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Semantic Web and Wikis seem to be antipodes: the world of formal logic structures and ontologies in contrast to collaborative websites which anyone can edit.[1] But the important role of internal and external links in Wikis has a semantic relevance as well. Moreover tools like Semantic MediaWiki enable professional communities to extend the potential of Wikis.

Museums as well as other communities related to cultural heritage have developed many standards with different scopes and levels of implementation. The CIDOC CRM is the international standard (ISO 21127:2006) for the controlled exchange of cultural heritage information. Although covering the universe of cultural heritage concepts and providing the formal ontology for archives, libraries and museums, implementations and utilizations of this model are still considered rare.

While the CIDOC CRM is the result of the efforts of the specialized CIDOC working group, it seems to be difficult for other members of the professional community of museum specialists to share the highly abstract essence of a conceptual reference model. The same is true for other complex and diversified standards. Wikis with semantic functionality (Semantic MediaWiki) are capable to deal with both the complex and abstract features of an ontology as well as multiple pieces of data and information. Therefore the combination of the model and a wiki can provide new qualities of accessibility and connectivity for cultural heritage standards.

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  1. cf. the slogan of Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Wikipedia. (2008, June 30). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:32, June 30, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia&oldid=222614621

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