Video recordings of Information Plus Conference

Information Plus is a biennial conference on interdisciplinary practices in information design and visualization. The last edition took place in Potsdam Germany from 19 to 21 October.

Organizers have just updated the website with video recordings of the first conference day and photo documentation of the workshops, exhibition and dialog dinner. The remaining videos will follow over the next weeks.

Presentations I watched so far:

Dataviz, Machine Learning and Image Processing at

Held on November 10 and 11 in São Paulo, the third edition of Coda.Br (“Conferência anual de jornalismo de dados e métodos digitais”) featured more than 300 participants and dozens of hours of activities, including presentations and practical activities. I wasn’t able to assist, but fortunately, organizers gathered and shared all conference presentations in one place!

Here I highlight some lectures and workshops regarding subjects such as data visualization, machine learning and data visualization:

Digital technologies to preserve and disseminate Brazilian cultural collections

The fire that destroyed the National Museum in Rio in September this year sparked the alert for the state of conservation of the Brazilian collections and has motivated initiatives from different sectors of civil society. Tomorrow (September, 27), a group of researchers, curators, and educators will meet to discuss how digital technologies can help preserve, disseminate and popularize national cultural collections.

Coordinator of the Vision and Computer Graphics Laboratory of IMPA (Visgraf-IMPA), and one of the guests of the “I Panorama in Digital Technologies for Museums” (“I Panorama em Tecnologias Digitais para Museus“), Luiz Velho knows the theme well. For over two decades, Visgraf has developed projects related to different processes of safeguarding, researching and disseminating museum collections.

At the round table “State of the art of technological solutions, reflections on experiences implemented”, Velho will present part of the work done by Visgraf. One of them is the 3D Museum, a modeling and visualization project, which resulted in the creation of a website and a CD with the virtual exhibition of a collection of clay sculptures, part of the collection of the Folklore Museum of Rio.

Velho will also present projects created for the Astronomy Museum (MAST) and the Antônio Carlos Jobim Institute. Recently, Visgraf partnered with the Moreira Salles Institute (IMS) to research and develop applications regarding IMS’s photographic cultural heritage.

The event will be held at the auditorium of the FGV headquarters (Praia de Botafogo, 190), from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Registration is free and can be done here

Updated (28 November)

Slides of the presentation Media Technologies in the New Museum

Participants of the round table “State of the art of technological solutions, reflections on experiences implemented”

Luiz Velho talk

Velho presents IMPA and IMS project aiming IMS’s photographic collections.

Evolution of GIS in the Humanities: from Historical GIS to Spatial Humanities

The Digital Humanities Laboratory of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (LHuD-FGV) holds tomorrow (November 21, at 6:00 pm) the open session “Evolution of GIS in the Humanities: from Historical GIS to Spatial Humanities” (“Evolução dos SIG nas Humanidades: dos Historical GIS às Spatial Humanities”), with Professor Daniel Alves.

Daniel Alves is a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History of the New University of Lisbon. He holds a Ph.D. in Contemporary Economic and Social History, specializing in Urban History, History of Revolutions and Digital Humanities.

The event will be held at the Casa Acervo CPDOC (Rua Jornalista Orlando Dantas, 60, Rio de Janeiro). More information can be found here.


On this session, Daniel presented a series of  projects related to the areas of Historical GIS and Spatial Humanities:

History Projects:

Literature projects:

Some photos of the open session:

An overview of the evolution of historical GIS

Peripleo is a search engine to data maintained by partners of Pelagios Commons.

Georeferencer (David Rumsey Map Collection) allows you to overlay historic maps on modern maps


Digital technologies for museums

The School of Applied Mathematics (EMAp) and the School of Social Sciences (CPDOC) from  Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) will organize and host the First Panorama in Digital Technologies for Museums (I Panorama em Tecnologias Digitais para Museus) on November 27, 2018.

The objective of this Panorama is to present the demands of the museological sector, as well as reflections on previous experiences. Given the scenario of the recent disaster of the National Museum of UFRJ, it is necessary a reaction of all the actors involved in the theme: managers, researchers, educators and other sectors of society.

The event will discuss the strengthening of a knowledge network around the use of digital technologies in the museum context. Likewise, it is necessary to consider impacts related to the diffusion of the collections of these museums, understanding that the society’s engagement with the issue, as well as the development of a close relationship between population and museums, is one of the ways of preserving, collecting and maintaining investments in these institutions.

Representatives of diverse institutions will participate as speakers in this event. Among them, my Ph.D. co-advisor and coordinator of the Visgraf Laboratory, Luiz Velho.

“Existência Numérica” – dataviz exhibition

The exhibition “Existência Numérica” (“Numerical Existence”), that will open on September 17 at Oi Futuro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), presents visualization works approached poetically. Migration flow, urban mobility in rental bicycle systems in New York, London and Rio, investments in science and technology made in Brazil in recent years, are some of the themes addressed by Brazilian and foreign artists who are at the forefront of data visualization, an area where art meets computer science.

The exhibition, conceived by Barbara Castro and Luiz Ludwig and curated by Doris Kosminsky (from Labvis Laboratory), will occupy the galleries of Oi Futuro, with dataviz projects by Pedro Miguel Cruz, Till Nagel & Christopher Pietsch (from the Urban Complexity Lab), Alice Bodanzky, Barbara Castro, Doris Kosminsky & Claudio Esperança and Luiz Ludwig.

A roundtable with the presence of artists and researchers will take place on September 19 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Hands-on activity on data visualization

Last week, I co-hosted a workshop at the Thought For Food Academy Program, an international event dedicated to engaging and empowering the next generation of innovators to solve the complex and important challenges facing our food system. And for that to be, the annual TFF Academy and Summit bring together interdisciplinary professionals from science, entrepreneurship, industry, policy, and design to explore, debate and create ‘what’s next’ in food and agriculture. The TFF Academy Program took place in Escola Eleva, Rio de Janeiro, from 23 to 26 July. The full TFF Program can be accessed here.

I had the opportunity to propose a hands-on activity on Data visualization for spatial data analysis as part of the Big Data and GIS specialization track offered to young students and entrepreneurs from all over the world. In total, 35 participants from 20 different nationalities participated in the workshop. I co-hosted this track with Brittany Dahl, from ESRI Australia, and Vinicius Filier, from Imagem Soluções de Inteligência Geográfica.

The resources for this hands-on activity (slides and instructions) can be found on my personal website.

My hand-crafted presentation for the hands-on activity 🙂 See more here

A special thanks to Leandro Amorim, Henrique Ilidio and Erlan Carvalho, from Café Design Studio, who helped to line up this activity.


Digital Humanities 2018: a selection of sessions I would like to attend

As Digital Humanities 2018 is approaching, I took a time to look at its program. Unfortunately, I didn’t have contributions to submit this year so I won’t attend the Conference. But I had the pleasure to be a reviewer this edition and I’ll also stay tuned on Twitter during the Conference!

My main topic of interest in Digital Humanities bridges the analysis of large-scale visual archives and graphical user interface to browse and make sense of them. So I selected the following contributions I would like to attend if I were at DH2018.


Distant Viewing with Deep Learning: An Introduction to Analyzing Large Corpora of Images

by Taylor Arnold, Lauren Tilton (University of Richmond)

Taylor and Lauren coordinate the Distant Viewing, a Laboratory which develops computational techniques to analyze moving image culture on a large scale. Previously, they contributed on Photogrammar, a web-based platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing the 170,000 photographs. This project was first presented ad Digital Humanities 2016. (abstract here) and I’ve mentioned this work in my presentation at the HDRIO2018 (slides here, Portuguese only).

  • Beyond Image Search: Computer Vision in Western Art History, with Miriam Posner, Leonardo Impett, Peter Bell, Benoit Seguin and Bjorn Ommer;
  • Computer Vision in DH, with Lauren Tilton, Taylor Arnold, Thomas Smits, Melvin Wevers, Mark Williams, Lorenzo Torresani, Maksim Bolonkin, John Bell, Dimitrios Latsis;
  • Building Bridges With Interactive Visual Technologies, with Adeline Joffres, Rocio Ruiz Rodarte, Roberto Scopigno, George Bruseker, Anaïs Guillem, Marie Puren, Charles Riondet, Pierre Alliez, Franco Niccolucci

Paper session: Art History, Archives, Media

  • The (Digital) Space Between: Notes on Art History and Machine Vision Learning, by Benjamin Zweig (from Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art);
  • Modeling the Fragmented Archive: A Missing Data Case Study from Provenance Research, by Matthew Lincoln and Sandra van Ginhoven (from Getty Research Institute);
  • Urban Art in a Digital Context: A Computer-Based Evaluation of Street Art and Graffiti Writing, by Sabine Lang and Björn Ommer (from Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing);
  • Extracting and Aligning Artist Names in Digitized Art Historical Archives by Benoit Seguin, Lia Costiner, Isabella di Lenardo, Frédéric Kaplan (from EPFL, Switzerland);
  • Métodos digitales para el estudio de la fotografía compartida. Una aproximación distante a tres ciudades iberoamericanas en Instagram (by Gabriela Elisa Sued)
Paper session: Visual Narratives
  • Computational Analysis and Visual Stylometry of Comics using Convolutional Neural Networks, by Jochen Laubrock and David Dubray (from University of Potsdam, Germany);
  • Automated Genre and Author Distinction in Comics: Towards a Stylometry for Visual Narrative, by Alexander Dunst and Rita Hartel (from University of Paderborn, Germany);
  • Metadata Challenges to Discoverability in Children’s Picture Book Publishing: The Diverse BookFinder Intervention, by Kathi Inman Berens, Christina Bell (from Portland State University and Bates College, United States of America)
Poster sessions:
  • Chromatic Structure and Family Resemblance in Large Art Collections — Exemplary Quantification and Visualizations (by Loan Tran, Poshen Lee, Jevin West and Maximilian Schich);
  • Modeling the Genealogy of Imagetexts: Studying Images and Texts in Conjunction using Computational Methods (by Melvin Wevers, Thomas Smits and Leonardo Impett);
  • A Graphical User Interface for LDA Topic Modeling (by Steffen Pielström, Severin Simmler, Thorsten Vitt and Fotis Jannidis)

Data mining with historical documents

The last seminar held by the Vision and Graphics Laboratory was about data mining with historical documents. Marcelo Ribeiro, a master student at the Applied Mathematics School of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (EMAp/FGV), presented the results obtained with the application of topic modeling and natural language processing on the analysis of historical documents. This work was previously presented at the first International Digital Humanities Conference held in Brazil (HDRIO2018) and had Renato Rocha Souza (professor and researcher at EMAp/FGV) and Alexandre Moreli (professor and researcher at USP) as co-authors.

The database used is part of the CPDOC-FGV collection and essentially comprises historical documents from the 1970s belonging to Antonio Azeredo da Silveira, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil.

The documents:

• +10 thousand documents
• +66 thousand pages
• +14 million tokens / words (dictionaries or not)
• 5 languages, mainly Portuguese

• Physical documents
• Images (.tif and .jpg)
• Texts (.txt)

The presentation addressed the steps of the project, from document digitalization to Integration of results into the History-Lab platform.

The images below refer to the explanation of the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) phase and the topic modeling phase:

Presentation slides (in pt) can be accessed here. This initiative integrates the History Lab project, organized by Columbia University, which uses data science methods to investigate history.