European consortium introduces new era of intelligent databases

AIT sets new standards for the interdisciplinary exploration of our digital cultural heritage, says

The Open Source platform RECOGITO developed by the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology is setting new standards in online-based cooperation between experts in a wide range of disciplines around the globe.

The RECOGITO platform has been developed under the direction of AIT, together with Exeter University, the Open University, the University of London and the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, and with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It enables research teams all over the world to identify correlations in the vast quantities of data generated by our increasingly digital society and global cultural heritage stored in libraries, museums or universities. The platform provides these teams with a simple method of working together on this data, of sharing results and making them available to the public. RECOGITO is open to all and has already been successfully adopted by leading universities to study and preserve mankind’s digital cultural heritage and make it available for everyone.

RECOGITO was awarded the accolade of “Best Digital Humanities Tool 2018” at the 2018 Digital Humanities Awards; it recently also received another prize at the 2019 Open Publishing Awards in the “Open Source Software” category, which was presented in Edinburgh, Scotland, in mid-October this year. These awards illustrate the international recognition already achieved by RECOGITO.

RECOGITO in use worldwide

RECOGITO was created for real-world applications in the scientific community. Scholars around the world use the platform for a multiplicity of exciting tasks including the study and transcription of digitised historical maps; as a collaboration, annotation and sharing platform in the field of image archiving; building databases of place names from medieval manuscript sources; and creating online editions of historical travel accounts. Today RECOGITO is increasingly being used in teaching, and is regularly offered by faculties of humanities with a digital focus, such as the Oxford Digital Humanities Summer School, the Linked Open Data Indian Summer School in Mainz, and in seminars taught in Sofia, Cluj-Napoca, Ankara, Tbilisi, London and Athens, among others. Here the focus lies on researchers who wish to improve their digital skills and develop new approaches to digital teaching.

Furthermore, discussing and analysing historical documents by annotating them in RECOGITO, and producing related visualisations is currently used to assess students in at least three higher education institutions: the University of London, Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and King’s College, London.

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