Each institution is committed to actively moving forward with the process of digitizing their photographs and turning their cataloguing records into electronic form.
The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) provides definitions and a formal structure for describing the implicit and explicit concepts and relationships used in cultural heritage documentation. It is essentially semantic glue, allowing for data from many different sources to be harmonized and queried against without losing local meaning. Mapping the PHAROS institutions' data to the CRM is an essential first step to publishing the data as linked open data, developing a semantic platform, and integrating the photoarchive images and documentation into the larger context of the Web. The institutions are each at different stages with the CRM. To assist with this work, a CRM Working Group is being formed that will provide guidance and support across the consortium.
With funding from the Kress Foundation, the consortium has been investigating image similarity and deduplication software as useful tools for combining the images from the fourteen collections. In September 2016, it launched the PHAROS Visual Search database designed by computer scientist John Resig. In its initial phase, the database holds 91,086 images of Italian works of art from six of the fourteen member institutions. It will continue to grow as more images become available. See Resig's "Using Computer Vision to Increase the Research Potential of Photo Archives" to learn more about this work.
ResearchSpace is a collaborative semantic RDF online research environment funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and led by the British Museum. PHAROS members have identified ResearchSpace as the most appropriate linked data environment to achieve their goals.