Advances in Discovery: The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative Experience


  • Michael K. Buckland
  • Lewis R. Lancaster



The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative was founded in 1997 by a group of scholars with a mission to advance education and research in the humanities and social sciences through increased attention to time and place. Knowing about context forms the basis for discovery and understanding. Our recent emphasis has been on developing a metadata infrastructure for the four facets What, Where, When and Who, each of which has special characteristics and display requirements, to advance discovery. WHAT requires thesauri of topics and tools to explore cross references within and between thesauri. WHERE needs place name gazetteers and map displays. Similarly, for WHEN we developed a directory that connects named time periods with calendar dates and a timeline or chronology. WHO requires best practices and standards for encoding the events in people’s lives, for contextualizing those events, and for displaying interpersonal relationships.




How to Cite

Buckland, M. K., & Lancaster, L. R. (2006). Advances in Discovery: The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative Experience. First Monday, 11(8).