Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

I-Media-Cities Report Summary

Project ID: 693559
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - I-Media-Cities (Innovative e-environment for Research on Cities and the Media)

Reporting period: 2016-04-01 to 2017-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

I-MEDIA-CITIES is in line with EU policy to promote a greater understanding of the continent’s history and social development. The project brings together nine European film libraries, seven research institutions and a specialist in digital technologies. Our goal is to integrate film, audiovisual records and pictures of city life, before generating two types of digital ‘e-environments’ where the information about this precious European cultural heritage, previously inaccessible, will be easily shared, accessed and enriched.

Cultural, heritage and museum institutions across Europe are holding large digital collections that can have a significant impact on many research fields. But today, the link between these institutions and the research field still needs to be established. Equally important is the fact that neither cultural heritage institutions nor the research field are taking full advantage of information technologies in order to improve the opportunities and the quality for research and for providing access to these collections.

The I-MEDIA-CITIES project addresses this issue by creating conditions for an effective collaboration between research and FHI institutions, supported by solutions to improve the user experience, innovative research possibilities and an economically sustainable model to use digital content in different contexts.

As the films provide fascinating insights into the ways cities have developed over the years, I-MEDIA-CITIES works to give access to unique digital collections to researchers and to the general public. The collections include a huge quantity of material dating from the end of the 19th century onwards. Archives from Austria, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Italy are being made available, to allow novel approaches to multidisciplinary research, and develop creative as well as business innovation related to this heritage.

To improve access to these resources, the IMC team will develop an interoperable and multilingual digital content platform, which can be used to study and enrich information on large European cities. The platform will be providing different interfaces, user experiences, services & functionalities.

Advanced, interactive and innovative visualization solutions will be implemented that will display the digital content in different ways depending on the choices of the users. Users will be allowed to search, comment, tag, and annotate the content freely.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first year of the project was used to carefully and methodically plan out the basis of the project. A stable plan for the implementation of the technological parts as well as the research and dissemination efforts has been created and has been launched.

On the management side, the project established:

1) The Consortium structure was established, the quality control, risk managemement and innovation management dynamics have been prepared and applied.
2) Several meetings with the project boards were held. These meetings were used to keep the Consortium up to date and to get necessary feedback on requirements and decisions.
3) Dissemination and Communication plan was established and necessary tools and channels were created, including project website, social media channels, a project flyer, a project trailer. National and international dissemination activities have began, to support engagement and community building into the project.
4) A Data Management plan including a data register was created in adherence to the FAIR-principles.
5) As part of the user requirements analysis, a business requiremeents analysis was performed which included a quick market scan, partner interviews, target user surveys.

To organize the research activities of the project, the following results were achieved:

1) Content selection strategy based upon the research needs, the local research partner and the current available information of the content (period and subject).
2) Analysis of the available metadata at the local archives. Which elements and descriptions are present in their current local databases?
3) Enrichment strategy for the project created. When will what partner enrich which metadata elements and how?
4) Content and metadata pre-processing manual was constructed to guide the FHI partners in preparing the content and the metadata before upload.
5) Content and metadata upload functionalities and planning were developed.
6) A research plan was constructed detailing the potential research themes for every city, the expected research results and a list of target dissemination actions.
7) The ethic rules of the project were established and the Terms of Use, the Disclaimer and the Privacy Policy for every future service and website of the project were written.

For the technical developments of the project, the first year saw the following achievements:

1) User requirements list established. They were defined including the technology enablers necessary for their implementation, links to other user requirements, thus creating a sort of user flow through the platform and references to the intended users.
2) A state of the art overview of useful automatic analysis tools for the project. Further training of certain tools or even tools not mentioned in the State-of-the-art, was discussed and voted on to ascertain feasability on a technologicla level and usefulness for research users.
3) A first architecture design was submitted based upon the user requirements list, the project's objectives and the implementation and testing work done on the automatic analysis tools.
4) Mock-up designs and functionality description for the I-Media-Cities portal. First mock-up designs were also submitted for certrain e-environment functionalities.
5) Metadata schema was constructed for I-Media-Cities, based upon the three sources of metadata (archives, users and automatic tools) and with a clear choice for multilingual vocabularies and Linked Open Data ontologies and services.
6) Implementation schedule that sets clear deadlines for implementing technical components. This schedule was based upon the research and enrichment goals of the project.
7) Implementation of first versions of certain functionalities, necessary for the current project timing and to keep the project goals.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Technical:

For many of the functionalities and components, it is too soon to say the planned for TRL has been achieved. However, by using RDF & LOD services, the metadata model already has a higher TRL as the models of the listed projects in the DoW.

Impact:

- New research perspectives and interaction between users and content has been planned for.
- An innovative platform for media delivery in different formats has been designed.
- The cross-border and cross-lingual solutions are designed into the project structure (multilingual vocabularies and Linked Open Data services).
- The project will be able to include other archives content & has an open and interoperable character.
- Project design is transferable to other cultural objects.
- SMEs from both the audio-visual as well as the digital sectors have began to be involved throught the user requirements analysis.
- Participation at Regional level for what concerns the cultural economy and creative industries has just began.
- The project has already generated employment in the archives, research centres and Digital institutions involved.

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