Evaluating a Semantic Portal for the “Mapping Manuscript Migrations” Project

Toby Burrows, Nicole Bergk Pinto, Mahaut Cazals, Alexandre Gaudin, Hanno Wijsman


This paper reports on an evaluation of the semantic portal Mapping Manuscript Migrations (MMM), which combines data from several different sources about medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, in a Linked Open Data framework. The evaluation team looked initially at the user experience for new users of the portal:

– Is the MMM project presented with sufficient clarity for new users?

– Can one easily find instructions to browse the portal?

– Is the interface intuitive? Is browsing easy? How simple is it to make queries?

They then went on to evaluate the ways in which queries could be framed and executed, together with the presentation and use of the results. This included examining issues arising from the cross-linking of disparate data, and looking for any noticeable errors or inaccuracies in the data. They also examined the effectiveness of the map-based visualizations produced by the Sampo-UI software. The recommendations arising from the evaluation were used as the basis for improving the Sampo-UI functionality, adding to the online help given to users of the portal, and increasing the amount and type of information available to advanced users, especially in relation to the scope and coverage of the MMM data.


Manuscripts; Semantic Web; Web portals

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