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BM extensions to CRM
Developed by Seme4 as part of BM collection data mapping to RDF in the CRM schema

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BMX Description

D2 - Commentary on the mapping process- from BM to CIDOC-CRM.pdf, Hugh Glaser, SotonU

D1 - BM to ResearchSpace- Conversion Process and Schema.pdf, Ian Millard, Seme4. "Recommended process for converting data from a Collections Management System in the Cultural Heritage domain into Open Linked Data"

  • demonstrate feasibility for converting the entire Collections data from the British Museum into Linked Data
  • Describes the developed ETL tool "makeRDF": based on config files, uses xpath, similar to xslt but simpler
  • nice intro to CRM
  • recommended URI allocation: : artifact (non information resource) : html representation (information resource for humans) : rdf representation (information resource for computers) : info about production (who when where created it)
  • 14Gb of XMLs exported from BM's collection system (Merlin). Took several weeks (SSL says it'd have been faster if they knew better)
  • Merlin is a C/C++ system with a proprietary OO database
  • BM has 2M objects, 560k of them have images. The CRM RDF has maybe 100 triples per object
  • RDF takes between 12 and 24 hours to assert depending on the triple store employed
  • BM's Merlin model is based on the SPECTRUM standard for Museum Documentation. The functionality of other museum collection systems is also based on SPECTRUM

Need for CRM extensions

  • CRM is a very rich ontology, but still not rich enough to capture collection data from different institutions
  • BMX shows that extensions are needed
  • the BM should drive towards unification and vigorously promote such extensions for CRM standardization, rather than relying on thesaurus mapping (mapping profiles) and co-reference, which make for more difficult reasoning

BMX problems

BMX itself can be improved. Some examples (mostly from the area of measurements, eg width, height):

  • Rather than using BM-specific URIs for units, it'd be better to map during conversion to ontologies that are more established in this area: NASA QUDT (Quantities, Units, and Dimensions) or OASIS UoM (Units of Measure)
  • CRM uses a single number (P90_has_value is E60_Number) while BMX extends this to an interval (PX.min_value and PX.max_value)
    • Because min/max are declared as sub-properties of P90_has_value, you end up with P90_has_value having two values
    • I think it's better to compute P90_has_value during conversion, e.g. to be the average of min and max (or equal to min if max is undefined)
    • See Imprecise Begin-End (and general) for further discussion
  • CRM says that extensions should define properties as either sub-properties, or "long-cut" paths of existing CRM properties.
    But BMX defines various properties that are neither sub-properties, nor long-cuts.
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