Building Linked Open Greek Pottery

I have been working since the fall on a side project to apply the methodologies learned in the development of, a collaborative project that seeks to define all of the intellectual concepts of numismatics following linked open data methodologies, toward the development of a similar resource for ceramics. was registered a few months ago, but it is still very much a prototype. I plan to do a demo of the project in two weeks at CAA in Paris.

When I began the project back in October or November, I started by scraping the HTML thesauri at the Beazley Archive at Oxford and comparing terms to the British Museum thesauri in PHP. This was really complicated, and I’m not sure I was using the most efficient tools for this job. Instead of getting bogged down in this process, I decided to switch gears (and do what I normally do), and create a few dozen really well-defined RDF identifiers for Greek pottery concepts and build an entire scalable framework on creating, editing, and publishing identifiers (complete with the XForms backend and HTML5 public user interface), as well as develop workflows for ingesting and managing RDF data dumps of physical vases in museum collections.

Not long ago, I received a CSV dump of 24 vases from the Getty Museum, which I just now mapped into a hybrid CIDOC CRM/ ontology (though leaning heavily on existing CRM classes and properties). I posted these data into the SPARQL endpoint a few moments ago. You can take a look at basic query results:

Derived from the query:

PREFIX rdf:    <>
PREFIX dcterms:    <>
PREFIX skos:    <>
PREFIX owl:    <>
PREFIX foaf:    <>
PREFIX ecrm:    <>
PREFIX geo:    <>
PREFIX kid:    <>
PREFIX kon:    <>

SELECT ?s ?title ?identifier ?technique WHERE {
?s a ecrm:E22_Man-Made_Object .
?s dcterms:title ?title .
?s dcterms:identifier ?identifier .
?s ecrm:P32_used_general_technique ?turi .
?kturi skos:exactMatch ?turi .
?kturi skos:prefLabel ?technique
FILTER ( lang(?technique) = "en" )
} LIMIT 100

By this time next week, I should have ingested several dozen vases from the British Museum into the endpoint so that I can start building visualization mechanisms that take advantage of data from both museums. For example, there will be SPARQL-based maps and quantitative analyses rendered in charts and graphs (the sort of thing that has been implemented in OCRE and Coin Hoards of the Roman Empire).

University College Dublin Classical Museum joins Consortium

This morning, I received word from John Howard at the University College Dublin that their Roman coins have been published into the UCD institutional repository. The coins are described in NUDS/XML, an emerging standard for encoding numismatic data–partly influenced by common library standards like EAD and EAC-CPF, but also very much influenced by the tenets of linked open data. I ingested RDF output conforming to the data model into nomisma’s SPARQL endpoint, and so the coins are available for query. They will be available in RRC Online, a digital representation of the Roman Republican Coinage type corpus by Michael Crawford (this is a joint digital project between the ANS and British Museum). This is still a prototype, but feel free to poke around. It will be production ready within the next month or two, and will contain coins from the British Museum, American Numismatic Society, University of Virginia Art Museum numismatic collection, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and now the UCD Classical Museum. Additionally, it will leverage more than 700 findspots from Kris Lockyear’s Coin Hoards of the Roman Republic.

You can see some examples of UCD coins here (toward the bottom, as coins are arranged alphabetically by collection name).

The following SPARQL query will list all of UCD’s coins:

PREFIX nm:    <>
SELECT * WHERE { ?s nm:collection nm:ucd }

Busy Day of DH Ahead

Today (and the next two weeks) will be extraordinarily busy around here. There is a lot of work to be done before the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference, which will be held in Paris the week after Easter. Today I will be bouncing around between the usual digital numismatics stuff and archival software. I have been working the last few months on implementing TEI support in EADitor, an open source framework for managing and publishing archival collections (particularly focused on EAD finding aids). This TEI support includes not only rendering the TEI into HTML, but also into RDF linked data and support for annotating facsimile images by hooking Annotorious into an XForms backend which automatically inserts relative OpenLayers coordinates into the TEI. It’s a fairly complicated task, and I’ll discuss it in more detail in the XForms for Archives blog when it’s ready. If all goes well, we will be launching the new version of the American Numismatic Society Archives (Archer) by the end of this week with at least one well-annotated research notebook created by Edward Newell, one of the pre-eminent 20th century scholars on the coins of Alexander the Great and the Diadochi. First, I must migrate the rest of the EADitor user interface into Bootstrap.

Later this evening, I will continue to work on one of my side projects in order to have it presentation-ready for CAA. The title of my paper is “Linked Open Pottery,” in which I am working on the development of a linked open data thesaurus for the intellectual concepts of Greek pottery (which can be applied to all varieties of ceramics). This resides at I’ve received some data from the Getty Museum and will harvest more data about Greek vases from the British Museum SPARQL endpoint. I’ll discuss all this in greater detail tonight as I’m working on it.

Just another Day of DH 2014 site

Skip to toolbar