Sharing Epigraphic Information as Linked Data

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The diffusion of epigraphic data has evolved in the last years from printed catalogues to indexed digital databases shared through the Web. Recently, the open EpiDoc specifications have resulted in an XML-based schema for the interchange of ancient texts that uses XSLT to render typographic representations. However, these schemas and representation systems are still not providing a way to encode computational semantics and semantic relations between pieces of epigraphic data. This paper sketches an approach to bring these semantics into an EpiDoc based schema using the Ontology Web Language (OWL) and following the principles and methods of information sharing known as “linked data”. The paper describes the general principles of the OWL mapping of the EpiDoc schema and how epigraphic data can be shared in RDF format via dereferenceable URIs that can be used to build advanced search, visualization and analysis systems.