Rather than a simple application of computer tools, Digital Humanities offer a multidisciplinary perspective that has recently led to rethinking certain practices, e.g., in the acquisition and representation of knowledge in the field, and opened up new perspectives for the disciplines concerned.
The Semantic Web is an extension of today’s World Wide Web with technologies that enrich the information published on the Internet. The purpose of the Semantic Web is to represent data in a way that they can be understood by ‘intelligent’ machines, so that only the data relevant to the search is returned, as well as the data that are interconnected with them. The retrieval of information by means of the services of the Semantic Web is done in a completely different way than that of the World Wide Web, where hypertext is the typical way of navigating from one web site to another. This is due in part to the fact that Semantic Web data are structured and made meaningful to the computer through digital ontologies, and in part because the structured data can be interconnected in such a way that the transition from one piece of data to the next ensures the interoperability of computer systems.
The O4DH – Ontologies for Digital Humanities initiative is part of the interdisciplinary framework in which the Humanities meet new digital technologies. It is a contribution to the field of Digital Humanities. This initiative fills an existing gap, as well as the emerging, increasingly urgent need to train Humanities experts in Semantic Web technologies and standards so that they are able to keep abreast of developments in new technologies used for digitalization in their respective fields. It is addressed to specialists and students of the Humanities, as well as to everybody interested in the new technologies of the Internet and the Open Linked Data.
Its founders come from two distinct fields: Maria Papadopoulou from the field of Classical Studies and Christophe Roche from the field of Artificial Intelligence.