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Cultural Heritage Storytelling, Engagement and Management in the Era of Big Data and the Semantic Web

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 43020

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Guest Editor
School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: media technologies; digital storytelling; audiovisual heritage; cultural heritage; signal processing; machine learning; media authentication; audiovisual content description and management automation; multimedia semantics; big data
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cultural heritage (CH) refers to a highly multidisciplinary research and application field, intending to collect, archive, and disseminate traditions, monuments/artworks, and overall civilization legacies that have been preserved throughout the years of humankind. This effort is considered very important for historical and educational purposes, which can be deployed in schooling and training sessions, in science and social/humanistic studies, in artistic expression, and in everyday entertaining environments. Today’s digital media landscape offers innumerous ways for expediting the above processes at both ends, i.e., CH content production and “consumption”, taking advantage of the contemporary networking utilities with the associated augmented interaction capabilities. For instance, many museums and other art/cultural organizations are invested in the development of featured digital applications with appealing storytelling and their online dissemination to engage the audience in featured CH projects. Likewise, the proliferation of mobile devices and services and the vast expansion of so-called user-generated content (UGC) have fueled the digitization of personal CH artifacts and their progressive organizations in larger-scale databases. A typical example in that direction is the Europeana project, which formed specific media archiving and metadata standardization rules for CH institutions and sole users to follow. At the same time, urgent needs for better documentation and management of CH documents have emerged, making it difficult for the average user to be part of such large-scale undertakings.

Today, Semantic Web and Big Data technologies promise to facilitate more straightforward data analysis, information classification, semantic conceptualization, and management automation of multimodal content, which could also be applied for the benefit of sensitive CH sectors. Specifically, these automation layers could work as mediated communication and collaboration mechanisms between corporations and individuals to accelerate the proper launch, maintenance, and sustainability of suitable CH repositories, in favor of all the participants. For instance, many significant personal collections have not yet been detected, captured, fully restored, and documented (e.g., photos, films/movies, other private items, etc.). The development of sophisticated digital crowdsourcing procedures with the necessary technological/interdisciplinary cooperation and support would allow mining, shaping, and making available to the public such unique CH masterpieces. Thereafter, suitable engaging audience practices and models are welcomed to enhance the impacts of heritage initiatives, amplifying the environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of human beings. The current call for papers (CfP) aims at further enlightening the above areas, inviting researchers to submit original/featured research works, related but not limited to the following multidisciplinary topics:

  • Digital storytelling for cultural heritage;
  • Audience engagement in cultural heritage;
  • Sustainability impact indicators of cultural heritage;
  • Cultural heritage digitization, organization, and management;
  • Collaborative cultural heritage archiving, dissemination, and management;
  • Cultural heritage communication and education for sustainable development;
  • Art and cultural artifacts recognition;
  • Semantic services of cultural heritage;
  • Big data of cultural heritage;
  • Smart systems for cultural heritage sustainability.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. Charalampos Dimoulas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • audience engagement
  • cultural heritage
  • digital storytelling
  • big data
  • semantic web
  • digital management
  • archiving
  • crowdsourcing
  • sustainability

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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6 pages, 517 KiB  
Editorial
Cultural Heritage Storytelling, Engagement and Management in the Era of Big Data and the Semantic Web
by Charalampos A. Dimoulas
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020812 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1982
Abstract
Cultural heritage (CH) refers to a highly multidisciplinary research and application field, intending to collect, archive, and disseminate the traditions, monuments/artworks, and overall civilization legacies that have been preserved throughout the years of humankind [...] Full article
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Research

Jump to: Editorial

17 pages, 669 KiB  
Article
Extracting Semantic Relationships in Greek Literary Texts
by Despina Christou and Grigorios Tsoumakas
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9391; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169391 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2069
Abstract
In the era of Big Data, the digitization of texts and the advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are enabling the automatic analysis of literary works, allowing us to delve into the structure of artifacts and to compare, explore, [...] Read more.
In the era of Big Data, the digitization of texts and the advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are enabling the automatic analysis of literary works, allowing us to delve into the structure of artifacts and to compare, explore, manage and preserve the richness of our written heritage. This paper proposes a deep-learning-based approach to discovering semantic relationships in literary texts (19th century Greek Literature) facilitating the analysis, organization and management of collections through the automation of metadata extraction. Moreover, we provide a new annotated dataset used to train our model. Our proposed model, REDSandT_Lit, recognizes six distinct relationships, extracting the richest set of relations up to now from literary texts. It efficiently captures the semantic characteristics of the investigating time-period by finetuning the state-of-the-art transformer-based Language Model (LM) for Modern Greek in our corpora. Extensive experiments and comparisons with existing models on our dataset reveal that REDSandT_Lit has superior performance (90% accuracy), manages to capture infrequent relations (100%F in long-tail relations) and can also correct mislabelled sentences. Our results suggest that our approach efficiently handles the peculiarities of literary texts, and it is a promising tool for managing and preserving cultural information in various settings. Full article
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29 pages, 19149 KiB  
Article
The Smart Evolution of Historical Cities: Integrated Innovative Solutions Supporting the Energy Transition while Respecting Cultural Heritage
by Georgios Tsoumanis, João Formiga, Nuno Bilo, Panagiotis Tsarchopoulos, Dimosthenis Ioannidis and Dimitrios Tzovaras
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169358 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2788
Abstract
Building retrofitting is seen as an efficient method for improving a building’s energy performance. On the other hand, when historical buildings are considered for this procedure, retrofitting gets more complicated. As historical buildings typically consist of low-performance building and energy systems, energy retrofits [...] Read more.
Building retrofitting is seen as an efficient method for improving a building’s energy performance. On the other hand, when historical buildings are considered for this procedure, retrofitting gets more complicated. As historical buildings typically consist of low-performance building and energy systems, energy retrofits can be highly beneficial. However, not every retrofit technology can be installed in a historical building. In this paper, the study carried out for the implementation of Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) solutions in the Historic Centre of Évora is provided, within the framework of the European project POCITYF (Project H2020). The study took into consideration all the observations of the Regional Directorate of Culture of Évora and the administration of the involved schools (including the Association of Parents), the needs of the Municipality of Évora, and the capabilities of technology developers ONYX and Tegola. The proposed solutions aim at fulfilling all the guidelines for preserving the historic centre and achieving the positivity metrics agreed with the European Commission on the challenging and indispensable path to the decarbonisation of European cities. Full article
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16 pages, 389 KiB  
Article
Semantic Indexing of 19th-Century Greek Literature Using 21st-Century Linguistic Resources
by Dimitris Dimitriadis, Sofia Zapounidou and Grigorios Tsoumakas
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8878; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168878 - 09 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1918
Abstract
Manual classification of works of literature with genre/form concepts is a time-consuming task requiring domain expertise. Building automated systems based on language understanding can help humans to achieve this work faster and more consistently. Towards this direction, we present a case study on [...] Read more.
Manual classification of works of literature with genre/form concepts is a time-consuming task requiring domain expertise. Building automated systems based on language understanding can help humans to achieve this work faster and more consistently. Towards this direction, we present a case study on automatic classification of Greek literature books of the 19th century. The main challenges in this problem are the limited number of literature books and resources of that age and the quality of the source text. We propose an automated classification system based on the Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) model trained on books from the 20th and 21st century. We also dealt with BERT’s constraint on the maximum sequence length of the input, leveraging the TextRank algorithm to construct representative sentences or phrases from each book. The results show that BERT trained on recent literature books correctly classifies most of the books of the 19th century despite the disparity between the two collections. Additionally, the TextRank algorithm improves the performance of BERT. Full article
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22 pages, 3868 KiB  
Article
Holistic Requirements Analysis for Specifying New Systems for 3D Media Production and Promotion
by Christos Mouzakis, Dimitrios Ververidis, Luis Miguel Girao, Nicolas Patz, Spiros Nikolopoulos and Ioannis Kompatsiaris
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8155; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158155 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2741
Abstract
This paper presents a requirements engineering process for driving the design of new systems that will allow for enhancing 3D media productivity, for lowering the entry barrier in 3D media creation, and for innovative media forms across many media types. This work has [...] Read more.
This paper presents a requirements engineering process for driving the design of new systems that will allow for enhancing 3D media productivity, for lowering the entry barrier in 3D media creation, and for innovative media forms across many media types. This work has been carried out with the perspective of enhancing recovery and transformation as the pandemic has driven many professionals in culture to zero income. Toward this goal, we perform a requirements engineering process based on the IEEE 830 standard for requirements specification. It allows us to elucidate system requirements through existing (AS-IS) and envisioned (TO-BE) scenarios affected by the latest trends on design methodologies and content promotion in social media. A total of 30 tools for content creation, promotion, and monetization are reviewed and 10 TO-BE scenarios were engineered and validated. The validation was performed through a survey of 24 statements on a 5 Likert scale by 47 individuals from the domains of Media, Fine arts, Architecture, and Informatics. Useful evaluation results and comments have been collected that can be useful for future systems design. Full article
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19 pages, 1383 KiB  
Article
Semantic Crowdsourcing of Soundscapes Heritage: A Mojo Model for Data-Driven Storytelling
by Marina Eirini Stamatiadou, Iordanis Thoidis, Nikolaos Vryzas, Lazaros Vrysis and Charalampos Dimoulas
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2714; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052714 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2726
Abstract
The current paper focuses on the development of an enhanced Mobile Journalism (MoJo) model for soundscape heritage crowdsourcing, data-driven storytelling, and management in the era of big data and the semantic web. Soundscapes and environmental sound semantics have a great impact on cultural [...] Read more.
The current paper focuses on the development of an enhanced Mobile Journalism (MoJo) model for soundscape heritage crowdsourcing, data-driven storytelling, and management in the era of big data and the semantic web. Soundscapes and environmental sound semantics have a great impact on cultural heritage, also affecting the quality of human life, from multiple perspectives. In this view, context- and location-aware mobile services can be combined with state-of-the-art machine and deep learning approaches to offer multilevel semantic analysis monitoring of sound-related heritage. The targeted utilities can offer new insights toward sustainable growth of both urban and rural areas. Much emphasis is also put on the multimodal preservation and auralization of special soundscape areas and open ancient theaters with remarkable acoustic behavior, representing important cultural artifacts. For this purpose, a pervasive computing architecture is deployed and investigated, utilizing both client- and cloud-wise semantic analysis services, to implement and evaluate the envisioned MoJo methodology. Elaborating on previous/baseline MoJo tools, research hypotheses and questions are stated and put to test as part of the human-centered application design and development process. In this setting, primary algorithmic backend services on sound semantics are implemented and thoroughly validated, providing a convincing proof of concept of the proposed model. Full article
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32 pages, 5203 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Biocultural Heritage Management and Communication: The Case of Digital Narrative for UNESCO Marine World Heritage of Outstanding Universal Value
by Clio Kenterelidou and Fani Galatsopoulou
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1449; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031449 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3376
Abstract
The paper addresses sustainability, heritage, management, and communication from UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage (MWH) perspective, analyzing its digital narrative footprint through social media. It aims to understand how MWH is conceptualized, managed, and communicated and whether it is framed with sustainability and biocultural [...] Read more.
The paper addresses sustainability, heritage, management, and communication from UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage (MWH) perspective, analyzing its digital narrative footprint through social media. It aims to understand how MWH is conceptualized, managed, and communicated and whether it is framed with sustainability and biocultural values facilitating interactivity, engagement, and multimodal knowledge. Hence, a content analysis of the Instagram accounts of the MWH of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) sites and protected areas has been conducted. The study included evidence from their Instagram profile, posts, features, and reactions. The findings indicated the dearth of a management and communication strategy being shared among and across UNESCO’s MWH of OUV sites and protected areas, capturing the “lifeworld” and the “voice” of the marine heritage as unified. They also revealed that nature and human, and biological and socio-ecological ecosystems of MWH of OUV sites and protected areas are not interlinked in marine heritage management and communication featuring the whole and the entirety of the marine heritage site ecosystem. The lack of this expansion of meaning and engagement does not facilitate the shift of the route in the marine-scape, from discovery and being listed as World Heritage to human-nature interaction, diversity, dynamicity, and ocean literacy. The study contributes to setting the ground rules for strengthening marine heritage management and communication in light of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Ocean Literacy Decade (2021–2030). Full article
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22 pages, 2196 KiB  
Article
Digital Storytelling in Cultural Heritage: Audience Engagement in the Interactive Documentary New Life
by Anna Podara, Dimitrios Giomelakis, Constantinos Nicolaou, Maria Matsiola and Rigas Kotsakis
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031193 - 23 Jan 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 10680
Abstract
This paper casts light on cultural heritage storytelling in the context of interactive documentary, a hybrid media genre that employs a full range of multimedia tools to document reality, provide sustainability of the production and successful engagement of the audience. The main research [...] Read more.
This paper casts light on cultural heritage storytelling in the context of interactive documentary, a hybrid media genre that employs a full range of multimedia tools to document reality, provide sustainability of the production and successful engagement of the audience. The main research hypotheses are enclosed in the statements: (a) the interactive documentary is considered a valuable tool for the sustainability of cultural heritage and (b) digital approaches to documentary storytelling can provide a sustainable form of viewing during the years. Using the Greek interactive documentary (i-doc) NEW LIFE (2013) as a case study, the users’ engagement is evaluated by analyzing items from a seven-year database of web metrics. Specifically, we explore the adopted ways of the interactive documentary users to engage with the storytelling, the depth to which they were involved along with the most popular sections/traffic sources and finally, the differences between the first launch period and latest years were investigated. We concluded that interactivity affordances of this genre enhance the social dimension of cultural, while the key factors for sustainability are mainly (a) constant promotion with transmedia approach; (b) data-driven evaluation and reform; and (c) a good story that gathers relevant niches, with specific interest to the story. Full article
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16 pages, 997 KiB  
Article
Data-Driven Analytics towards Software Sustainability: The Case of Open-Source Multimedia Tools on Cultural Storytelling
by Michail D. Papamichail and Andreas L. Symeonidis
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031079 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1584
Abstract
The continuous evolution of modern software technologies combined with the deluge of available “ready-to-use” data has triggered revolutionary breakthroughs in several domains, preservation of cultural heritage included. This breakthrough is more than obvious just by considering the numerous multimedia tools and frameworks that [...] Read more.
The continuous evolution of modern software technologies combined with the deluge of available “ready-to-use” data has triggered revolutionary breakthroughs in several domains, preservation of cultural heritage included. This breakthrough is more than obvious just by considering the numerous multimedia tools and frameworks that actually serve as a means of providing enhanced cultural storytelling experiences (e.g., navigation in historical sites using VR, 3D modeling of artifacts, or even holograms), which are now readily available. In this context and inspired by the vital importance of sustainability as a concept that expresses the need to create the necessary conditions for future generations to use and evolve present artifacts, we target the software engineering domain and propose a systematic way towards measuring the extent to which a software artifact developed and applied in the cultural heritage domain is sustainable. To that end, we present a data-driven methodology that harnesses data residing in online software repositories and involves the analysis of various open-source multimedia tools and frameworks. Full article
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15 pages, 2981 KiB  
Article
Web Communication: A Content Analysis of Green Hosting Companies
by Minos-Athanasios Karyotakis and Nikos Antonopoulos
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020495 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4014
Abstract
While many studies in the field of environmental communication have focused on exploring the environmental impact of social media, this research paper takes a different turn. It investigates, through a qualitative content analysis, 391 websites that support and provide green hosting services. This [...] Read more.
While many studies in the field of environmental communication have focused on exploring the environmental impact of social media, this research paper takes a different turn. It investigates, through a qualitative content analysis, 391 websites that support and provide green hosting services. This study is considered the first in the field that aims to examine in-depth how these green websites tend to communicate their green services. Therefore, its contribution is to enhance the relevant bibliography and present more insights regarding green websites and sustainability. The results showed that most of the websites were trying to highlight the positive impact their services will have on the environment. In addition, many websites tried to educate their consumers concerning sustainable development and make them part of a broader green cultural tradition. Nevertheless, on many websites, green hosting seemed a supplementary factor for choosing the company’s services. Full article
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14 pages, 1327 KiB  
Article
Semantic Analysis of Cultural Heritage News Propagation in Social Media: Assessing the Role of Media and Journalists in the Era of Big Data
by Theodora A. Maniou
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010341 - 01 Jan 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4134
Abstract
In the era of big data, within the intense environment of social media, the effective communication of cultural heritage initiatives is considered of equal or—in some cases—even greater importance than heritage data themselves. Media and journalists play a critical and in some cases [...] Read more.
In the era of big data, within the intense environment of social media, the effective communication of cultural heritage initiatives is considered of equal or—in some cases—even greater importance than heritage data themselves. Media and journalists play a critical and in some cases conflicting role in audience engagement and the sustainable promotion of cultural heritage narratives within the social media environment. The aim of this study was to assess the role of media and journalists in propagating cultural heritage news through social media platforms, and the narratives they tend to create in the digital public sphere. A qualitative approach is employed as a means of examining in-depth specific narratives, their meaning(s) and connotation(s), using semantic analysis. Full article
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18 pages, 5219 KiB  
Article
Automatic 3D Modeling and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage Sites from Twitter Images
by Anastasios Doulamis, Athanasios Voulodimos, Eftychios Protopapadakis, Nikolaos Doulamis and Konstantinos Makantasis
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4223; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104223 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2998
Abstract
This paper presents an approach for leveraging the abundance of images posted on social media like Twitter for large scale 3D reconstruction of cultural heritage landmarks. Twitter allows users to post short messages, including photos, describing a plethora of activities or events, e.g., [...] Read more.
This paper presents an approach for leveraging the abundance of images posted on social media like Twitter for large scale 3D reconstruction of cultural heritage landmarks. Twitter allows users to post short messages, including photos, describing a plethora of activities or events, e.g., tweets are used by travelers on vacation, capturing images from various cultural heritage assets. As such, a great number of images are available online, able to drive a successful 3D reconstruction process. However, reconstruction of any asset, based on images mined from Twitter, presents several challenges. There are three main steps that have to be considered: (i) tweets’ content identification, (ii) image retrieval and filtering, and (iii) 3D reconstruction. The proposed approach first extracts key events from unstructured tweet messages and then identifies cultural activities and landmarks. The second stage is the application of a content-based filtering method so that only a small but representative portion of cultural images are selected to support fast 3D reconstruction. The proposed methods are experimentally evaluated using real-world data and comparisons verify the effectiveness of the proposed scheme. Full article
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