The USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) is collaborating with the Smithsonian American Art Museum to provide more detailed and more easily accessed information about artworks in its collection online than was previously possible.
Online users will be able to access records of more than 40,000 artworks, which will be converted to Linked Open Data (LOD). LOD is a system that tags and publishes information online in a structured format that is designed to be easier to interlink – both inside and outside of the museum’s online presence.
Using more precise tagging information than current web publishing formats allow, LOD lets users to access, reuse, enrich and share information dynamically and eliminate many of the useless results sometimes found in other searches. The USC team has already mapped data into a standard LOD model, and currently is working to link the published data on each artwork and artist to other online resources, such as DBpedia – the Linked Open Data version of Wikipedia.
“We are excited about developing and applying our research tools to support the museum community,” said Pedro Szekely, research assistant professor at ISI. “The resulting tools are generic, will work with any museum’s databases, and they will be made available for free to the museum community.”