Using the Bible Knowedgebase for Information Integration

Sean Boisen, Logos CSO, <[myfirstname]>

BibleTech:2011, Seattle, WA March 26 2011

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Twitter: @SeanBoisen, #BibleData

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Semantic Organization at Logos

the letter Lthe letter Othe letter Gthe letter Othe letter S ... organizing the world's Biblical information

diamond with facets

Two major projects that have been released with Logos 4 (though work is still ongoing)

  1. The Logos Controlled Vocabulary
  2. Bible Knowledgebase: semantic organizaation of information about entities in the Biblical text

The traditional approach to the Bible follows the linear order of the text, perhaps augmented by a Bible dictionary and commentary. With the BK we're trying to provide different lenses or facets for viewing and navigating through the text. This supports one of our Logos slogans: Facilitate Serendipitous Discovery.

The Methodology

Organize information around:

linked data

Compare TimBL's rules for Linked Data:

  1. Use URIs to identify things (= Identity)
    • Use HTTP URIs so people can look things up
  2. Provide useful information in a standard format when someone references a URI (= Utility)
  3. Include links to other URIs (= Relationships)

Since the last BibleTech, BK entities are now addressable by Logos hyperlinks

Network Effects

big stack of books

Resources in Scholar's Silver, a mid-level product

Books on your kindle or iPad aren't any smarter for being part of a digital library: they're still individual, disconnected bundles of content. They don't get smarter when you add more books.

We're committed to enabling Metcalfe's Law for digital libraries: value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connections

The Lowly Hyperlink

hyperlink structure

It's so simple: just three basic elements. How could we build a world wide web on this?!? Simplicity is good, but limited:

Textual Links in Logos

Logos context menu

We try to do better in Logos 4, with sub-menus on the right-click (context) menu

... Give You A Lot More

Radial links

But How to Get to the Macro View?

"The overall pattern of data often exhibits patterns that emerge from the individual pieces of data, patterns that can be impossible to discern by merely re-sorting the data in spreadsheet format”—Clay Shirkey

The human visual system is amazingly good at focusing on relevant details in a large complex picture. We scan, then attend, then focus in and see dtail. How do we do this for Bible study so we can look at data patterns and put information in a richer context, not just hyperlink out from a single point?

Putting Place Information in Context

map: Jesus' Journeys to Jerusalem

what about putting people information in context?

People Information in Context

Family Tree of Nun
what about putting things information in context? One way to relate things to each other is by shared activites: you could describe them in prose, or ...

Things Information in Context?


Biblical Events

event description

That night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.

First public presentation today about Biblical Events: goes back to my Composite Gospel project at How do we provide a story view, rather than just the linear text?

Distribution of Event Entities

chart: frequencies of event participants

Use Cases

Event Hierarchy

chart: frequencies of event participants


Questions and Challenges

The Big(ger) Picture


Resources and References

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