The GSTAR project is investigating Geosemantic Technologies for Archaeological Research, based at the University of South Wales in the Hypermedia Research Unit and the GIS Research Unit. The project is a doctoral research project being undertaken by Paul Cripps, with Prof. Douglas Tudhope as supervisor and Dr Mark Ware and Dr Alex Lohfink as advisors.

Starting in March 2013, the project is described as follows:

Paul was successful in winning a University of Glamorgan Centenary Studentship. He has started a research project investigating the integration of spatial and semantic information in the archaeology domain in collaboration with the GIS Research Unit.

Paul is currently researching the application of GeoSemantic Technologies for Archaeological Research (GSTAR), drawing on the latest developments in the Semantic Web and geospatial research domains. This research involves ontological models of cultural heritage knowledge and spatial information using information systems built around these through the fusion of Linked Data, GIS, database and web technologies and emerging standards and frameworks.

Work to date includes a literature review resulting in an extensive bibliography. This has been followed with the first case study, looking at possible ways of integrating spatial and semantic data using the Oracle Spatial and Graph platform (release 12c) combined with the Jena framework. This is working with Linked Data from the Archaeology Data Service.

Further work will include detailed case studies providing exemplars of how geospatial data can be integrated within semantic environments and will involve archaeological and broader heritage and collections data from Wiltshire Historic Environment Record, Wiltshire Museum, the Ordnance Survey, Wessex Archaeology, Leicester University (from the Between the Monuments Project), English Heritage, Seneschal (vocabularies from English Heritage, RCAHMW and RCAHMS) and the British Museum amongst others including geotagged photos from Flickr. This will include horizontal integration between resources (eg sites, monuments, finds and museum collections) and vertical integration between resources of different spatial scales (eg from excavation data through to monument inventories).