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AGAMEMNON - Pictures from the Past: A wireless network of magic digital cameras and palmtops for archaeological travels through the time

AGAMEMNON exploits 3G mobile phones equipped with embedded cameras for enhancing visits of open-air archaeological sites and museums. These new devices provide visitors with enriched and personalised information on monuments and help to optimise the visit path.

Project web site

Project Type: Specific Targeted Research Project
Start date: 1 January 2004
Duration: 30 months
EU funding: € 1 998 419
Partners: 6 (see list below)
Project coordinator: TXT e-solutions SpA (Italy)
Contact: (email removed)

Project description

The increasing availability of third generation mobile phones with camera and multimedia functions opens new horizons for the development and use of innovative IT tools in archaeological sites and museums.

The primary beneficiaries of the research carried out by AGAMEMNON will be the visitors to a site or museum. With the 3G phones, they will be able to take pictures of objects which they are interested in and to pass them on to a server, which then sends additional information back to the mobile phone - in form of SMS, voice comments, videos or images such as 3D reconstructions. AGAMEMNON also helps visitors to plan the circuit according to their personal interests and time available. The on-screen itinerary constantly updates as the visitor moves around the site.

Technical content

  • Advanced image analysis of pictures taken by phones-embedded cameras in order to describe the users' attention (what they are looking at);
  • Personalised multimedia information delivery based on users attention and profile, leveraging on 3G services (i.e. 3D reconstruction of monuments, history movies, etc.);
  • Advanced user profiling, both 'statically' (i.e. through a set of questions at the beginning of the visit) and 'dynamically' (i.e. as the visit proceeds and the user interacts with the system);
  • Adaptive and proactive visit scheduling, including dynamically re-scheduling the visit path, based on the visitor's profile and current location, while optimising the flow of visitors to avoid overcrowding of the most popular points (using real-time location information coupled with statistical data);
  • Voice-based commands will enable users to interact with the system in various languages;
  • AGAMEMNON runs on the visitors' own mobile phones, so they don't need to rent devices, or learn how to use them, and institutions don't need to invest in or maintain a stock of electronic devices. The system works over existing UMTS, GPRS and GSM networks, so institutions don't have to invest in wireless networks. Since archaeological sites are sometimes in remote areas not covered by high-speed networks, the system includes options for low-bandwidth connections.

Potential benefits

  • More interesting and more enjoyable contacts with cultural heritage;
  • Higher number of paying visitors to sites and museums, thanks to the enhanced attractiveness of the visits and to the optimisation of the site capacity;
  • New revenues for cultural institutions from traffic-sharing agreements between sites, museums and 3G mobile phone operators;
  • Reduction of the cost of routine monuments monitoring: less frequent physical inspections will be required, and early alarms can be generated through image-based monitoring techniques which alert site managers of any specific event of or evolution patterns which indicate signs of destruction or erosion.

The prototype of AGAMEMNON was tested in pilot sites in Paestum (Italy), and Mycenae (Greece).


  • TXT e-Solutions Spa: project co-ordinator, IT developer, exploitation leader (Italy)
  • MJC2 Ltd: IT developer of scheduling and profiling modules (United Kingdom)
  • ANCO SA: IT developer of cultural mediation and cultural preservation modules (Greece)
  • University of Genova: IT developer of imaging sub-system - department DISI and dissemination leader - department DARFICLET (Italy)
  • Fondazione PAESTUM: end-user, experimental test-site (Italy)
  • 4 th Ephoria - Mycene: end-user, experimental test-site (Greece)
  • Pompeii: additional test-site (Italy)

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