International Workshop in conjunction with DL2014, 11-12 Sep 2014 in London    #tsio2014

Exploring Cultural Collections with Visualization

With the progressing digitization of cultural artifacts, there is a growing interest in exploring collections with other means than traditional search interfaces. This workshop brings researchers and practitioners together from art, design, humanities and science to explore the space between information visualization and exploration of digital collections.

On the one hand, cultural institutions are experimenting with new visual interfaces to showcase their collections by visualizing artefacts along diverse dimensions; on the other hand humanities scholars are developing methods for digital scholarship using visualizations for literary analysis, cultural analytics, and digital archaeology. These developments are creating new opportunities for rethinking the way with which digital collections are displayed, analyzed, and explored. While domain-specific considerations may differ substantially when designing interfaces for library catalogues, historical archives, or personal collections, there are recurring themes and challenges that touch on many key aspects of digital libraries, including information seeking, user experience, interaction design, and increasingly information visualization.

Goals and Outcomes

During the workshop we will take stock of current developments in visualizing cultural collections and foster discussion on open research challenges and future directions for this emerging field of practice. We plan to discuss the following aspects, but encourage discussions on related topics.

Information seeking and discovery
Visual interfaces are geared towards more exploratory activities in contrast to goal-oriented search. How can exploratory approaches be complementary to or extensions of search? What is the place for search in exploration?

Design decisions and emerging conventions
With a growing number of visual interfaces for collections, we are interested in capturing participants’ views on the recurring and diverging design decisions for the digital display and interaction with artefacts. Building a taxonomy of these design decisions and conventions can improve understanding of this research area.

Collection and artefacts
When visualizing digital collections, there are two main vantage points: an entire collection and the individual artefact. How do these perspectives come together when designing for particularly large collections?

Visualization for exploration
Visualization research largely focused on analysts. What are key factors to take into account when using visualization to explore cultural collections? What are strategies to enable visual exploration for the masses?

As visualization is introduced to support exploration in diverse application areas, how can we evaluate how successful these visual interfaces are? Related questions deal with the study of effectiveness, usefulness and engagement of such interfaces for exploring digital collections.

Keynote Speakers



Robert Warren and David Evans
3D virtual worlds as search, discovery and retrieval engines

Mark Michael Hall
From Searching to Using: Making Sense of Digital Cultural Heritage Collections

Georgina Hibberd
Metaphors for discovery: how interfaces shape our relationship with library collections

Katja Rogers, Uta Hinrichs and Aaron Quigley
It Doesn't Compare to Being There: In-Situ vs. Remote Exploration of Museum Collections

Giulio Fagiolini, Paolo Ciuccarelli and Lei Yang
A Visual Exploration of the Reciprocal Image of Italy and China through Search Engines

Kim Albrecht, Marian Dörk and Boris Müller

Not able to participate: Tom Cheesman, Kevin Flanagan and Robert S Laramee
Visualizing Variation in Collections of Translations and Adaptations of Cultural Heritage Texts


Pim van Bree and Geert Kessels
Traiblazing, Object-Oriented Navigation in nodegoat (Poster)

David Murphy, Laura Mellett, Cathal Hoare, Adrian O'Riordan and Humphrey Sorensen
Facilitating Researchers with Visualizations of a Digital Cultural Heritage Site (Poster)

Alex Butterworth
On the growth of my own mind: Visualising the creative process behind Wordsworth’s autobiographical epic, The Prelude, in multiple contexts (Poster)

Jaume Nualart and Gabriela Ferraro
Crossreads, towards a rhizomatic narrative (Poster)

Workshop Plan

This workshop will run for 1.5 days and is targeted for 20-30 participants. We are inviting researchers and practitioners from art, design, humanities, and science that are actively engaged with the visual exploration of digital collections.

The workshop takes place at City University London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB
in room A214, College Building (building A on this map).

Thursday, 11 September 2014

  1:00pm  Welcome
  1:15pm  Keynotes: Aaron Straup Cope & Lizzy Jongma
  2:25pm  Break
  2:40pm  Panel on institutional landscape and innovation
  3:15pm  Posters
  4:00pm  Paper session #1
  5:30pm  Social event (The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker)

Friday, 12 September 2014

10:00am  Keynotes: Moritz Stefaner & Piotr Adamczyk
11:10am  Break
11:25am  Panel on industry and individual practice
12:00pm  Demos
  1:00pm  Lunch
  2:00pm  Paper session #2
  3:00pm  Break
  3:15pm  Paper session #3
  4:15pm  Closing discussion
  5:00pm  Goodbye

After the workshop is over, presented papers and posters will be archived, together with documentation of the workshop. Depending on interest among workshop participants, we will start planning for a workshop report or special issue.


We invite two types of submissions related to the workshop's topics: papers and posters.
Papers should not exceed 4 pages and poster abstracts should not exceed 2 pages.
Both types of submissions should be formatted in the ACM SIG Proceedings style.
Please send in your submission via the EasyChair system.

Accepted submissions will be published on this website and on the conference USB stick.

If you intend to participate, but have not submitted a paper or poster, please share research in progress in the form of an interactive demo, paper sketches or blue-sky ideas to discuss and develop with other participants.

Workshop participants need to register through the DL2014 website.

Important Dates

21 July, 2014 – Paper and poster submission due

4 August, 2014 – Notification of acceptance

11-12 Sept., 2014 – Workshop at DL2014 in London


Marian Dörk (@nrchtct), Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Mitchell Whitelaw (@mtchl), University of Canberra, Australia
Steven M. Drucker, Microsoft Research, USA
Florian Kräutli (@fkraeutli), Royal College of Art, London, UK

If you have any questions, please email the organizers.

Programme Committee


The Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR) at University of Canberra information+visualization at Potsdam University of Applied Sciences

Header Images

Photos: Archives by Marino González, The Wet Collections by peterned, Untitled by angela larose.

Screenshots: Australian Prints Bohemian Bookshelf Fluid Views Manly Images Selfiecity Phototrails.