Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Numishare now supports linked.art JSON-LD serialization for objects

After a few days of work, I have a functional first draft of a reasonably robust JSON-LD serialization for physical objects published in the Numishare platform that conforms to the linked.art data model. I have pushed these changes into our production server, and you will have access to this new export format in both the ANS collection, Mantis, and the Egyptian National Library collection.

The linked.art export is currently available as a direct serialization of the canonical NUDS/XML published by Numishare, but I will expand the support to include proposed linked.art search APIs once they have been fully documented. You can access these serializations either by appending ?profile=linkedart to the .jsonld URL (e.g., http://numismatics.org/collection/1944.100.51606.jsonld?profile=linkedart) or by using profile=\"https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json\" in conjunction with application/ld+json in the Accept header via content negotiation. (I am not sure this is the formal profile URI yet, so I may update this later).

Not all of our data have made it into this iteration of the linked.art export. It includes titles and accession numbers, typological metadata like material, typological classification,  production event, and legends and visual iconography that appears on the obverse and reverse (but not complex issues like symbols and their placement), basic measurement data (axis, weight, diamter), and lastly, digital images, including IIIF resources. We haven't included provenance or other sorts of physical peculiarities (secondary treatments, wear, etc.).

A Note on Data Quality

Like all of the objects in the ANS collection, the best quality data are in the Roman department or Hellenistic coinage that has been connected to online type corpora such as OCRE or PELLA. The linked.art output only includes entities that have been linked to Nomisma URIs--materials, denominations, authorities, places, and people or deities depicted on the obverse or reverse of coins.

This stater of Philip III Arrhidaeus is linked to a coin type defined in PELLA. The typological metadata are not actually stored in the NUDS record in Mantis itself, but Numishare requests the machine readable data directly from PELLA. Numishare then reads all of the Nomisma URIs from this typological data to make an API request to Nomisma.org in order to get RDF for each skos:Concept related to the coin type. The XSLT that generates this JSON-LD from NUDS will look for and use a Getty vocabulary URI stored as skos:exactMatch or skos:closeMatch in Nomisma. If none is available, then the JSON-LD will use the Nomisma URI instead.

Snippet of JSON-LD

As you can see in the above figure, the ULAN URI for Philip III Arrhidaeus has not been resolved, because it doesn't exist in Nomisma's RDF because it hasn't been minted in ULAN. Abydus and Gold, however, do exist in TGN and AAT, respectively, and have already been coreferenced within Nomisma.org.

So while Hellenistic and Roman Republican/Imperial coinage are the most likely to be fully robust and integrated with Getty URIs, the vast majority of the ANS collection hasn't been linked to Nomisma-oriented typologies. Hopefully, as we migrate from Filemaker to another platform, we will systematically link all of our other departments to the relevant authority files to facilitate better quality LOD output.

In any case, this is a major step forward in making our materials accessible to a broader audience of researchers and developers within art history.

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