SOCH – Swedish Open Cultural Heritage

Since 2008, the Department for Heritage Resources at the Swedish National Heritage Board has been committed to working on an assignment from the Swedish government: Swedish Open Cultural Heritage. The assignment consists of four parts:

  • Developing and managing a web service that harvests metadata from the databases of archives and museums in Sweden, creating a platform for cross-searching records from those databases. Technical specification here. SOCH is also a national museum aggregator for delivering data to Europeana.
  • Developing and managing an API that allows third parties to build on the data in the SOCH web service.
  • Developing and managing Kringla, a SOCH application (web and mobile).
  • Developing and managing Platsr, a SOCH application with the main focus on collecting user-generated content and democratic historiography.

One of the main purposes of SOCH is also working with linked open data: linking together data sources (for example Wikipedia and the National Library database), creating a smart, semantic infrastructure for cultural heritage information. This makes searching the material easier and enriches the user experience. Here is one example of how one object is linked to several other related ones. Open data refers to the work making sure that metadata and content (for instance digital images) are as free as possible to use, reuse and publish. In SOCH this is clarified with the use of the open license model Creative Commons.

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