Development of the model
In order to get a clear understanding of the data contained in the Embarkation Rolls, it was important to develop a model that would help us to identify those particular entities that are implicit in the data, and the relationships between these entities. We could then use this as a guide when trying to extract the data from the Embarkation Rolls.
We choose to develop this model in Protégé-OWL, a GUI editor that supports the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and which allows us to define a conceptual model, with the output being actual RDF. As well as modelling the entities (or classes, as they are called in Protégé parlance), we can also create instances (or individuals, as they are called in Protégé parlance) of the entities to get a feel for how the data will look.
That fact that we are generating RDF as part of this modelling exercise, means that we can later use this as a guide when writing the XSLT which will transform the XML files containing our Embarkation Roll data in order to produce the RDF triples.