[Crm-sig] Call for Comments

Sean Gillies sean.gillies at gmail.com
Tue Mar 22 09:39:49 EET 2011

On Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 10:02 AM, martin <martin at ics.forth.gr> wrote:
> Dear All,
> Your comments on http://www.cidoc-crm.org/URIs_and_Linked_Open_Data.html
> will be most welcome!
> Best,
> Martin
> --

Dear Martin,

I agree with Maximillian that overlapping URIs are inevitable for many
reasons. At ISAW, we've already minted URIs for objects in our
exhibitions that have never been so identified, and seemed unlikely to
be so identified, by their curators. There are entries for objects in
Wikipedia and in derived linked datasets like Dbpedia which are
already widely used as vernacular identifiers for the physical objects
[1]. The profusion of URIs has already happened. That said, it would
indeed be a shame if museums lost out on the network effects of using
the same URIs to refer to objects. There are some options for
reconciling (owl:sameAs) and converging (HTTP redirects) and so the
mess you refer to can be unpicked to some degree, but yes, it's best
to start out emphasizing the benefits of reuse.

On #8, I think that the web can withstand some URI overlap and
indirection. If an object passes permanently from one institution to
another, a new URI could be warranted. Information fetched from the
previous URI will be out of date. The previous curators could keep the
old URI and redirect to the new one as a part of the process of
transferring the object. If this is exactly what you want to avoid, it
might be worth considering the digital object identifier (DOI) scheme.

I hope the proposal goes over well with institutions, thanks for writing it.

[1] http://dbpedia.org/page/Liberty_Bell

Best regards,

Sean Gillies
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
New York University

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