The Multimedia Research Group (MediaLab) focuses on the research and development of algorithms, techniques and tools for digitization, analysis, management and dissemination of cultural assets, ranging from very small objects to urban areas and open spaces. In doing so, MediaLab has been included in numerous R&D activities involved with multimedia databases and applications, multimedia processing, feature extraction, indexing and content-based retrieval, 3D digitization and representation of objects, monuments, architecturals, urban areas, actual and virtual worlds, 3D representation of multi-dimensional data, content-based analysis and organization of multimedia collections. Through these activities, MediaLab has accumulated a significant know-how on subjects including digital recording of cultural heritage in 2D/3D, efficient digital cultural data management and dissemination, metadata schemas and semantic representations of cultural content, GIS applications in cultural heritage, online multimedia databases for culture and education, multispectral digital recording of cultural objects and works of art, multi-criteria analysis and predictive modelling in archaeological research, interactive 3D and VR applications for cultural heritage, multimedia processing, analysis, segmentation, compression and transmission, content-based retrieval, media production and systems for presentation, dissemination and education, and biometric systems.
MediaLab teams up with the Archaeometry Research Group of the Institute and forms the Clepsydra Cultural Heritage Digitization Center, a unique Unit within Athena Research Center that focuses on the digitisation, preservation, management, promotion and dissemination of cultural heritage.
MediaLab has access to specialised laboratory equipment that includes a complete professional photographic studio, various 2D digitization units, 2D/3D projection units, video and sound editing systems, advanced copying and imaging systems (high resolution scanners, specialized film and slide scanners, book scanner etc.), as well as high resolution 3D scanners, 3D cameras and 3D scanning systems, multi-spectral cameras, etc.
MediaLab is able to provide services that focus on innovative multimedia applications for cultural heritage and education. Specifically, these services include the high quality 3D digitisation of cultural objects, monuments, architecturals, urban areas and open spaces in various resolutions, high quality 2D digitisation of various subject sizes (from microfilm to A0), multispectral digitization, services for education, evaluation and applications of 3D digitization, management and dissemination strategies for cultural applications, interactive 3D walkthroughs, virtual museums and VR applications, innovative content-based virtual walkthroughs, web-powered multimedia databases for cultural heritage based on international standards, GIS applications in cultural heritage (cultural research, cultural/urban development, cultural/touristic itineraries), digital media production and multimedia titles and websites/portals for culture and education in various platforms.
In summary, MediaLab focuses its R&D activities in the following sectors:
- 3D cultural data indexing, annotation, content-based retrieval and intelligent content-based navigation within virtual environments
- 3D digitisation and virtual reconstructions of small-to-large-scale cultural assets, ranging from small objects to open spaces
- virtual environments, exhibitions and museums, intelligent virtual walkthroughs, semantic-based multi-dimensional multimedia data visualisation and navigation
- GIS and predictive modelling in cultural heritage
- cultural database development based on international standards and Europeana connectivity
- media processing and multimedia development for desktop, kiosk and the web
MediaLab has a significant participation in European and National R&D projects related to innovative cultural and educational multimedia technologies. Activities within these projects resulted in strengthening of the experience and know-how of MediaLab’s focused R&D targets, as well as of the collaboration with researchers, institutions and the private sector.
MediaLab’s contribution has been acknowledged in several cases:
- Most cited paper (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S129620740600121X) in the Elsevier Journal of Cultural Heritage (Pavlidis et al., 2007b).
- ISO 9001 awarded for 3D digitization services (EN version: http://multimedia.ipet.gr/index.php/iso9001-2000/, http://multimedia.ipet.gr/index.php/iso9001-2008/).
- Invited talks at the Seminar “Diagnosis Techniques in the Art Conservation Science” (GR), organized by the Cross-disciplinary Postgraduate Programme of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 17-19 Feb. 2012, Thessaloniki, Greece (http://www.auth.gr/news/conferences/7347).
- Anestis Koutsoudis, “Graphics and technologies for 3D digitisation-recording cultural heritage”
- George Pavlidis, “Technologies for management and dissemination of 3D digital content”
- Invited seminar “Digital photography and image processing” (GR), organized by the IEEE Student Branch of Democritus University of Thrace, 2011, Xanthi, Greece (http://ieee.duth.gr/activities_archive.html, http://georgepavlides.info/coursestalks/ψηφιακή-φωτογραφία-ieee-duth-student-branch-2/).
- Excellence Award for the successful completion and quality of project “Digitech III-2” (GR) results by the Greek Operational Programme “Information Society”, 2009 (http://www.infosoc.gr/infosoc/el-GR/specialreports/digital_culture/default.htm).
- Invited talk “Contemporary 3D technologies in the study of ancient ceramics” (GR) at the Dept. of History and Archaeology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, under the scope of the postgraduate course: “New technologies in ancient Greek pottery”, 2009, Thessaloniki, Greece.
- MediaLab was the first to provide 3D cultural content in Europeana through the CARARE project (http://goo.gl/7jxbRp).
- Coordination of roundtable on “Applications of 3D technologies to culture”, under the thematic unit “Images of the digital future: emerging information technologies” (GR), at the workshop “Digital Innovation for the Knowledge Society” organized by “Athena” Research Center at Eugenides Foundation, May 28, 2008, Athens, Greece (http://www.ekt.gr/content/display?ses_mode=rnd&ses_lang=el&prnbr=73868).
In addition, MediaLab has contributed in the development of novel techniques in multimedia and established a significant know-how in the following fields:
- Novel techniques for 3D data indexing, annotation and content-based retrieval (Koutsoudis et al., 2008b; Koutsoudis et al., 2009a,b; Koutsoudis et al., 2010a,b; Koutsoudis et al., 2011a)
- Novel techniques for 3D digitization and virtual reconstructions of small-to-large-scale objects and open spaces (Tsioukas et al., 2005; Pavlidis et al., 2006b,c; Arnaoutoglou et al., 2006; Pavlidis et al., 2006a,b; Koutsoudis et al., 2008a,c,d,e; Rakitina et al., 2008; Chamzas et al., 2008; Pavlidis et al., 2010)
- Novel techniques in virtual environments for exhibitions and museums, intelligent virtual walkthroughs and content-based navigation (Pavlidis et al., 2006; Pavlidis et al., 2008; Koutsoudis et al., 2012a,b)
- Novel techniques for semantic-based multi-dimensional multimedia data visualization and navigation (Koutsoudis et al., 2017c; Pavlidis et al., 2006d)
- Novel GIS and predictive modeling applications in cultural heritage (Balla et al., 2006; Balla et al., 2012a,b)
- Novel techniques on digital imaging-data compression (Pavlidis et al., 2005a,b)
- Strong background in cultural database development based on international standards and Europeana (Pletinckx et al., 2010; Koutsoudis et al., 2012)
- Strong background in media processing and multimedia development for desktop, kiosk and web-based applications
MediaLab, in order to test and provide open access to research outcomes, has developed, either independently or in close collaboration with other research groups of the Institute, various prototype applications that are available through the web:
- Complete digital recording of the archaeological excavation at Karabournaki, Greece (GR|EN)
- qp: A Tool for Generating 3D Models of Ancient Greek Pottery (EN)
- 3DSSE – A 3D Scene Search Engine – Exploring 3D Scenes Using Keywords (EN)
- A 3D Pottery Database for Benchmarking Content Based Retrieval Mechanisms (EN)
- Content-based navigation within virtual museums (EN)
- Content-based retrieval in real-time virtual reality environments (EN)
- Study of 3D digitisation technologies portal (GR), available at Digitech-III and Digitech-III-2
- Virtual museum of traditional Greek instruments (GR)
- Ancient Greek pottery workshops portal (GR)
- Digitech3D – blog dedicated to the cultural heritage digital recording technologies with emphasis on 3D digitisation (GR)
Current research directions:
MediaLab plans to strengthen its expertise and know-how in fields already established as its identity areas. Specifically, research and development efforts will focus on:
- Research and development on innovative content-based 3D representations and virtual walkthroughs using multimodal interaction
- Research and development on content-based retrieval and shape matching techniques for static 2D images and 3D cultural content
- Research and development on 3D model analysis and annotation techniques and tools for cultural heritage digital assets
- Incorporation of 3D game engines in cultural applications and development of serious games (game-based learning)
- Research and development on innovative multimodal human-computer interactions and intelligent user interfaces using various input sensors and ambient intelligence for cultural applications (interaction in museums, open spaces, etc)
- A. Koutsoudis, On Providing 3D Content to Europeana, The case of Athena Research Centre, CARARE Final Policy Conference, Copenhagen, 8-9 November 2012.
- A. Koutsoudis, C. Makarona, G. Pavlidis, “ Content-based navigation within virtual museums”, Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Technology, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 73-81, 2012.
- A. Koutsoudis, K. Stavroglou, G. Pavlidis, C. Chamzas, “3DSSE – A 3D Scene Search Engine – Exploring 3D Scenes Using Keywords”, Journal of Cultural Heritage, Vol. 13, pp. 187–194, 2012.
- A. Balla, G. Pavlogeorgatos, D. Tsiafakis, G. Pavlidis, “Modeling for the prediction of possible Macedonian tombs’ locations for cultural management”, 7th PanHellenic Conference HellasGIs 2012, (Athens, Greece), May 17-18, 2012.
- A. Balla, G. Pavlogeorgatos, D. Tsiafakis, G. Pavlidis, “Predicting Macedonian tombs’ locations using GIS, predictive modeling and fuzzy logic”, Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology CAA 2012, (Southampton, UK), Mar. 26-30, 2012.
- A. Koutsoudis, C. Chamzas, 3D Pottery Shape Matching Using Depth Map Images, Journal of Cultural Heritage, Vol. 12 (2011),pp.128-133.
- A. Koutsoudis, G. Pavlidis, “Content-based search and retrieval within complex 3D scenes – An application to cultural heritage”, 16th International Conference on Cultural Heritage and New Technologies-CHNT 2011, (Vienna, Austria), Nov. 14-16, 2011.
- D. Pletinckx, A. Koutsoudis, Metadata for documenting the virtual reconstruction process, Workshop on Metadata for 3D: towards a practical approach, VAST 2010, Paris, France, 21-24 September,2010.
- A. Koutsoudis, G. Pavlidis, C. Chamzas, “Detecting Shape Similarities in 3D Pottery Repositories”, IEEE Int. Workshop on Semantic Web and Reasoning for Cultural Heritage and Digital Libraries, (Pittsburgh, USA), Sept. 22-24, 2010.
- A. Koutsoudis, G. Pavlidis, V. Liami, D. Tsiafakis, C. Chamzas, “3D Pottery Content Based Retrieval based on Pose Normalisation and Segmentation”, Journal of Cultural Heritage, Vol. 11, pp. 329-338, 2010.
- G. Pavlidis, F. Arnaoutoglou, A. Koutsoudis, C. Chamzas, “Virtual Walkthrough in a Lost Town – The Virtual Argostoli”, IASTED Computer Graphics and Imaging CGIM 2010, (Innsbruck, Austria), Feb. 17-19, 2010.
- A. Koutsoudis and C. Chamzas, 3D Pottery Shape Similarity Matching Based on Digital Signatures,in Procs. of the 37th Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference (CAA 2009), Williamsburg, Virginia, USA, March 22-26, 2009.
- A. Koutsoudis and C. Chamzas, A 3D Pottery Content Based Retrieval Method, Workshop on 3D Object Retrieval, Eurographics ’09, 29 March 2009, Munich, Germany.
- A. Koutsoudis, F. Arnaoutoglou, G. Pavlidis, D. Tsiafakis, C. Chamzas, “A Versatile Workflow for 3D Reconstructions and Modeling of Cultural Heritage Sites Based on Open Source Software”, Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia dedicated to Cultural Heritage VSMM2008, (Limassol, Cyprus), Oct. 20-26, 2008.
- G. Pavlidis, C. Makarona, F. Arnaoutoglou, A. Koutsoudis, C. Chamzas, “Museums In The Virtual World”, International Symposium “Information and Communication Technologies in Cultural Heritage”, (Ioannina, Greece), Oct. 16-18, 2008.
- C. Chamzas, G. Pavlidis, A. Koutsoudis, “Advanced techniques in the documentation and dissemination of Culture”, 14th Conference on Informatics Technology, (Thessaloniki, Greece), Oct. 2-5, 2008.
- E. Rakitina, I. Rakitin, V. Staleva, F. Arnaoutoglou, A. Koutsoudis, G. Pavlidis, “An Overview of 3D Laser Scanning Technology”, in Proc. of the International Scientific Conference, (Varna, Bulgaria), Jun. 26-28, 2008.
- Α. Koutsoudis, G. Pavlidis, F. Arnaoutoglou, D. Tsiafakis, C. Chamzas, “A 3D Pottery Database for Benchmarking Content Based Retrieval Mechanisms”, Workshop on 3D Object Retrieval in Eurographics 2008 International Conference, (Crete, Greece), Apr. 14-18, 2008.
- A. Koutsoudis, F. Arnaoutoglou, G. Pavlidis, V. Tsioukas, C. Chamzas, “Creating Internet Friendly 3D Tours Using 3D Range Scanner Data”, 3D Colour Laser Scanning Conference, (UCL London, UK), Mar. 27-28, 2008.
- A. Koutsoudis, F. Arnaoutoglou, G. Pavlidis, V. Tsioukas, C. Chamzas, “Process Evaluation of 3D Reconstruction Methodologies Targeted to Web based Virtual Reality”, XXI CIPA International Symposium, (Athens, Greece), Oct. 1-6, 2007.
- A. Koutsoudis, F. Arnaoutoglou,C. Chamzas, On 3D Reconstruction of the old city of Xanthi, Journal of Cultural Heritage, Volume 8 (2007), pp. 26-31.
- A. Koutsoudis, F. Arnaoutoglou, G. Pavlidis, C. Chamzas, “3D content-based visualization of databases”, International Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication and Management: KGCM 2007 Jointly with The 11th World Multi-conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics: WMSCI 2007, (Orlando, USA), Jul. 2-11, 2007.
- G. Pavlidis, D. Tsiafakis, V. Tsioukas, A. Koutsoudis, F. Arnaoutoglou, C. Chamzas, “Preservation of Architectural Heritage through 3D digitization”, Special Issue of the International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC) in Cultural Heritage, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 221-237, Jun. 2007.
- G. Pavlidis, A. Koutsoudis, F. Arnaoutoglou, V. Tsioukas, C. Chamzas, “Methods for 3D Digitization of Cultural Heritage”, Elsevier Journal of Cultural Heritage, Vol. 8, Issue 1, pp. 93-98, Jan.-Mar. 2007.
- F. Arnaoutoglou, A. Koutsoudis, G. Pavlidis, V. Tsioukas, C. Chamzas, “Towards a Versatile Handheld 3D Laser Scanner”, The 7th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage VAST, 2006, (Nicosia, Cyprus), Oct. 30 – Nov. 4, 2006.
- A. Balla, G. Pavlidis, D. Tsiafakis, G. Pavlogeorgatos, “Cultural itineraries in the region of Xanthi using Web-based GIS technologies”, The 7th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage VAST, 2006, (Nicosia, Cyprus), Oct. 30 – Nov. 4, 2006.
- G. Pavlidis, D. Tsiafakis, G. Provopoulos, S. Chatzopoulos, F. Arnaoutoglou, C. Chamzas, “MOMI: A dynamic and internet-based 3D virtual museum of musical instruments”, Third International Conference of Museology, (Mytilene, Greece), June 5-9, 2006.
- G. Pavlidis, D. Tsiafakis, A. Koutsoudis, F. Arnaoutoglou, V. Tsioukas, C. Chamzas, “Recording Cultural Heritage”, Third International Conference of Museology, (Mytilene, Greece), June 5-9, 2006.
- G. Pavlidis, N. Tsirliganis, D. Tsiafakis, F. Arnaoutoglou, C. Chamzas, “3D digitization of monuments: the case of Mani”, Third International Conference of Museology, (Mytilene, Greece), June 5-9, 2006.
- G. Pavlidis, D. Tsiafakis, F. Arnaoutoglou, K. Balla, A. Pikrakis, C. Chamzas, “Musical Universe”, Third International Conference of Museology, (Mytilene, Greece), June 5-9, 2006.
- V. Tsioukas, N. Tsirliganis, G. Pavlidis, F. Arnaoutoglou, C. Chamzas, E. Mpakourou, A. Mexia, “Photogrammetric Modeling Of Byzantine Churches”, CIPA 2005 – XX International Symposium, (Torino, Italy), 26 Sept. – 1 Oct., 2005.
- G. Pavlidis, A. Tsompanopoulos, N. Papamarkos, C. Chamzas, “A Multi-Segment Image Coding and Transmission Scheme”, Elsevier Signal Processing, Vol. 85, Issue 9, pp. 1827-1844, Sep. 2005.
- G. Pavlidis, C. Chamzas, “Compressing the background layer in compound images using JPEG and data filling”, Elsevier Signal Processing: Image Communication, Vol. 20, Issue 5, pp. 487-502, Jun. 2005.