During the National Day for Sustainability (Nationale dag voor duurzaamheid in het hoger onderwijs 2017), the ICT4D team presented our current research and educational activities to the many participants of this event, hosted at VU. Anna Bon and myself presented our work on sustainable methodologies for ICT4D as well as current work on small and sustainable ICT platform (Kasadaka), see the slides below.
After this, the participants got a chance to meet our students and their very nice projects up close in an interactive demonstration session. Selected ICT4D students presented the voice-accessible services.
Yesterday, 18 May 2017, the 4th International ICT4D symposium was held at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The event was organized by the W4RA team and supported by VU Network Institute, the Netherlands Research School for Information and Knowledge Systems SIKS, VU Computer Science Department and VU International Office. Invited speakers from Ghana, France and the Netherlands highlighted this year’s theme was “Sustainability and ICT4D”.
Keynote speaker Gayo Diallo from Universite de Bordeaux discussed the possibilities of ICT for African Traditional Medicine (ATM). In his talk, he showed how semantic web technologies can play a role here to connect heterogeneous datasets for analytics and end-user services. Such services would need to be based on voice-interaction and localized technologies. His slides can be found here.
Chris van Aart from 2Coolmonkeys discussed a number of smartphone applications developed in the context of W4RA activities, including Mr. Jiri a tree-counting application. He proved there is a market for such applications in the African context (Slides).
After the break, Francis Dittoh from UDS Ghana discussed issues around sustainbility for a meteo application he is currently developing for Northern-Ghana (slides). Wendelien Tuijp from VU’s CIS then presented multiple perspectives on ICT4D (Slides). The symposium was closed by a video presentation from Aske Robenhagen, showcasing the ongoing work in Nepal around mapping knowledge networks and developing a smartphone application supporting information exchange for local accountability extension workers. More information on that project can be found at nepalnetworks.org/
The presentations of the day can be found through the links above. The entire symposium was live-streamed and you can watch it all on youtube or below.
Below is a lost of the approximate starting time of the various speakers in the video
6m19 Dr. Gayo Diallo – Université de Bordeaux (FR): Towards a Digital African Traditional Healthcare using Semantic Web.
56m28 Dr. Chris van Aart – 2CoolMonkeys BV (NL) : Developing Smartphone Apps for African farmers.
1h52m00 Francis Dittoh – University for Development Studies (Ghana): ICT business development in rural Africa.
2h23m00 Wendelien Tuyp – CIS-VU : Sustainable Community Initiatives and African Farmer Innovation.
The paper “The BigDataEurope Platform – Supporting the Variety Dimension of Big Data” is co-written by a very large team (see below) and it presents the BDE platform — an easy-to-deploy, easy-to-use and adaptable (cluster-based and standalone) platform for the execution of big data components and tools like Hadoop, Spark, Flink, Flume and Cassandra. To facilitate the processing of heterogeneous data, a particular innovation of the platform is the Semantic Layer, which allows to directly process RDF data and to map and transform arbitrary data into RDF. The platform is based upon requirements gathered from seven of the societal challenges put forward by the European Commission in the Horizon 2020 programme and targeted by the BigDataEurope pilots. It is validated through pilot applications in each of these seven domains. .A draft version of the paper can be found here.
The full reference is:
Sören Auer, Simon Scerri, Aad Versteden, Erika Pauwels, Angelos Charalambidis, Stasinos Konstantopoulos, Jens Lehmann, Hajira Jabeen, Ivan Ermilov, Gezim Sejdiu, Andreas Ikonomopoulos, Spyros Andronopoulos, Mandy Vlachogiannis, Charalambos Pappas, Athanasios Davettas, Iraklis A. Klampanos, Efstathios Grigoropoulos, Vangelis Karkaletsis, Victor de Boer, Ronald Siebes, Mohamed Nadjib Mami, Sergio Albani, Michele Lazzarini, Paulo Nunes, Emanuele Angiuli, Nikiforos Pittaras, George Giannakopoulos, Giorgos Argyriou, George Stamoulis, George Papadakis, Manolis Koubarakis, Pythagoras Karampiperis, Axel-Cyrille Ngonga Ngomo, Maria-Esther Vidal. . Proceedings of The International Conference on Web Engineering (ICWE), ICWE2017, LNCS, Springer, 2017
On the 1st of May 2017, the Linked Data in Research and Cultural Heritage Seminar (#DANSLOD) took place in Den Haag, the Netherlands. This seminar series was organized by DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) – Netherlands Institute for Permanent Access to Digital Research Resources. This seminar series was arranged by Herbert van de Sompel and its main focus was to present new advancements related to Linked Data with special emphasis on creating, keeping and using Linked Data in the context of a distributed and decentralized Web. According to the Schedule and plan of DANS Linked Data in Research and Cultural Heritage Seminar, the seminar was organized into two sessions, each followed by a panel discussion.
The first session of presentations considered different aspects of Linked Data in the context of a distributed and decentralized Web. Ruben Verborgh from Ghent University underlined the imperious need and extra care that proprietors of Linked Data should have when working with their data collections such that the isolated silos of Linked Data would be easily linked together in a knowledge graph. Afterwards, Tobias Kuhn from our group introduced nano-publications as a way of publishing data on the Web in a decentralized manner, a solution that would allow research results to be be both replicated and re-used. You can find the slides of this talk here:
Next, Sarven Capadisli from Bonn University argued how creating a Linked Data ecosystem would help connect contributors, libraries, institutions, publishers and researchers, etc. together and to also help in the social paradigm shift of Linked Data which lags considerably behind the technical aspects of this technology. Lastly, Michel Dumontier of Maastricht University introduced the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles as a generic metric for evaluation of the quality of data repositories or collections.
The second sessions of presentations showed how Linked Data principles were applied by certain institutions when dealing with their data and how certain applications can help in the incorporation of these principles in the normal data workflow. Miel Vander Sande from Ghent University showed how problems like reproducibility and sustainability can encumber breaking the barriers of the data silos in the world of Linked Data. As solutions he proposed a combination of querying with Linked Data Fragments using the Triple Data Fragments interface and the Memento “Time Travel for the Web” protocol. Valentine Charles and Nuno Freire from Europeana presented their new approaches regarding future data acquisition. Among the technologies that their organization experimented with and that they want to include in the Europeana data acquisition workflow are IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework), Sitemap and Schema.org. Next, Enno Meijers from KB (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) – The National Library of the Netherlands, introduced the roadmap, strategy and design for creating a distributed web of cultural heritage information within DEN (Digitaal Erfgoed Nederland) – Digital Heritage Netherlands. Lastly, Albert Meroño Peñuela of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam demonstrated how Github can be used as a hub for (repeatable) SPARQL queries by using a tool called glrc.
The discussions that followed each session of presentations tried to address and tackle the current pressing issues in the world of Linked Data. Also, the presenters answered questions and raised themes for debate. Overall, this seminar was a good way to spend a day for a person interested in Linked Data. Both the presentations and the discussions that followed touched upon pressing and current issues in the field and left place for other open and unresolved issues. Linking data is not so simple after all!
On Tuesday, the 11th of April 2017, Cristina-Iulia Bucur, one of the previous academy assistants for INVENiT² gave a presentation about the project during the “Digital Humanities” course at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The presentation was titled “INVENiT II – New ways of opening up cultural religious heritage” and briefly described the experience of the project team throughout the period in which the project ran.
The presentation focused on why it is important to link data to research as a way to better support scholars and researchers in the humanities field, with emphasis on the cultural religious heritage at the UBVU, the University Library of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The workflow needed for this and the steps that were taken during the project were briefly described. First, two 18th century illustrated bibles from the “Special Collections” of UBVU were digitized, then Linked Data was used as a framework to publish this (meta)data and also link individual prints to bibles. Next, various crowd- and nichesourcing events were organized to further annotate and enrich the data about these prints. Finally, the new information was incorporated into the UBVU system. This way, the biblical prints have been enriched with new information and can better support the research of scholars.
I made these exercises a while ago but keep re-using them for SPARQL tutorials and hands on sessions. The hands on page lists a number of sparql queries that one can copy-paste into the interactive query field of the Dutch Ships and Sailors live triple store. Note that not all of them are still working as originally intended, as that triple store is constantly changing.
This is a first post in a new series on Semantic Web reading club. During this weekly reading club we discuss a research paper related to Semantic Web, Human Computation or Computer Science in general. Every week, one group member selects and prepares a paper to discuss. This week it was my time and I chose a paper from 2013: “Dance in the World of Data and Objects” by Katerina El Raheb and Yannis Ioannidis (full citation and abstract below). The paper presents the need for (OWL) ontologies for dance representation. A quite nice slide deck supporting the paper is found here.
Computer-interpretable knowledge representations for dance is something I have been thinking about for a while now. I am mostly interested in representations that actually match the conceptual level at which dancers and choreoraphers communicate and how these are related to low-level representations such as Labanotation. I am currently supervising two Msc students on this topic.
The paper by El Raheb and Ioannidis and our discussion afterwards outlined the potential use of such a formal representations for:
Archiving dance and for retrieval. This is a more ‘traditional’ use of such representations in ICT for Cultural Heritage. An interesting effect of having this represented using standard semantic web languages is that we can connect deep representations of choreographers to highly heterogeneous knowledge about for example dance or musical styles, locations, recordings, emotions etc. An interesting direct connection could be to Albert Merono’s RDF midi representations.
For dance analysis. By having large amounts of data in this representation, we can support Digital Humanities research. Both in more distant reading, but potentially also more close analysis of dance. Machine learning techniques could be of use herer.
For creative support. Potentially very interesting is to investigate to what extent representations of dance can be used to support the creative process of dancers and choreographers. We can think of pattern-based adaptations of choreographies.
Abstract: In this paper, we discuss the challenges that we have faced and the solutions we have identified so far in our currently on-going effort to design and develop a Dance Information System for archiving traditional dance, one of the most significant realms of intangible cultural heritage. Our approach is based on Description Logics and aims at representing dance moves in a way that is both machine readable and human understandable to support semantic search and movement analysis. For this purpose, we are inspired by similar efforts on other cultural heritage artifacts and propose to use an ontology on dance moves (DanceOWL) that is based on the Labanotation concepts. We are thus able to represent dance movement as a synthesis of structures and sequences at different levels of conceptual abstraction, which serve the needs of different potential users, e.g., dance analysts, cultural anthropologists. We explain the rationale of this methodology, taking into account the state of the art and comparing it with similar efforts that are also in progress, outlining the similarities and differences in our respective objectives and perspectives. Finally, we describe the status of our effort and discuss the steps we intend to take next as we proceed towards the original goal.