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LLD Use Case: Civil War Data 150

From: Jon Voss <jon@lookbackmaps.net>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 13:46:57 -0700
To: <public-lld@w3.org>
Message-ID: <027c01cb6caa$1c39c7e0$54ad57a0$@net>

Apologies for coming in last minute, but I'd like to submit our use case for
Civil War Data 150 for your consideration. 


Thanks!  Jon


Jon Voss

 <http://www.lookbackmaps.net/> LookBackMaps.net

p. 415.593.5508

 <mailto:jon@LookBackMaps.net> jon@LookBackMaps.net 

Twitter: LookBackMaps 


 <http://civilwardata150.net/> CivilWarData150.net

 <http://thatcampbayarea.org/> THATCampBayArea.org




=== Name ===


Civil War Data 150      


=== Owner ===


Jon Voss, Civil War Data 150 Project Manager.  San Francisco, CA.


=== Background and Current Practice ===


Civil War Data 150 ("CWD150"), is a collaborative project to share and
connect American Civil War related data across local, state and federal
institutions during the four year sesquicentennial commemoration of the
Civil War, beginning in April of 2011.  Currently, libraries, archives,
museums, and individual researchers make an enormous amount of data
pertinent to the Civil War available on the web in disparate databases.
During the Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration, there is a renewed
effort on the United States federal and state levels to digitize and release
even more photographs, journals and ephemera related to the Civil War.  


During the initial phases of this project, CWD150 will work with
institutions to publish Civil War related collections metadata as structured
data with CC-BY or similar licensing, moving in later phases toward the
publishing of metadata in linked data formats.


=== Goal ===


(1).  Researchers and the general public alike will be able to discover
information about the American Civil War from across multiple institutions,
and incorporate that information into their work in new and exciting ways.


(2)  CWD150 will use linked data technology to create connections based on
the strong identifiers and taxonomy of the Civil War, particularly the
regiments, battles, battlefields, officers, and soldiers and sailors.  


=== Target Audience ===


The various phases of this project have different target audiences,

*	Local, State and Federal level archives and libraries
*	Middle and High School students and teachers
*	Civil War enthusiasts
*	Civil War scholars
*	Genealogists
*	Digital humanities research centers
*	Software developers and data visualization experts


=== Use Case Scenario ===


A researcher, Alex Artis, would like to create a visualization of the troop
movements and engagements of the 102nd Regiment, United States Colored
Infantry, as well as a corresponding timeline showing troop casualties.
Alex first needs access to the history of the regiment in some sort of
structured data format, including dates, places, and events.  Then Alex will
need a table of regimental casualties by engagement, if one exists.
Finally, with this data in hand, Alex can use Simile or other tools to
create a visualization of the history of the regiment, and may even use some
photographs of soldiers or battle maps of engagements to personalize the


=== Application of linked data for the given use case ===


An enormous amount of data about the American Civil War now exists online in
digital form.  Frederick H. Dyer's Compendium of the War of the Rebellion,
published in 1908, gives us perhaps our most exhaustive resource of data
culled from original sources.  The Perseus Digital Library Project at Tufts
University makes large parts of that work, including the regimental
histories, available to view and download as structured data (XML) with a
CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license [1].


The works of individual scholars, as well as the holdings of state and
federal libraries and archives, add to the collection of sources relevant to
this particular regiment.


By aggregating these diverse data sources and performing vocabulary
alignment to an ontology specific to the American Civil War but applicable
to a broader military schema, it becomes possible to query information about
a particular place, regiment, battle, or officer.  The results would provide
our researcher with structured data that would also link to the source
documents at contributing institutions for further research and citation. 


=== Existing Work (optional) ===


CWD150 is still in the early stages, but our website has more detailed
description of our proposed collection, aggregation, and vocabulary
alignment processes (www.civilwardata150.net). 


=== Related Vocabularies (optional) ===


We'll be utilizing the military vocabulary specific to the American Civil
War, including regiments, battles, battlefields, officers, etc.  We plan to
work with the United States National Park Service to create an ontology from
their Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database, with a crosswalk of
corresponding identifiers in Freebase, DBPedia, and potentially Library of
Congress Subject Headings (though subject headings of granular detail are
not at this point available through the id.loc.gov project).


=== Problems and Limitations (optional) ===


One of our first steps will be to provide an ontology based on the National
Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database[2], and provide
persistent URIs for all of the key entities.  This source is drawn from the
aforementioned Dyer Compendium and is generally considered authoritative by
Civil War scholars.  However, this represents no small technical hurdle from
the get go. It's entirely possible that we might utilize dbpedia[3]/Freebase
identifiers as a proxy until such time as we can point to the National Park
Service as a source. 


Like any other linked data project, copyright and licensing issues will be
paramount.  Whether data is made available with or without a non-commercial
license makes an enormous difference to how such data can be used.  Our work
with researchers, database managers, and content providers will initially
focus on copyright and licensing issues, examining the available options and
educating about the often unintended consequences of choosing one over
another.  It's also important for us to differentiate between the licensing
and use of metadata about digital assets, and the assets themselves.


=== References (optional) ===


*	Civil War Data 150: www.civilwardata150.net
*	[1]  Perseus Project (102nd USCT from Dyer Compendium):
*	[2]  National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System:
*	[3]  Wikipedia entry on 102nd USCT:



Received on Friday, 15 October 2010 21:10:15 UTC

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