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A new semantic portal brings together data on Finnish civil war victims for open use

The new service, called Sotasurmasampo 1914–1922, extends and renews the original War Victims of Finland 1914–1922 database service of the National Archives of Finland.
Punavankeja Tampereen Keskustorilla 6.4.1918.
Captured Red Guard members at Tampere Central Square on April 6, 1918. (CC-BY Tampere 1918, photographer E. A. Bergius, Vapriikin kuva-arkisto.)

A new semantic portal and linked open data service combines information about the war victims of the Finnish Civil War (1918) and prison camps, the First World War, and Kinship Wars that took place around the same time, a century ago.

The new service, called Sotasurmasampo 1914–1922, extends and renews the original War Victims of Finland 1914–1922 database service of the National Archives of Finland. The new innovative service publishes for the first time linked open data of the war victims combined with data-analytic tools that Digital Humanities researchers and other people interested in the topic can make use of.

‘The data for this project has been gathered from multiple sources and we have included, for example, a new database on the civil war battles,’ says Eero Hyvönen, Professor at Aalto University and the Director of the Helsinki Center for Digital Humanities (HELDIG). ‘We have created a “homepage” for each of the 41,000 war victims by combining pieces of information from different sources  using Semantic Web technologies.’

According to Professor Hyvönen, the new system provides researchers and everyone else with a more versatile, ‘smart’ search engine and tool kit for filtering the data from different perspectives and facilitating quantitative research, visualization, and animation of the data. ‘The user can also download the filtered data onto her computer for further processing by spreadsheet computing, for example.’

Researchers of the Semantic Computing Research Group at Aalto University and HELDIG, and experts at the National Archives of Finland have created the new Sotasurmasampo 1914–1922 service together. The Ministry of Education and Culture has funded their research. The new service will be published on Wednesday November 20 at the National Archives of Finland. It is a new member of the nationally and internationally awarded “Sampo” series of semantic portals in Finland that have had millions of users since 2008.

Further information

Open invitation to the launch event: https://seco.cs.aalto.fi/events/2019/2019-11-20-sotasurmasampo/

The service online (from Nov 20, 2019): https://sotasurmat.narc.fi/

The website of the project: https://seco.cs.aalto.fi/projects/sotasurmat-1914-1922/

Eero Hyvönen
Professor, Aalto University Department of Computer Science
Director, Helsinki Center for Digital Humanities
Phone +358503841618
[email protected]

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