Semantic enrichment through Linked Open Data (LOD) is a very common practise in the Digital Humanities to support the advantages of the semantic web and the interoperability and findability of digital objects through semantically enriched metadata. This can happen through linking your data to open datasets and vocabularies. These resources should provide Hypertext transfer Protocol Uniform Resource Identifier (URIs) for each entity in their database. The URIs then replace the actual text string value in the element of your metadata record. The semantically enriched element “dcterms:spatial” in EDM, pointing to the term “Carnuntum” in the GND vocabulary, would look like the following:

<dcterms:spatial rdf:resource=""/>

There are many different vocabularies to choose from, depending on the scope of your data. Here are a few frequently used examples:

  • AAT: The Getty – Art & Architecture Thesaurus
  • ULAN: Union List of Artist Names
  • TGN: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
  • VIAF: Virtual International Authority File
  • GND: Gemeinsame Normdatei
  • Geonames: Geographical Database
  • Iconclass: Iconographic Classification

Europeana and Semantic Enrichment

Europeana actively promotes the usage of vocabularies for semantic enrichment. It already dereferences several vocabularies and offers the possibility to include further vocabularies concerning your special needs. In addition, Europeana built a functionality to automatically enrich your data, linking the text strings they find in the data to the entities of LOD vocabularies.

If you want to know more about Europeana’s semantic enrichment activities and how you can enrich your own data, visit their website.