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A richer data model for Europeana

Announcement by Europeana

The Europeana Data Model (EDM) – a new way of structuring data that will bring the benefits of Semantic Web technology to – has just been published. The release of the EDM indicates a qualitative change in the way Europeana will deal with metadata gathered from content providers. It will open up the possibility for browsing Europeana in new and revealing ways which are not possible with the current Europeana Semantic Elements data model. For example, the EDM will allow a digital object from one provider to be shown alongside a relevant article about the object or a thesaurus offered by other institutions, offering more context and information for users.
Once Europeana starts receiving content formatted using the EDM next year, it will also enable the use of linked data, which allows connections to be made between search terms. With linked data, a search for the “Virgin Mary” could lead to results not just for that single term, but also to objects labelled as “Mary, Mother Of Christ”, “the Blessed Virgin” or “Heilige Maria”.

Developed by members of Europeana v1.0, EuropeanaConnect and experts from academic and cultural circles, the EDM has been validated by technical specialists at libraries, museums, archives and audio-visual collections. This group will continue to make refinements to the EDM over the coming months, as testing is carried out between now and January 2011. The EDM is backwardly compatible with ESE, and will start to be used by data providers during 2011.

The EDM Primer and the Definition of the EDM Elements are in the Technical documents section of the v1.0 website.