An Ontology for the Description of Visual Heritage - Nicola Carboni

Dr Nicola Carboni, University of Geneva

 27 May 2021


The analysis of our visual heritage has traditionally focused on features, characters and ideas present in a single or a small set of visual work(s), revealing an artist’s aesthetic and cultural influences. To create a wider perspective over the employment of specific visual devices and symbolic representations, we propose the use of an extension of CIDOC-CRM, called VIR (Visual Representation). VIR extends CIDOC-CRM introducing new relationships to annotate the diverse visual elements present in a representation, giving the possibility to track across time and space the presence of a character, the use of a distinctive attribute, as well as the change in reference of a representation or one of its parts. The results were tested with artworks from the Church of Asinou, a small Byzantine foundation in Cyprus. This talk presents the ontology, demonstrate its use, as well as makes evident the advantages and disadvantages of an ontological descriptive approach (data usage) versus a computer vision approach (data generation).


This presentation was delivered at the (en)coding Heritage Seminar Series, which brought together researchers working at the cutting edge of digital technologies, humanities and heritage science. The session was dedicated to New Directions in Digital Visual Studies. The full programme can be found here.


Organised and chaired by Dr Lia Costiner (University of Oxford) and Dr Leonardo Impett (Durham University) for the Oxford (en)coding Heritage Network.

(en)coding Heritage Network, TORCH Networks