Exposing the history of Europe

The creation of a structure to enable time-spatial searching of historical resources within a European framework

Paula J. Aucott, Alexander von Lünen, Humphrey Southall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a knowledgebase supporting a prototype Europe-wide time-spatial search interface for historical resources. It discusses how this structure could be used to access other types of digital heritage content. 

Design/methodology/approach: By using a relational database with spatial capabilities, a multi-lingual search structure has been created which supports a temporal map and a facetted browser, collaborative facilities and a heritage resource viewer, with links to online catalogues. 

Findings: Combining data from three states with very different histories identified the strengths and weaknesses of the approach. The framework's flexibility means it could easily be re-purposed to support front ends to other types of cultural content. 

Research limitations/implications: Due to the variability in the administrative unit source data, its initial integration required significant manipulation to achieve consistency; however, the benefits of data assimilation ensure the base framework is as efficient as possible. 

Practical implications: Usage levels of on-line cultural resources will be far higher if ordinary users can access them via access routes which have meaning for them, such as by locality/place. Ontology-based geographical frameworks are much easier to search by place name than are conventional GIS systems, and vastly more accessible to search engines. 

Originality/value: This interface demonstrates the potential for integrating data from any number of different national organisations into a single user tool. It also highlights the potential for utilising the underlying structure in multiple contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-286
Number of pages17
JournalOCLC Systems and Services
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Search engines
Geographic information systems
Interfaces (computer)
Ontology
history
resources
assimilation
search engine
ontology
manipulation
Geographical Information System
flexibility
time
methodology
Values

Cite this

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Exposing the history of Europe : The creation of a structure to enable time-spatial searching of historical resources within a European framework. / Aucott, Paula J.; von Lünen, Alexander; Southall, Humphrey.

In: OCLC Systems and Services, Vol. 25, No. 4, 30.10.2009, p. 270-286.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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