Historians used to keep important information in their heads and then progressed to note cards and pieces of paper. Eventually official entries in record books became the norm, that is until digital indexing was created. Even then many of the traditionalists believed it was a fad or short-lived phenomenon. DATAVERSITY brought this information to us in their article, “How Historians and Detectives Can Benefit from a Semantic Graph Database.”

With the emergence of digital humanities as a separate field of research, things started changing. Out of that new developments took place and one of those is a piece of open source software, Segrada, that allows historians to keep track of their data.

This is different from wikis or archival databases as it focuses on information and interrelations within it. Pieces of information might represent persons, places, things, or concepts. These ‘nodes’ can be bidirectionally connected with each other to semantically represent friendship, blood relation, whereabouts, authorship, and so on. Hence the term ‘semantic graph database,’ since information can be displayed as a graph of semantically connected nodes.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.