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Published June 5, 2023 | Version 1
Poster Open

Linking and visualizing cultural heritage data for humanities research

  • 1. University for Continuing Education, Krems, Austria
  • 2. Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), Slovenia
  • 3. Austrian Center for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage (ACDH-CH), Austria

Description

This set of posters brings together complementary disciplinary perspectives on working with cultural heritage data from the European project "In/Tangible European Heritage – Visual Analysis, Curation and Communication" (InTaVia).

GREGOR POBEZIN: OPEN CHALLENGES IN TRADITIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH: NOVEL APPROACHES TO BIOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH WITH INTAVIA

Among the many factors that distinguish biography, we can perhaps most readily point to two that, while usually helpful and indeed essential to biographical studies, can also be important obstacles: tradition and structure. As a noble historiographical genre with a long tradition, biography inevitably produces its texts along structural guidelines. This structure may not be a problem for scholars of cultural or political history - theirs is the task of querying, questioning and imagining: in various languages and across multi-varied texts. But even historians can sometimes ask too little and imagine too much - or vice versa.

For example, three biographical entries (Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Deutsche Biographie, Slovenska biografija) about Pier Paolo Vergerio the Younger (1498-1565) all cover the all major events along an almost identical timeline. However, while one omits almost all of Vergerio’s literary production, the other concentrates on his contacts with protestants, as if life before his apostasy never existed. Tradition gets in our way.

Technological advancements have had limited success (searching for Vergerio in Europeana will yield little success) - so far. For wider biographical research, a comparative platform seems a tool sorely needed, since it will finally render the comparative reading of numerous multivariate texts, the visualizing of essential data and asking relevant questions beyond the limitations of narrative structure.

MATTHIAS SCHLÖGL: ON BUILDING A TRANSNATIONAL, MULTIMODAL KNOWLEDGE GRAPH

InTaVia aims at bringing together different kinds of cultural data. To do so, the InTaVia Knowledge Graph (IKG) is built using structured biographical data on cultural actors from four European National Biographies as a base layer (Austria, Finland, The Netherlands, and Slovenia) – which have been converted using the IDM-RDF (https://github.com/InTaVia/idm-rdf).

Second level layers enrich the biographical base layer with data on related cultural heritage objects, institutions, and places from reference resources such as Wikidata and Europeana. Currently the IKG contains data on around 300.000 distinct persons from various periods who had an impact on the history of European countries in one way or another.

However, the IKG has to tackle several problems: for example, the source data is quite unbalanced with respect to the level of detail and structure; the sources contain biased data in various forms (e.g. gender bias, “national myths", …).

This poster gives an overview of the InTaVia System Architecture, presents some statistical analyses on the structure and problems of the IKG and shares the "lessons learned" when integrating large historical secondary data sources.

FLORIAN WINDHAGER, JOHANNES LIEM & EVA MAYR: VISUAL-ANALYTICAL PERSPECTIVES ON CULTURAL INFORMATION

The cultural knowledge graph IKG can be a rich integrative resource for multi-faceted research but is challenging to access for people without technical skills or prior knowledge on the structure and kinds of information available. To overcome these barriers, InTaVia develops a visualization-based interfaces for the visual search, analysis and communication of linked cultural information.

Different visual analytical perspectives (for temporal, spatial, but also relational and categorical information related to the cultural entities in the IKG) support researchers to gain an overview on the structured data available, to see patterns from a distant reading perspective, and to identify interesting pieces of cultural information for close reading. For example, a humanist researcher can search for a cultural actor and will easily find a range of relevant cultural resources: biographical texts, related actors and related objects. They can then select entities of interest and analyze their movements over time, see cultural objects related to biographical events. By making transparent also the provenance of the information, this interface allows to compare and synoptically see different biographies on the same actor.

Our poster walks visitors through the architecture of the visualization-based interface and we offer a demo how to use the developing platform it for searching, analysing, and communicating cultural information.

Notes

The project InTaVia has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101004825.

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Additional details

Funding

InTaVia – In/Tangible European Heritage - Visual Analysis, Curation and Communication 101004825
European Commission