The ability to digitize analog photographs allows us to capture images taken over the last 180 years. By digitizing antiquities, we can create images of things that have existed for thousands of years — staking a digital claim through the record and testimony of immensely valuable objects. However, the true power of this data is no longer in any single image, but in the organization of this large, diverse collection based on some feature of interest. FoLIO created a framework to organize these images based on a relationship between the images in the collection.
This project developed a framework for organizing images that allows the specific types of relationships between those images to be represented, manipulated, highlighted, enhanced, and studied. The technical challenges involved building new representational and algorithmic systems to capture the major “longitudinal categories” that relate heterogeneous images to each other within collections. This work focused on using existing methods to study three relationships between images: multi-modal, diachronic, and multi-instance. Multi-modal imagery varies based on conditions, such as the spectrum of light. Diachronic imagery is the same scene taken over a wide span of time. Multi-instance imagery is connected semantically, like images of the pages of a story written by two completely different scribes. Organizing longitudinally along these various axes allows people across disciplines to explore the datasets and use the digital archive for their own research.