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Representing Knowledge in Data

Conservator’s Edition

Two day workshop is provided by Kartography CIC, a social enterprise company managing the ResearchSpace system


Structured data is information which is highly organised into a designed structure typically for computer processing. It is normally associated with spreadsheets and databases which store data in a tabular structure using technical data types like text, numbers and dates. Linked Data is a term used to describe another form of organising data. It is associated with open data publishing of existing data created in institutional databases allowing this data to be shared and ‘linked’ together. However, it has limited benefits without changing the way in which data is used and represents the world. Linked Data potentially provides a flexible structure that can support a richer form of data authoring, producing clearer, explicit meaning and sophisticated patterns and narratives of information, not simply producing a reference or finding aid. This method is called ‘knowledge representation’ and it addresses the limitations of traditional legacy databases and those of top down Linked Data.

With the right semantic framework, it can support effective and rich knowledge building containing a higher level of description of, for example, the historical context for conservation, and therefore greater benefits than traditional data tools. Knowledge workers and researchers, e.g., conservators, can better reflect information and associated processes in context (e.g. social and historic), and in a way that adapts to change and evolving processes, incorporating interdisciplinary and community knowledge. Such a semantic framework can also provide the means for a meaningful provenance of knowledge.


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