Linked Data for the Historic Environment

LD4HE is a project (2019-2021) to investigate the methods and rationale for generating linked data from the new OASIS (Online AccesS to the Index of archaeological investigations) system. LD4HE is led by the Hypermedia Research Group (Ceri Binding) in collaboration with ADS (the Archaeology Data Service) who manage OASIS). It is funded by the Heritage Protection Commissions of Historic England. The work builds on previous work by the Hypermedia Research Group on the STELLAR and SENESCHAL projects.


OASIS is an online database for UK archaeologists and heritage practitioners to provide information on their investigations to local Historic Environment Records (HERs) and the national bodies. The new OASIS system allows stakeholders to record information/events accurately and consistently, using established heritage and spatial vocabularies, including those currently available via the Heritage Data platform. LD4HE builds on this by allowing the data exported from OASIS to have a richer potential for exchange and reuse. A stand-alone tool allows information entered into OASIS to be converted into Linked Data: a form of data storage that precisely defines the terms within the dataset, eliminating any ambiguity over the concepts those terms represent. This format also has the advantage of defining the precise manner of the relationships between these values, and what those values equate to within wider international classifications of recording. For example, “an excavation [activity] of an Iron Age [periodbarrow [subject] occurred in Barrow [place] in October 2018 [period]”.


LD4HE supports the creation and export of Linked Data from the new OASIS system with the aim of enhancing re-use and interoperability of the data recorded within the system. The work produces a conceptual mapping between mandatory OASIS fields and the CIDOC-CRM ontology. A tool converts exported OASIS records to a suitable Linked Data format.


Further details on the project scope’s and motivating use cases of questions is published on GitHub, including preliminary versions of the mappings from OASIS and the data model.