@CFP Linked Pasts IV: Views From Inside The LOD-cloud


Linked Pasts is an annual symposium dedicated to facilitating practical and pragmatic developments in Linked Open Data in History, Classics, Geography, and Archaeology. It brings together leading exponents of Linked Data from academia, the Cultural Heritage sector as well as providers of infrastructures and library services to address the obstacles to, and issues raised by, developing a digital ecosystem of projects dedicated to interlinking online resources about the past.

Initiated in 2015 at King’s College London, the second Linked Pasts symposium took place at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Madrid. Last year it moved to the Stanford Humanities Centre and now returns to Europe, with the Mainz’ Centre for Digitality in the Humanities and Cultural Studies (mainzed) honoured to welcome this year’s meeting.

Linked Pasts has given researchers and professionals from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to share ideas, methods, and workflows in the light of their own experiences and expertise — on the one hand interrogating current technical challenges, and on the other, working towards collective approaches to solving them.

In the light of a fast growing interest on Linked Data in the Digital Humanities and the potential of LOD for overwriting established disciplinary limits, this year’s symposium aims to focus on the communities within this emerging "linked pasts network," with their differing dynamics and workflows. In a series of six sequential sessions, representatives and practitioners of LOD-communities will assess, discuss and review their approaches along three main themes: people, institutions and methods, complemented by an extensive poster session and parallel breakout-discussions on three special topics. A final wrap-up session will collect results and help to identify an agenda for future Linked Pasts activities.

The three themed sessions will be introduced by invited speakers, discussed in breakout groups and summarized in a plenary talk.

Contact: lp4

Linked Pasts IV is supported by Pelagios, mainzed, the University Library Mainz and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz


Tuesday December 11th, 2018

14:30-14:40 Welcome

14:40-16:00 Short presentations of Linked Open Data projects:

  • LatAm: A Historical Gazetteer for Latin America and the Caribbean (Ben and Sara Brumfield-Brumfield Labs)
  • Linking Syriac Geographic Data (Wido van Peursen-Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Itiner-e. An online gazetteer of Historical Roads (Tom Brughmans-Univesity of Oxford; Pau de Soto-Universidade Nova de Lisboa; Josep Guitart-Autonomous University of Barcelona; Santi Muxach-Institut d’Estudis Catalans)
  • OttRec: Ottoman Recogito (Antonis Hadjikyriacou-Boğaziçi University)

16:00-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30-17:30 Short presentations of Pelagios Working Groups

  • Linked Texts Working Group (Matteo Romanello-EPFL; Hugh Cayless-Duke)
  • Urban Gazetteer Working Group (Susanna de Beer-Leiden University; Janelle Jenstad-Victoria University; Valeria Vitale-University of London)
  • Australia LAMLOD Group (Erik Champion-Curtin University; Susan Fayad-UNESCO)

18:30-19:30 Informal glüwine

Wednesday December 12th, 2018

09:30-10:00 Coffee and Registration

10:00-10:20 Opener by Kai-Christian Bruhn (mainzed) and Karl Grossner (Pelagios Commons)

10:20-11:20 Keynote by Barbara Fisher (German National Library)

11:20-11:30 Coffee

11:30-13:30 Themed Session-Linked People
LOD facilitators and multiplicators both contribute to the visibility and acceptance of Linked Data. The session provides the opportunity to discuss how can both profit from each other in order to strengthen the role of LOD in historical research.

13:30-14:30 Lunch

14:30-16:30 Themed Session-Linked Institutions
A growing number of institutions already offer or are preparing to publish LOD resources. Join us in a discussion of roles and models of interacting in a national and international perspective as well as in relation to individuals and sectors.

16:30-18:30 Poster Session* with Coffee

19:30-22:00 Reception and Dinner

Thursday December 13th, 2018

09:00-11:00 Themed Session-Linked Methods
LOD itself is a method of publishing data. The consumption of LOD is connected to a wide range of digital approaches accentuating semantics, interoperability or specific research questions. We ask you to exchange your experiences and knowledge about data-pipelines and workflows to encourage and enhance LOD initiatives.

11:00-11:15 Coffee

11:15-14:30 Parallel Breakouts with Buffet Lunch

14:30-15:00 Wrap-up of the Breakout Sessions
Parallel discussions on topics suggested by participants.

15:00-15:30 Coffee

15:30-16:30 General Wrap-up

*Call for Posters

We invite the submission of posters presenting projects, current developments, and technological or methodological approaches to Linked Open Data. The posters will be on display for the entire duration of the conference, and will offer the perfect opportunity for informal networking. The topics illustrated in the posters will be also briefly presented to the audience on Wednesday the 12th of December. To apply, please send an abstract of 300 words in English to lp4 by October 14th.

Free workshop: Linked Open Data Workshop: from Books to HoloLens


This workshop, an introduction to Linked Open Data, will have two presenters:

1 Enriching Historical Narratives with Structured Data 2-4PM

Historians create linked open data all the time, they just don’t know it. Much of their research is focused on documenting the relationships between people, places, events, and sources. But these rich data structures are squeezed out of publications. The LODBooks project is an attempt to put the data back into historical narratives.

Presented by Associate Professor Tim Sherratt, University of Canberra.

2 Linked Open Data on the HoloLens 4-5PM

Bring your own geolocational data or use the data provided to see how geodata can be used in the Microsoft HoloLens.

Presented by PhD candidate, Mafkereseb Bekele, Curtin University.

Complimentary tea and coffee will be provided during the workshop, thanks to the generous support of Curtin University Library. Associate Professor Tim Sherratt is here thanks to the generous support of a Pelagios working group grant that is funding the 27 July Symposium “Landscape Data Art & Models as Linked Open Data” in the HIVE.

Eventbrite URL here.

rest of 2018: Planned events

26-27 July, Perth, Australia

Landscape Data Art & Models as Linked Open Data (27 Jul;y, workshop 26 July)


Thanks to a Pelagios 2018 Working Group grant we are hosting this one day Digital Humanities event on Linked Open Data for Australia, at the HIVE, Curtin University, Bentley Campus, Perth. The speakers, from across Australia, will explain their mapping and cultural collections projects, and discuss how Linked Open Data may help create more useful and reusable cultural content and research between humanities, IT and the GLAM sector in Australia.

20-22 August, Canberra, Australia

Digital Directions 2018: Intersections, 21-22 August 2018, Invited and funded. National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), Canberra, Australia. URL: https://www.nfsa.gov.au/about/our-mission/digital-directions/digital-directions-2018

16-20 September, Italy

Invited Professor to Summer School: Cultural Heritage in Context. Digital Technologies for the Humanities.Partially funded, invited (pending confirmation). Cities, Cultural Heritage and Digital Humanities. Host: Rosa Tamborrino Politecnico di Torino – Castello del Valentino, Turin Italy, 16-23 September 2018. Joint Project of the Politecnico di Torino POLITO, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (EHESS), and the Italian Association of Urban History (AISU),

September-October, Perth Australia

Planning GLAMgames conference, Perth.

11-13 October, Germany

Communicating the Past in the Digital Age, Digital methods for teaching and learning in Archaeology. Host: Professor Eleftheria Paliou, Computational Archaeology, CoDArchLab, Institute of Archaeology, University of Cologne, Germany, 12-13 October 2018. URL: https://communicatingthepast.hcommons.org/2018/04/19/release-of-the-call-for-paper/

10-12 December, Germany

Linked Pasts 2018 conference, 11-13 December 2018, Mainz, Germany. Invited and funded thanks to successful Pelagios grant.

12-14 December, Italy

Museums, the relationship between Museum and Research and the development of new interactions with the public through technologies such as gaming). Partially funded and invited. Host: Professor Arianna Traviglia on behalf of Venice consortium: Il Distretto Veneziano della Ricerca e dell’Innovazione (DVRI), Ca Foscari, Venice, Italy, 13 December 2018. URL: distrettovenezianoricerca.it


Outline structure for Screen Tourism talk

Some notes on Screen Tourism VR and Cultural Heritage for 11 June event at the HIVE, Curtin University.

  1. We now carry a technical ecosystem of biofeedback GPS and camera tracking devices (phones and fit-bits and smartwatches) but so seldom use them creatively, synergistically and contextually (in terms of our locale).
  2. Archaeologists and others are so interested in games but there are so few examples of good group narrative. (Cut to photos of our game session at CAA2017, Georgia USA).
  3. Some recently supervised PhD projects (Rusaila Bazlamit, Palestine in Multi-wall Unity) or 360 panoramas of museum classic car collections (Beata Dawson) made me realize that contested spaces with digital heritage are often accidental but isn’t the audience dialogue created one of the most important aims in public heritage?
  4. Also, why is Mixed Reality so rare in Virtual Heritage, because AR and VR have so much market presence? Why are there so few mixed reality projects? Show Mafi’s figures! Explain pros and cons of VR MR and AR..
  5. Explain how collaborative learning and geolocation can help tell more contextual group-assisted stories..
  6. Brief overview of cultural tourism and personal narrative making tools (Twine; Cradle (Unity and Twine); Inkle)…
  7. How can film, film trailers, and location and personal adventures be mashed, mixed and augmented?

Google slides of the above presentation are here



What is in an Acronym?


I once worked in a department at a huge IT firm, where no one knew what the letters stood for, OMC I think it was. We found out in a few days, but I have forgotten it again, it was surprisingly not memorable.

A more relevant insight might be the gap between digital humanists and people in the field of VR. When I was associated with DARIAH EU, Matt Munson, one of the researchers at the Göttingen Centre For Digital Humanities, was researching VREs.

To me a VRE was a virtual reality environment (granted it is not commonly used now but it is still used: https://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality-environments/) but to Matt and the Digital Humanists it was a Virtual Research Environment, portal (well, web platform) for all the digital tools a scholar from a specific discipline might wish to use.

Good idea in theory, but my point is the gap between so many in DH and VR, both use the same acronym for not quite the same thing and are totally oblivious to what it means in the other field. And it also reveals how elastic the term Virtual is.

Digital Archaeology and Straw Men

Huggett, J. , Reilly, P. and Lock, G. (2018) Whither digital archaeological knowledge? The challenge of unstable futures. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology, 1(1), pp. 42-54. (doi:10.5334/jcaa.7)

In the article at https://journal.caa-international.org/articles/10.5334/jcaa.7 the authors wrote:

A popular approach is to integrate expensive infrastructure, such as national monuments databases, national museums, galleries, libraries, and other national archives and collections to create synergy by combining previously separated data (for example, Bernardou et al. 2017). From their inception such projects have prescribed deliverables, milestones, and standards of documentation and publication. They usually also have large international, multidisciplinary project teams who on the whole share a common knowledge culture and adhere to its norms. These collaborating institutions like to see themselves as helping to democratize data; however, non-members of these elite clubs may regard it as a form of knowledge colonialism and may not fully endorse these programmes, underlining that providing access to a robust, properly supported, open infrastructure does not guarantee engagement. Even with an elegant ontology, the knowledge base can be undermined by semantic drift and inadequate digital literacy in the general (potential) user community, and, of course, this presupposes that potential (re)user communities know what resources are available and how to discover and evaluate them in the first place.

In the original conference (CHTA2013, Copenhagen), the major finding, I thought, was the opposite: how important users and iterative design was, rather than elaborate infrastructures. And in the original introduction Costis Dallas was considering reviewing a paper he wrote 20 years ago about the then challenges in Digital Humanities and how now 20 years later those old challenges were still an issue.

I recall in the final talk, mine, which was about 7 minutes, I argued that infrastructure without people using it, is just infrastructure (and I gave a talk at Sheffield in 2013 entitled Research as Infrastructure on this very point).

Interesting how so many chapters could be seen to take on one overall argument, as the person who wrote the grant, organized and hosted the conference, wrote the book proposal, organized the authors, the above quoted viewpoint is one I never contemplated, and still don’t!

Conclusion: Review all publications before publication to check if they may lend themselves to strawman (straw people?) arguments, then rinse and repeat.


Benardou, (not Bernadou) A, Champion, E, Dallas, C and Hughes, L. 2017. Introduction: a critique of digital practices and research infrastructures. In: Benardou, A, Champion, E, Dallas, C and Hughes, L (eds.), Cultural Heritage Infrastructures in the Digital Humanities, 1–14. Abingdon: Routledge. 


Landscape Data Art & Models as Linked Open Data

A free event on Linked Open Data and related Digital Humanities Projects will be taking place on 27 July.

Landscape Data Art & Models as Linked Open Data

The HIVE, (inside John Curtin Gallery) | Building 200A, Curtin University | Kent Street, Bentley | Perth, WA 6102 | Australia

Friday, 27 July 2018 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Australian Western Standard Time)

Venue: The HIVE (inside John Curtin Gallery), Curtin University

Speakers (alphabetical order, program later), with provisional title and topic

Please note, if you do not know what RDF (Resource Description Framework), Semantic Web, or Linked Open Data is, we will have an intro workshop on this (and current Digital Humanities projects including Virtual Reality) in the Curtin Library Makerspace, Level 5, 3-4:30PM 26 July 2018. The working title is Linked Reality, Mixed Reality but a link to the free workshop will be provided from this page.