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Sampo Model and Series of Semantic Portals

This page presents the ”Sampo” model and series of Linked Open Data services and semantic portals (Hyvönen, 2021), based on six principles:

  1. Support collaborative data creation and publishing.
  2. Use a shared open ontology infrastructure.
  3. Support data analysis and knowledge discovery in addition to data exploration.
  4. Provide multiple perspectives to the same data.
  5. Standardize portal usage by a simple filter-analyze two-step cycle.
  6. Make clear distinction between the Linked Open Data service and the user interface (UI).

Sampo portal data services are provided by the Linked Data Finland platform. For the user interfaces, the Sampo-UI framework (Ikkala et al., 2021) has been used in recent Sampos online.

The Sampo portals listed below in the table have had millions of end users on the Web in total, suggesting feasibility and sustainability of the approach that has evolved gradually since 2002. The video below overvies the general idea on using Artificial Intelligence in Digital Humanities related to our work on the Sampo systems.

The Sampo model with the underlying Linked Open Data infrastructure in Finland are explained in the keynote presentation at the DCMI 2021 conference below:

Paradigm Shift of Semantic Portals

The Sampo model and portals aim at making a paradigm change in publishing and using cultural heritage content on the Web (Hyvönen, 2020). The contents are not only published as Linked Data but also integrated seamlessly with intelligent tools for data analysis. In our vision, AI should not only help the user in solving research problems, but also in finding new ones using Creative AI methods. We also focus on white box Explainable AI, which is important in humanities research.

In Douglas Adam’s novel “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the computer was asked “What is the meaning of life”. The answer “42” may be right, but a researcher in humanities would also like to know “why”.

Sampo Portal Series

The Sampo series of semantic portals is listed below.

Table: Published and forth-coming semantic portals that have been implemented using the Sampo model (information updated 04/2021)

Portal URL Publication year Domain Unique users Knowledge graph(s) triple count or size Faceted search engine User interface framework Primary data owner
Internal portals
1. MuseumFinland museosuomi.fi 2004 Museum collections 39 000 210 986 OntoViews Apache Cocoon National Museum of Finland
2. CultureSampo kulttuurisampo.fi 2008 GLAM collections 107 000 11 400 000 Custom Tapestry Over 20 Finnish Memory Organizations
3. HealthFinland - 2008 Health information Unknown 6 000 documents Custom Tapestry Finnish institute for health and welfare
4. TravelSampo - 2011 Cultural travel Unknown 17 000 000 places Custom Drupal and jQuery Several Finnish Memory Organizations
5. WarSampo sotasampo.fi/en 2015 Military history 857 000 14 322 426 SPARQL Faceter AngularJS National Archives of Finland
6. BiographySampo biografiasampo.fi 2018 Biographies 52 000 5 373 496 SPARQL Faceter AngularJS Finnish Literature Society
7. NameSampo nimisampo.fi/en 2019 Place names 39 000 241 068 456 Sampo-UI Institute for the Languages of Finland
8. WarVictimSampo 1914–1922 sotasurmat.narc.fi/en 2019 Military history 29 000 9 815 265 Sampo-UI National Archives of Finland
9. Mapping Manuscript Migrations mapping­manuscript­migrations.org 2020 Pre-modern manuscripts 7 800 22 472 633 Sampo-UI Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, Bodleian Libraries, and Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes
10. AcademySampo akatemiasampo.fi/en 2021 Finnish Academic People 1640–1899 2200 6 552 629 Sampo-UI University of Helsinki, Finland
11. FindSampo findsampo.fi 2021 Archaeology TBA 1 008 720 Sampo-UI Finnish Heritage Agency
12. LawSampo TBA TBA Law TBA TBA Sampo-UI Ministry of Justice, Finland
13. LetterSampo TBA TBA Early Modern Letters 1500-1800 (Republic of Letters) TBA TBA Sampo-UI University of Oxford and archives in several countries
14. ParliamentSampo TBA TBA Parliamentary data TBA TBA Sampo-UI Parliament of Finland
15. HistorySampo TBA TBA Historical events TBA TBA Sampo-UI Agricola Network of Historians
External portals
16. BookSampo kirjasampo.fi 2011 Finnish fiction literature 1 211 640 in 2019 8 313 263 None Drupal Finnish public library consortium
Norske stadnamn toponymi.­spraksam­lingane.no 2019 Place names Unknown 217 353 538 Sampo-UI Norwegian Language Collections
Staff portal - 2019 Human resources Unknown Unknown Sampo-UI Lingsoft Ltd.

Related videos

LetterSampo- Republic of Letters 1500-1800 on the Semantic Web

LetterSampo from SeCo Research Group on Vimeo.

AcademySampo - Finnish Academic People 1640-1899

AcademySampo presentation (in Finnish) from SeCo Research Group on Vimeo.

AcademySampo from SeCo Research Group on Vimeo.

BiographySampo - Artificial Intelligence Reading Biographies for the Semantic Web

BiographySampo - Finnish Biographies on the Semantic Web from SeCo Research Group on Vimeo.

WarSampo - World War II on the Semantic Web

WarSampo: Finnish World War II on the Semantic Web from SeCo Research Group on Vimeo.

ParliamentSampo - Parliament of Finland on the Semantic Web

LawSampo - Finnish Legislation and Case Law on the Semantic Web

Building a National Level Linked Open Data Infrastructure for Digital Humanities in Finland

Building a National Level Linked Open Data Infrastructure for Digital Humanities in Finland from Eero_Hyvonen on Vimeo.

The keynote presentation video of the DCMI 2021 confence below gives an overview of our work on developing a national Semantic Web infrastructure in Finland and its applications.


Professor Eero Hyvönen
Aalto University and University of Helsinki (HELDIG)
first.last [ at ] aalto.fi

Publications about the Sampo Model and Sampo Series as a Whole

Publications of each particular Sampo portal are available on their respective homepages listed in the above table.


Esko Ikkala, Eero Hyvönen, Heikki Rantala and Mikko Koho: Sampo-UI: A Full Stack JavaScript Framework for Developing Semantic Portal User Interfaces. Semantic Web – Interoperability, Usability, Applicability, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 69-84, 2022. bib pdf link


Eero Hyvönen, Esko Ikkala, Mikko Koho, Jouni Tuominen, Toby Burrows, Lynn Ransom, and Hanno Wijsman: Mapping Manuscript Migrations on the Semantic Web: A Semantic Portal and Linked Open Data Service for Premodern Manuscript Research. Proceedings of the The 20th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2021), Springer, October, 2021. bib pdf link
Eero Hyvönen: Sammon taontaa semanttisessa webissä (Forging Sampos on the Semantic Web). Tekniikan Waiheita, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 87-105, Tekniikan Historian Seura ry, July, 2021. bib pdf link
Eero Hyvönen, Petri Leskinen, Minna Tamper, Heikki Rantala, Esko Ikkala, Jouni Tuominen and Kirsi Keravuori: Biografiasampo yhdistää ja rikastaa suomalaiset elämäkerrat linkitettynä datana semanttisessa webissä (Biographysampo links and enriches Finnish biographies as linked data on the Semantic Web. Informaatiotutkimus, vol. 40, no. 3, June, 2021. In press. bib pdf


Eero Hyvönen: Semantic Sampo Portals for Digital Humanities Based on a National Linked Open Data Infrastructure. 2020. White paper, Aalto University, Semantic Computing Research Group (SeCo). bib pdf
Eero Hyvönen: Sampo Model and Semantic Portals for Digital Humanities on the Semantic Web. DHN 2020 Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries. Proceedings of the Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 5th Conference, pp. 373-378, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol. 2612, Riga, Latvia, October, 2020. bib pdf link
Chris A. Sula, Kalani Craig, Michelle Dalmu, Alex Humphreys, Eero Hyvönen, Hannah L. Jacobs, Humphrey Keah, Joseph Kiplangat, Thea Lindquist, Nicholas Weber, Scott B. Weingart: Infrastructures of Digital Humanities. 83rd Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Annual Meeting, proceedings, Association for Information Science and Technology, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, October, 2020. bib pdf link
Eero Hyvönen: Tekoäly ja semanttinen web tarjoavat huikeat mahdollisuudet suurten aineistojen hallintaan. Kansallisarkiston strategia 2025, näkökulmia tulevaan (Jussi Nuorteva, Päivi Happonen (ed.)), pp. 20-21, Kansallisarkisto, Helsinki, May, 2020. bib link
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