A catalogue of bird bones: an exercise in semantic web practice

  • Brewington S
  • McGovern T
  • Petersen A
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Abstract

— The vast databases of natural history collections are increasingly being made accessible through the internet. The challenge is to place this data in a wider context that may reach beyond the interests of scholars only. The North Atlantic Biocultural Organization and Icelandic Institute of Natural History are jointly developing a web based catalogue of bird bones, comprising digital images, and related information from the museum database. Linking the bird bone catalogue with the semantic web developed by STERNA will integrate the bird bone catalogue with diverse information on birds that is directed towards the general public. 1 introduction N atural history museums have a long tradition of collecting and preserving specimens primarily for scientific study and also for public education and exhibition. Museum research has over time generated vast collections of specimens and related information, which was mostly accessible only to a closed community of researchers. The main reason was that collection information was registered on paper files and index cards. Information retrieval was thus confined to trained personnel only. Present museums almost universally rely on computer databases to register and update information of their vast collections, and almost all institutions are in the process of digitizing information on paper and card files. In addition to this, diverse information that

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Authors

  • SD Brewington

  • TH McGovern

  • Aevar Petersen

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