James Blake Wiener
published on 08 April 2013
PELAGIOS stands for "Pelagios: Enable Linked Ancient Geodata In Open Systems," and its aim is to help introduce Linked Open Data into online resources that refer to places in the ancient world. This approach permits new modes of discovery and visualization for scholars and the general public. Pelagios also means "of the sea," referring to the superhighway of the ancient world. It's a metaphor most appropriate for a digital resource that connects references to ancient places.
The Pelagios are a collective of projects connected by a shared vision of a world--most eloquently described in Tom Elliott's article, "Digital Geography and Classics"-- in which the geography of the past is every bit as interconnected, interactive, and interesting as the present. Each project represents a different perspective on Antiquity through maps, texts, and archaeological records. Like AHE, PELAGIOS is committed to open access and a pragmatic lightweight approach that encourages and enables institutions to digitalize quality, virtual materials related to ancient history.
History is not linear (as it is usually taught), but rather a very parallel type of story, where everything is interlinked. At AHE, pieces of information are tagged and shared across different but related subjects, and each page is built automatically, taking information that is relevant to a subject from our database of definitions, articles, events, and maps.
Joining PELAGIOS is a logical step for AHE: the more history we manage to link together, the more our readers can "dig deeper" and experience the wonder and scope of ancient times. The easier it is for students and scholars to access the vast amount of material that PELAGIOS contributors have assembled, the better. This is the first step in a longer journey, which will require many such initiatives, but AHE is excited to become part of a global network of data emanating from high-quality websites and established institutions.
[AHE Press Release: 08/04/2013. London, UK Headquarters]
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