Research Area: eTourism and Cultural Heritage

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Description of this research area

The main objective of Vicomtech-IK4’s eTourism and Heritage department is to design and implement applications for creating interactive digital experiences, to add value to the services offered by tourism, cultural and creative sector stakeholders. Its reference technologies include virtual and augmented reality, mobile applications based on different localization technologies, content customization tools, semantic technology-based search algorithms, content annotation and indexing and content generation and management systems based on multimedia content standards.

Today, the department essentially works in three lines of multimedia technology application research:

- Cultural heritage assessment

This sub-department develops knowledge dissemination technologies connected with history-based leisure experiences for users. Use of Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies in the cultural sector enables users to experience and understand historical events and environments (whether or not they still exist today). The technologies combine with new multimodal user interfaces to aid user interaction through the different senses (sight, gesture, voice). Lastly, wireless technologies are used as a basis for implementing mobile assistants for user localization in closed environments and real-time transmission of multimedia content to user devices.

- Applications for the tourism sector

From a financial, cultural and business perspective, the tourism sector is one of the most important in Europe. This line of research has two main purposes:firstly, to enhance the sector’s competitive edge by developing management applications for tourism stakeholders (tourist information offices, travel agencies, hotels, resorts) as a key part of the economy, and secondly to provide advanced tailor-made tourism services based on georeferenced multimedia technologies.

Some aspects of the first line of work are technologies for creation, management and storage of tourism content, customer loyalty tools (CRM) and new destination management models using integrated websites.Added value services for tourism include context-based services (localization, platforms, user profile), algorithms for customised agenda generation and destination recommendation systems.

- Security and new media

This sub-department manages multimedia content rights to the standard metadatabase, monitors users’ opinion on the basis of their recommendations, monitors social network opinion on a person, brand, service, company or institution through multimedia content analysis (text, audio, video, image) and applies business intelligence techniques to online reputation monitoring.

Experimental validation of the department’s projects has led to major knowledge generation on the social acceptance of the technologies developed.All its projects are cross-disciplinary in nature and are developed in collaboration with sector institutions and companies.





Dr. Maria Teresa Linaza

Dr. Ander Garcia

Research projects in this research area



SmarTUR - Tourism in smart destinations



Publications published by this institute characterizing this research area

Garcia, A., Arbelaitz, O., Linaza, M. T., Vansteenwegen, P., & Souffriau, W. (2010). Personalized tourist route generation (pp. 486-497). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Garcia, A., Vansteenwegen, P., Arbelaitz, O., Souffriau, W., & Linaza, M. T. (2013). Integrating public transportation in personalised electronic tourist guides. Computers & Operations Research, 40(3), 758-774.

Garcia, A., Linaza, M. T., Arbelaitz, O., & Vansteenwegen, P. (2009). Intelligent routing system for a personalised electronic tourist guide. Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2009, 185-197.

Garcia, A., Linaza, M. T., Arbulu, I., Torre, I., & Cobos, Y. (2008, June). A mobile platform for on-the-move user-generated tourist contents. In Content-Based Multimedia Indexing, 2008. CBMI 2008. International Workshop on (pp. 58-65). IEEE.

Linaza, M. T., García, A., Torre, I., & Torres, J. I. (2008). Interacting with augmented assets in cultural tourism. In Transactions on edutainment I (pp. 107-117). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.