The potential of a non-geographical spatial search has been suggested for use in specialized digital libraries in cases where a spatial relationship between digital objects is unambiguous and conventional references are ineffective or inadequate in describing and integrating the digital objects. This paper discusses a non-geographical, geometric spatial search implemented in a specialized academic digital library called InscriptiFact. InscriptiFact is a database application that delivers high quality, high resolution images of ancient inscriptions from the Near Eastern and Mediterranean regions to archaeologists, linguists, epigraphers, philologists and other specialists, scholars and students involved in decipherment and reconstruction of such ancient texts. The opportunity to develop verifiable readings and scholarly interpretations of ancient inscriptions is based primarily on the capacity to distinguish the writing from damage resulting from centuries of deterioration. To facilitate this task, numerous images may be produced of each text using different imaging technologies, lighting, film types and at varying magnification. InscriptiFact brings together images of text-fragments that may be scattered in various institutions throughout the world, so that they may be viewed and compared. Several strategies are used in InscriptiFact to facilitate user-friendly, intuitive access. One of these is a non-geographic, geometric spatial search. This paper discusses the utility of the InscriptiFact spatial search. It discusses the problem that InscriptiFact’s spatial search solves, the underlying geometric spatial models used, and the methodology of the spatial referencing and retrieval processes.
|Keywords:||Spatial Search, Non-Geographic Spatial Search, Digital Library, InscriptiFact, West Semitic Research Project, Near East, Inscriptions|
Associate Director InscriptiFact, USC Libraries, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
Associate Director West Semitic Research Project, School of Religion, West Semitic Research, Rolling Hills Estates, California, USA
Professor of Hebrew Bible, School of Religion, University of Southern California, Rolling Hills Estates, California, USA
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