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Digital_humanities

Topic Maps and Digital Collections in the Humanities

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Abstract:

The following case study on Digital Collections gives an overview on more than fifteen projects that were using the Topic Maps standard to organize their specific information. This shows the huge variety of usage for Topic Maps and the surrounded Semantic Web technologies.



Digital collections in the Humanities seem to be the most fruitful application field of Topic Maps in the MLA and Digital Humanities. Here, Topic Maps seems to have shown all its potential in revealing unknown or unexpected conclusions based on the associations established between topics.

The New Zealand Electronic Text Center, The Swinburne Project and the Collections of the Finnish National Gallery are some of the most up to date and well documented projects that can tell about the details of using Topic Maps in the Digital Humanities.

The following case study on Digital Collections gives an overview on more than fifteen projects that were using the Topic Maps standard to organize their specific information. This shows the huge variety of usage for Topic Maps and the surrounded Semantic Web technologies.

Arppeanet

This Finnish project used Wandora an open source application to create topic maps. The aim of the project was to organize and present information about Helsinki University officials from 1700 century to early 1900 century, to organize the image collection of Helsinki University museum, and to show and integrate contemporary study options and study fields of Helsinki University.

Current status: Finished (2001-2003). Not online.

For more information see the following links:
About the project
Topic map example of Arppeanet

Assembly Media Gallery

Assembly is a festival for computer scientists in Finland where they ‘compete in graphics, music and demos, play games and meet like-minded.’ That produces huge amounts of media materials, which in 2004 where not only gathered and organized but published with the aid of a web site run by a topic map. The merging facility was extensively used, as well as the transformation of many XML documents into small topic maps using style sheets.

Current status: Finished (2004-2005). Not online.

Bibliography:
Kivela, A., & Lyytinen, O. (2004). Topic Map aided publishing: A case study of Assembly Media Archive. Retrieved March 18, 2009.

Cedeca

The Italian project CeDECA (Centro di Documentazione Etnografica e di Cultura Appenninica) is a census of the cultural patrimony located in the mountain community of the province of Pavia (a sort of ethnographic documentation center). The project is running by The University of Pavia. Its specific topic map was created with the Topincs -editor and covers about 1600 topics and 4000 associations.

Current status: Working

Bibliography:
Vassallo, Salvatore (2006). Navigating through archives, libraries and museums: Topic Maps as harmonizing instrument. In L. Maicher & J. Park (Eds.), Charting the Topic Maps research and applications landscape (Vol. 3873, pp. 231–240). Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

Collections of Finnish National Gallery

The project Collections of Finnish National Gallery aimed to create a Web service to promote art collections of the Finnish National Gallery (FNG). The FNG is the largest art museum organization in Finland and contains three Museums: Ateneum Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, and Sinebrychoff Art Museum. In addition to the art museums, the FNG contains several cross-organization departments such Central Art Archives, Conservation Department, Administration and Services, and Finnish National Gallery Library. The project was lead by Eija Liukkonen of the FNG. In their presentations of the project the team reveals some details on the use of Topic Maps and Wandora.

Current status: Working, up to date

Bibliography:
Kivelä, A., & Lyytinen, O. (2007). Case study: publishing large collection of artworks using Topic Maps. Presentation given at the International Topic Maps Users Conference in Oslo.

Liukkonen, E. (2008). The Collections web service of the Finnish National Gallery. [PowerPoint slides]. Presented at Arlis Norden 2008 conference.

Kiasmart

Kiasmart was the first “Wandora”-application project. Kiasmart’s motivation was to promote art collections of the Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma with is part of the Finnish National Gallery. It built the topic map dynamically using metadata in images.

Current status: Finished (1999-2001). Not online.

For more information see the following link:
Kiasmart at Wandora.org

Mediateekki & Media Archive

These two project were also part of the Finnish National Gallery. Both are Topic Map run websites to make the media collections of the Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma accessible for internal uses (Media Archive) and for greater audiences (Mediatekki). For the final publication a “Piccolo-Wandora”-combination was being used.

Current status: Finished. Not in use anymore.

For more information see the following link:
Mediatekki & Media Archive at Wandora.org

Korean Folk Music (Pansori) Retrieval System

Pansori is a type of Korean Folk Music. A user study was carried on to compare two systems for organizing and presenting information on it: one topic map-based with another based on traditional web information retrieval tools. The Topic Maps-based system showed higher performance for objective and subjective measurements in general and worked very well for more complex tasks.

Current status: Prototype created for a usability study. Not online.

Bibliography:
Oh, S. G. (2008a). Evaluating an Innovative Korean Folk Music (Pansori) Retrieval System Using Topic Maps.

Musica Migrans

The German Musica Migrans project uses a topic map to gather information and discover unknown relationships between people, places and institutions of the 19th century German speaking musicians in the countries of Eastern Europe. Names in different languages, dates and places of birth and death, nationality, places of study and work, and all performances and references are registered for each musician.
The portal is implemented in PHP using the (extended) QuaaxTM engine and uses AJAX technologies. It uses full-text index and and XTM parser/serialiser. A web service interface allows the integration of the portal information into other applications by requesting Topic Maps fragments.

Current status: Online

Bibliography:
Maicher, L. (2008). Musica migrans – Mapping the Movement of Migrant Musicians. Presentation given at the International Topic Maps Users Conference in Oslo.

New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) at Victoria University of Wellington

The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) is a digital library of New Zealand and Pacific Islands texts and heritage materials. In 2008 it reported to include over 2500 texts covering 110.000 topics. The topics represent authors and publishers, texts, and images, as well as people and places mentioned or depicted in those texts and images. The occurrences incorporate external ressources based on their metadata. This site received a TopicMaps award in Oslo TMs 2008.

Current status: Online, active

Bibliography:
Norrish, J. & Stevenson, A. (2008). Topic Maps and Entity Authority Records: an Effective Cyber Infrastructure for Digital Humanities. Presented at Digital Humanities, 2008. University of Oulu, Finland.

Stevenson, A., & Styron, E. (2006). Topic Map Presentation Framework: an Approach to Delivering Newspaper Content Over the Web.

Stevenson, A., Darwin, J., & Tuohy, C. (2006). Going Beyond Google: Representation and Retrieval of Information Using Topic Maps.

Stevenson, A., Tuohy, C. & Norrish, J. (2008). Ambient findability and structured serendipity: enhanced resource discovery for full text collections. New Zealand Electronic Text Centre.

Tuohi, C. (2008). Topic Maps for Cultural Heritage Collections [Power Point slides]. Presented at International Topic Maps Users Conference in Oslo.

Tuohy, C. (2007). Topic Maps and TEI: Using Topic Maps as a Tool for Presenting TEI Documents.

Tuohi, C. (2005, May 5). Topic Maps @ NZETC.

The Emigration Museum

This project is a digital library of the Emigration Museum on the topic of the Portuguese emigrants to Brazil. It tries not only to collect information on each emigrant but to find the connections on their social influences and activities in their travel destinations. It is reported as a case study using ‘Metamorphosis’, a Topic Maps oriented system.

Current status: (Unknown)

Bibliography:
Ramalho, J., Librelotto, G., & Henriques, P. (2006). Metamorphosis—A Topic Maps based environment to handle heterogeneous information resources. In: L. Maicher & J. Park (Eds.), Charting the Topic Maps research and applications landscape (Vol. 3873, pp. 14-25). Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

The folklore collection of the University of Athens – Greek Literature Department

This is a Greek folklore collection of digitized materials organized and run by a topic map. It consists of student’s handwritten traveling notebooks, photographs, lyrics and handcrafts, collected during the research of the different ways of living in different regions of Greece. Collected from about 1967, they consist of a quite large collection, containing more than 4000 notebooks and 350,000 pages. Topic Maps was used to make it possible to combine elements from various metadata standards (descriptive, technical, rights metadata, metadata for educational purposes, and meta-metadata, to indicate the particular standards used for each material type). These metadata also needed to be used at different levels: collection, notebook, chapter, sub-section, page, photograph, objects; and, finally mapped to a common standard –XML based in order to allow the harvesting of the repository. The project members used each metadata element belonging to different schemas as a topic, and the associations link the different elements between diverse schemas.

Current status: (Unknown)

Bibliography:
Lourdi, I., Christos Papatheodorou & Ch., Nikolaidou, M. (2007). A multi-layer metadata schema for digital folklore collections. Journal of Information Science, 33 (2) 2007, p. 197–213.

The Living Memory

The Living Memory project was a cooperative effort of various institutions in Switzerland to give access to visual resources in different media that was originated to document a big scale urban planning project. The topic map served both to design a thesaurus specific for the application, which was based on the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus, and the navigation and searching tools for the user.

Current status: Finished (2005-2006)

Bibliography:
Leuenberger, M., Grossmann, S., Stettler, N., & Herget, J. (2006). Topic Maps for image collections. In L. Maicher & J. Park (Eds.), Charting the Topic Maps research and applications landscape (Vol. 3873, pp. 107–111). Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

The Swinburne Project

The Swinburne Project is a digital collection at the Indiana University devoted to the life and work of the Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. According to its authors (John A. Walsh and Dalmau), the project aims to unite digitized texts – encoded in XML according to the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines – and semantic web technologies, such as Topic Maps, to construct a complex database of nineteenth-century British culture with Swinburne at its center. Walsh (2005) presents an application derived from this project called TM4DH an open source topic map toolkit for the presentation and navigation of topic maps conforming to the XTM 1.0 specification. It is also the name of a Web site that presents information and resources on the application of Topic Maps to Digital Humanities: TM4DH.

Current status: Working, up to date.

Bibliography:
Dalmau, M. and Walsh, J.A. (2007). White Collaborative Award Application 2007-2008. Bloomington, IN, United States: Indiana University, School of Library and Information Science.

Dalmau, Michelle and John A. Walsh (2005). Topic Maps in Digital Humanities: Sure They’re Cool, but Do They Make a Difference?, A User Study. Paper presented at the Digital Resources for the Humanities (DRH) conference, 4-7 September 2005.

Walsh, J. (2005). TM4DH (Topic Maps for Digital Humanities): Examples and Open Source Toolkit. Presented at ACH/ALLC.

Walsh, John A. and Michelle Dalmau. (2006). Navigating a Sea of Texts: Topic Maps and the Poetry of Algernon Charles Swinbure." Presented at the Digital Library Federation Spring Forum. The Driskill Hotel, Austin, Texas. 10-12 April 2006.

Town and Again

The Finnish project “Town and Again” was part of a research on the creation of ontologies in Finland for the semantic web. The website features artworks from eleven different museums, through which users can explore Finnish urban environments from the perspective of visual arts. It combined Flash graphics with a Topic Maps database created with “Wandora”.

“Current status:” Finished (2003-2005). Taken offline in 2007 due to copyright issues

For more information see the following link:
Web project Town and Again at the Finnish National Gallery

WebKat.hu

This is an online catalogue of Internet resources related to the Hungarian cultural heritage. The service is operated by the John von Neumann Digital Library. Since 2000, the catalogue was completed with a thesaurus. A topic map was implemented for the project.

Current status: (Unknown)

Sources:
Ignéczi, L. (2004). Developing a Topic Map. Tudományos és Műszaki Jájékoztatás (51) 7.

Fish trout, you’re out

The author of the topic map, Australian Alexander Johannesen says: it is a “children’s folklore in our oral history project; I got all the MARC records that belongs to the collection, converted it to a Topic Map, and lots of interesting things happened; I learned more about the collection, knew more about what type of information was within it, I could browse through it through various facets, I could ask the Topic Map for items that had complex relationships … basically, I could do a bucketload of things that no OPAC could ever dream of being able to do, yet we both had the same basic MARC records to work with.”

Current status: The prototype was Topic Maps-based, but the end-product wasn’t.

Sources:
Johannesen, A. (2006, May 26). The epistemological implications of Topic Maps for librarians.

Subject Matter

Topic Map Aided Publishing – A Case Study ...

by Aki Kivelä and Olli Lyytinen 

Assembly

Contemporary web publishing requires efficient technologies and tools to build and maintain large and dynamic sites. This paper introduces a Topic …


Navigating through archives, libraries and ...

by Salvatore Vassallo 

Compass

The paper deals with the possibility of creating a topic map based system where different sectors of cultural heritage would interact with users, by …


Was presented at TMRA 2005.

Publishing Large Collection of Artworks ...

by Aki Kivelä and Olli Lyytinen 

Artwork

Our presentation introduces a real-life project where large collection of artworks and relevant knowledge were published in internet using topic …


Evaluating an Innovative Korean Folk Music ...

by Sam Oh 

C_scale

The main purpose of the study is to design an innovative Pansori Retrieval System using Topic Maps, and evaluate its utility against a competing …


Was presented at Topic Maps 2007.

Musica Migrans - Mapping the Movement of ...

by Lutz Maicher 

Musicamigrans

The goal of the historical research project Musica migrans is to capture the migration and travel paths of 19th century German speaking musicians in …


Was presented at Topic Maps 2008.

Topic Maps and Entity Authority Records: an ...

by Alison Stevenson and Jamie Norrish 

Entity


The implicit connections and cross-references between and within texts, which occur in all print collections, can be made explicit in a …


Topic Maps for image collections

by Martin Leuenberger, Silke Grossmann, ...  

Wellig

Living Memory is an interdisciplinary project running for two years, which is realised in cooperation of several institutions. It aims at …


Was presented at TMRA 2005.

Topic Map Presentation Framework: An ...

by Alison Stevenson and Elizabeth Styron 

Old_papers

This paper will discuss some of the requirements for the successful online delivery of newspaper archive content to users and examine …


Going Beyond Google: Representation and ...

by Alison Stevenson, Jason Darwin, and Conal Tuohy 

Leaf

Library collections include increasingly large amounts of digital material. Libraries are digitising parts of their collection to provide wider …


Ambient Findability and Structured ...

by Alison Stevenson, Jamie Norrish, ...  

Speichen


University Libraries manage increasingly large collections of full text digital resources. These might be repositories of born digital …


Topic Maps for Cultural Heritage Collections

by Conal Tuohy 

Heritage

The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) is a digital library project at Victoria University of Wellington. The Centre has been digitising New …


Topic Maps and TEI - Using Topic Maps as a ...

by Conal Tuohy 

Present

This paper describes a method used by the website of the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC), in which Topic Maps are used as a tool for …


Topic Maps at The New Zealand Electronic ...

by Conal Tuohy 

Introduction

XML and TEI are the document mark-up standards which underpin the work of the NZETC. Information on TEI can be found through the Text Encoding …


Metamorphosis – A Topic Maps Based ...

by José Carlos Ramalho, ...  

Metamorphose


Nowadays, data handled by an institution or company is spread out by more than one database and lots of documents of different types. To …


Was presented at TMRA 2005.

A multi-layer metadata schema for digital ...

by Irene Lourdi, Christos Papatheodorou, ...  

Multi-layer

Digital folklore collections are valuable sources for studying the cultural and oral tradition of a country. The main difficulty in managing such …


TM4DH (Topic Maps for Digital Humanities): ...

by John A. Walsh 

Humanities

My paper will discuss the use of Topic Maps to explore literary topics and navigate TEI-encoded literary texts. The presentation will include a …


Navigating a Sea of Texts: Topic Maps and ...

by Michelle Dalmau and John A. Walsh 

Swinburne

Topic Maps, including their XML representation, XML Topic Maps (XTM), are powerful and flexible metadata formats that have the potential to …


The epistemological implications of Topic ...

by Alexander Johannesen 

Foucault

Quite often I’m asked about the link between libraries and Topic Maps, given that the latter is something that I’ve tried to specialise in. For …


 

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