DOC4: The integration of heterogeneous data via the ontology CIDOC CRM using the example of mining in Kitzbühel

Doctoral candidate
Mag.a Anja Masur



Univ.-Prof. Dr. Klaus Hanke
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Doneus 


University of Innsbruck
Arbeitsbereich Vermessung und Geoinformation
Technikerstr. 13, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
p 0043 (0)512 507 6752

DOC 4 bei der Arbeit



The introduction of digital methods of documentation in the field of archaeology and the mass storage of data has lead to a continuously growing gap in the interoperability of archived data. This structural and semantic gap can be found within the field of archaeology as well as in the interdisciplinary work between unequal domains. To manage the problem of different data structures and to enable the possibility of semantic interpretation the use of ontologies becomes more and more important. They certainly are a concept to pioneer the Semantic Web.

One example related to the field of cultural heritage is the ISO standard CIDOC CRM. The CRM enables “information exchange and integration between heterogeneous sources.”[1] The CRM acts as a semantic framework which provides classes and semantic definitions for a harmonized higher data environment. Concepts like the CIDOC CRM could be very useful in solving the interoperability problems mentioned above. Unfortunately, in practice, an implementation in already existing IT infrastructure turns out to be difficult. 

The aim of this scientific research is to analyze and develop concepts for integration and harmonization of heterogeneous data of different disciplines. Working with the CIDOC CRM this PhD shall lead to a guideline simplifying the way of implementation, in particular the process of mapping. To come to a conclusion regarding this point, data from different sources shall be harmonized and integrated into CRM. The data are related to three different fields: archaeology (DOC1), history (DOC2), and botany (DOC3). By developing a use case scenario containing these three disciplines the domain ontology CIDOC CRM shall be tested. Experimentation is required to obtain information about the applicability of the CRM. Furthermore a comparison between CIDOC CRM and its extension CRM-EH[2] forms an additional key aspect of this thesis. Further comparison of several mappings accomplished by different projects will complete this research regarding cultural heritage and archaeology. Problems, resulting by this analysis, are to be discussed.

In addition to the common domain specific data sources, LIDAR data shall also be integrated in CRM. To manage and analyze this set of data a GIS will be used. Therefore the requirements of a GIS to ontology structured data as well as of an ontology to a GIS have to be evaluated. The data used within this project are related to the region of Kitzbühel (Western Austria). All achievements need to be incorporated into the HiMAT database[3] whose metadata are already based on CIDOC CRM classes. This contributes to an enhancement of the database.

Besides the harmonization of the data, one further step is to show the benefits and added value of using ontologies concerning the established use case.

This work will require intensive cooperation between all members of the DOC-team. The data will be provided by the other members of the team, and integrated into the harmonized data model. In return the harmonized data are available to the team members. Therefore an exchange of the individual requirements is essential. The mentioned harmonized data model will act as an interface for all relevant data used within this project. These will be the key components leading to a satisfying result for all participants.


ISO: International Organization for Standardization
CIDOC: International Committee for Documentation
CRM: Conceptual Reference Model
LIDAR: Light Detection and Ranging
GIS: Geographic Information System




Overview DOC-team


small miner Schwazer Bergbuch