One of the goals of the SPQR project is to create a centralised knowledge base (KB) by integrating several open datasets which relate to the classical period and supporting scholarly inference through ontological modelling. The Linked Data aspect is parallel to the KB effort and is mainly concerned with ensuring that resolvable URIs are provided for for all entities in the KB. Bringing in existing vocabularies and ontologies is also a problem that can be deferred until later. Initially, the goal is to have a good approximation of an ontology local to the SPQR KB and then perform a mapping exercise by extending the ontology to express relations with external ontologies like EDM and CIDOC-CRM.
I strongly believe that the most important aspect of the SPQR project is to come up with an intuitive and engaging interface for interacting with the KB. Only if we can show or at least have a plan of how to lure the researchers to interact with our system we will be able to claim a success. The first UI iteration will provide an “old-school” web based interface allowing free text queries, SPARQL queries and possibly some canned parameterised queries.
The proper way to interact with a graph based KB is to interactively navigate the graph, discover relations, annotate subgraphs, share annotations, visually build graph matching queries and add new links. I have spent some time at my whiteboard and noted down some ideas (see the image below). Expect more details soon.
The above design has now been transcribed into a more readable document which you can download here: PDF