Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Improved geoinformation technology to help showcase heritage

The development of a novel cultural geosemantic information system promises to convey geospatial information in exciting new ways. Academic institutes, museums and tourism portals stand to benefit from this endeavour.
Improved geoinformation technology to help showcase heritage
Cutting-edge geoinformation technology is increasingly being exploited to make cultural and scientific heritage more accessible to the public. One initiative in this respect is the EU-funded CULTURALGEOSEMANTICS (Geosemantics for cultural heritage documentation – Domain specific ontological modelling and implementation of a cultural geosemantic information system based on ISO specifications) project, which aimed to integrate semantic cultural heritage applications with professional geoinformation.

The project worked on developing a cultural geosemantic information system with state-of-the-art semantic tools that can perform spatial queries and integrate data in cloud environments as part of the Semantic Web. In more technical terms, the project developed an extension for the CIDOC CRM (Conceptual Reference Model) on Cultural Heritage Documentation, based on ISO 19100. It worked on CRMgeo, creating an ontology that links CIDOC CRM with GeoSPARQL (for geospatial linked data) and with CRMarchaeo, which supports the archaeological community.

In 2014, CRMarchaeo and CRMscience were approved by ICOM-CIDOC as recommendations for advancing a myriad of geoinformation applications under the Semantic Web. This paved the way for furthering CRMgeo, which was successfully tested in researching the history of mining activities in the eastern Alps and which was tested in Austria for co-referencing place names.

In effect, the CRMgeo extension closes the gap between cultural heritage ontological representation and detailed geometric information. This helps users differentiate between observable phenomena that occupy spacetime volumes and a world described by information using geometries, representing possibly an important paradigm change in accessing temporal-spatial information.

Put more simply, the technology will help integrate archaeological data sets from different archaeological schools, methodologies and timeframes for a more complete picture. Combining cultural heritage data and geoinformation through semantic technologies will be useful for academia, as well as potentially for tourism-based portals on the Web and for museum exhibitions. This is expected to have a positive impact on educating society and reaching out to different target groups in more graphic and engaging ways.

Related information


Geoinformation, geosemantic information system, cultural heritage, ontological modelling, CRMgeo
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