Grasping Technology

dhbeneluxWith all kinds of digital technologies becoming available, the uptake of digital research methods by the humanities might have been inevitable. How the humanities can incorporate digital tools, and contribute to the development of technology aimed at the humanities were questions central at the DHBenelux conference (12&13 June 2014, The Hague, the Netherlands). Around 180 attendees met to discuss research projects presented in 50 presentations, 16 posters and 10 demo’s.

This blogpost is not intended to provide a complete overview of the conference, but rather to show the discussion from my perspective. The main theme I will follow is that of the humanities grasping technology; referring to 1) taking technology, 2) embracing technology and 3) coming to an understanding of technology.

Continue reading

Searching for Answers and Actions: Competition in Semantic Search

A while back ago I wrote that linking collections is the way to go for digital libraries. Indeed, we see that digital libraries are moving in this direction. For example, Europeana’s plan for 2014 is to shift their priorities from portal to platform. Besides the ability to develop tools on top of linked data platforms, this shift introduces the possibility of semantic search, where the search engine has a certain level of understanding about the concepts in the search query. Thus far, search engines such as Google and Bing have worked by indexing text in webpages without a real understanding of what they mean. Now both are working on semantic search, but in very different ways.

Continue reading