• Toward Linked Data In The Humanities

    Imagine being able to pull data from hundreds, even thousands, of different sources to create charts and graphs; compare facts, figures, or relationships; or discover patterns that no one ever knew existed.  If you had the ability to do it, what would you set out to find?

    This is the new web of Linked Data that’s envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, and amazingly, it’s starting to become reality.  We have accomplished incredible things with a web of documents, but we now have the opportunity to dig deeper to explore the relationships between people, places, and things utilizing graphs rather than tables. It’s like going from The Muppets to Avatar (or if you hated Avatar, pick your own exaggerated analogy for a paradigm shift in technology).

    The humanities stand to benefit enormously by this new opportunity for discovery and analysis.  Not only does it offer the real possibility for bridging isolated archives and data collections, but it opens the door for community contributed links that can significantly amplify long-stagnant archives and records.

    Within the Linked Data movement, there are roles to be played by technologists, developers, researchers, archivists, dreamers and everyone in between.  I’d like to present the Civil War Data 150 Project as just one example of what Linked Data may help us achieve, and invite everyone to come up with creative projects you might pursue if you had the ability to reach across collections, time, and space to explore new networks and relationships of information.

    Graph of data to be mapped from various sources for the Civil War Data 150 Project.


  1. Jon Voss says:

    A little more info… @captain_primate just posted a link to this recent talk by Tim Berners-Lee showing some examples of the power of Linked Data. Great stuff!


  2. tgloege says:

    Your session proposal looks great and touches on similar interests to my own. Are you interested in teaming up?

  3. Jon Voss says:

    Absolutely. Looks like there may be a few archives 2.0 session we could team up on. Can’t wait!

  4. Aditi says:

    This is exactly my research area. As a CS/natural language processing person working in information exploration, I get pretty excited about the potential of linked data to help make knowledge easier to synthesize, easier to find, and easier to expand.

    I’m actually working on the New York Times linked open dataset (data.nytimes.com) right now, my project (very early stages) is a visual explorer: http://bebop.berkeley.edu/nytimes

  5. Jon Voss says:

    Aditi: awesome! I’m looking forward to checking out your project and hearing more about your research. My focus has been on developing use cases and I’m very excited to have your perspective and technical expertise in the mix!

  6. MaterialCulture says:

    I’m excited about the potential linked data holds for heritage and material culture studies – looking forward to this conversation!


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  2. Linked Data Session Notes - Great Lakes THAT Camp
  3. LookBackMaps at conferences in March, 2010 | LookBackMaps blog
  4. How to propose a sesion « THATCamp Texas 2012
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  6. Welcome aboard! Now, about those session proposals . . . - THATCamp Virginia 2012
  7. Please Post Your Proposals!! | THATCamp Historically Black Colleges and Universities
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  9. Get ready for THATCamp London 2013! | THATCamp London 2013

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