Metadata and Semantics in Digital Object Collections: A Case-Study on CIDOC-CRM and Dublin Core and a Prototype Implementation
Digital collections often foster a large number of digital resources that need to be efficiently managed, described and disseminated. Metadata play a key role in these tasks as they offer the basis upon which more advanced services can be built. However, it is not always the case that such collections' metadata expose explicit or even well-structured semantics. Ways to bridge this "semantic gap" are increasingly being sought, as our review of the current state-of-the-art reveals. Most importantly though, in this paper we comment on two well-known metadata standards, popular in cultural heritage applications, namely CIDOC-CRM and Dublin Core; as diverse their scope may be, we nevertheless show how applications can benefit from a transition to explicit semantic structures in these domains, in a way as painless as possible and conformant to Semantic Web standards. We conclude by presenting a concrete, prototype implementation that serves as a proof-of-concept about the ideas argued for.