Sunday, 21 March 2010

Some thoughts on linked data and the Science Museum - comments?

I've been meaning to finish this for ages so I could post it, but then I realised it's more use in public in imperfect form than in private, so here goes - my thoughts on linked data, APIs and the Science Museum on the 'Museums and the machine-processable web' wiki. I'm still trying to find time to finish documenting my thoughts, and I've already had several useful comments that mean I'll need to update it, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, etc.


  1. Hi Mia
    Down here at Te Papa in New Zealand, our thinking has been very much along these lines and we have spent the last few years nutting out a framework for our online collection ( that delivers objects linked up to people, places, categories (types of objects, subjects, materials, techniques etc), taxa (for specimens) and narrative topics.  We also incoroporate exhibition mini-sites in this framework.  We link all this up through standard cataloguing in our collection managment system EMu.

    We have used Getty vocabularies - Art and Architecture thesaurus (AAT) and TGN - extensively at the back end and also at the front end both as concepts in their own right, but also as pathways to related content.  We have tried to make the relationships between concepts explicit to provide context and also to filter content.  We think weve developed a pretty rich browsing framework, but we still have some interface design challenges that were going to get stuck into next.

    We have also started linking out to external sites.  Most of our artist pages now have links to wikipedia or other external sites, but our first projects will be around linking up with other New Zealand heritage sites such as the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre digital library  We also use the DigitalNZ API ( to link out to retated content based on the title of the current page).

    Person: Captain James Cook
    Place:  Sydney
    Category:  Engravings:
    Taxa: Eudyptula (genus) - Blue Penguin
    Narrative Topic:  World War 1:
    Exhibition mini-site: Rita Angus Life and Vision

    Keen to talk more

    Phil Edgar
    Te Papa

  2. Thanks for your comment, Phil. It's always good to know what's going on elsewhere, particularly if it means we're on the right track!

    Your online collection site is very browsable - I like the way you've used themes alongside the collections ( and the Digital NZ links.

    Out of curiosity, what interfaces challenges do you face?

    cheers, Mia