Tutorial: Mappings, Application profiles and Extensions for cross-domain metadata in the Europeana context and beyond

Half day tutorial, Monday, September 14, 2015, 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM.

Aims, scope and learning objectives of the tutorial

  • This tutorial will introduce the concepts of mappings, applications profiles and extensions in the cultural heritage domain [1].
  • It will present each concept, based on examples from various projects in the cultural heritage domain such as Europeana and the German Digital Library. The focus will be on issues encountered while creating these mappings, application profiles and extensions and on possible solutions.
  • Participants will then learn about the challenges raised by the re-use and of sharing of data schemas on the Web
  • It will present the latest results of the DCMI Task Group working on on practical recommendations for defining applications profiles in RDF and specifying RDF constraints and validation rules.

This tutorial will be organised around a set of brief presentations followed by discussions with the attendees.

Full Description

Europeana provides a common access point to digital cultural heritage objects across different cultural domains. In order to collect, connect and enrich the metadata descriptions provided by its data providers, Europeana created the Europeana Data Model (EDM). This model is designed as a framework re-using various well-known standards developed in the Semantic Web Community, such as the Resource Description Framework (RDF), the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE), and Dublin Core. EDM has now been adopted by a large number of data providers contributing to Europeana or institutions partners of the network. As part of this uptake, all these actors have been working on ways to enable metadata interoperability with other Europeana metadata, making decisions based on domain-specific requirements and possibilities offered by the EDM model.

Some data providers minimise the loss of metadata by creating mappings between two metadata formats or models (e.g. between EDM and another metadata schema). Other data providers develop application profiles that specify the use of standards for meeting their domain or community needs. In few cases, data providers extend standards such as EDM by adding new classes and properties (from existing or new namespaces) when the existing ones cannot represent the data semantics with sufficient details. These different types of interoperability patterns define various types of rules including cardinality constraints, functional requirements but also some more general data quality rules.

Those rules can be very complex and their correct interpretation and implementation can be a challenge. Mappings, application profiles, and extensions should be appropriately documented in order to be readable and interpretable both by humans and machines. The definition of those rules in machine-readable formats is also a condition to the distribution, the re-use of metadata as Linked Data.

The increased publications of these different element vocabularies on the Web also raised an issue with regard to the management of all these data “flavours” for data providers. In the context of Web technology, RDF seems to be a natural candidate to formalise rules that would enable the validity of the data, that would also provide further provenance and more important would facilitate the sharing and re-use of metadata schemas. The DCMI RDF Application Profiles Task Group (RDF-AP) currently develops a set of recommendations regarding the proper creation of data models, in particular the proper reuse of existing data vocabularies based on use case such as the Europeana Data Model.

Target audience

This tutorial is aimed at metadata/data experts confronted with interoperability challenges and can be of particular interest for metadata/data experts from the GLAM community.

Participants should be familiar with data modelling, data transformation practices and RDF. A basic knowledge of the Europeana Data Model can be a helpful background. We therefore recommend the participants to have read beforehand the EDM Primer available at [2].

We are expecting around 15 to 25 people. The tutorial will be organised around presentations and discussions requiring the participation of the audience.


Valentine Charles is a Data R&D coordinator for Europeana. She is responsible for advising, sharing knowledge and communicates Europeana’s scientific coordination and R&D activities. She is also coordinating the further development and adoption of the Europeana Data Model.

Francesca Schulze is working at the German National Library where she is coordinating the project of the German Digital Library. She has previously worked as an information manager at the German Film Institute and has coordinated the data related activities within the European Film Gateway (EFG) project.


[1] http://pro.europeana.eu/web/network/europeana-tech/-/wiki/Main/Task+force+on+EDM+mappings+refinements+and+extensions

[2] http://pro.europeana.eu/share-your-data/data-guidelines/edm-documentation