“Geolat – geography for Latin literature” is a research project in its prototypical startup phase, aimed at making accessible a digital library that contains the works of Latin literature through a query interface of geographic/cartographic type representing the geographic knowledge expressed in Latin texts. The project, whose principal investigator is dr. Maurizio Lana, was developed at the Department of Humanities of the University of Piemonte Orientale, and financially supported by Compagnia di San Paolo.
One of its most innovative aspects is GO!, the geographical ontology, that aims to provide a complete and informative description of the geographical knowledge emerging from Latin literature, and to offer some minimal types of automatic reasoning. It plays a central role in intelligent spatial search on the web and serves as a shared vocabulary for spatial mark-up of Web sources. At this level the places of antiquity will be described with a variety of information - (in particular GPS coordinates, historical, geographical, cultural, etymological, semantic, and temporal annotations). GeoLat also offers URIs for identification of places - we want to build a stable resource, which reliably cites (links) other resources and which can reliably be cited (linked) by other resources. All the resources produced, as the primary sources and the geographic thesaurus and the list of textual annotations that link geographic locations and places text (identified by URI) will be made available on the Web according to the principles of Linked Open Data, and will help to enrich the “Web of Data” with new content.