This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By clicking or navigating the site you agree to allow our collection of information through cookies. More info

2 minutes to read Posted on Monday January 11, 2016

Tech
portrait of Gregory Markus

Gregory Markus

EuropeanaTech Community Manager , Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Who's Using What: EEXCESS Project

EEXCESS develops open source software for enriching web channels like websites or social networks with cultural heritage and scholarly content. It consists of several sub-projects that together offer a privacy-preserving, personalised recommendation service for cultural heritage and scholarly content.

Who's Using What is a blog series by Gregory Markus from The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision as part of EuropeanaTech. The idea behind the series was to raise awareness about the brilliant open source software options now available to institutions, and to encourage collaboration in the digital heritage community. What better way to show off these tools than talk to the developers making use of and developing them? You can also find lots of OS options in the new EuropeanaTech FLOSS Inventory.

EEXCESS develops open source software for enriching web channels like websites or social networks with cultural heritage and scholarly content. It consists of several sub-projects that together offer a privacy-preserving, personalised recommendation service for cultural heritage and scholarly content.

The vision of EEXCESS is to "push high-quality content from the so-called long tail to platforms and devices which are used every day. Instead of navigating a multitude of libraries, repositories and databases, users will find relevant and specialised information in their habitual environment." Europeana is one of their key data testing playgrounds. An EU funded project, EEXCESS have made all the tools they've developed open source.

Improving the user's experience while investigating these massive caches of cultural heritage information is crucial for digital cultural heritage's contemporary relevance. Projects like EEXCESS not only improve the standing of institutions through R&D, but by making their software openly available, it allows creatives and designers to get involved too, bringing with them fresh ideas for the heritage sector. We thought it'd be a great idea to highlight the work being done by EEXCESS after seeing their presentation at SWIB2015. Enjoy!

Answers kindly provided by Werner Bailer and Thomas Orgel from the Joanneum Research.

EEXCESS Project

1. What open source tools are you currently working with?

The EEXCESS Project is building a framework for recommendation of cultural and scientific resources, reaching users in their 'work context', e.g., when browsing the web or authoring texts.

The system can integrate any type of cultural or scientific resources that can be queried with an API. It consists of backend components for federated recommendation from the different data providers, and different types of clients.

We use a number of open source tools for the development. For the server components we use Apache Tomcat to host our services, Apache Lucene for indexing text resources, Jenkins for monitoring our services and SOAP UI for testing. The backend software is written in Java, the IDE used for development is Eclipse, using Maven as build system. For semantic enrichment of text resources, Jena, the Extended Java WordNet Library and the Geonames Java client. For visualization, jFreeChart is used in Java applications, and jqPlot for web-based visualizations.

2. What open source tools have you used in the past to develop larger applications?

In addition to those mentioned above, we have used Protégé for ontology development and Apache Solr as a search engine.

3. What are you currently developing?

Most of the applications and components developed in EEXCESS are open source, available on GitHub. On the server side, this includes the recommenders for the different data providers and the federated recommender, which fuses their results. There is also a privacy proxy, which unlinks users and their queries and obfuscates queries to protect users’ privacy.

For adding data providers, the PartnerWizard, a web-app developed using Maven archetypes enables us to add new providers quickly without the need for coding. There is also a range of client applications on the repository, implemented as plugins for widely used applications: Google Chrome, Wordpress, Google Docs and Moodle.

The EEXCESS system is very modular, and a number of components may also be useful in other contexts, for example, DoSeR, a component for disambiguation of semantic resources and a set of visualization widgets.

4. What would you like to see developed?

What we haven’t found up to now is a robust library for parsing incomplete and approximate time and place fields. And of course, we’d like to see data providers with searchable APIs, which could then feed data into the EEXCESS system.

top