The launch of CLAROS

CLAROS launched its first public service on May 17th with a web-based explorer interface (http://www.clarosnet.org), and a data-oriented service (http://data.clarosnet.org/).

Based at the e-Research Centre in Oxford, CLAROS is an international research collaboration to enable simultaneous searching of major collections of digital material about archaeology and art in university research institutes and museums. It contains material from a wide range of data partners, including the Beazley Archive, various digital archives in the Ashmolean Museum, the Arachne archive, the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, and the Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, recording over 2 million objects, places, photographs, and people.

CLAROS is a resource discovery service, and its job is to provide cacheing, indexing, querying and visualization services. The working practice is one of federation. CLAROS ingests a catalogue of records from each data partner and amalgamates it into a single entity, but for more detailed information about a hit we return to the original web site of the partner. CLAROS data is modelled using RDF against the CIDOC CRM ontology, and can be accessed using an open SPARQL endpoint, as well as the powerful web site.

CLAROS is work in progress, with more data partners to come, and large amounts of work to be done on both internal linking, and linking to the wider semantic web. The first fruit of this will be completion of work to join up the places inside CLAROS with those in geonames (http://www.geonames.org/) and Pleiades
(http://pleiades.stoa.org/).

Within the 20 million data records in CLAROS there will inevitably be errors and omissions. We welcome your comments.

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