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Matt Meiske

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    Time Period Directories Vivien Petras, Matt Meiske, Kim Carl, & Michael Buckland Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative University of California, Berkeley PNC / ECAI Joint Meeting, Hawaii, Nov. 2005 Background and Introduction ECAI project: Supporting the Learner: What, Where, When and Who ecai.org/imls2004 For WHAT we can use subject headings, classifications, etc. WHERE was addressed on a prior project Going Places in the Catalog: Improved Geographical Search ecai.org.imls2002 Recent work addressed WHEN, searching by time. Future work will seek to improve access to biographies WHO. Also how university teachers find resources for teaching. Geographical search Ordinarily place names are used. Place names are ambiguous, multiple, and unstable. Solution: Use a gazetteer of place names in which each record is: Place name Type Spatial references (lat. & long) Time (When). These data allow: Control of ambiguity, multiplicity, and instability; Map visualization Interoperability with other tools, e.g. online library catalog. Search by time is also weakly supported. Calendar systems are the standard for time but in speech and writing people use the names of events to refer to time periods. Named time periods resemble place names in being: Unstable: European War, Great War, First World War. Multiple: Second World War, World War II, Great Patriotic War. Ambiguous: Civil war in different centuries in England, USA, Spain. As places have temporal aspects, periods have a geographical aspect: When the Stone Age was, varies by region. Similarity between place names and period names Suggests similar solution: A gazetteer-like Time Period Directory. Gazetteer: Place name Type Spatial markers (Lat & long) -- When Time Period Directory Period name Type Chronological markers (Calendar) Where Note the symmetry. Note the connections: Where and When. Time Period Directory Major Components Period ID Period name Descriptive notes Dates Period classification Location Related periods Entry metadata <periodID>1811</periodID> <periodName> <name>War of Independence, 1285-1371</name> <source>LCSH Authority ID: sh 85118831 </source> <dates> <beginDate dateQualifier="exact"> 1285</beginDate> <endDate dateQualifier="exact">1371</endDate> <periodClassification> <classificationTerm>Groups of People -- Period of Conflict </classificationTerm> <location> <locationName>Scotland</locationName> <locationSchemeId>adlgaz-1-4177310-16</locationSchemeId> Time Period Directory Sample record (abridged) Web Interface - Access by country / US state / world city Web Interface - Access by map Web Interface - Access by timeline Link initiates search of Library of Congress catalog for all records relating to this time period. Connections 1: WHAT. These named time periods are derived from Library of Congress catalog subject headings and so can be used for catalog searching which finds books on topics relevant to that time period. Connections 2: WHERE. Time period directory records have a geographical field that can contain a place name or a reference to a gazetteer entry. Example: War of Independence, 1285-1371 <location> <locationName>Scotland</locationName> <locationSchemeId>adlgaz-1-4177310-16</locationSchemeId> <locationScheme> <schemeName>ADL Gazetteer</schemeName> <schemeVersion>3.2</schemeVersion> <source>http://middleware.alexandria.ucsb.edu/client/gaz/adl/index.jsp] Connections 3: WHO. Catalog records found from a time period search commonly include names of persons important at that time. Their names can be forwarded to, e.g., biographies in the Wikipedia encyclopedia. Issues, challenges and further agenda Some periods, like some places, have uncertain boundaries. Cultural terms, e.g. Baroque, Renaissance, are ambiguous referring to a period and/or to a style. Need more standards (e.g. for personal names), protocols (for time period directory servers), and best practices. More content: Additional time period directories. Acknowledgment: This work was partially supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through a National Leadership Grant for Libraries, award number LG-02-04-0041-04, Oct 2004 - Sept 2006. For more information http://ecai.org/imls2004/ Contact Michael Buckland <buckland@SIMS.Berkeley.EDU> Ray Larson <ray@sims.berkeley.edu>