Spinque and Institute for Sound and Vison launch CultuurLINK

Spinque,  a spin off company of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)  for advanced search technology, and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision have launched  CultuurLINK, a new public service for cultural heritage organizations.

Spinque,  a spin off company of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)  for advanced search technology, and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision have launched  CultuurLINK, a new public service for cultural heritage organizations. The service fits within the national strategy for digital heritage to develop a digital infrastructure that connects collections from all over the Netherlands. The new service broadens the perspective and accessibility of collections and gives end users a richer experience.

Collection administrators can use the new Web application to link their terminology resources to external databases. This is in particular interesting from smaller cultural organizations. Based on their current sources, they can now gain access to external data that enrich their own collections by, for example, more background or multilingual information. According to the hub-and-spoke principle,  national cultural heritage institutions such as Sound and Vision, Naturalis the National Service for Cultural Heritage (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed), act as digital information nodes in a network of collections.

The collaboration between CWI, Spinque and Sound and Vision, has already resulted in connecting a collection of  Dutch historic news reels with photographic collections of the NIOD. An application developed on top of this data can now suggest related photographs to someone watching a news
item. Michiel Hildebrand, linked data specialist Spinque,  also envisions applications with current media sources: "In the same way  it would be possible to
connect items from the national news with  historical video or image collections".

Also for museums the linking of vocabularies creates opportunities for new services and applications. Within the EU research project, Comsode, Spinque has already developed a prototype in which links to DBpedia were used to expose the collection of the Rijksmuseum in new and broader perspectives. For instance, the collection can now be searched in multiple languages and connects ‘La Lechera’ to the Milkmaid of Vermeer. Using CultuurLINK the Rijksmuseum has now started themselves to link their terminology resources to international databases.

The foundation of CultuurLink is laid in the research project MultimediaN E-Culture (2005-2009) in which CWI and VU University Amsterdam created the first digital heritage network, and COMMIT SealincMedia where a prototype was developed.