Authority data and cross-domain intersection within aggregation portals. The case of BeWeb
- Portale ad aggregazione; Authority data; Ricerche cross-domain; Cluster di dati; Modelli di dati; Contestualizzazione dei dati
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The extent of cultural heritage in digital format requires the creation of tools designed to improve access to and to enhance the added value deriving from the intersection of data originated in heterogeneous environments. Within an aggregational portal, cross-domain navigation is a particularly critical issue given the wide spectrum of criteria to which data and digital objects conform. Furthermore, data models supporting interoperability, such as Dublin Core, have a flat structure and a reduced granularity, thus contributing to the loss of information as well as to the decontextualization of the objects.
Adopting the same format and descriptive rules for all classes of materials, a practical solution implemented by many English speaking countries in the last decade of the 20th century, is no longer an option. Much more feasible appears nowadays the creation of more complex data models, as in the case of Europeana Data Model, or the implementation of clustering strategies, such as in VIAF. In perspective, the Linked Open Data option appears quite promising. Based on the experience of BeWeb, the portal created and coordinated by the National Office for the Ecclesiastical Cultural Heritage (UNBCE) of the Italian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CEI) to provide access to its many databases, authority data can be successfully used to bring together information provided by different sources. Data clustering appears to be a viable strategy for the purpose of preserving the quality of the original description and providing the user with a more accurate context information.