On September 8th-9th of 2017, the University of Pittsburgh’s World History Center hosted a meeting of 26 researchers and librarians to gather feedback and advice as work commences on the Center’s new NEH-funded “World-Historical Gazetteer” project. The gazetteer will be a spatially and temporally comprehensive index of significant world historical place names, made publicly accessible via a web application and programatically as Linked Open Data.
Among the meeting participants were most members of the project’s Advisory Committee and the project leaders of its four external data partners. Ruth Mostern, Director of the World History Center, is Principal Investigator for the project, Karl Grossner its Technical Director, and David Ruvolo its Project Manager. Several local affiliates and collaborators from Pitt and CMU were also in attendance.
Meeting discussions covered several themes, interwoven through four half-day sessions: Plans and Progress; Gazetteer Semantics; User Stories; State of the Field; Scope; Models Formats, and API; and Development Stack. The input we received is invaluable, and critical to ensuring we produce resources that are widely useful and usable.
We would like to thank the Humanities Center for hosting the workshop and the National Endowment for the Humanities for providing support for the workshop and the project as a whole. In addition, we would like to thank the Department of History at Pitt, the University Library Sytem (ULS), and our Advisory Committee members for their support and attendance.