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CHARM is a cultural heritage abstract reference model.

Firstly, CHARM is a model, that is, a semi-formal representation of a portion of reality that we are interested in studying, describing and communicating. Every model necessarily entails a simplification of the underlying reality. This simplification removes some nuances and details, but it constitutes a convenient device because it allows us to manage information that would be too complex to handle otherwise.

Secondly, CHARM refers to cultural heritage; this is the portion of reality represented by CHARM. By "cultural heritage" we mean any thing that may be the recipient of cultural value ascribed by any individual, plus the associated valorisations ascribed to said things, plus the representations of these things that may exist. In this way, CHARM does not only represent the specific entities that might make up cultural heritage, but also other entities which, without doing so, are necessary in order to describe and understand the former.

Thirdly, CHARM is a reference model. This means that CHARM is intended to be used by a wide and diverse range of organisations and individuals in order to achieve a common understanding.

Finally, CHARM is an abstract model. In order for CHARM to be used by a wide and diverse range or users, the model cannot specify too many details about the reality that it represents, since each organisation, project and situation has different, specific needs. CHARM provides an abstract view that can be, hopefully, shared by its users, but it is up to each user to define their own particularities by using extension mechanisms.

This means that you do not use CHARM "as is"; on the contrary, you need to extend CHARM into a particular model that suits your needs. Extension is carried out through well-defined extension mechanisms, which are based on proven object-oriented conceptual modelling principles.

For more information and details, please see Resources.

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