An ontology models a domain of knowledge with a set of appropriate entities and their instances, and with relations among them; it is used to accurately and consistently document information and assets related to a cultural monument. Ontologies complying to standards ensure information retrieval and exchange among databases.
In the context of the WARMEST project, a dedicated schema of an ontology was developed for the documentation of the information necessary to describe the condition of the columns in the Lions Court of the Nasrid Palaces of Alhambra.
The proposed ontology schema supports the documentation of the condition of a column and its parts, the related digital resources as well as the documentation of measurement, digital resource development and column condition assessment activities.
To ensure easy and reliable information retrieval and exchange, the developed schema complies with Carrare 2.0 and CIDOC CRM, the standard for cultural object documentation, and takes advantage of established controlled vocabularies and thesauri, namely the Art and Architecture Thesaurus and the RIA Glossary of Damage Restoration Terms.
The schema draws on academic research on condition assessment activities regarding the columns in the Lions Court of the Nasrid Palaces of Alhambra. Columns are the main entities in the schema; a system to define column sections is offered to ensure the precise assignment of digital assets as well as assessment and measurement events to the corresponding material objects.
Digital assets include 3D representations, images and videos; the activities related to their development, such as photographic events, can also be documented. Assessment and measurement event documentation includes information about the type of activity, the participants, the place and the time of the event, and the methods and techniques used
The concise specification of information through a clear schema of entities and relations among them offers important advantages.
Precise information/knowledge sharing is the first: stakeholders who structure information in the same way and use the same vocabularies to denote it can work independently and, at the same time, co-provide and exchange information enjoying, in this way, better collaboration through a common way of monument fault description and categorization.
Moreover, through this concrete backbone, expert knowledge can be easily maintained, updated and incorporated into the system and its tools and then be retrieved by both experts and non-experts (because its semantics is clear).
The defined schema and the corresponding ontology can be used throughout the other systems developed in the project.
The ontology provides the backbone documentation and can be utilized as a common language for all systems and users to work with.
Users can share a common language, based on standards, with well-defined semantics when collaborating and exchanging knowledge.
Terms of this language can be easily translated since they have been retrieved from established (multilingual) controlled vocabularies and thesauri.
In this way, descriptions of monuments and parts of monuments consistently share attributes and properties while the ontology and the information it models can be used in different use cases.
The developed ontology is primarily of interest to professionals in the field of monument restoration and assessment. It provides them with a language that can be used to consistently document all important activities about monuments, such as measurements, condition assessment and digital object creation.
Architects and creators of 3D structural content have an interest in the ontology as well. Finally professional artists that create any form of art related to a monument can also benefit and contribute to the ontology.
First of all, we would like to thank you for your availability to collaborate in a study designed by researchers from the WARMEST´S project.
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