Musica migrans   Topic Maps portal about the migration paths of  Eastern European musicians in the 19th century   TMUC 200...
How it all began … During a concert break we discussed with Prof. H. Loos,  who is one of the leading German historians ab...
…  and he started to sketch the domain! Person has names with a lot of different spellings secondary nationality of a pers...
Are Topic Maps well suited for such a project? <ul><li>Roy Lachica published the &quot; Checklist for deciding implementin...
Do we need a flexible data model? <ul><li>Do we have information consisting of diverse concepts and need to make distincti...
Do we need a high degree of semantic interoperability ? <ul><li>Do we need a strong and accurate identification of subject...
Do we need to merge semantic information from diverse sources?  <ul><li>Do we want to share our information with  other  s...
Do we  develop a knowledge centric application ? <ul><li>Is there a need for a paradigm that can collate everything known ...
Do we access information using different navigation paths?  <ul><li>Do we need a technology that is tailored for displayin...
Do we  need a strong separation between metadata and resources?  <ul><li>Do  we  have authors that work with metadata and ...
Do we have the goal to be the first to adopt new technologies? 1 point total: 11/12   Yes.
Conclusion  our result: 11/12   &quot; If you got a sum of 3 or more points you might have a good reason for embarking on ...
The perfect match … <ul><li>Prof. H. Loos provides a very interesting use case for us </li></ul><ul><li>we provide an inte...
Our approach for implementing Topic Maps portals … source:  http://www.jjg.net/elements/ Jesse J. Garrett: The Elements of...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Technical Issues <ul><li>Prolog:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it's hard to win funding from German government for salaries </li>...
RTM – the first best solution <ul><li>Ruby based Topic Maps Engine currently developed in Leipzig (see Benjamin Bock's tut...
QuaaxTM – we used the second best solution <ul><li>PHP based Topic Maps Engine  which uses open source database server for...
Status of Musica migrans <ul><li>Productive version was released mid March 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>development time: ap...
What's next in Musica migrans?   <ul><li>Google Maps + Musica migrans  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>visualisation of the migratio...
What's next  after  Musica migrans? Musica migrans II, we hope  … During a coffee break in a Musica migrans meeting we  di...
<ul><ul><li>Questions? Questions! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.musicamigrans.de </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lutz Maicher ( [e...
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Musica migrans - Topic Maps portal about the migration paths of Eastern European musicians in the 19th century

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The goal of the historical research project Musica migrans is to capture the migration and travel paths of 19th century German speaking musicians in the countries of Eastern Europe. The main focus is on gathering information about lesser known musicians of this epoch. The goal is to reveal all the hitherto uncharted relationships between people, places and institutions, collect them together in a topic map, present them in a timeline, and thereby gain new insights into the history of these communities and schools of practice.

In the first stage, 25 researchers from Eastern Europe are collecting information on 1,250 musicians using a Topic Maps-based colloborative web application. For each musician information from the following categories is collected: names in different languages, dates and places of birth and death, nationality, places of study and work, and all (known) performances and references. Due to the subject-centricity of the knowledge model, all co-occurrences of two different persons (at the same point) will be gathered at one topic and hidden relationships between the musicians will come to the surface.

The portal is implemented in PHP using the (extended) QuaaxTM engine and uses AJAX technologies to provide a rich user experience. The requirements of the portal required the extension of the engine with features such as a 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.

The portal was first released in January 2008 and a production version is planned for March 2008. This presentation describes the background to the project, the reasons why Topic Maps was chosen as the underlying technology, and the architecture of the portal itself, which can serve as a model for similar activities in the field of cultural heritage.

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Musica migrans - Topic Maps portal about the migration paths of Eastern European musicians in the 19th century

  1. 1. Musica migrans Topic Maps portal about the migration paths of Eastern European musicians in the 19th century TMUC 2008 Oslo, April 2008 Lutz Maicher, University of Leipzig [email_address]
  2. 2. How it all began … During a concert break we discussed with Prof. H. Loos, who is one of the leading German historians about the Eastern European music history that he dreams of a system which allows him to collect and analyse biographical data about little-known Eastern European musicians in the 19 th century. He was interested in making usable all the relationships in the data! This sounded like a case for Topic Maps, so we asked Mr. Loos to sketch his domain…
  3. 3. … and he started to sketch the domain! Person has names with a lot of different spellings secondary nationality of a person Date birthday of a person day of death of a person Place birthplace of a person place of death of a person Confession confessions of a person Profession main profession of a person secondary profession of a person Reference archive encyclopaedia further literature has educational development start and end of educational phase place of educational phase goal of educational phase has professional development start and end of a job place of a job profession in a job has concerts date of a concert place of a concert primary nationality of a person Nationality
  4. 4. Are Topic Maps well suited for such a project? <ul><li>Roy Lachica published the &quot; Checklist for deciding implementing Topic Maps &quot; in his blog ( http:// fuzzzyblog . blogspot .com/2008/01/checklist-for-deciding-implementing.html ) </li></ul>We will follow this checklist to get our points …
  5. 5. Do we need a flexible data model? <ul><li>Do we have information consisting of diverse concepts and need to make distinctions between their relations and the roles the associations play among each other? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we not sure if this conceptualisation will change in the future? </li></ul>3 points total: 3/3
  6. 6. Do we need a high degree of semantic interoperability ? <ul><li>Do we need a strong and accurate identification of subjects? </li></ul>2 points total: 5/5
  7. 7. Do we need to merge semantic information from diverse sources? <ul><li>Do we want to share our information with other systems? </li></ul>2 points total: 7/7
  8. 8. Do we develop a knowledge centric application ? <ul><li>Is there a need for a paradigm that can collate everything known about any given set of subjects? </li></ul>1 point total: 8/8
  9. 9. Do we access information using different navigation paths? <ul><li>Do we need a technology that is tailored for displaying multiple views in networked information structures? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we need faceted navigation or search? </li></ul>1 point total: 9/9
  10. 10. Do we need a strong separation between metadata and resources? <ul><li>Do we have authors that work with metadata and others that add or edit resources? </li></ul>0 point total: 10/11
  11. 11. Do we have the goal to be the first to adopt new technologies? 1 point total: 11/12 Yes.
  12. 12. Conclusion our result: 11/12 &quot; If you got a sum of 3 or more points you might have a good reason for embarking on a Topic Map development project. &quot; it seems that we might have a good reason to use Topic Maps (-;
  13. 13. The perfect match … <ul><li>Prof. H. Loos provides a very interesting use case for us </li></ul><ul><li>we provide an interesting technology for Prof. H. Loos </li></ul><ul><li>together we convinced the German f ederal g onvernment to spend funding for setting-up Musica migrans (Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Angelegenheiten der Kultur und der Medien) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from October 2007 until June 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>funding for implementing the portal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>funding to pay 25 historians from Eastern Europe to collect all information of the life courses of 50 musicians each = 1250 biographies </li></ul></ul>Now we could start to implement the portal …
  14. 14. Our approach for implementing Topic Maps portals … source: http://www.jjg.net/elements/ Jesse J. Garrett: The Elements of User Experience http://www.jjg.net/elements/pdf/elements_simpleplanes.pdf portal as software interface portal as hypertext system
  15. 57. Technical Issues <ul><li>Prolog: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it's hard to win funding from German government for salaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it's very hard to get funding from German government for licence fees (and if you have to pay a yearly maintainance fee to the software vendor , the sustainability plan of your funding proposal will completely collapse) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we needed an open source solution for building a Topic Maps web application </li></ul></ul>
  16. 58. RTM – the first best solution <ul><li>Ruby based Topic Maps Engine currently developed in Leipzig (see Benjamin Bock's tutorial on Wednesday) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lot of nice features for fast development of Topic Maps portals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>built in model driven approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http://rtm.rubyforge.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>but not available for productive purposes when we started in October 2007 </li></ul>
  17. 59. QuaaxTM – we used the second best solution <ul><li>PHP based Topic Maps Engine which uses open source database server for persistence </li></ul><ul><li>http://quaaxtm.sourceforge.net/ </li></ul><ul><li>used for Musica migrans, but needed some customisation for productive purposes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>hand-made model driven approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>about scalability: we don't know, but have a look at Musica migrans in summer 2008 when we will have more than thousend musicians in the system </li></ul>
  18. 60. Status of Musica migrans <ul><li>Productive version was released mid March 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>development time: appr. 500 working hours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>filling in the data into the system starts slowly … </li></ul><ul><li>we have money for a further half year and we are full of ideas … </li></ul>
  19. 61. What's next in Musica migrans? <ul><li>Google Maps + Musica migrans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>visualisation of the migration paths </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Statistics for analysing the data in the Topic Map </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. detection of persons with similar relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>XTM 2.0 Backup (not part of QuaaxTM) </li></ul><ul><li>Full-text search in the Topic Map (not part of QuaaxTM) </li></ul><ul><li>Content negotation: get all information about a person as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HTML – the portal we have </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XTM – for interoperability with other systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PDF – as dossier for print and email </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Logging (and undo) of change operations </li></ul><ul><li>Merging of Topics (via the user interface) </li></ul><ul><li>Optimization of layout and handling of the user interface </li></ul><ul><ul><li>filter and sorting – faceted navigation , but we don't have a query language in the engine </li></ul></ul>
  20. 62. What's next after Musica migrans? Musica migrans II, we hope … During a coffee break in a Musica migrans meeting we discussed with Prof. H. Loos, who is one of the leading German historians about the Eastern European music history, as you know, that he dreams of a system which allows him to collect and analyse data about the changeful history of Eastern European music institutions in the 19 th century. He was interested in making usable all the relationships in the data! And if all this data would be wired with Musica migrans! This sounded like a case for Topic Maps, so we asked Mr. Loos to sketch his domain…
  21. 63. <ul><ul><li>Questions? Questions! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.musicamigrans.de </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lutz Maicher ( [email_address] ) </li></ul>… we are very interested in projects using Topic Maps in the humanities! Contact us, if you have an idea!

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