Digital Humanities and the First World War


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Presentation given at Digital Humanities in Practice Seminar, Open University, UK. 24th January 2013.

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  • About the WW1 Discovery project
  • Also mention the technical principles
  • Lots could say about APIs but will focus on the resource discovery aspects.Some have more of an interoperability focus, some more proprietary.
  • Using APIs and helping institutions set up APIs. Phase 1 Kings College work identified institutions with good WW1 stuff. Unfortuanetly this work wasn’t focussed so much on technical provision.In addition, very few data source insitutions have APIs.
  • First version of API released November 2012. Have been many subsequent revisions and are almost there with it. Worked through last set of bus and fixes late January 2013.
  • Note this is where the crowdsourcing comes in
  • Note this is where the crowdsourcing comes in too.
  • Challenges include the lack of APIs available to aggregate data. Tech principles suggest using data in situ here.Merits of this is that data doesn’t get stale and that in principle shouldn’t have data maintenance issues centralisers have such as Archives Hub.Mimas also does lots of centralisation stuff so wanted to try a diff approachAlso most API suited to querying, not harvesting.No valid way to relevance rank the search results of the different data sources against each other,.Acknowledged that even when you do centralise and have a voew of all the MD, still questionable how rank, as they come in all shapes, sizes, quality and degrees of sparcity or not as Europeana appear to have found.Of course, if not using API for cross searching, this may well not be a problem
  • Digital Humanities and the First World War

    1. 1. Digital Humanities and the First World War Digital Humanities in Practice Seminar Open University, UK. 24th January 2013 Adrian Stevenson Senior Technical Innovations Coordinator Mimas, University of Manchester, UK @adrianstevenson
    2. 2. 927233355446
    3. 3. WW1 Discovery Project• Proof-of-Concept illustrating principles of the JISC Discovery initiative• Discovery about advocating ‘open’ and ‘aggregating’• Make digital content more discoverable by people and machines• Building WW1 aggregation API and discovery layer
    4. 4. What is an API?• ‘Application Programming Interface’• Allows machine readability of data – Typically over the Web• Provides access to content or functions for other systems• Many ways to do this – e.g. – Google, Facebook, Flickr, twitter APIs …. – OAI-PMH, Z39.50 – RDF - Linked Data, Semantic Web 5
    5. 5. WW1 Discovery: How?• Aggregate data from existing APIs – NMM, V&A, Europeana• Help others with example API – BL, Welsh Voices, Postal Museum• Formats: SOLR, RSS, OpenSearch, OAI- PMH, CSV
    6. 6.
    7. 7. Challenges• Lack of APIs• Difficulties merging data – Varied content and formats – Relevance ranking dubious • From Discovery ‘Technical Principles’ - “Discovery is distributed … Discovery is concerned with a plethora of information resources and services from a wide variety of sources and is prepared, where appropriate, to deal with these in situ”• Speed of API response• Lack of content – images – geo-data and time data• Content licenses not open
    8. 8. Contact Adrian Stevenson Mimas, University of Manchester, UK 19
    9. 9. CC LicenseThis presentation available under creative commons Non Commercial-Share Alike: