Prisoner Of War Kist –

Visualising Cultural Heritage Linked Datasets

POWkist is a collaboration between the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub in Aberdeen University and iSchool at Northumbria University with the following disciplines: Artificial Intelligence; Human-Computer Interaction; Information Science; Social Sciences; History.

The POWKist project aims to use semantic technologies to support visualisation of combined linked datasets in the cultural heritage domain. This is to provide systematic and attractive visualisation of cultural heritage linked dataset and bring raw data closer to citizen-historians for more efficient exploitation. POWkist will cover the whole life-cycle of content from data collection to data consumption by citizen-historians and the general public.

This case study investigates how best to capture, curate, connect and present the contents of citizen-historians’ shoebox archives in accessible and sustainable online collections. Focussing on a selection of physical (to be digitised) and already digitised shoebox archives relating to family members who were prisoners of war during WWII (1939-1945), this case study would seek to place these within a collection, connecting them with the broader web by significant events using a semantic technology model. Many privately-held family collections of diaries, letters, photographs etc. remain vulnerable unless a sustainable, affordable and accessible model of digital preservation can be offered. Some citizen-historians have used the web as a platform to preserve cultural heritage in the form of blogs and websites however with no accessible or sustainable model these digital footprints have been ad hoc and rarely connected to broader historical research. The expected outcome of POWkist is to deliver an open-source digital archive, which can not only preserve the archive sustainably but also visualise it in an attractive and efficient way. POWkist will build upon the expertise, methodologies, use cases, and open-source software developed during the CURIOS and CURIOS Mobile project in dot.rural.

Current approaches to exploiting linked datasets do not take into account data characteristics of a specific domain such as the cultural heritage domain. In POWkist we aim to analyse and exploit the characteristics of cultural heritage linked datasets, so that these materials can be better visualised and contextualised. POWkist is a pilot-study exploring potential usages of currently available linked datasets within the cultural heritage domain. This use case would investigate how to systematically present the shoebox collections, combined with other linked datasets of relevant content such as DBPedia (an archived linked dataset of Wikipedia) and Ordnance Survey Open Data, in an attractive and comprehensive user interface. POWkist can be expanded further to enable a generic framework for visualised cultural heritage linked datasets for applications in smart tourism and library science.


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