About the project

The interdisciplinary EURECA (EUropean Region Enrichment in City Archives and collections) project followed the trends towards location based services (LBS) and personalized/contextualized content, and investigated them in the context of cultural heritage collections of European city archives and collections. We focused on finding traces (or origins/influences) of European regions that have shaped the cities in which we live today and developed tools to easily explore them when visiting a city. Different historical, architectural, economic, political and cultural reasons form the base of these traces, and we have used input from each of these domains to reveal the cultural heritage items that can be linked to these specific European regions/origins. The enriched metadata that was generated for the city archives and collections can be used as input to perform new fundamental research and applied studies, but also to facilitate the exploitation of the collections to a broader public and attract new groups of cultural heritage consumers.

Using geolocated Flickr pictures posted by tourists in Belgium and Vienna, a spatial analysis was made to map the regional differences in tourism interest. Hotspots and topics of interest were automatcally extracted and visualized in an interactive LBS application called Wordcrowd. By spatially clustering the data, areas of interest and their descriptions were extracted and compared on different geographical scales. When walking through the city, the application visualizes the nearest areas of interests and people’s thoughts about that area. By aggregating the data based on the country of origin of the original poster, we discovered differences and similarities in tourist interest between different countries. The Eureca project was a collaborative project with the Cartographic research group at TU Wien.

IDLab role

IDLab has the following tasks within the EURECA project

  1. Analysis of the archived student registers from Ghent university and TU Wien with handwritten text recognition tools
  2. Spatio-temporal analysis of social media data
  3. Development of the Wordcrowd platform
  4. Publication: WordCrowd: a location-based application to explore the city based on geo-social media and semantics

Contact the involved IDLab Researchers

Main researcher
ing. Dilawar Ali
Assisting researcher
ing. Kenzo Milleville
Research supervisor
prof. dr. Steven Verstockt