The ALEGORIA project founded by the ANR (the French National Research Agency) aims at facilitating the promotion of iconographic institutional funds 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 which is made of the satellite imagery where the professional practices are many (scientists, civilians and militaries)and the data well identified and indexed, the promotion of those collections remains confidential and scattered. They are spread within various institutions, digitized partially, generally not or little documented and weakly georeferenced. Nevertheless they represent a rich heritage, little known by the general public and exploited in a way forced by their main users (researchers, institutions and local authorities), in direct consultation at the library or by means of online classic digital libraries.
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 users not specialists, it supposes to supply friendly tools for the visual exploration of these collections.
What tools to offer?
ALEGORIA has for objectives the implementation of two online innovative platforms of demonstration dedicated to the promotion of the dematerialized and digital iconographic geographical heritage :
- A multimodal and large-scale engine of indexing and retrieval, coupling search by content and by metadata in intra-domain collections as well as cross-domain collections
- An engine for the immersive display of these contents, allowing spatiotemporal navigation and interaction in the 3D environment enriched with ancient photographic collections
J. J. 7770 Chamonix - Vallée de l'Arve, le Brévent et les Aiguilles Rouges Jullien frères, Phot. Editeurs, Genève