Introduction by OpenMethods editor (Marinella Testori): Linked Data and Linked Open Data are gaining an increasing interest and application in many fields. They may be considered as the bricks which build the Semantic Web that, as Tim Berners-Lee argues, “isn’t just about putting data on the web. It is about making links” (https://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/LinkedData.html)
We are thus facing a considerable evolution towards a more machine-approachable type of data, thanks to which creating a new, enriched type of knowledge.
A recent experiment conducted in 2018 at Furman University illustrates and discusses some of the challenges from a pedagogical perspective posed by Linked Open Data applied to research in the historical domain. “Linked Open Data to navigate the Past: using Peripleo in class” by Chiara Palladino (https://medium.com/pelagios/linked-open-data-to-navigate-the-past-using-peripleo-in-class-4286b3089bf3) describes the exploitation of the search-engine Peripleo (https://peripleo.pelagios.org/) in order to reconstruct the past of four archeologically-relevant cities (Ostia Antica, Herculaneum, Alexandria, Eleusis). Many databases, comprising various types of information, have been consulted, and the results, as highlighted in the contribution by Palladino, show both advantages and limitations of a Linked Open Data-oriented approach to historical investigations.
The purpose of the exercise was to see if we could investigate the history of a place by simply using the information provided through Linked Open Data search engines and databases. So, we decided to start with Peripleo, the LOD-based search engine of Pelagios, whose main purpose is to connect together several partnered datasets, by using places as the common ground.
Tim Berners-Lee: Linked Data
Chiara Palladino: Linked Open Data to navigate the Past: using Peripleo in class