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Use Case: Genealogy

From: Mike Dean <mdean@bbn.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 10:24:38 -0500
Message-Id: <200112131524.KAA15673@cam-mbx1.bbn.com>
To: www-webont-wg@w3.org
The WWW has emerged as a major tool for supporting research
in genealogy (family history).  See [1] and [2] for
simplified Semantic Web applications in this area.

Serious genealogists are careful to track the source for
each statement in their databases, e.g.

  page 19 of Spokane County birth records as recorded on
  microfilm 1234567 at the Family History Library in Salt
  Lake City

  family Bible in possession of Loretta Smith as of 15
  January 1947

  tombstone at Elk Run Cemetery, Elkton, VA

It's important that WebOnt includes such facilities, which
are generally referred to using terms such as tagging,
reification, pedigree, or provenance.  See [3] and [4] for a
discussion of some of these issues.

Other key requirements include:

1) the ability to deal with incomplete or conflicting
information

2) the ability to handle objects without inherently unique
names (individuals and places)

3) the ability to effectively merge data from multiple
sources

4) the ability to address privacy concerns (accepted
practice is not to make data on living or possibly living
individuals public without their consent)

5) the ability to handle large quantities of information
(the International Genealogical Index includes over 285
million birth, death, and marriage events, while the
Ancestral File contains linked information on 35 million
individuals [5])

Some readers may find analogues in other domains, such as
(military) intelligence.

	Mike

[1] http://www.daml.org/2001/01/gedcom/

[2] http://orl01.drc.com/daml/HW/Assignment3/LargeScaleContent-B.htm

[3] http://www.daml.org/2001/04/reification/

[4] http://www.daml.org/listarchive/joint-committee/0274.html

[5] http://www.familysearch.org
Received on Thursday, 13 December 2001 10:25:31 GMT

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