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Linked Data for the Historic EnvironmentOpen Materials

Ceri Binding, Tim Evans, Jo Gilham, Douglas Tudhope and Holly Wright

Cite this as: Binding, C., Evans, T., Gilham, J., Tudhope, D. and Wright, H. 2022 Linked Data for the Historic Environment, Internet Archaeology 59.


This article discusses the outcomes of research undertaken by the Hypermedia Research Group at the University of South Wales in collaboration with the OASIS team at the Archaeology Data Service in the Linked Data for the Historic Environment (LD4HE) project. The new OASIS system allows stakeholders to record information/events accurately and consistently, using established heritage and spatial vocabularies, including those currently available via the Heritage Data platform. The LD4HE project explores one avenue of enhancing the potential re-use of information recorded by OASIS and making connections with other online data collections. LD4HE enables the creation and export of RDF from the new OASIS V system, a major step towards the production of Linked Data. The main outcomes comprise a conceptual mapping between mandatory OASIS fields and the standard CIDOC-CRM ontology, together with a template-based tool to convert records exported from OASIS to a corresponding RDF representation. A set of SPARQL queries demonstrates the outcomes of the data conversion. New specialised vocabularies required by OASIS have been published as linked data on the Heritage Data platform. The methods are described and illustrated with examples. Reflections on the case study and cost/benefit considerations for Linked Data conversion are discussed, together with possible strategies for reducing the costs of producing Linked Data.

  • Google Scholar
  • Keywords: digital archaeology, grey literature, data conversion, semantic interoperability, linked data, RDF, SPARQL, OASIS, CIDOC CRM, FISH vocabularies, FAIR Data
  • Accepted: 13 June 2022. Published: 20 July 2022
  • Data availability: LD4HE GitHub Repository
  • Funding: This article was published with the support of Historic England.
  • PDF download (main article text only)

Ceri BindingORCID logo
Hypermedia Research Group, University of South Wales

Tim EvansORCID logo
ADS, Department of Archaeology, University of York

Jo GilhamORCID logo
ADS, Department of Archaeology, University of York

Corresponding author: Douglas TudhopeORCID logo
Hypermedia Research Group, University of South Wales

Holly WrightORCID logo
ADS, Department of Archaeology, University of York

Full text

Figure 1: Main entities and properties

Figure 2: Record with associated entities and properties

Figure 3: Monument type and period associated with a site record

Figure 4: Example visualisation of 5.10 Query (Location of sites in Cornwall). Extract from a larger map via © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap

Figure 5: Example visualisation showing activity on a site with location and timespan

Figure 6: Example visualisation showing a report publication resulting from a particular site activity

Figure 7: Example visualisation showing report and other records referring to 'watching brief' activities

Figure 8: Example visualisation showing activity on one site in Southampton, as well as other sites in Southampton

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