Being a conversation between Gabriel Bodard, Yanne Broux and Silke Vanbeselaere about the SNAP:DRGN project and Social Network Analysis

Cross-posted to Data Ninjas: http://spaghetti-os.blogspot.be/

Gabriel Bodard: So, tell me what is Social Network Analysis, and how is it useful for prosopography projects?

Silke Vanbeselaere: Social Network Analysis (SNA) is basically the study of relationships between people through network theory. First used in sociology, it’s now become popular in many other disciplines, with a budding group of enthusiasts in (ancient) history.
What it does, is focus on relations (of whatever kind) instead of on the actors individually. Through visualisation of the network graph and the network statistics, information can be obtained about the structure of the network and the roles of the individuals in it. Continue reading (SNA)P

Are you a prosopography?

At the SNAP:DRGN project meeting in Edinburgh a few weeks ago, we decided on a couple of definitions that will impact on the ways in which partner datasets interact with the project. Our current thinking is that we need to distinguish between two kinds of data:

(1) The first kind, which we’ll loosely call a “prosopography”, is a curated database of person records, with some ambition to be able to be used as an authority list. Prosopographies such as PIR, Broughton, PBW, etc. would be obvious examples of this category, as would the controlled vocabulary of persons in a library catalog like VIAF, Zenon, British Museum persons, Trismegistos Authors, the Perseus Catalog, etc. Even if the task of co-referencing persons is incomplete (as with Trismegistos, say), the intention to disambiguate qualifies the dataset as a “prosopography”. Continue reading Are you a prosopography?

Some example RDF fragments

In the process of working with a few of our partner projects, we have produced some sample RDF fragments, which we thought might be useful as an illustration of SNAP RDF format for other projects currently planning to expose a version of their data via our graph. We hope to include at least some examples of this kind in a later version of the SNAP:DRGN Cookbook. Continue reading Some example RDF fragments


We’ve had a couple of meetings with Karen Smith-Yoshimura and Thomas Hickey, of the Scholars Contributions to VIAF group, to discuss possible collaborations, exchange of information, and mutual benefits of sharing standards between the SNAP:DRGN project and VIAF (the Virtual International Authority File, a federated authority list of persons from library catalogs, mostly from author or subject fields).

We considered two main questions: Continue reading SNAP and VIAF

Minutes of first Advisory Board meeting

SNAP:DRGN Advisory Board

1st meeting Skype (voice only) 2014-05-09

Present: Øyvind Eide (chair), Fabian Koerner, Robert Parker, Laurie Pearce, Charlotte Roueché, Rainer Simon, Gabriel Bodard (principal investigator)

Not present: Sonia Ranade.

The meeting lasted around one hour.

Minutes written by Øyvind Eide based on notes from Laurie Pearce and Rainer Simon. Continue reading Minutes of first Advisory Board meeting

Entering the SNAPDRGN garden

Now that the SNAP project has started ingest finalized data from the initial core datasets, it is time to think about how to bring in material from the other partners. For some, this will be easy, as they already know to make available their data in RDF form on the open web and simply need to follow the guidelines in the Cookbook. For others quite a lot of work will be involved getting SNAP ready. This post describes some of the stages you may go through, and some of the problems that you may meet.

I have divided the work into six steps: Continue reading Entering the SNAPDRGN garden

Looking Towards an API for SNAP:DRGN

During the first SNAP:DRGN workshop a breakout group was convened to discuss the potential API for the project. Rather than come up with a specific API during that session, we instead focused on creating a “wish list” of applications and functions that we wanted to support. We were then able to abstract the functions that would be needed to support the list. Continue reading Looking Towards an API for SNAP:DRGN