An ancient coin

Nomisma — Linked data for money

Numismatics is the study of coins, paper money, and all types of currency. It is closely related to history studies as the currencies reflect the era that have been made. Semantic technologies are a good match for numismatics, since the data contains objects that can be linked through semantic relations.

Nomisma is a linked data project that semantically represents numismatic concepts. They have been supported by academic institutions and museums alike. The project defines and uses an ontology which includes classes like “Material”, “Mint”, “Collection”, “Ethnic”, “WeightStandard”, etc. The properties in the ontology include “hasEdge”, “hasDiameter”, “hasDate”, “hasCorrosion”, etc. While the standard format is RDF, it also supports JSON-LD and Turtle formats.

On the website [1], we can post queries using SPARQL. The example queries that they provide include the list of all Roman Emperors, average weight of Augustan denarii, all mints found within 50 km of Athens. We can say that these queries display the advantages of using semantic web in order to provide a global structure to currencies. Furthermore, we can access the datasets, which are mostly provided by numismatic societies, museums, or libraries. Through their GitHub link [2], we can access the project files as well.

This project has surely been a welcome addition to the ever-growing world of semantic web. The contributors are mostly American, German, French, and British institutions. Since Anatolia has a rich history of civilizations and currencies, I hope to see Turkish institutions contibuting to the project as well.