International Journal on Digital Libraries

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 63–69 | Cite as

Representing gazetteers and period thesauri in four-dimensional space–time

  • Franco Niccolucci
  • Sorin Hermon


Gazetteers, i.e., lists of place-names, enable having a global vision of places of interest through the assignment of a point, or a region, to a place name. However, such identification of the location corresponding to a place name is often a difficult task. There is no one-to-one correspondence between the two sets, places and names, because of name variants, different names for the same place and homonymy; the location corresponding to a place name may vary in time, changing its extension or even the position; and, in general, there is the imprecision deriving from the association of a concept belonging to language (the place name) to a precise concept (the spatial location). Also for named time periods, e.g., early Bronze Age, which are of current use in archaeology, the situation is similar: they depend on the location to which they refer as the same period may have different time-spans in different locations. The present paper avails of a recent extension of the CIDOC CRM called CRMgeo, which embeds events in a spatio-temporal 4-dimensional framework. The paper uses concepts from CRMgeo and introduces extensions to model gazetteers and period thesauri. This approach enables dealing with time-varying location appellations as well as with space-varying period appellations on a robust basis. For this purpose a refinement/extension of CRMgeo is proposed and a discretization of space and time is used to approximate real space–time extents occupied by events. Such an approach solves the problem and suggests further investigations in various directions.


Gazetteer Period thesaurus CIDOC CRM 4-Dimensional space–time 



The present work has been supported by the ARIADNE project, funded by the European Commission (grant 313193) under the FP7 INFRA-2012-1.1.3 call. The authors opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PINPratoItaly
  2. 2.STARCThe Cyprus InstituteNicosiaCyprus

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