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Distributed aggregation of heterogeneous Web-based Fine Art Information: enabling multi-source accessibility and curation

  • Frances Buchanan (a1), Niccolo Capanni (a1) and Horacio González-Vélez (a2)

Abstract

The sources of information on the Web relating to Fine Art and in particular to Fine Artists are numerous, heterogeneous and distributed. Data relating to the biographies of an artist, images of their artworks, location of the artworks and exhibition reviews invariably reside in distinct and seemingly unrelated, or at least unlinked, sources. While communication and exchange exists, there is a great deal of independence between major repositories, such as museum, often owing to their ownership or heritage. This increases the individuality in the repository’s own processes and dissemination. It is currently necessary to browse through numerous different websites to obtain information about any one artist, and at this time there is little aggregation of Fine Art Information. This is in contrast to the domain of books and music, where the aggregation and re-grouping of information (usually by author or artist/band name) has become the norm. A Museum API (Application Programming Interface), however, is a tool that can facilitate a similar information service for the domain of Fine Art, by allowing the retrieval and aggregation of Web-based Fine Art Information, whilst at the same time increasing public access to the content of a museum’s collection. In this paper, we present the case for a pragmatic solution to the problems of heterogeneity and distribution of Fine Art Data and this is the first step towards the comprehensive re-presentation of Fine Art Information in a more ‘artist-centric’ way, via accessible Web applications. This paper examines the domain of Fine Art Information on the Web, putting forward the case for more Web services such as generic Museum APIs, highlighting this via a prototype Web application known as the ArtBridge. The generic Museum API is the standardisation mechanism to enable interfacing with specific Museum APIs.

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Copyright

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Distributed aggregation of heterogeneous Web-based Fine Art Information: enabling multi-source accessibility and curation

  • Frances Buchanan (a1), Niccolo Capanni (a1) and Horacio González-Vélez (a2)

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