Conference paper Open Access

Linked Data in a 3D Context: Experiential Interfaces for Exploring the Interconnections of 17th-Century Historical Data

Huurdeman, Hugo; Piccoli, Chiara; van Wissen, Leon

Within the Virtual Interiors project various Amsterdam houses are reconstructed in three dimensions based on historical research. One of the case studies is the house of 17th-century Amsterdam-born patrician Pieter de Graeff and his wife Jacoba Bicker. The interdisciplinary dataset resulting from this case study (detailed in Piccoli, 2021) is presented within an online 3D research environment, which also serves as a starting point for further exploration of historical data. In earlier work (Huurdeman & Piccoli, 2021), we described this as a three-step process model of knowledge creation, sharing and discovery: new insights emerge during the creation of the 3D reconstructions (1), these insights are shared via an online research environment (2) and users may discover new knowledge through interacting with the environment and additional Linked Data (3). This paper focuses on the third step, the integration of related Linked Data relevant for Humanities researchers in a 3D research environment.

The paper summarizes the experiences of utilizing Linked Data within the Humanities as extensions of created datasets in novel analytical and experiential interfaces based on 3D reconstructions. We discuss opportunities and pitfalls, from the perspective of the data, including data availability and quality, and from the perspective of integrating this data into user interfaces allowing for knowledge discovery. Further, we demonstrate the current research environment prototype, which is fully functional and provides flexibility by allowing for visualizing different datasets and 3D models. In addition, we discuss the initial findings of a user study in which Humanities researchers directly explore these user interfaces, leading to further insights into their potential for knowledge discovery.

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