Look out! Can you see something coming? Semantic browsing – what might it look like?

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The Semantic Technologies for Archaeological Resources (STAR) project has been exploring the development of new tools and technologies for “semantic web” based research. The project builds upon the ontological modelling approach taken by English Heritage staff, in recent years, to modelling their information and data using the CIDOC-CRM standard (ISO 21127:2006). The ontological modelling has enabled the EH archaeological teams to more explicitly identify where ‘information gaps’ exist within their existing information records and flow lines, which can then be bridged using an ontological information model. The data involved can be derived from legacy datasets, current databases, and hopefully will enable incorporation of a mapping to data yet to be recorded in a newly implemented archaeological recording system. The aim is to provide a model for how new systems and technologies can be developed that enable greater interoperability and better integration of data in the rather disparate archipelago of archaeological project information. This paper will also discuss the emerging use of the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) data model as a W3 standard for sharing and linking knowledge organization systems via the Semantic Web. The STAR SKOS web services currently provide term look up across the thesauri held in the system (including the EH Monuments Thesaurus and the former MDA Objects Thesauri), along with browsing and semantic concept expansion within a chosen thesaurus. Users may browse a concept space to explore and become familiar with specialist terminology or as part of a broader application. In combination with a search system, the services allow queries to be expanded (automatically or interactively) by synonyms or by expansion over the SKOS semantic relationships. Expansion is based on a measure of ‘semantic closeness’. The paper will also introduce a new prototype CRM Browser web service developed by the STAR project and explore ideas for how this prototype browser might be developed further in the future to enable linked searching across and between free text reports and structured data in databases, using emerging forms of semantic query languages and interfaces and what such “Semantic Browsing” might look like for end users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Heritage
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia
EditorsMarinos Ioannides, Alonzo Addison, Andreas Georgopoulos, Loukas Kalisperis
Place of PublicationBudapest
ISBN (Print)978-963-8046-99-4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2008
Event 14th International Conference on Virtual Systems and MultiMedia (VSMM08) - Limassol, Cyprus
Duration: 20 Oct 200820 Oct 2008


Conference 14th International Conference on Virtual Systems and MultiMedia (VSMM08)


  • ontology
  • cidoc crm
  • crm-eh
  • rdf
  • skos
  • semantic web
  • star


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