Semantic tagging for old maps… and other things

Dr Bernhard Haslhofer from University of Vienna giving details on their winning entry into the DM2E Open Humanities competition (

MapHub – tools that allows you to map a historic map to the world as it is today. Also support commenting and semantic tagging.

All user contributed annotation is published via the Open Annotation API – so MapHub both consumes and produces open data.

Focussing today on Semantic Tagging in MapHub. While a user enters a full-text comment, MapHub analyses the text and tries to identify matching concepts in Wikipedia (DBPedia), and suggest them. User can click on suggested tags to accept it (or click again to reject). They carried out some research and found there was no difference between user behaviour in terms of number of tags added whether they used a ‘semantic tagging’ approach (linking each tag to a web resource) and ‘label tagging’ (tags operate as text strings).

Having found this successful, Bernhard would like to see the same concept applied to other resources – so planning to extract semantic tagging part of MapHub and develop a plugin for Annotorious. Also going to extend beyond the use of Geonames and Wikipedia – e.g. vocabularies expressed in SKOS. Aim to do this by September 2013.