All posts by Hugh Cayless

You Aren’t Gonna Need It

We’ve been discussing lately how to merge person records in SNAP, so that when we encounter partner projects that each have a record for the same person, SNAP can provide a useful service by combining those into single, merged records, and we can start to get an idea of the requirements for performing operations like merges on our data. This discussion has proved something of a rabbit hole. Continue reading You Aren’t Gonna Need It


One question that came up during the workshop a couple of weeks ago was: if partner projects already assign their own URIs/ids to their person/name/etc. records, then why should SNAP assign its own identifiers? There are two answers to that, one very practical, and the other a bit more philosophical.

  1. SNAP IDs will be URIs themselves, and when dereferenced in a browser, or by an application, will return a result. Either a web page listing what SNAP knows about the record in question, or RDF data about it. We can’t do this in a practical way without assigning our own identifiers.
  2. On a more theoretical level, we think that any updates made to data post-ingest shouldn’t be made directly on our partners’ data. We believe, for example, that while SNAP might assert an identity between two person records coming from two partner datasets, it will be up to the partners whether they accept that identification.

Continue reading Why SNAP IDs?


Last week, Faith gave a great overview of some of the issues involved in describing the relationships between people. This week, I’m going to come at the problem from the other side, looking at what data we have, and how SNAP plans to represent them.

Our initial datasets include Trismegistos People (TM, described by Mark), the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (LGPN, described by Sebastian), and a set of names (article headwords) from the Prosopographia Imperii Romani, 2nd edition (PIR²) put together by Tom Elliott. TM has web pages that document the references to names and people found in papyri, many of which are hosted at, as well as resources describing the names and person; references, names, and persons all have unique identifiers. LGPN comes at the problem of modeling people from a different angle. They start with persons and add names and references; persons and names have unique identifiers. From PIR², we have only persons, with a “principal” name and identifying number (the article number) attached to them. Continue reading Tensions