Tales from Blogospheric Oceans

January 8, 2007

This stuff, blogged by Nicholas Carr (http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2007/01/the_wikipedian_1.php), sounds cool, taking an AI approach the the semanticity problem that one would hope could hook in nicely with the formal SW: http://www.physorg.com/news87276588.html

Marc Fawzi on Evolving Trends is brief but intriguing here: http://evolvingtrends.wordpress.com/2007/01/07/designing-a-better-semantic-search-engine/
This is in part it’s about improving “semantics” search-side i.e. understanding the query better, and in part it’s about feeding better info to crawlers, with Wikipedia v 3 in mind


PS apologies for the title. With the family away I spent Sunday delving into parts of my record collection hidden behind Junior Junior’s cot whereupon I came upon some of the Canterbury/prog stuff. There is no Yes there (whaddaya take me for?) but clearly my mind has been bent by the experience.

3D vs 2D and the richness of folksonomies

December 1, 2006

In Brighton I briefly stumbled through an attempted explanation of something I think may be worth expanding on. The context was discussion of the relative values of curatorial and folksonomic terms, and what I wanted to get at was (a) terms for describing what you’re looking at may not be the same as you would use if searching for the same thing, in part because (b) what you describe when you’re looking at something varies according to how you see it: whether it’s in front of you, 3D and full size (or not), or on a screen in 2D (and most likely shrunk). The 2D/3D thing was explored in a presentation at MCN by Elise Lewis and I’ll snip my notes from the conference here (so please excuse the note-like nature):

Lewis (U
North Texas) – user interactions with 3D objects on the web

No common definition of “3D image”; lots of viewers, functionalities and needs. Lots of research in e.g. games and commerce but not in cultural heritage. Did a pilot study with savvy grad students. Their descriptions of 3D images from Arius* were mapped to hierarchical levels of perception:

  • colour
  • shape
  • texture
  • object – name, generic description
  • action
  • location – in this case used to describe the location on the object (view). In 2D, a geographical term
  • affect

Descriptions also on 2D versions of same item. More description on 3D, especially action, object, colour and location. Occasionally more terms used for texture in 2D that 3D but descriptions are much richer in 3D as more facets emerge. Need a survey to find out how and why these images are being used.

As such objects become more common metadata and controlled vocabulary issues (e.g. for location) will become more urgent. Will user generated content be helpful or not? There will be management issues too – MD, systems, retrieval.

* Arius is a company who work with Royal Ontario Museum, they’ve done some cool colour laser scanning stuff for them

Curators inevitably get to see stuff in 3D, and quite possibly bigger, too, so it follows from the above that quite aside from being more “academic”, their descriptions may also be much richer simply because of their interface with the item in meatspace. Which is not to say that they should always be present, let alone privileged above other terms used for an item.

Jeremy O

More reading

December 1, 2006

I said I’d get a reference to one or two people, which is Laurie Hunter’s chapter in the new DCC Digital Curation Manual, which you can find here: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resource/curation-manual/chapters/intangible-asset/. It’s the closest thing I’ve read to a strategy for making the business case for SW in museums, and in fact the approach he adopts can be applied to a lot that museums engage in – so perhaps it’s already being used. Some of the specific modifications to the “balanced scorecard” that he and others from Glasgow propose can also be brought over to our area of concern, despite being intended for his particular scenario of digital preservation. Have a look; it’s good to read an economists take on how we should make the case to the accountants and decision-makers that it’s worth investing cash and effort in something that won’t cause gold sovereigns to rain down from above.

Secondly, a suggestion for those who have access to a decent library before we head to Newcastle: Allison Littlejohn’s “Reusing Online Resources: A Sustainable Approach to eLearning” (Kogan Page, ISBN 0-7494-3950-5) is full of interesting chapters. If I get time I will try to post precis of a couple of the most relevant. Unsurprisingly, the solutions that might help to solve sustainability in online learning can have a lot of overlap with SW. I’ve just come across this commentary, too http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/2003/1/JIME-2003-1.html which includes introductory chapters together with summaries of the other chapters. I’d better read it myself, now!

 Jeremy O

A paper and a site

October 19, 2006

In Glasgow we touched upon the possibility of combining “authoritative” taxonomies and vocabularies with folksonomic approaches. Here is a paper, once again from the library sector, that relates (a bit): http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do?contentType=Article&contentId=1570010 (available through Athens). Not quite the model I’d imagined but interesting.

Here is the link to Simile that I promised…um..someone: http://simile.mit.edu/

[posted by Jeremy]

‘Data Webs’ hosted by the Research Information Network

July 8, 2006

A day of discussion and presentations on the use of ‘lightweight semantic web’ approaches to research informatics (bioinformatics, physics etc). Also includes a talk from David Karger, creater of Haystack and more recently, Piggy Bank. Presentations are available:


Introduction to the semantic web for Museums

June 30, 2006

Originally given at UKMW 2005, modified and extended for Museums and the Web 2006

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mike.lowndes/semantic/Intro-to-the-Semantic-Web.htm (web)

And the associated paper: http://www.archimuse.com/mw2006/papers/lowndes/lowndes.html 

During the first thinktank meeting we discussed various slides from this, and I will be updating the presentation to reflect the concerns raised. Essentially, some terms need disambiguating!

As you read this please remember that it is an exploration by a non-expert on behalf of the community, and not an authoritative, didactic lecture.