The digital cultural heritage initiative develops shared services, standards and policies to make information and information systems interoperable. Consequently, the cultural heritage sector information resources can also be put to use elsewhere, for example, public administration and international parties and organisations. Interoperability can be used to decrease overlapping work, increase collaboration between the relevant parties and develop better services. In the digital cultural heritage initiative, interoperability is managed through a shared enterprise architecture solution, which also enables the identification of new service needs.
The datasets housed within libraries, archives and museums may be unique, but they contain a great deal of common features. These common features are related to, for example, locations, individuals, organisations and various phenomena, and these can be used to establish links and discover similarities between the datasets. When different sectors collaborate, they can foster interoperability by applying shared practices and information resources in connection with these materials whenever possible.
Semantic interoperability refers to the ability of two systems to exchange information between each other in a manner that preserves the meaning of the information. This can be achieved by using the same identifiers for common features and by defining the properties of different features as well as the links between them in a machine-readable manner. This, in turn, requires increasingly close collaboration and collaborative agreements that respect the special requirements presented by each field while highlighting the factors that unite them.
When a user can employ the same techniques and queries for all types of data to find what they need, they are more likely to discover new perspectives and ideas. In addition to these improved search capabilities, machine processing and different AI-based automation solutions can be used to discover new dimensions in all kinds of interoperable information.