A Wikidata-based tool for building and visualising narratives

Abstract

In this paper we present a semi-automatic tool for constructing and visualising narratives, intended as networks of events related to each other by semantic relations. The tool obeys an ontology for narratives that we developed. It retrieves and assigns internationalised resource identifiers to the instances of the classes of the ontology using Wikidata as an external knowledge base and also facilitates the construction and contextualisation of events, and their linking to form the narratives. The knowledge collected by the tool is automatically saved as an Web ontology language graph. The tool also allows the visualisation of the knowledge included in the graph in simple formats like tables, network graphs and timelines. We have carried out an initial qualitative evaluation of the tool. As case study, an historian from the University of Pisa has used the tool to build the narrative of Dante Alighieri’s life. The evaluation has regarded the effectiveness of the tool and the satisfaction of the users’ requirements.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july98/07griffin.html.

  2. 2.

    https://en.wikipedia.org.

  3. 3.

    http://www.si.umich.edu/SantaFe/.

  4. 4.

    Europeana is the largest DLs in the cultural heritage sector, offering a unique access point to about forty million objects from more than two thousand European institutions. See https://www.europeana.eu/portal/.

  5. 5.

    For instance, the British Library project “Sounds of our Shores” (https://www.bl.uk/sounds-of-our-shores) and the Europeana project “Europeana 1914–1918” (https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/collections/world-war-I).

  6. 6.

    https://archive.org.

  7. 7.

    Throughout the paper, we will call narrator the person who uses the tool to create a narrative, and final users those who access the completed narrative.

  8. 8.

    https://wikidata.org.

  9. 9.

    http://histropedia.com.

  10. 10.

    http://chronas.org.

  11. 11.

    http://histography.io.

  12. 12.

    https://storify.com.

  13. 13.

    The interested reader can find a detailed description of the classes and properties of the ontology at: https://dlnarratives.eu/ontology.

  14. 14.

    http://www.cidoc-crm.org.

  15. 15.

    A primary source is a document, a manuscript, an artefact or any other source of information that was created at the time under study.

  16. 16.

    https://wikisource.org.

  17. 17.

    https://commons.wikimedia.org.

  18. 18.

    https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.

  19. 19.

    https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/.

  20. 20.

    https://query.wikidata.org

  21. 21.

    https://dlnarratives.eu/tool.html

  22. 22.

    https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html.

  23. 23.

    https://www.iso.org/standard/52075.html.

  24. 24.

    https://jquery.com.

  25. 25.

    http://jqueryui.com.

  26. 26.

    http://getbootstrap.com.

  27. 27.

    https://twitter.github.io/typeahead.js.

  28. 28.

    https://timeline.knightlab.com.

  29. 29.

    https://couchdb.apache.org.

  30. 30.

    https://pouchdb.com.

  31. 31.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php.

  32. 32.

    The popover is an interface element provided by the Bootstrap library.

  33. 33.

    https://commons.wikimedia.org.

  34. 34.

    http://visjs.org.

  35. 35.

    https://w3.org/TR/rdf-syntax-grammar.

  36. 36.

    https://w3.org/TR/turtle.

  37. 37.

    http://owlcs.github.io/owlapi/.

  38. 38.

    https://github.com/Galigator/openllet.

  39. 39.

    http://blazegraph.com.

  40. 40.

    The timeline visualisation of the narrative is available online at the following address: https://dlnarratives.eu/timeline/dante.html. The text used to describe the events is extracted from Wikipedia, since the original text written by the historian is protected by copyright.

  41. 41.

    https://dlnarratives.eu/timeline/squid.html.

  42. 42.

    https://dlnarratives.eu/timeline/climate.html.

  43. 43.

    https://dlnarratives.eu/timeline/klimt.html.

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Correspondence to Daniele Metilli.

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Metilli, D., Bartalesi, V. & Meghini, C. A Wikidata-based tool for building and visualising narratives. Int J Digit Libr 20, 417–432 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00799-019-00266-3

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Keywords

  • Web application
  • Narratives
  • Semantic Web
  • Human–computer interaction
  • Digital libraries