Mikko Koho, Esko Ikkala and Eero Hyvönen.
Abstract: Plenty of data exists about the Second World War (WW2), but the data is scattered in various places, written in multiple languages, and collected in heterogeneous formats. This makes a promising use case for Linked Data, as various pieces of data can be connected and harmonized in a flexible way. WW2 information is of great interest not only to historians, but to potentially hundreds of millions of citizens globally whose relatives participated in the war, creating a global shared trauma.
WarSampo provides a novel infrastructure for publishing WW2 data as Linked Open Data. The infrastructure is built to support integrating new datasets into WarSampo, by extending both the domain ontologies (DO) and the data graphs. Published in 2015, WarSampo is to our best knowledge the first large scale system for serving and publishing WW2 Linked Open Data (LOD) on the Semantic Web. It is a part of the global LOD cloud, and was awarded with the LODLAM Challenge Open Data Prize in 2017.
We discuss lessons learned from two case studies, in which the Linked Data Cloud was first extended by a dataset of hundreds of war cemeteries and thousands of photographs of them, and then by another dataset of 4450 Finnish prisoners of war.
Keywords: Semantic Web; Linked Data; Linked Open Data; Web of Data; Linked Data Cloud; Digital Humanities; Cultural Heritage; Ontology Evolution; Change Propagation; Named Entity Linking; War history; World War II; CIDOC CRM