APIS-app is a modular framework for authoring, management, analysis, and publication of biographical and prosopographical data.
The app was originally developed in the context of the APIS project (Austrian Prosopographical Information System, 2015-2020). This project aimed to semantically annotate and extract structured information about persons, places, or institutions from the textual biographies of the Austrian Biographical Lexicon (ÖBL), and to make this information available via an online application. The availability of the data in structured form offers better means to systematically explore and analyse it, especially in prosopographic research, i.e. in the systematic analysis of common characteristics of groups of biographies.
While the software was initially tailored to the specific needs of the APIS project, it became obvious very quickly that similar functionality is required in a whole class of DH-projects dealing with information about persons and their interactions. To this end, the software was refactored to become more generic and easier to adapt to the specific needs of such projects. Meanwhile, the software is being used in more than ten research projects dealing with biographical and prosopographical data, such as Personen der modernen Basis (PMB), or Sunday Observance in Late Antiquity.
The basic data model of the application allows to express information about persons, places, institutions, works and events, as well as arbitrary relations between these entities. The relations can be typed and temporalized. The APIS software features a frontend which dynamically adapts to changes in the data model; a configurable RDF parser to automatically import metadata from reference resources such as the Integrated Authority File (GND) or GeoNames; and entity autocompletes to search through reference resources and import information about entities. To allow for easy and configurable access to the data from third party applications APIS provides a full-fledged REST API including the serialization of entries in the widely used data formats XML, RDF and JSON. It is also possible to annotate full texts such as biographies of persons using offset annotations organized in annotation projects.
APIS-app is a modular framework that consists of the core module (containing the main functions such as the GUI and the API), the apis highlighter module (delivering the annotation features) and apis bibsonomy module (adding the possibility to use bibsonomy or zotero collections in the framework). The system is based on Django (a popular Python web development framework) and published under the open-source license MIT on GitHub. Additionally, docker images are available to minimize the effort to set up a new APIS system.
Schlögl, Matthias and Katalin Lejtovicz. 2020. Die APIS-(Web-)Applikation, das Datenmodell und System. In The Austrian Prosopographical Information System (APIS). Vom gedruckten Textkorpus zur Webapplikation für die Forschung, eds. C. Gruber, Kohlbacher, J., and Wandl-Vogt, E., 31-48. Wien: new academic press.