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Acadia_Crest.jpgMapping the Western Front: the British and German experiences

The static nature and scale of the battles on the Western Front was unwelcome to both Entente and Central powers during the Great War. Faced with logistical requirements on an unprecedented scale, standardized maps at different scales had to be produced of the battlefield quickly for both tactical and strategic purposes. This was a minor revolution in military thinking: previously cavalry officers were expected to ride with a sketch-board to map out terrain and enemy positions for their commanders. 

In this talk I will contrast the Entente and Central efforts at mapping battlefields, highlight the differences in the approaches they took as well as evidence about local military intelligence activities. Both British and German coordinate systems will be explained as well as how to geo-reference these maps into modern mapping software.

Wiki.pngCreating specialized ontologies using Wikipedia: The Muninn Experience
Wikipedia Academy 2012
Paper Session III, Saturday June 30, 10:30-11:30


This paper reports on the experiences of the Muninn project in creating specialized ontologies for historical governmental and military organizations using the Wikipedia data set and its linked open data companion DBpedia.  The motivation for the ontologies and the extraction methods used are explained and their performances reviewed.  Overall Wikipedia is a very accurate knowledge base from which multilingual concepts can be extracted.  The caveat is that while the information is almost always present, it is not always straightforward to retrieve because of missing structures or categorization information. Hence, an iterative methodology has been found to work best in extracting information from Wikipedia.

lodlam.pngI'll be attending the #LODLAM meeting in San Francisco this June 2nd and 3rd focusing on using linked open data for archives and museums. The topic is close to some of my own interests, including those of The Muninn Project which has fairly complex modelling requirements.

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