Innovative Applications and Data Sharing with Linked Open Data in Museums: Exploring Principles and Examples

Duane Degler, Design for Context, USA

This workshop focuses on what you can do with linked data and modern application frameworks now. It helps you explain to executives, peers, and funders how you improve flexibility, avoid one-offs, create long-term value in your data, and foster collaborations between multiple institutions. It is an example-rich, practical introduction to recent applications and data patterns for Linked Open Data (LOD) for museums, libraries, and archives. Presented by a designer/information architect and an application/data developer, you will learn the current concepts, uses, technologies, and approaches we use to create real applications in the digital humanities.

Linked data addresses internal and external needs for cultural heritage information – supporting internal integration and application building across silos, as well as sharing data outside your institution. And it doesn’t have to be complicated! There are different levels of model richness and open source tools available to smooth the way forward.

Numerous examples will be shared and discussed during the workshop, including browsing across multiple institutions’ collections, advances in provenance data, image management/sharing (with an emphasis on IIIF, the International Image Interoperability Framework), data management applications, scholarly bibliographic/content publishing, integrating archival resources, and cross-institution collaborations. This includes an introduction to the Getty Vocabularies and other common, public shared vocabularies that can be used to create bridges between your institution and others on the web.

The workshop includes small group exercises and active discussions on the fit between linked data and your institution’s needs. By the end of the workshop, you will have a practical understanding to talk with your colleagues about using linked data to deliver value. You will gain numerous examples and ideas for how to apply it to your projects, applications, and data resources.

Small sample of the rapidly growing community and resources:
American Art Collaborative. Resource site for Mellon- and IMLS-funded multi-institution federated data initiative. Coming in early This includes numerous web
Art Tracks: Visualizing the Stories and Lifespan of an Artwork. Tracy Berg-Fulton, David Newbury, Travis Snyder. Museums & the Web 2015. and demo at
IIIF, the International Image Interoperability Framework, with an increasing number of publicly available examples provided.
LODLAM, Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museums. (includes links and videos of current applications/examples).
Getty AAT Vocabulary available as Linked Open Data. (note: this will be covered by the Getty Project Manager within the workshop content)
The Getty Vocabularies: Introduction and editorial perspective. Patricia Harpring
Managing Editor, Getty Vocabulary Program. Revised September 2014.
Lost in Balboa Park. Initial concepts behind a vision for the digital integration of the Balboa Park institutions.
Linked Data Survey results – Who’s doing it. OCLC international library survey announcement for 2015 and results from 2014 (July-August 2014). with links to six articles.
Digital Meets Culture. Italian online news site with a growing collection of linked data stories.
Planning for Serendipity. Dan Cohen (2014), DPLA blog.
ResearchSpace semantic data application.
CIDOC-CRM – Conceptual reference model for cultural heritage documentation.
Europeana aggregated cultural data initiative.
OCLC Innovation Lab projects in linked data. See also the WorldCat search facility for American art.
Library of Congress Authorities linked data services. ( with increasing support by major search vendors when indexing cultural content.
SNAC: Social Networks and Archival Context. A growing collection of archival descriptions from a range of institutions.
Omeka content management system (supports RDF semantic LOD format exporting). Recent IMLS grant to extend Omeka and Open Exhibits applications. CHNM at GMU.
NDSA: National Agenda for Digital Stewardship.
Searching for Sustainability. Nancy Maron & Sarah Pickle (2014). Ithaka S+R research into the challenges of data/digitization project sustainability, with recommendations for organizations to manage long-term initiatives.