musicSpace Presentation at AHM2009: Using Pivots To Explore Heterogeneous Collections: A Case Study in Musicology

by Daniel Alexander Smith on December 9th, 2009

I gave a talk on our work with musicSpace at the 2009 e-Science All Hands Meeting (AHM2009) entitled “Using Pivots To Explore Heterogeneous Collections: A Case Study in Musicology”.

I spoke about our experiences with data integration over a number of heterogeneous musicology data sources, and how our mSpace interface over the integrated data is helping musicologists.

An extended abstract that was submitted to the conference meeting is available at ECS EPrints.

The questions asked after the talk are given below, along with the answers I gave.

  • Did you consider making a mash-up of the sources as opposed to locally hosting all of the data? This would ensure the data doesn’t become stale.
    • The data sources do not have good APIs to access the data, which in many senses is one of the problems of the data sources that our project faces. In order to prevent any changes or markup we have produced from becoming stale, we have made our processing into a import process so that we can update the data from the individual sources, to prevent our interface from becoming stale. We have designed this process so that the data providers remain the canonical source for accurate data.
  • Can you push back the changes to the original data providers?
    • This is entirely desirable, and should be technically possible. This is not in place yet, but we have been talking to the data providers to try to achieve this.
  • How did you communicate with the sources to get the data exports?
    • We spoke to them individually, and negotiated the best format of export they could provide us, and we dealt with the conversion of the source.

The powerpoint presentation, and a short screencast that demonstrates a user answering a previously intractable research question using the musicSpace interface are now available at the ECS EPrints repository, along with the extended abstract submitted to AHM09.

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