Project duration: 2018 - 2021 Date coverage: 1930 - 2021 Website Contact

ALEGORIA: Advanced Linking and Exploitation of diGitized geOgRaphic Iconographic heritAge

ALEGORIA aims at facilitating the promotion of iconographic institutional collections describing the French territory in various periods going from the interwar period to our days. The collections in sight are of variable sizes, between thousands and hundred thousand elements, and are constituted by iconographic representations, which are most of the time oblique, vertical aerial or terrestrial photographs of the environment. Contrary to the well anchored exploitation of the satellite imagery where the professional practices are many (scientists, civilians and militaries) and the data well identified and structured, the promotion of those collections remains confidential and scattered. They are spread “in silos” within various institutions, digitized partially, generally not or little documented and weakly georeferenced. Nevertheless they represent a rich heritage, under-exploited by the general public as well as by professionals. The development of such a heritage would benefit from tools allowing to automate their collection, their processing and their indexing, inside the collection itself but also between collections, to be capable of crossing them and then of studying them better. Their implementation within applications implies to facilitate their apprehension by non-specialist users, it supposes to supply friendly tools for the visual exploration of these collections. Within this context, ALEGORIA has for objectives the proposal of two innovative platforms of demonstration dedicated to the promotion of the dematerialized and digital-born iconographic geographical heritage:

  • A multimodal and large-scale engine for retrieval, coupling search by content and by metadata in intra-domain collections as well as cross-domain collections;
  • A web-based engine, based on the 3D French Geoportal iTowns, for the immersive display of these contents, allowing spatiotemporal navigation and interaction in the 3D environment enriched with ancient photographic collections.

Datasets. One ambition of ALEGORIA is also to make datasets available to the communities for research purposes, in particular:

  • Standardized metadata describing the image collections of the project (RDF / RiCO) and published as linked open data;
  • Large-scale and annotated image datasets dedicated to the training of image descriptors for researchers: SF300 dataset and ALEGORIA benchmark;
  • A multi-date and multimodal dataset dedicated to the description of geographical entities with neighborhood relationships: GENR.

Use cases. To evaluate the tools proposed, several use cases are studied:

  • Evaluation as a tool for the structuring of iconographic heritage collections to better understand the metamorphosis of post-war territories (Archives Nationales – French territory);
  • Valorization of iconographic collections outside the walls for cultural tourism (Nicéphore Niépce Museum – Chalon-sur-Saône);
  • Evaluation as a research and communication tool in urban visual sociology (LAVUE – Greater Paris, Nanterre).

Project partners

Associated partners

Other partners

  • LIRIS - Ecole Centrale Lyon
  • LAVUE - Université Paris Nanterre
  • Musée Nicéphore Niépce

With financial support by