SOCH (Swedish Open Cultural Heritage) is a web service used to search and retrieve data from any organisation holding information or media relating to Swedish cultural heritage. The Swedish name for SOCH is “K-samsök”, which can be translated as “Cultural cross-search”.

SOCH functions as an exchange or aggregator, where data from many different local databases are made searchable and available to the public and to the research community. As a web service, it’s up to application developers to build the actual applications that exploit SOCH. One of the first applications built on the SOCH platform is a mobile phone application showing ancient monuments on a map layer. A number of museums are also building applications on SOCH in order to make more than just their own information available online: by creating links between related digital objects from different sources, SOCH enriches everybody’s data!

The beta version was released in February 2009, at which point there were already 1.78 million objects available through SOCH. This number is continually growing as more content providers connect to the service. The set of objects includes archaeological, ethnological and religious objects, as well as ancient monuments, historical buildings and places, and natural objects.

Aside from being available through the web service, all the objects are also reachable in the semantic web.

To use the API, you need an API key which can be obtained by e-mailing ksamsok [at] raa.se.

The source code for SOCH is available for download here.

Read more about the Swedish National Heritage Board

Contact

ksamsok [at] raa.se

Read more about the API