Knowledge & expertise

Unified thesaurus feasibility study

2013 - 2014

Together with MiX (iMinds Media and Innovation Centre) and players in the heritage and cultural sector, VIAA carried out a feasibility study relating to thesauri. After all, VIAA archives material from different organisations in both sectors and wants to make the material uniform and easy to search. Annotation is crucial in this.

Fixed, structured labels from thesauri form the anchors in annotation. A similar requirement exists in the media sector: here too, the material needs to be annotated as uniformly as possible in order to create new products based on this material and guarantee transparency.

The study delivered a number of important insights for the participants in relation to various aspects of thesauri. The final report for the whole project sketches the main lines and findings.

We also provide an overview of the current state of affairs with regard to textual information extraction.

Finally, a content and technical framework is sketched for the implementation of a common thesaurus.

A common thesaurus will need to be divided based on content, with certain matters being relatively simple (people and locations) and others forming a bigger challenge (categories and topics). In all cases, niche thesauri for specific use must continue to exist. Read more about this in the Unified Thesaurus feasibility study.

VIAA will carry forward the obtained knowledge into the implementation of an application to manage the thesaurus. This application will provide terms for annotation within the archive system. These terms will in turn be used to deliver added value in the publication of the digital material.

In collaboration with the media companies Vlaamse Nieuwsmedia, Sanoma, Corelio, Concentra / Icotel NV, WTV & FocusTV, Roularta, De Persgroep, VRT Archief, VRT O&I and De Vijver Media, the research groups IBCN, MMLab, ITEC, MiX and organisations in the heritage and archive sector, including Faro, PACKED VZW, Argos, ADVN, Amsab and Move.