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Research areas and skills

The laboratory’s work falls into three main disciplinary areas:

  • Historical sciences
  • Information and communication sciences
  • Engineering sciences

Its scientific programme is structured into complementary fields of action, reflecting a desire to focus on ‘highly digital’ methods and instrumentation.

The laboratory’s research area is centred on heritage sciences in terms of the objects of study, but is interdisciplinary in terms of the theoretical frameworks and methods used. We study this area of research from two major angles: by studying the fact itself (surveys, 3D annotation, etc., a more object-centred and synchronic approach) and by studying information about these facts (information visualisation, data modelling, a more comparative and diachronic approach). The laboratory’s research and training activities focus on four main areas.

Development of protocols and methods for heritage 3D digitisation

The laboratory specializes in designing, implementing, and consolidating innovative 3D digitization protocols using both image-based and laser technologies, as well as state-of-the-art techniques. The surveying process is adapted to various contexts and research questions, requiring the definition of specific methodologies for different cultural heritage objects. The developed approaches involve questioning and repositioning the role of instrumentation in deployed strategies to ensure their relevance, efficiency, and reproducibility in perspectives closely related to societal challenges (digital frugality, open science, etc.).

Nowadays, heritage digitization relies on a form of cooperation or even synergy between several factors (sensors, observation scales, perceptive dimension, spectral and temporal layers) that constitute multimodality. At the origin of a growing volume and complexity of data, these multimodal approaches must also be (re)articulated with a wide spectrum of scientific imaging techniques and measurements used by heritage scientists.

These digitization projects are designed to be part of a technological and methodological continuum ensuring autonomous mastery of the operational chain specific to 2D/3D imaging applied to heritage. Furthermore, experiments conducted during the laboratory’s research or training activities integrate innovative tools upstream to guarantee data traceability and direct them towards other horizons (conceptual modeling, semantic web).

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Domains of expertise:

  • 2D/3D digital surveying, multimodal instrumentation, and prototype development for data fusion and analysis
  • Acquisition, spatialization, fusion, and pre-enrichment of massive and complex 2D/3D data
  • Methodology of the operational chain and activities of heritage digitization (data provenance and lineage, metadata, and paradata)
  • Multimodal protocols, experiments, and devices (spatio-acoustic dimensions, mixed realities, etc.)

Contact: Anthony Pamart et Livio De Luca

Examples of projects and achievements: FiatLux, LaBrigue, Sumum, SESAMES

Data spatialisation, publication and enrichment of 3D content

The laboratory is focusing on solutions ranging from the acquisition of images and spatial data to the construction of semantically enriched 3D representations for exploring and exploiting the results of survey campaigns in the context of 3D digitisation questions. The objective is to ensure the consistency of multidimensional representations of the same object of study, primarily through data spatialisation and enrichment for documentation, analysis and mediation purposes.

The laboratory’s priority approach is to publish the results in the form of annotatable 3D point clouds via dedicated web interfaces such as the Aïoli research prototype. This platform aims to put the heritage object (real object) at the heart of the digital data structuring process by offering experts collaborative scenarios for spatialised semantic annotations.

Other avenues are also being explored, depending on the nature of the object of study and the analysis requirements, such as the potential of so-called “mixed reality” environments, the exploration of restoration models in terms of plausibility and completeness, or at the intersection of information visualisation and scientific visualisation, the spatialisation of acoustic indicators.

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Domains of expertise :

  • Processing and annotation of 3D data
  • Modelling and interaction in 3D content
  • Structuring of heterogeneous data
  • Semantic characterisation of multidimensional representations
  • Extended realities, virtual immersion devices
  • Tactile models (rapid prototyping)
  • Architectural modelling and management of information on the life cycle of a building
  • Modelling and simulation of architectural environments

Contact : Adeline Manuel, Violette Abergel, Laurent Bergerot, Isabelle Fasse

Examples of projects and achievements: Aïoli, Myrte, viewer 3D Notre Dame, Tactichronie

Information and knowledge visualisation

The laboratory is heavily involved in research activities that start from ‘real objects’ – in other words still standing material heritage assets that require analysis, conservation and enhancement actions. But it is also involved in exploring methods stemming from the field of data science (data, information and knowledge visualisation) as they apply to the historical sciences.

Here the focus is no longer put on a ‘real object’, but on what is known (in the broadest sense) -– and not known – about a tangible or intangible heritage object, whether still accessible or no longer existant.

These research activities are characterised by the need to take into account data, information or knowledge sets that most often have a temporal dimension and pose acute quality/reliability problems (incompleteness, uncertainty, contradictions, granularity), issues often encountered in the study of past events.

Research conducted here raises two complementary challenges: a modelling challenge linked to the nature of the data/information/knowledge mobilised, and a visualisation challenge (assistance, by visual means, to humans in their reasoning tasks, in a disciplinary context where interpretation biases can be significant). Results most often take the form of online information systems with a strong visual component, fed by heterogeneous data collection and analysis protocols, with declinations for edutainment or dissemination purposes.

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Domains of expertise:

  • Modelling of spatio-historical data
  • Mining and diachronic analysis of historical data
  • Time-oriented data and data uncertainty handling
  • Data, information and knowledge visualisation techniques
  • Graphic semiology, visual support for human reasoning
  • Intangible heritage, minor heritage

Contacts: J.Y Blaise, I.Dudek

Examples of projects and achievements: SESAMES, Viz-tank, Territo partie viz, Quizzmaker, Kaleoisacopes, Justifieur, T_Profils, SESAMES SI et KRK, Chronographes, KRK

Epistemology, scientific integrity, dissemination of scientific knowledge

The laboratory’s scientific programme addresses both scientific and societal challenges: the sensemaking challenge in a world where data is piling up, the challenge of traceability and reproducibility so that this data makes sense beyond the people who produced it, the challenge of archiving it and making it available to the public, while respecting the principle of frugality, the challenge of ensuring that not only the data but also the analyses and analysis tools (research prototypes) are sustainable, the challenge of combining data to shed light on and analyse interactions (space/sound, climate/architecture, etc.), the challenge of involving citizens in the production or use of data, or the challenge of making research products reusable for players in the cultural industries.

The laboratory addresses the issues of scientific integrity, reproducibility and traceability of research activities, by promoting good practice based on practical solutions that wouls halp actors break through the glass ceiling that often separates the desire to apply the FAIR principles from the actual means of doing so.

It implements an experimental information system called MEMORIA, which is the result of seven years of reflection on the concepts of traceability, reproducibility and verifiability of scientific results. The MEMORIA prototype makes it possible not only to describe research results, but also to document their production process in the form of a chain of activities summarising their making-of.

In addition, the laboratory’s scientific programme includes a strong concern for initiatives linking science and society: development, dissemination, transfer, exploitation and dissemination of scientific knowledge to society, open data policy, information for citizens and support for local players in dealing with their concerns (preservation, enhancement, advice as much as study). This specific field of action is further detailed in a specific tab of this web portal.

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Domains of expertise:

  • Traceability, reproducibility and open publication of research flows
  • Epistemological issues – deontology and ethics
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge elicitation
  • Best practices for Open Science
  • Citizen science experiments
  • Dissemination, edutainment

Contact: Iwona Dudeck, Judith Hannoun, Ariane Néroulidis

Examples of projects and achievements: Memoria SI