1 minute reading time (290 words)

Some antics at the museum

The Great Court by Amandabhslater, CC Licence http://www.flickr.com/photos/pikerslanefarm/4070971619/sizes/m/in/photostream/


Great news from the British Museum:


The British Museum is committed to making its collection, and data relating to the collection, accessible to a global audience both physically and virtually. Collection Online, the British Museum's web database implemented in 2007, already allows visitors to the Museum's web site to search nearly 2 million object records, a third of which currently include at least one digital image.

The British Museum has now released a Semantic Web version of the database complementing the Collection Online search facility. The Museum is the first UK arts organisation to instigate a Semantic Web version of its collection data. The new service brings the British Museum into the 'linked data' world and will allow software developers to produce their own applications that can directly manipulate and reuse the data. It will also allow researchers and scholars a way to search and find data more precisely and facilitate automatic updates.

This Semantic version has been enhanced by applying the CIDOC-CRM (Conceptual Reference Model) ontology. By converting data to this ISO accredited semantic framework the potential to harmonise and build data relationships with other organisations is greatly enhanced. In addition, the service comes with a more open data licence encouraging wider reuse.


Dominic Oldman, IS Development Manager: "... since 2008/9, the volume of traffic to the Collection Online has grown by 82%, with 17.8 million page views in 2010/11. This new Semantic version will provide a new degree of accessibility, and allow others the ability to work closely with the data, obtain new insights and produce innovative applications."


The service is currently in beta, supporting JSON, RDF, TTL and N3 and returns SPARQL queries in JSON and RDF/XML.


The service URL is collection.britishmuseum.org.


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