In this digital cultural heritage project, we provide innovative access to heritage objects from heterogeneous online collections. We use historical events and event narratives as a context both for searching and browsing as well as for the presentation of individual and group of objects. Semantics from existing collection vocabularies and linked data vocabularies are used to link objects and the events, people, locations and concepts that are depicted or associated with those objects. An innovative interface allows for browsing this network of data in an intuitive fashion. The main focus in DIVE is to provide support to (1) digital humanities scholars and (2) general audience in their online explorations.

DIVE+ Demo at HCOMP 2018

This month the DIVE+ demonstrator was presented at the sixth AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP), which took place in Zurich, Switzerland, July 5-8. Check out our work-in-progress submission:

A Study of Narrative Creation by Means of Crowds and Niches (Oana Inel, Sabrina Sauer, Lora Aroyo): Online video constitutes the largest, continuously growing portion of the Web content. Web users drive this growth by massively sharing their personal stories on social media platforms as compilations of their daily visual memories, or with animated GIFs and memes based on existing video material. Therefore, it is crucial to gain understanding of the semantics of video stories, i.e., what do they capture and how. The remix of visual content is also a powerful way of understanding the implicit aspects of storytelling, as well as the essential parts of audio-visual (AV) material. In this paper we take a digital hermeneutics approach to understand what are the visual attributes and semantics that drive the creation of narratives. We present insights from a nichesourcing study in which humanities scholars remix keyframes and video fragments into micro-narratives i.e., (sequences of) GIFs. To support the narrative creation for humanities scholars a specific video annotation is needed, e.g., (1) annotations that consider literal and abstract connotations of video material, and (2) annotations that are coarse-grained, i.e., focusing on keyframes and video fragments as opposed to full length videos. The main findings of the study are used to facilitate the creation of narratives in the digital humanities exploratory search tool DIVE+.

Pitch Slide:
Slam Slide


DIVE+ collection enrichment paper wins best paper award at MTSR2017

Last week, Victor de Boer visited the 11th Metadata and Semantics Research Conference (MTSR2017) in Tallinn, Estonia. This conference brings together computer scientists. information scientists and people from the domain of digital libraries to discuss their work in metadata and semantics. The 2017 edition of the conference draws around 70 people which is a great size for a single-track conference with lively discussions. The paper included interesting tracks on Cultural Heritage and Library (meta)data as well as one on Digital Humanities.

On the last day Victor presented our paper “Enriching Media Collections for Event-based Exploration” [draft pdf], co-authored with the people in the CLARIAH and DIVE+ team working on data enrichment and APIs: Liliana Melgar, Oana Inel Carlos Martinez Ortiz, Lora Aroyo and Johan Oomen.  The slides for the presentation can be found here on slideshare. We were very happy to hear that our paper was presented the MTSR2017 Best Paper Award!

In the paper, we present a methodology to publish, represent, enrich, and link heritage collections so that they can be explored by domain expert users. We present four methods to derive events from media object descriptions. We also present a case study where four datasets with mixed media types are made accessible to scholars and describe the building blocks for event-based proto-narratives in the knowledge graph

DIVE+ in Europeana Insight

This months’ edition of Europeana Insight features articles from this year’s LODLAM Challenge finalists, which include the winner: DIVE+. The online article “DIVE+: EXPLORING INTEGRATED LINKED MEDIA” discusses the DIVE+ User studies, data enrichment, exploratory interface and impact on the cultural heritage domain.

The paper was co-authored by Victor de Boer, Oana Inel, Lora Aroyo, Chiel van den Akker, Susane Legene, Carlos Martinez, Werner Helmich, Berber Hagendoorn, Sabrina Sauer, Jaap Blom, Liliana Melgar and Johan Oomen

Screenshot of the Europeana Insight article

Event Extraction From Radio News Bulletins For Linked Data

[This post is based on the BSc. Thesis of Kim van Putten (Computer Science, VU Amsterdam)]

As part of the Bachelor’s degree Computer Science at the VU Amsterdam, Kim van Putten conducted her bachelor thesis in the context of the DIVE+ project .

The DIVE+ demonstrator is an event-centric linked data browser which aims to provide exploratory search within a heterogeneous collection of historical media objects. In order to structure and link the media objects in the dataset, the events need to be identified first. Due to the size of the data collection manually identifying events in infeasible and a more automatic approach is required. The main goal of the bachelor project was to find a more effective way to extract events from the data to improve linkage within the DIVE+ system.

The thesis focused on event extraction from radio news bulletins of which the text content were extracted using optical character recognition (OCR). Data preprocessing was performed to remove errors from the OCR’ed data. A Named Entity Recognition (NER) tool was used to extract named events and a pattern-based approach combined with NER and part-of-speech tagging tools was adopted to find unnamed events in the data. Errors in the data caused by the OCR were found to cause poor performance of the NER tools, even after data cleaning.

The results show that the proposed methodology improved upon the old event extraction method. The newly extracted events improved the searchability of the media objects in the DIVE+ system, however, they did not improve the linkage between objects in the linked data structure. Furthermore,
the pattern-based method of event extraction was found to be too coarse-grained and only allowed for the extraction of one event per object. To achieve a finer granularity of event extraction, future research is necessary to find a way to identify what the relationships between Named Entities and verbs are and which Named Entities and verbs describe an event.

The full thesis is available for download here and the presentation here. Following, we show a poster that summrizes the main findings and the presentation of the thesis.

Poster - Event Extraction for Radio New Bulletins

DIVE+ wins Grand Prize at the LODLAM Summit in Venice!

We are excited to announce that DIVE+ has been awarded the Grand Prize at the LODLAM Summit, held at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini this week. The summit brought together ~100 experts in the vibrant and global community of Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives and Museums. It is organised bi-annually since 2011. Earlier editions were held in the US, Canada and Australia, making the 2017 edition the first in Europe.

The Grand Prize (USD$2,000) was awarded by the LODLAM community. It’s recognition of how DIVE+ demonstrates social, cultural and technical impact of linked data. The Open Data Prize (of USD$1,000) was awarded to WarSampo for its groundbreaking approach to publish open data.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini. Image credit: Johan Oomen CC-BY.

Five finalists were invited to present their work, selected from a total of 21 submissions after an open call published earlier this year. Johan Oomen, head of research at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision presented DIVE+ on day one of the summit. The slides of his pitch have been published, as well as the demo video that was submitted to the open call. Next to DIVE+ (Netherlands) and WarSampo (Finland) the finalists were Oslo public library (Norway), Fishing in the Data Ocean (Taiwan) and Genealogy Project (China). The diversity of the finalists is a clear indication that the use of linked data technology is gaining momentum. Throughout the summit, delegates have been capturing the outcomes of various breakout sessions. Please look at the overview of session notes and follow @lodlam on Twitter to keep track.

Pictured: Johan Oomen (@johanoomen) pitching DIVE+. Photo: Enno Meijers.

DIVE+ is an event-centric linked data digital collection browser aimed to provide an integrated and interactive access to multimedia objects from various heterogeneous online collections. It enriches the structured metadata of online collections with linked open data vocabularies with focus on events, people, locations and concepts that are depicted or associated with particular collection objects. DIVE+ is the result of a true interdisciplinary collaboration between computer scientists, humanities scholars, cultural heritage professionals and interaction designers. DIVE+ is integrated in the national CLARIAH (Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities) research infrastructure.

Pictured: each day experts shape the agenda for that day, following the OpenSpace format. Image credit: Johan Oomen (cc-by)

DIVE+ is a research project funded by the NLeSC and lead by Lora Aroyo and is a collaborative effort of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Victor de Boer, Oana Inel, Lora Aroyo, Chiel van den Akker, Susane Legene), Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Jaap Blom, Liliana Melgar, Johan Oomen), Frontwise (Werner Helmich), University of Groningen (Berber Hagendoorn, Sabrina Sauer) and the Netherlands eScience Centre (Carlos Martinez). It is also supported by CLARIAH and NWO . Read more about the LODLAM prize.

This is the second significant prize for DIVE+, previously we won the 3rd prize at the Semantic Web challenge in 2014.


The LODLAM Challenge was generously sponsored by Synaptica. We would also like to thank the organisers, especially Valentine Charles and Antoine Isaac of Europeana and Ingrid Mason of Aarnet for all of their efforts. LODLAM 2017 has been a truly unforgettable experience for the DIVE+ team.


The DIVE+ team is present on the 21st and 22nd of March at the ICTOpen 2017 conference to present and showcase the latest developments of the tool. As part of the latest developments, DIVE+ is also integrated in the CLARIAH (Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities) research infrastructure, next to other media studies research tools (CLARIAH MediaSuite), that aim at supporting the media studies researchers and scholars by providing access to digital data and tools. During the Meet the Demo sessions we also screencast the new DIVE+ interface that provides support for the automatic generation of narratives and storylines. Following you can check the DIVE+ presentation.

For more insights, you can also check our short demo!

Narrativizing disruption with DIVE+

On the 10th of March “Narrativizing disruption”, a DIVE+ centered CLARIAH-funded research pilot, was presented at the CLARIAH toog day. The pilot (2017-2018) brings together researchers from the University of Groningen Media Studies department,  VU University’s Web & Media group and the University of Amsterdam. The project focuses on the question how exploratory search can support media researchers interpret disruptive media events as lucid narratives. Disruptive media events, such as terrorist attacks or environmental disasters, are difficult to interpret due to an inability to grasp the story. This leads to problems for media scholars, who analyse how narratives construct different political, economic or cultural meanings around such events. Offering media scholars the ability to explore and create lucid narratives about media events therefore greatly supports their interpretative work.

This project studies how exploratory search can help to understand how ‘disruptive’ events are constructed as narratives across media, and instilled with specific cultural-political meanings. This project approaches this question by using CLARIAH components (DIVE+’s navigation and bookmarking pane) to examine how scholars use and create narratives to understand media events. Academic insights conclude how exploratory search supports narrative generation. Software-specific insights produce recommendations at the entity, interface and user level, provide starting points for media research, and recommendations for at the entity, interface and user level, provide starting points for media research, and recommendations for auto-generating narratives based on exploratory search practices.

DIVE+ at Cross Media Café: Uit het Lab

On 7th of March the DIVE+ project was presented at Cross Media Café: Uit het Lab. DIVE+ is result of a true inter-disciplinary collaboration between computer scientists, humanities scholars, cultural heritage professionals and interaction designers. In this project, we use the CrowdTruth methodology and framework in order to crowdsource events for the news broadcasts from The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (NISV) that are published under open licenses in the OpenImages platform.

As part of the digital humanities effort, DIVE+ is also integrated in the CLARIAH (Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities) research infrastructure, next to other media studies research tools, that aims at supporting the media studies researchers and scholars by providing access to digital data and tools. In order to develop this project we work together with eScience Center, which is also funding the DIVE+ project.

Check the slides!

NLeSC-Lorentz Center eHumanities Day

On December 14th the Netherlands eScience Center and the Lorentz Center co-hosted the eHumanities Day at the Lorentz Center in Leiden. The purpose of the event was to introduce researchers from the digital humanities to the funding opportunities and partnering possible with NLeSC and with the Lorentz Center. The day included a keynote presentation, expert panels, pitches on projects that have been running together with NLeSC. During this day, Oana Inel presented the Dive+ project. The talk can be seen below.