lowdown.
  3. Tim Wray

    vocabulary alignment, meaning and understanding in the world museum

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    We live in a world of silos. Silos data. Silos of culture. Linked Open Data aims to tear down these silos and create unity among the collections, their data and their meaning. The World Museum awaits us. It comes as no surprise that I begin this post with such Romantic allusions. Our discussions of vocabularies –  as technical behemoths and cultural artefacts – were lively and florid at a recent gathering of researchers library and museum professionals at LODLAM-NZ. Metaphors  of time and tide – depicted beautifully in this companion post by Ingrid Mason, highlight issues of their expressive power of their meaning over time and across cultures. I present a very broad technical perspective on the matter beginning with a metaphor for what I believe represents the current state of digital cultural heritage : a world of silos. Among these silos lie vocabularies that describe their collections and induce meaning to their objects. Originally employed to assist cataloguers and disambiguate terms, vocabularies have grown to encompass rich semantic information, often pertaining to the needs of that institution, their collection or their creator communities. Vocabularies themselves are cultural artefacts representing a snapshot of sense making. Like the objects that they describe,...
  4. Jon Voss

    LODLAM-NZ Round Up

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    The following was cross posted on the Open Knowledge Foundation blog on 12/20/2011. I recently traveled to Wellington, New Zealand to take part in the National Digital Forum of New Zealand (#ndf2011), which was held at the national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa. Following the conference, the amazing team at Digital NZ hosted and organized a Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives & Museums unconference (#lodlam). The two events were well attended by Kiwis as well as a large number of international attendees from Australia, and a few from as far as the US, UK and Germany. When it comes to innovative digital initiatives in cultural heritage, the rest of the world has been looking to New Zealand and Australia for some time. Federated metadata exchanges and search has been happening across institutions in projects like Digital NZ and Trove. I was able to learn more about the Digital NZ APIs as well as those from Museum Victoria, Powerhouse Museum, and State Records New South Wales. In fact, the remarkable proliferation of APIs in Australasia has allowed us to consider the possibilities of Linked Open Data to harvest and build upon data held in databases in multiple institutions. Given the extent to which tools for opening access to data...
  5. Ingrid Mason

    Time and Tide

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    There are benefits to posting post-event quickly (you get the word out fast) and maybe there are benefits to being so swamped with work that you get time to mull.  It has been nearly a month since lod-lam NZ happened in Wellington and the session on Dec 1, Thursday afternoon on vocabularies was one I’ve been waiting for for some time.  Tim Wray (who is a PhD student from University of Wollongong) wrote in an email “I was wondering if you like to contribute your part – particularly your humanist / social perspective on the issue of vocabularies and alignment”.  Tim is going to explain the discussion in that session from a computational linguistics point of view and his own perspective, so this post is food for the culture vultures and semi-technical cake eaters of the GLAM sector keen on linked open data. These were the topics the conversation ranged through in the vocabularies session: curatorial questions around selecting vocabularies vocabulary as cultural artefact cultural questions around automating vocabularies roles of curation and linguistic computation in aligning vocabularies The discussion that afternoon started solidly thanks to Stuart Yeates from the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) who lead the discussion...
  6. Paul Rowe

    The Web of Assertions

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    I attended the LODLAM meeting last week in Wellington, New Zealand as a relative newcomer to the concept of linked open data. One of the questions the meeting tried to answer was “what are the best use cases for linked data?” “What is a use case that is compelling enough to warrant our investment in creating linked data?” One comparison made* was that of Charles Darwin making his notes on the voyage of The Beagle. Did Darwin record merely a list of points in tabular notebook? No, he recorded his observations in journal form and his ideas were slowly organised over years. In his journal of assertions Darwin found connections and common themes emerging over time. Linked open data is a series of assertions in the form of subject/predicate/object. Ideally this is not on isolated sets of data but across open sets of data on the web. Complex topics are made up of assertions of varying degrees of authority. Linked open data is a better representation of knowledge on the web. There are problems with each of the three parts of the linked open data triple. The subject may require disambiguation. E.g. Which “Hamilton” are we referring to? We need...
  7. Liz Holcombe

    Anzac WW100 session notes LODLAM NZ

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    These notes are rough, and may not have captured everything. The session started with a discussion about URL structures, and how/if to use regimental or service numbers in those URLs. Regimental numbers are not always unique, and in Australia, some First World War servicemen and women were not issued the numbers. There are also some duplicates and multiple numbers allocated to some individuals. The Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Cenotaph project has delivered a web page for each serviceman and woman. Many include links to digitised service records at the archives. There is good metadata about place, people, things and ships. With place names, need to share a vocabulary to describe the places and link to geo codes. Auckland War Memorial Museum also has some 1200 links from Wikipedia to their collection, especially official histories. There was discussion about using latitude and longitude as battles were large and took place over, sometimes, large areas. It is possible to use a regional scale or bounding boxes to specify an area. The metaphor of place was mentioned: for instance, Heaven is a place with no lat and long. Kiwi troops in WW2 used Hitler as a word for the enemy, and where the...
  8. Jon Voss

    LODLAM SF Summit Raw Session Notes

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    Thanks to Kris Carpenter Negulescu and the team at the Internet Archive, as well as Asa Letourneau, we’re adding an archive of session notes recorded on easel pads during the SF Summit. The images are available through the Public Record Office Victoria Flickr set, and you can also download a Word Doc or .rtf version of the transcriptions. The latter are numbered, though I don’t think we’ve mapped the images to the numbered transcriptions, which may be helpful.