Cultural Heritage Data Management: The Role of Formal Ontology and CIDOC CRM

  • George BrusekerEmail author
  • Nicola Carboni
  • Anaïs Guillem
Part of the Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences book series (QMHSS)


Building models for integrating the diverse data generated in Cultural Heritage disciplines is a long-term challenge both for securing presently generated knowledge and for making it progressively more widely accessible and interoperable into the future. This chapter reviews the multiple approaches undertaken to address this problem, finally proposing CIDOC CRM as the most robust solution for information integration in CH. The chapter begins by outlining the data challenge specific to the field and the main approaches that can be taken in facing it. Within this frame, it distinguishes knowledge engineering and formal ontology from other information modelling techniques as the necessary approach for tackling the broader data integration problem. It then outlines the basic principles of CIDOC CRM, the ISO standard formal ontology for CH. From there, an overview is given of some of the work that has been done both theoretically and in practice over the past five years in developing and implementing CRM as a practical data integration strategy in CH, particularly looking at model extensions to handle knowledge provenance across various disciplines and typical documentation and reasoning activities, as well as at successful implementation projects. Lastly, it summarizes the present potentials and challenges for using CIDOC CRM for solving the CH data management and integration puzzle. The intended audience of this chapter are specialists from all backgrounds within the broader domain of CH with an interest in data integration and CIDOC CRM.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Bruseker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicola Carboni
    • 2
  • Anaïs Guillem
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Cultural InformaticsInstitute of Computer Science-FORTHHeraklionGreece
  2. 2.MarseilleFrance
  3. 3.School of Social Sciences, Humanities and ArtsUniversity of California MercedMercedUSA

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