Bretherton, David, Smith, Daniel Alexander, schraefel, monica m.c., Everist, Mark, Brooks, Jeanice, Polfreman, Richard and Lambert, Joe
musicSpace: integrating musicology's heterogeneous data sources
At InterFace 2009: 1st International Symposium for Humanities and Technology.
09 - 10 Jul 2009.
A significant barrier to the research endeavours of musicologists (and humanities scholars more generally) is the sheer amount of potentially relevant information that has accumulated over centuries. Whereas researchers once faced the daunting prospect of physically scouring through endless primary and secondary sources in order to answer the basic whats, wheres and whens of history, these sources and the data they contain are now increasingly available online. Yet the vast increase in the online availability of data, the heterogeneity of this data, the plethora of data providers, and, moreover, the inability of current search tools to manipulate metadata in useful and intelligent ways, means that extracting large tranches of basic factual information or running multi-part search queries is still enormously and needlessly time consuming. Accordingly, the musicSpace project is exploiting Semantic Web technologies (Berners-Lee et al., 2001) to develop a search interface that integrates access to musicology’s largest and most significant online resources. This will make previously intractable search queries tractable, thus allowing our users to spend their research time more efficiently and ultimately aiding the attainment of new knowledge. This brief paper gives an overview of our work.
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