On Screen Triples: Linked Open Data and Born Digital Archaeological Data

Presenter: Sebastian Heath (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University)

This paper explores the utility of Linked Open Data (LOD) as framing metaphor when considering the role of tablet computing in archaeological workflows. In doing so it will particularly look for overlap between the rhetoric of materiality that exists both within the interfaces of touch-screen devices and within the terminology of LOD. For its part, LOD encourages the use of “things, not strings.” For example, the physical place identified by the English string of characters “Rome” as meaning the capital of the ancient empire becomes a more flexible and reusable entity within a dataset when its Pleiades identifier “http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/423025” is used instead. Tablets are a natural environment for moving the metaphor of web address as “thing” into the realm of actual user experience (UX). Tablets already allow direct manipulation of on-screen controls to support such actions as scrolling through lists of information. This paper asks if that idea can be pushed forward to manipulation of flexible data types and the links between them.