Epigraphic Ontology at Linked Pasts 6

On Wednesday, December 2 at 17:00 GMT, the Linked Pasts 6 conference will host a session called ‘Cluster 3: Epigraphy and documents’. A proposal for activities about an Epigraphic Ontology, presented by Hugh Cayless, Thomas Kollatz, Pietro Liuzzo, and Elli Mylonas, will be introduced. During the session participants will also be able to propose changes to the plan of activity, which is intended to be as flexible and open to changes as possible.

The following is an extract from the proposal for the activities:

Most digital epigraphical corpora are based on EpiDoc: TEI XML for epigraphic documents. In addition, each of the many digital epigraphic corpora has a set of (usually controlled) vocabularies which they deploy as part of their corpus metadata. Several efforts have been made to reconcile vocabularies across corpora, in order to facilitate interchange, cross-corpus searching and other forms of aggregation. The most recent and extensive were the vocabularies created for the EAGLE project by reconciling the vocabularies of contributing projects (eagle-network.eu/resources/vocabularies/). The resulting authoritative lists are extremely useful for cross corpus search, but they lack the relationship definitions found in formal ontologies.

We would like to use Linked Pasts 6 as an opportunity to host a discussion of the proposal for an RDF model for epigraphic objects that is presented in the document Modeling Epigraphy with an Ontology. Questions that may provide focus include:

  • What needs would be met by an RDF epigraphic data format that are not met by EpiDoc?
  • What is the difference between an XML Schema, like EpiDoc and a RDF Ontology? How can they function together?
  • Does the proposed ontology represent features and relationships in a productive way?
  • Does the proposed ontology work for different types of epigraphic corpora?
  • Are there examples of how the ontology may be used, and are they different from might be done with EpiDoc?
  • Are there modifications to EpiDoc (or TEI) that would enable it to better capture the semantics EpOnt wants to represent?

The activity will stretch over two weeks of the workshop whose objective is to evaluate, expand, and test the epigraphic ontology proposed in the shared document. We will have, pending discussion at the session named above:

  • Synchronous Activity: The activity will begin with presentations to introduce and illustrate the work done so far:
    • Brief summary of “Modeling Epigraphy with an Ontology”
    • Description of earlier efforts
    • Some examples of transforming Epidoc corpora into RDF XTriples.
  • Asynchronous Activity: Participants will read the paper over the next week and react to it in a shared document or set of documents. They will also identify an area that they find particularly interesting, important, problematic, useful and suggest it for further discussion.
  • Synchronous Activity: After the first week, the group will convene again to discuss the proposed ontology and select some points to pursue in more depth, 3 or more depending on the number of participants. This meeting will end with a plan for a final report on the paper.
  • Asynchronous Activity: During the next week, the group will flesh out the points that were selected. This may take the form of subgroups or just one shared document.
  • Synchronous Activity: At the end of the 2nd week, the group will convene one last time to discuss their report on the paper, suggesting expansions, changes, providing tests or code.

Here is the draft of a presentation which summaries the proposed activities for the following two weeks of Linked Pasts 6 and includes provisional instructions.

We look forward to the participation of as many epigraphic specialists and enthusiasts as possible.


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