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About Geovistory

Geovistory brings a paradigm shift in the handling of scientific data in the social sciences and humanities and innovatively taps the potential of digitization. With impacts not only for research, but for the general public.

For research

Geovistory is a collaborative and open information system. Data from all research projects active in Geovistory are automatically integrated: Instead of a hundred research projects making the first kilometer in information production, in Geovistory a hundred research projects go a thousand kilometers together. This is because the data is integrated (semantically & linked) and produced collaboratively. This creates a treasure of data (knowledge graph) that is unprecedented in terms of quality and quantity. On the basis of this, new insights become possible by means of innovative visualization and analysis tools.

The information in Geovistory is interoperable and reusable: each data point is semantically defined (according to CIDOC-CRM and domain specific extensions), published under Creative Commons license and linked to external resources according to the vision of linked open data for research (LOD-R) and the FAIR principles.

For society

Geovistory is a publicly accessible information system where information from scientific research projects is curated. Geovistory thus offers a trustworthy and sound source of information, which is particularly significant in a world in a struggle for the dominance of narratives (fake news). This way, Geovistory contributes to an improved understanding of economic, social and historical phenomena and thus to the strengthening of the socio-critical role of the social sciences & humanities.

The product

The Geovistory information system has two browser-based access points. The first is the data publication platform Here, researchers and interested parties (the general public) can review projects, directly access and evaluate curated data. The publication platform is designed in such a way that external software engineers can develop and integrate their own components (web components). On the other hand, this is the access to the virtual research environment, the Toolbox, where researchers collect, curate and evaluate data.

The information system is used by an active community, which constantly develops and documents it. For this purpose, suitable channels, forums and a good documentation are available (for the use of the toolbox, as well as for the technical further development of Geovistory).

Geovistory is complemented by appropriate exchange spaces & documentation (for academia, education, journalism, tourism etc) for developing a community of active researches (prosumers) and data users (consumers) that bring the platform to life.

To whom Geovistory belongs

The publication platform is jointly developed by KleioLab, LARHRA, the University of Bern and other actors joining the Geovistory vision. The LOD4HSS-project, co-funded by swissuniversities, structures these efforts. The data publication platform is developed open source and available to the community via GitHub. The appropriate open-source licensing yet needs to be decided. The publication platform is designed in such a way that external software engineers can develop and integrate their own components (web components). We invite all contributors to develop these components also open source and will do so ourselves.

The Toolbox is owned, developed and maintained by KleioLab. It is not open source. However, this is about to change. The Toolbox is freely accessible for all individual projects.

The data and their accessibility

All data in Geovistory are open and licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 and can be freely reused. All structured data are semantically defined according to CIDOC-CRM and domain specific extensions (Semantic Data for Humanities & Social Sciences SDHSS). Supported data formats also include TEI (Text Encoding Initiative). Data are made accessible on a graphical interface and a standard SPARQL-endpoint.

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