The Dutch Ships and Sailors project brings together four Dutch maritime historical datasets from the 17th, 18th and 19th Century. We use Semantic Web technologies for representing and interlinking the data resulting into one interoperable but heterogeneous datacloud. The individual datasets use separate datamodels, designed in close collaboration with maritime historical researchers. The data are interlinked based on common places, ships, shiptypes and ranks and are linked to external datasets including the Dutch newspaper archive provided by the Royal Library. For a subset of the data, we provide links to the actual scans of the archive records, to increase provenance and trust of the data. The dataset is available as five-star linked data and accessible through a SPARQL api. We also provide web interface to the datasets that allow users to search and browse the interconnected graph and experiment with different SPARQL queries. The Dutch Ships and Sailors Linked Data Cloud is a prime example of the benefits of Linked Data for the field of historical research. Initially funded by Clarin-NL, with additional funding by DANS-KNAW, DSS aims to become an ever-expanding network of (inter)national maritime historical data and a hub in the Web of Linked Historical Data.
Access the data here: http://semanticweb.cs.vu.nl/dss use the endpoint hosted at Huygens Institute: http://dutchshipsandsailors.nl/data
Watch a short introduction and demonstration video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEQJk6sK_U8