(Posted to the Europeana wiki)

We need another element in ESE in order to be compliant with the semantic web (web 3.0). In the latest version of ESE, there are some elements from the Dublin Core namespace and some elements that have been added, using a Europeana namespace. This is a good strategy and I like what you’ve done with ESE! We have used a similar strategy in the SOCH product in Sweden ( ).

The element we are missing actually solves two problems:

  • it makes the ESE and Europeana compliant with the semantic web
  • it solves all issues concerning duplicates (well, some simple cases are solved anyway but all the difficult cases are solved)

The element is <owl:sameAs>. OWL (web ontology language) is just as established a namespace in web 3.0 as DC is in the world of digital libraries. The sameAs element is probably self-explanatory – it identifies that an object is the exact same instance as another object.

When I have discussed this with different people, I get the answer that this could be included later in the protocol. Fair enough, but don’t create any strange ways of handling duplicates meanwhile in that case! This is the standard tool on the semantic web for handling duplicates and it should be easier to include another parameter in ESE than to do something awkward and non-standard stuff.

You have probably scenarios that you want do discuss. Please do. I’ll start with an example from Sweden:
We have a museum for a very famous ship that sunk in the 1700 century, the ship of Vasa. It has its own museum and of course the ship itself is a digital object. However, it is also an object in another database for historical and archeological findings. By setting the parameter in these two databases, applications and tools can identify the objects as being the same, although there are two different URIs.

In applications using SOCH we can enrich the object by merging information from both these databases.

When we send the objects to Europeana we want

  1. Europeana to harvest the sameAs parameter to recognize the fact that the two objects are the same
  2. Europeana to add a sameAs parameter so that semantic tools finds not only the Europeana version of the object, but also the richer (some 60 parameters) representation we have nationally. (The two Europeana object A and B are the same as the Swedish objects C and D, four URIs for the same object in this case)

>>Börje Lewin