Researching historic photos – Visualizations and potentials beyond the image

Cindy Kröber, Sander Münster, Kristina Friedrichs, Florian Niebling

The project HistStadt4D investigates and develops approaches in order to deal with large image repositories of the city Dresden. Images and plans provide information on the appearance and architecture of the city as well as their development over time. Access to the information repositories relevant for a general public as well as scientific researcher especially from humanities is usually challenging. The project’s intentions are to improve the accessibility of the data through visualizing data within a 3D city model (see Fig.) as well as merging, structuring and annotating. The projected is carried out by an interdisciplinary junior or research group with participants belonging to the TU Dresden (Media Center, Photogrammetry) and the University of Würzburg (Human-Computer-Interaction, Art History). Other associated partners are the SLUB Dresden who provides the image data base through their picture library (Fotothek), the HTW Dresden and Staatliche Schlösser, Burgen und Gärten Sachsen GmbH.

A 4D browser and a location-based Augmented-Reality application are used for the information presentation and as a research tool (Fig.). Linking digital images and their actual location allows for example to directly present resources and therefore proves a valuable support tool for historic research. Users of the virtual archives can benefit extensively from effective searching functions and tools which work not only content and theme-based but also location-based.

Using the application as an access point for media repositories, what tools and functionalities will ensure the scientific handling of the data? What will be helpful for users working with the application especially concerning investigation, contextualization and general research issues?