“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.
Some of the most innovative aspects are:
- 1 Open access;
- 2 Creative Commons licenses;
- 3 Crowdsourcing;
- 4 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 Data, and will help to enrich the “Web of Data” with new content;
- 5 Digital library - it will contain the works of Latin literature through the integration of various already existing repository of Latin texts of high philological quality, starting from their already existing TEI/XML encoding. All the library texts will be encoded with a very light TEI subset of tags;
- 6 Textual annotation of geographic references - each occurrence of place names and geographical references will be identified by a URI that will point to a formal description of the place in GO! a formal ontology of the ancient Latin world geography (the traditional printed reference was and still is the Barrington Atlas);
- 7 GO!, the geographical ontology - it 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).