BiographySampo – Publishing and Enriching Biographies on the Semantic Web for Digital Humanties Research

author: Eero Hyvonen, Aalto University
published: July 19, 2019,   recorded: June 2019,   views: 10

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This paper argues for making a paradigm shift in publishing and using biographical dictionaries on the web, based on Linked Data. The idea is to provide the user with enhanced reading experience of biographies by enriching contents with data linking and reasoning. In addition, versatile tooling for (1) biographical research of individual persons as well as for (2) prosopographical research on groups of people are provided. To demonstrate and evaluate the new possibilities, we present the semantic portal “BiographySampo – Finnish Biographies on the Semantic Web”. The system is based on a knowledge graph extracted automatically from a collection of 13 100 textual biographies, enriched with data linking to 16 external data sources, and by harvesting external collection data from libraries, museums, and archives. The portal was released in September 2018 for free public use at

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