PDF Print E-mail

Our photos described by artificial intelligence… and checked by our readers!

In April 2017 the research project UGESCO (Upscaling the Geo-temporal Enrichment, exploration and exploitation of Scientific Collections) was launched in order to experiment with new methods to valorise our photo collections.

On 12 December 2018, the project partners will proudly present the new tools they have developed and which combine computing power with the expertise of our researchers and users.

 A common dictum says that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. However, poorly documented images create numerous questions for researchers: Which sense ought they to give to a picture which was hardly described by its producer? How to discover the geographical and historical context in which the photo was taken?

Another essential question for information officers and archivists is how much time they are willing to spend on a structured description of each picture. How to integrate visual elements into a keyword-driven catalogue and how detailed must a description be?


The aim of the UGESCO project is to provide solutions by partly automating the process, in order to increase metadata quality.


The project partners (UGent, KUL, ULB and NAB) have developed applications based on visual recognition technology and automated processing of natural language that enable researchers to detect the place where a photo was taken as well as the date, and to provide a brief description of digitised historical photographs. All of these tools use machine learning principles and therefore yield improved results each day.


Yet, what is special about UGESCO is that it does not only rely on artificial intelligence, but it also gives experts and the large public the possibility to verify the data produced via a crowdsourcing platform.




On Wednesday 12 December 2018, the project researchers will be pleased to present you the results of their work. You will also have the opportunity to test the applications they developed and the participative platform UGESCROWD. This Launch Event starts at 9.30 am in the conference room of Cegesoma and is open both to experts and to the large public; in short, to everyone who wants to participate in valorising our photographical cultural heritage.


Please click here to view the program.


Please click here to register for this event.