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Sinai Rusinek; Gil Shalit; Glauco Mantegari; Dimid Duchovny


Kima is an open Gazetteer for Place names in the Hebrew script which was founded with the help of two Pelagios Commons Resource Grants awarded in the years 2016-2017. The project sets the grounds for a comprehensive, dynamic and interoperable database of historical place names in languages written in the Hebrew Script. It provides a stable and shared digital reference for toponyms through its website and API and is integrated with the Pelagios annotation and mapping environment Recogito.

The database consists of places, variants and attestations. Each entry in this database consists of preferred contemporary forms of a toponym (both in Hebrew script and in its English normalized form), alternate Hebrew script names and their transcriptions, together with their extant historical attestations, a calculated earliest use, and geographical coordinates where available. In order to enhance its interoperability and multilingual applicability, the Kima entities were matched to existing open knowledge resources of contemporary and historical places: Geonames and Wikidata entities.

Each entry (“place”) in this database consists of an ID, preferred forms of toponym (both in Hebrew script and in its English normalized form) which are primarily based on “MAZAL”, the national authority files database. We are continuously adding to the place records geographic coordinates and links to external authorities. Alternate names (“variants”) for these places are different spellings (טבריא, טבריה) or different name forms (לביב, למברג) referring to these places. Attestations are references to dated sources in which place name variants appear. The preliminary data for the attestations was contributed by the National Library of Israel, The Academy for the Hebrew Language, and Shebanq. Ingestion of the earlier attestations is ongoing.