Canadians engage with, analyze, and synthesize heterogeneous bodies of information about how people, places, organizations, events, concepts, artworks and artifacts are connected. Unprecedented quantities of data for addressing complex social processes still lack meaningful connections between materials and historical contexts to support algorithmic processes and analysis. Humanities researchers need a smarter, “semantic” web whose links will make those connections to elucidate the diverse causes, effects, and significance of human action and expression. The Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship (LINCS) will meet this need.
The Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship project, a University of Guelph-led CFI Cyberintrastructure project led by Dr. Susan Brown brings together scholars from the universities of Guelph, Toronto, Victoria, Alberta, Ottawa, and McGill in the creation of a national linked data triple store. Dr. Crompton serves as the University of Ottawa institutional team lead on the project. The University of Ottawa team is creating linked data from currently siloed XML-based digital humanities projects and on creating the bilingual aspects of the LINCS interface design.
At the University of Ottawa team we are working on tools to find entities in TEI documents (via the LINCS NSSI reconciliation service), and insert URIs for those entities into the TEI markup for use in contributors’ own projects or within LINCS. The team is also customizing Mainz’s Digitale Akademie’s XTriples tool, to allow contributors to upload their TEI and create a LINCS-compatible CIDOC-CRM representation of those elements and their relationships for ingestion into the LINCS triplestore.
Entity Recognition and Vetting
The first step in the workflow is for contributors to use Leaf-Writer/CWRC-Writer’s call NSSI for entity recognition and reconciliation. Following reconciliation, contributors can download their TEI with the entity uris in <idno> elements for their own use. If they wish to contribute to LINCS, they may proceed to enter the TEI document they have exported from Leaf-Writer/CWRC-Writer into XTriples.
XTriples Workflow and Rationale
We have adopted the XTriples tool because it meets the needs of a very common type of TEI user: the director or team member of a project who is not going to be able to learn the intricacies of CIDOC-CRM, or indeed perhaps not even of linked data principles, but would still like to contribute their data to LINCS. Our version of XTriples allows users to input their TEI, complete with URIs from the step above, select the elements they have in their TEI from the 44 we plan to support, and to automatically produce LINCS-approved CIDOC-CRM as XML or TTL for their own use or for contribution to LINCS.
The University of Ottawa team encourages LINCS contributors who do not have direct support from LINCS but who need a more bespoke mapping between their TEI and CIDOC-CRM to use Forth’s 3M Mapping Tool and to write XSLTs that create the CIDOC-CRM representation of their data. We have the resources up until June 2023 to help with the XSLT writing for any project that has created a mapping between their data and CIDOC-CRM.
1For more see:
Ciotti, Fabio. “A Formal Ontology for the Text Encoding Initiative.” Umanistica Digitale, vol. 2, no. 3, Nov. 2018. umanisticadigitale.unibo.it, https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2532-8816/8174.
Eide, Ø., and C. Ore. “From TEI to a CIDOC-CRM Conforming Model: Towards a Better Integration Between Text Collections and Other Sources of Cultural Historical Documentation.” Digital Humanities, 2007, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237462642_From_TEI_to_a_CIDOC-CRM_Conforming_Model_Towards_a_Better_Integration_Between_Text_Collections_and_Other_Sources_of_Cultural_Historical_Documentation.
Liuzzo, Pietro, et al. “Networking EAGLE with CIDOC and TEI.” ICOM: Access and Understanding – Networking in the Digital Era, 2014, https://doi.org//paper/Networking-EAGLE-with-CIDOC-and-TEI-Liuzzo-Ruiz/312930f9d6e6c511fda6f778687704e185ce2921
Ore, Christian-Emil, and Øyvind Eide. “TEI and Cultural Heritage Ontologies: Exchange of Information?” Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 24, no. 2, June 2009, pp. 161–72., https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqp010.
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