E188 - Institut für Softwaretechnik und Interaktive Systeme
Number of Pages:
information visualization; digital humanities; cultural heritage
Museums and institutions that house cultural collections are increasingly interested in making their cultural heritage data publicly accessible. They often provide web-based interfaces, allowing users to search their cultural heritage data. Unfortunately, in many cases, these interfaces require domain knowledge about the data to use the collections effectively. This makes browsing through these digital collections unattractive for casual users. Appropriate Information Visualizations can solve this issue and make complex data understandable and accessible to non-experts. Surprisingly, visualizations are rarely used for supporting the accessibility of digital cultural heritage data collections, despite their effectiveness. In this thesis, I first review the current state of the art of visualizations for digital cultural heritage collections and the effectiveness of Information Visualization in this context. Subsequently, I propose an interactive web-based interface for exploring cultural heritage data through Information Visualizations, focusing on spatial data and multiple coordinated views. I present a prototypical implementation of this interface, a history map for images depicting scenes in Vienna between 1147 and 1995, owned by the Austrian National Library. The prototype uses existing image metadata, approximated geolocation, historical maps, and various visualization techniques to showcase the collection of images interactively. To assess the data’s accessibility based on this tool, I conducted a qualitative user study. My results indicate that visualizations can help with user engagement and can increase accessibility and understandability of the provided cultural heritage data.