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Contexta/SR: A multi-institutional semantic integration platform

TitleContexta/SR: A multi-institutional semantic integration platform
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsAstudillo, H., López M., Claudia A., & Inostroza P.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web 2008. Proceedings
Conference Start DateApril 9-12, 2008
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedMontreal, Quebec, Canada
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordscontext, digital repositories, integration, linked data, Semantic Web

Contexta/SR is a platform under construction to provide uniform and unified access to digital repositories belonging to ARPA, a multi-institutional museum- and archive- consortium in Valparaiso, Chile. The original motivation is to bring online and connect existing isolated heritage collections, to incorporate them into tourism and education initiatives. Thus, a guiding principle has been to reduce incorporation barriers to institutions, whether economic, technological, methodological, or institutional. Participating repositories may be physically scattered and may have different policies for role-based access, intellectual property, bandwidth management, and so on; these differences are actively managed. Another key difference (lost in many similar projects) is tolerance to maturity diversity, ranging from full digitalization and indexation to imprecise descriptions of coarse units (e.g. collections). Digital contents can queried and explored as a unified collection, using three global semantic contexts that the system maintains: of the artifacts themselves, of their digital renderings, and of the circumstances that they witness to. Users and providers keep their own contexts, and the system can formulate personalized recommendations based on profiles, history, nearness, and other criteria. Context/SR is a middleware platform, enabling third-parties and community to build clients; under current construction are Web-based Heritage Explorator, mobile tourist-support applications, and bridges to external repositories.