Scenario: A fiction author looks for mythological information


I am currently working on a project proposal in which also the following scenario will be addressed:

Researching information is a vital task for fiction authors. Say, he is interested in writing a novel that deals with some mythological topics. As one would guess Google delivers tons of information; information one would need to sift through carefully. Say, he would like to restrict his search to museums as he wants to base the story on artifacts throughout the last 20 to 25 centuries, i.e., beginning with Egyptian history. Let us assume museums provide tags for their artifacts (and let us forget for the moment how to acquire those tags). Then a Semantic Web search and browse would deliver all kinds of artifacts classified, e.g., as paintings or sculptures. The author would get information on their creation dates, the artists, probably who knew whom (e.g., by way of friends-of-a-friend links). Additional information could point him to biographies on Wikipedia or more specialised sources, point out and explain symbols used by an artist or at a certain time, etc.

Let us assume the story is set to take place in London and he will go there for location scouting. He now needs a way of combining his digital search results with his trip to London. Several itineraries could be created from his search results; each itinerary describing a way through a museum or gallery, e.g., Tate Modern Art Gallery or The British Museum, linking exhibits together in different ways, e.g., by dates, owners, a certain story, artists or relationships between artists.

Location scouting and research work is always accompanied by taking notes and pictures. Tagging could be simplified by computer support. If a mobile device knows its GPS co-ordinates or network location, routine information could be added very easily for later processing. (Another way of identifying artifacts are Semacodes if provided by a museum.) Recording the places where the author has been could be fed in future research activities. Having been in London before would have an impact on the selection of places to visit, wouldn’t it? Either there are places that were interesting enough to gather more details from there or they already have been tagged to be unimportant.

Btw, a while ago I briefly described some other semantic support fiction authors could find interesting (see earlier post).

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