Software Architecture

The software developed in IBR allows storing of heterogeneous specialist data and geographic data according to scientific standards as well as combining the data semantically and making it available in a web application. Beyond its application in epigraphic studies, the finished tool will be useful for similiar projects in the spatial humanities. These requirements are depicted in the architecture below.

Software Spatial Humanities IBR
Software Architecture of the IBR Project

Spatial Store

The Spatial Store saves geometric descriptions of three-dimensional objects. These objects also get URIs and can be clearly addressed and linked to.

Triple Store and GenericViewer

The actual linking of spatial data and scientific data takes place in a Triple Store. Information that is stored here has been formulated as simple natural-language-like assertions in the form of Subject-Predicate-Object. One such assertion could be "This geometric object is an altar".

The system’s User Interface is the GenericViewer, a web application implemented in JavaScript using HTML5 and webGL. This application communicates with the different stores operating on the server and enables the user to add annotations and geometric objects as well as to link them with each other.

External Data Repositories

Scientific data in the humanities often exists in form of catalogued, not machine-readable text documents.  Examples are digital editions like the epigraphic catalogue Deutsche Inschriften Online (DIO). These systems of knowledge representation can be integrated into the IBR Architecture via a ReST-interface without changing the original content. Annotations of this content, supplying semantic enrichment and connections with geometric information, are stored Stand-Off, that is separately from the annotated documents within the IBR system.