Author Archives: Bill Levay

Connecting Musicians through the Photo Archive

The Linked Jazz project has derived most of the social relationships in its dataset from the transcripts of oral histories given by jazz musicians. One question we began to ask some time ago is: what other jazz historical material in digital form would be a good source of additional relationship data? One answer to that question is digitized photographs, specifically those with good-quality metadata.

Tulane University has a rich collection of historical photographs of jazz musicians living and performing in New Orleans and around the world. The Hogan Jazz Archive Photography Collection and Ralston Crawford Collection of Jazz Photography are two such collections, and we received two tab-delimited text files from Tulane, exported from their CONTENTdm system.

Some numbers: in this set we have 1,787 images, at least 681 unique individuals, and more than 2,700 depictions. Depiction is the FOAF term that we later used as a predicate in our triples from this dataset. One group photograph might depict several individuals, and one individual might be depicted in several photographs. People depicted in the same photograph can be said to “know” each other in some way.

In this post, we’ll describe the process we used to first standardize and reconcile the photograph metadata, and then describe the photographs and the people and relationships depicted using RDF triples. Continue reading

Linked Jazz at Code4Lib 2015

Two members of the Linked Jazz team will lead sessions at this year’s Code4Lib conference in Portland, Oregon.

Matt Miller, representing NYPL Labs, will lead a preconference workshop on Feb. 9 called “Visualizing Library Data.”

Bill Levay will give a talk on Feb. 10, “A Semantic Makeover for CMS Data,” focusing on his experience working with metadata from Tulane’s Hogan Jazz Archive Photography Collection as part of the Linked Jazz project.

Ecco!, a New Tool for Collaborative Named-Entity Resolution

Ecco!, a new tool from Linked Jazz

Ecco! is a Linked Open Data (LOD) application for entity resolution. It is designed to disambiguate and reconcile named entities with URIs from authoritative sources.

Most notably, this system lowers the barrier for non-programmers who want to actively contribute to the production of high-quality linked data through a user-friendly and collaborative platform.

Ecco! was recently demoed at the 2014 International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications in Austin.

For more information, visit the Ecco! page.

Improvements to our Network Visualization Tool

We recently made some big improvements to our Network Visualization Tool and we’re excited to share them.

Linked Jazz Network Visualization Tool

API Powered

The visualization tool is now hooked up to our API, which means data from the Transcript Analyzer and the 52nd Street crowdsourcing tool are automatically pulled in to the network graph. So far this has resulted in the addition of over 700 names to the network.

Persistent URLs

You could always click on an individual in the network to see that person’s web of relationships. But now you can link to that person’s network through a persistent URL. Jane Jarvis’s network, for example, is located at

Linked Jazz - Jane Jarvis

Relationships in Context

The relationships in our network are defined by analyzing interview transcripts. You can now read the section of the interview transcript where one musician talks about another by simply hovering over a connected individual and clicking the View Transcript Text link. If that particular relationship was further defined through the crowdsourcing tool, you will see that information as well. And the Transcript Source link takes you to the institutional home of that particular oral history interview.

Linked Jazz - Jane Jarvis

Hovering over Roy Eldridge in the Jane Jarvis network brings up this info box with a link to the relevant section of the interview transcript.

Linked Jazz - Jane Jarvis

Gephi Links

To download any Linked Jazz graphs as GEXF network file for use in the Gephi network analysis program, look for the Gephi icon in the bottom right corner of your browser window.

Linked Jazz at ALA

Team member Hillary Thorsen will be presenting on Linked Jazz at the Program of Cooperative Cataloging’s Participants Meeting at ALA on June 30th from 4:30-6pm at McCormick Place Convention Center E351. The presentation new and innovative projects featuring Linked Jazz, UPenn’s video catalog, future plans for the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI), and web archiving as collection development at Columbia University.