[foaf-dev] foaf:Person vs crm:E21.Person

Marco Neumann marco.neumann at gmail.com
Fri Jun 5 15:28:39 CEST 2009

Hi Dan,

Yes we work on connecting the museums and cultural heritage institutions.

E.g Joseph Padfield is a member of SeMuSe ( SeMuSe.org ) and he recently
started to publish RDF of his work in progress at the National Gallery in

Joseph has setup up a D2R mapping server, incorporating the new CIDOC CRM,
for the MySQL database underneath their  IIPImage collection viewer (

You can find some of the results of this mapping at:


There are a number of other institutions that now start to publish their
collections and we will see more data in the wild soon.

I will mention some of the work in progress at the Semantic Technology
Conference in San Jose this month.

There is plenty of opppotunity to apply RDF. :-)

Re:FRBR. The CIDOC CRM SIG has the IFLA FRBR/CIDOC CRM Harmonization Group
that's lead Patrick Le Bœuf


On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 3:03 PM, Dan Brickley <danbri at danbri.org> wrote:

> On 4/6/09 20:12, Marco Neumann wrote:
>> Thanks Dan for the elaboration.
>> In the spirit of the FOAF vocabulary doesn't it go to far to consider an
>> imaginary person?
> On the Web, not every page is true. Just as HTML doesn't require every page
> to tell the truth, neither should FOAF or RDF. Another reason is that
> sometimes, the description doesn't contain enough information for anyone to
> know whether the Person was real or not.
> "This is a picture of Marco stood next to a painting of someone called
> John", "This is a photo of a sculpture of a young man", "This is a story
> about George Bush Jr's great-great-grandson", "This is a blog comment made
> by someone who said their name was Anonymous Al."...  All of those
> statements need some way of mentioning the idea of a person. I don't see any
> great need for FOAF to say some of them are out-of-scope. So they're all in
> scope, that's all we have for now...
>  If a foaf:Person can be a fictional person not just a historical figure
>> but a truly imaginary one, I can never be a friend of that person expect
>> in case of a mental extension to reality not to say a borderline
>> schizophrenic situation.
> Agreed. Being able to talk about non-existent, fictitious, idealised or
> dead people doesn't bring them to life!
>  That said I typically prefer foaf:Person over crm:E21 for web resources
>> since it's more commonly used. But we might need a companion or
>> extension for a fictional character.
> I agree that more conventions are needed around fiction. I hope the nice
> folk at the BBC will supply some concrete use cases here, eg. around
> fan-maintained life histories in a Semantic Wiki. When a soap runs for 30+
> years, keeping track of that alternate world is quite hard; and is a real
> issue when new writers need to catch up on things the fan-base know
> intimately (including past mental states of the fictional people). FOAF
> doesn't solve all these problems out of the box, for sure!
> Re crm:E21 and cultural heritage apps., there are also some developments in
> the library world around the FRBR and RDA initiatives. I'd like to allign
> FOAF's classes with the needs of that community too. From a quick look, it
> might involve adding a Family class and explaining how it relates to
> foaf:Group, and how Organization relates to corporate entities...
>  I think we don't capture imaginary characters as typed entities in the
>> crm at this point. I need to confirm this though with the SIG.
> It's probably a huge can of worms if you want to model it "properly". The
> FOAF hack is just to say "if you use the Person class in this way, nothing's
> going to explode"...
> What're you building, may I ask? :)
> Dan
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