Tag Archives: Technology

TACOS: 21st Century Geospatial #HistEnv Data Management

Archaeogeomancy: Digital Heritage Specialists - archaeological geomatics - the majick of spatial data in archaeology - archaeological information systems for the digital age:

TACOS – the event

On 14 May 2014 the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) hosted a one day seminar on behalf of FISH and HEIRNET at the University of York to discuss common issues facing the historic environment information sector and make progress towards a shared vision and agenda for historic environment information management.

The TACOS keynotes, discussions and demonstrations will build upon a ‘show and tell’ event (the NACHOS seminar) held at the British Museum in November 2012, which identified the need for integration of information sources in support of the National Heritage Protection Plan (NHPP). The seminar will investigate current historic environment information management practices and identify areas for improvement through cross-sector collaboration.

Aims

5 Taco plate by ulterior epicure

Tacos

The key aims of the seminar were to:

  • Encourage discussion between different groups that produce and manage historic environment information from across the sector (professional, research and voluntary to identify common goals and issues
  • Develop information sharing networks and working partnerships across the sector to pool resources in the areas of skills development and application of information technology

There’s more info on the event (aims, topics, etc) here.

Programme

The full programme for the day is here. The day was filled with really interesting talks on a range of topics focussing on three overarching themes:

  • Use of information and reuse of data (e.g. ‘Big Data’ projects reusing historic environment information/datasets, the role of information standards, the integration of different types of historic environment information built heritage information
  • Skills development (e.g. skill gaps in professional practice, university provision)
  • Use of new information systems and technology (e.g. access to information and technology, how skills development and training is accessed – potential barriers)

Watch Again

The whole event was recorded and published to YouTube by Doug Rocks-Macqueen. The playlist below includes all the videos from the day and the official Storify of the event is also embedded below.

Geosemantic Technologies

This section is a write up of my talk from the recent TACOS event which formed part of Session 3: Information Systems & Technology. The session was chaired by Keith May (English Heritage) and started with an excellent presentation by Ceri Binding (University of South Wales, Hypermedia Research Unit), an overview of the work he has been undertaking working with heritage vocabularies and Linked Data. The outputs of the Seneschal project have already had an impact in their short existence. Rather helpfully for me, Ceri covered all the basics of Linked Data, RDF and introduced schemas such as SKOS.

Video

Slides

My slides are available on Slideshare as usual:

Storify

I’ve written up the salient points of the event as pertaining to geosemantic tools, geospatial data and Linked Data.


http://storify.com/pauljcripps/tacos-2014

The official Storify:

 

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GSTAR: investigation of methods for working with geosemantic data, integrating geospatial data with semantic data

Archaeogeomancy: Digital Heritage Specialists - archaeological geomatics - the majick of spatial data in archaeology - archaeological information systems for the digital age:

Mapping rubble by Brian Hoffman

Mapping rubble by Brian Hoffman

The first investigation in the GeoSemantic Technologies for Archaeological Research (GSTAR) research project is nearing completion, an assessment of approaches to the integration of geospatial archaeological data into a semantic framework to provide geosemantic capabilities.

The investigation draws on archaeological excavation data lodged with the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) and made available as Linked Data (LD) through the ADS’s Linked Data platform. The data relates to the Cobham Golf Course site and was produced by Oxford Archaeology (OA) as part of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) project then turned into a Linked Data resource through the Semantic Technologies Enhancing Links and Linked data for Archaeological Resources (STELLAR) project, undertaken by the Hypermedia Research Unit at the University of South Wales (USW).

Mapping a feature by Wessex Archaeology

Mapping a feature by Wessex Archaeology

The GSTAR literature review identified two strands of integration approaches within published literature. Emerging from the semantic web and Linked Data communities, an approach involving the direct inclusion of geospatial data within semantic resources, leveraging World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards for Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards for Well Known Text (WKT, part of the Simple Features specification) and GeoSPARQL. Emerging from the Geographic Information Science (GISc) community, approaches involving the use of Web Feature Services (WFS) within broader Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) running in parallel and linked to to semantic resources.

This initial GSTAR investigation looked at both these strands with a view to assessing suitable modes for subsequent use in the next phases of the GSTAR project. A WISSKI installation has also been setup to allow for the minting of any additional URIs needed.

GeoSPARQL route

This involved creating geosemantic data aligned with the CRM-EH extension to the CIDOC CRM ontology, stored within the Oracle Spatial & Graph platform and accessed via GeoSPARQL using an Oracle WebLogic web server and the Jena Framework.

[code language="xml"]
<owl:Class rdf:about="http://purl.org/crmeh#EHE0022_ContextDepiction">
<rdfs:isDefinedBy rdf:resource="http://purl.org/crmeh#CRMEH"/>
<rdfs:subClassOf rdf:resource="http://erlangen-crm.org/110404/E47_Spatial_Coordinates"/>
<rdfs:label>Context Depiction</rdfs:label>
<rdfs:comment>
The Spatial co-ordinates of a Context, defining the actual spatial extent of the context. Usually recorded at the time of excavation or other investigative work
</rdfs:comment>
</owl:Class>
[/code]
The OWL definition of the EHE0022 class used to describe depictions

Further triples were also added to describe the depiction using the GeoSPARQL ogc:hasGeometry and ogc:asWKT properties.

[code language="xml"]
<owl:ObjectProperty rdf:about="#hasGeometry">
<rdfs:isDefinedBy rdf:resource=""/>
<rdfs:isDefinedBy rdf:resource="http://www.opengis.net/spec/geosparql/1.0"/>
<skos:prefLabel xml:lang="en">hasGeometry</skos:prefLabel>
<dc:date rdf:datatype="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#date">2011-06-16</dc:date>
<dc:contributor>Matthew Perry</dc:contributor>
<dc:description xml:lang="en">
A spatial representation for a given feature.
</dc:description>
<rdfs:range rdf:resource="#Geometry"/>
<rdfs:comment xml:lang="en">
A spatial representation for a given feature.
</rdfs:comment>
<rdfs:domain rdf:resource="#Feature"/>
<rdfs:label xml:lang="en">hasGeometry</rdfs:label>
<dc:creator>OGC GeoSPARQL 1.0 Standard Working Group</dc:creator>
<skos:definition xml:lang="en">
A spatial representation for a given feature.
</skos:definition>
</owl:ObjectProperty>
[/code]

The OWL definition of the hasGeometry property

GIS Server route

A second approach used the same base platform and data but accessed the geospatial component via WFS provided by GeoServer, drawing on the Oracle database.

Next steps

The results of this stage and the GSTAR project in general will be presented at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) conference to be held in Paris, France during April 2014.

Thanks are due to the University of South Wales for funding the GSTAR project and to the people and organisations responsible for the tools, technologies and data being used. Also my PhD supervisor (Prof. Douglas Tudhope; USW), advisors (Dr Mark Ware and Dr Alex Lohfink: USW) and fellow researchers Ceri Binding (USW), Dr Andreas Vlachidis (USW) and Michael Charno (ADS) for their input.

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