Jun 5 – 6, 2023
Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna
Europe/Berlin timezone

Call for Participation

Are you a scholar of the historic Middle East, Near East, or West Asia, familiar with its geography and willing to contribute your expertise to the scholarly community? Or do you yourself have data with historical places or persons related to the region, which you would like to enrich with identifiers, geolocation, additional languages and scripts, or alternate name forms? Join us in this match-a-thon! 

Digital projects on the history of the Middle East can struggle to connect their data to a linked-open data architecture because identifiers may be lacking or incorrect in commonly used authorities such as the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) and Wikidata. Meanwhile, it can be difficult to locate related data among the mass of individual datasets from other projects working across a variety of languages and scripts. The Historical Middle East Data Alliance (Hist-ME) is an informal working group that exists to find ways of linking data from small projects together without extensive technical infrastructure on the projects’ part. The goals of this meetup are (1) to match historical places and persons from attendees’ projects, (2) to reduce the technical barriers to this kind of linking and reconciliation (including with algorithmic suggestions), and (3) to network existing and new members.

We welcome participants who are working on the Middle East/Near East/West Asia in any time period and language. We also welcome those interested in observing the technical and methodological challenges of linking data in a linguistically diverse domain.

Ways to Participate in Person (Vienna)

Register for in-person participation.

Lightning Talks: Introduce Your Data

In just a few minutes, explain where your data comes from, where it’s going, what its quirks are, and how to access it. The deadline to submit your lightning talk is May 19.

Hands-On Work Sessions

In the hands-on sessions, you’ll work on matching places or persons from existing datasets—whether ones we provide or your own—to those in other projects using tools such as the World Historical Gazetteer (WHG) and MEHDIE. If you bring your own data, it should be accessible in an open format with identifiers (preferably URIs) for individual places or persons. The easiest formats to start with are TSV or JSON for places (see this guide for WHG) or any kind of spreadsheet for persons.

Informal Networking

Meals and breaks are planned as times for participants to get acquainted and plan further collaborations.

Ways to Participate Online

Register for limited online participation.
NB: This is primarily an in-person event. We will be using limited A/V equipment, and the video or audio quality may be less than ideal.

Attend Lightning Talks

Watch the lightning talks online.

Hybrid Work Session: Reconciling Places

Help to match up places from an existing dataset with VIAF, Wikidata, and other authority providers.

Participating Projects and Datasets

Host & Acknowledgments

Meeting space has been generously provided by the Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna. Refreshments will be provided by the TSLIM Project, a REWIRE/Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions COFUND project funded by the European Commission.

Participants are expected to cover their own costs for travel, accommodation, and meals.

Connect to Hist-ME

If you’d like to get announcements of our monthly online meetups and participate in other discussions, you can join our email list at https://lists.lrz.de/mailman/listinfo/hist-me.


For questions about the event, please contact Nathan Gibson (ngibson@em.uni-frankfurt.de).

Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna
Universitätstrasse 7 1010 Vienna, Austria
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