Category Archives: Transfer projects

Media Integration and Communication Centre transfer projects

Mnemosyne: smart environments for cultural heritage

Mnemosyne is a research project carried out by the Media Integration and Communication Center – MICC, University of Florence along with Thales Italy SpA. and funded by the Tuscany region. The goal of the project is the study and experimentation of smart environments which adopts natural interaction paradigms for the promotion of artistic and cultural heritage by the analysis of visitors behaviors and activities.

Mnemosyne Interactive Table at the Museum of Bargello

The idea behind this project is to use techniques derived from videosurveillance to design an automatic profiling system capable of understanding the personal interest of each visitor. The computer vision system monitors and analyzes the movements and behaviors of visitors in the museum (through the use of fixed cameras) in order to extract a profile of interests for each visitor.

This profile of interest is then used to personalize the delivery of in-depth multimedia content enabling an augmented museum experience. Visitors interact with the multimedia content through a large interactive table installed inside the museum. The project also includes the integration of mobile devices (such as smartphones or tablets) offering a take-away summary of the visitor experience and suggesting possible theme-related paths in the collection of the museum or in other places of the city.

The system operates in a total respect of the privacy of the visitor: the cameras and the vision system only capture information on the appearance of the visitor such as color and texture of the clothes. The appearance of the visitor is encoded into a feature vector that captures its most distinctive elements. The feature vectors are then compared with each other to re-identify each visitor.

Mnemosyne is the first installation in a museum context of a computer vision system to provide visitors with personalized information on their individual interests. It is innovative because the visitor is not required to wear or carry special devices, or to take any action in front of the artworks of interest. The system will be installed, on a trial basis until June 2015, in the National Museum of the Bargello in the Hall of Donatello, in collaboration with the management of the Museum itself.

The project required the work of six researchers (Svebor Karaman, Lea Landucci, Andrea Ferracani, Daniele Pezzatini, Federico Bartoli and Andrew D. Bagdanov) for four years. The installation is the first realization of the Competence Centre Regional NEMECH New Media for Cultural Heritage, made up of the Region of Tuscany and Florence University with the support of the City of Florence.

PITAGORA. Airport Operations Management

The PITAGORA project on Airport Operations Management is financed under the auspices of the POR CReO FESR program of the Region of Tuscany and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The PITAGORA consortium consists of one large enterprise, five SMEs and two universities.

PITAGORA project on Airport Operations Management

PITAGORA project on Airport Operations Management

The primary goal of the project is to investigate the principal problems in airport operations control: collaboration, resources, and crises. In the course of the two year project the consortium will design, develop and create innovative
prototypes for an integrated platform for optimal airport management.

The PITAGORA platform will be based on an open architecture consisting of the following modules:

  • airport collaboration module;
  • energy resource optimization module;
  • human resources management module;
  • crisis management module;
  • passenger experience module.

MICC is the principal scientific partner in the project consortium and is leader of the Passenger Experience workpackage. In this workpackage the MICC will develop techniques for automatic understanding of passenger activity and behaviour through the use of RGB-D sensors.

The showcase prototype of this work will be a Virtual Digital Avatar (VDA) that interacts with the passenger in order to obtain an estimate of the volume passenger’s carry-on luggage. The VDA will greet the passenger, asking them to display their hand luggage for non-intrusive inspection. Until the system has obtained a reliable estimate of the volume and dimensions of the passenger’s luggage, the VDA will interact with the passenger, asking her to turn and adjust the system’s view of the baggage in order to improve its estimate.

A prototype system for measuring crowd density and passenger flux in airports will also be developed by MICC in the PITAGORA project. This prototype system will be used to monitor queues and to measure critical crowding situations that can occur in airport queues.

Finally MICC will develop a web application for passengers profiling and social networking inside the airport.

RIMSI: Integrated Research of Simulation Models

The RIMSI project, funded by Regione Toscana, includes study, experimentation and development of a protocol for the validation of procedures and implementation of a prototype multimedia software system to improve protocols and training in emergency medicine through the use of interactive simulation techniques.

RIMSI medical simulation

RIMSI – patient rianimation scene

Medical simulation software currently on the market can play  very simple scenarios (one patient) and an equally limited number of actors involved (usually only one doctor and a nurse). In addition,  “high-fidelity” simulation scenarios available are almost exclusively limited to the cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and emergency anesthesia. Finally, the user can impersonate a single role (doctor or nurse) while the other operator actions are controlled by the computer.

To overcome these important limitations of the programs currently available on the market, it is proposed the creation of a software capable of reproducing realistic scenarios (the inside of an emergency room, the scene of a car accident, etc. ..) with both single mode -user (the user controls the function of a single operator while the computer controls the other presonages) and multi-user (each user controls one of the actors in the scenario).

Our proposal is to develop a multi-user application that allows useres to interact both via mouse & keyboard and with body gestures. For this purpose we are currently developing a 3D trainig scenario in which learners would be able to interact through a Microsoft Kinect.

This work in progress will be presented during the Workshop on User Experience in e-Learning and Augmented Technologies in Education (UXeLATE) – ACM Multimedia, that will be held in Nara, Japan.

ORUSSI. Optimal Road sUrveillance System based on Scalable video

The growing mobility of people and goods has a very high societal cost in terms of traffic congestion and of fatalities and injured people every year. The management of a road network needs efficient ways for assessment at minimal costs. Road monitoring is a relevant part of road management, especially for safety, optimal traffic flow and for investigating new sustainable transport patterns.

Road monitoring

Road monitoring

On the road side, there are several technologies used for collecting detection and surveillance information: sophisticated automated systems such as in-roadway or over-roadway sensors, closed circuit television (CCTV) system for viewing real-time video images of the roadway or road weather information systems for monitoring pavement and weather.

Current monitoring systems based on video lack of optimal usage of networks and are difficult to be extended efficiently.

Our project focuses on road monitoring through a network of roadside sensors (mainly cameras) that can be dynamically deployed and added to the surveillance systems in an efficient way. The main objective of the project is to develop an optimized platform offering innovative real-time media (video and data) applications for road monitoring in real scenarios. The project will develop a novel platform based on the synergetic bundling of current research results in the field of semantic transcoding, the recently approved standard Scalable Video Coding standard (SVC), wireless communication and roadside equipment.

Dataset: thanks to the involvement of Comune di Prato (a local municipality), we were able to collect a very wide dataset of video sequences that turned out to be key for the project activities. The dataset is made of more than 250 hours of recording taken on a well-travelled county road, with different lighting and weather conditions. From these video sequences we have extracted an image dataset of about 1250 vehicle images. This data set, available here, can be used to train a vehicle classifier.

euTV: adaptive media channels

The explosion of digital data in recent times, in its varied forms and formats (MPEG4 image, Flash video, WAV audio, etc.), has necessitated the creation of effective tools to organise, manage and link digital assets, in order to maximise accessibility and reduce cost issues for everyone concerned, from content managers to online content consumers.

euTV MICC interfaces

euTV video annotation and transcription web component

On a larger scale, isolated information repositories developed by content owners and technology providers can be connected, unleashing opportunities for innovative user services and creating new business models, in the vein of on-demand, online, or mobile TV ventures.

The euTV project stems from above conditions and potentialities, to connect publicly available multimedia information streams under a unifying framework, which additionally allows publishers of audio-visual content to monetise their products and services. The backbone of euTV is a scalable audio-visual analysis and indexing system that allows detection and tracking of vast amounts of multimedia content based on Topics of Interest (TOI) corresponding to a user’s profile and employed search terms. The front-end is a portal that displays syndicated content, allowing users to perform searches, refine queries, and produce faceted presentation of results.


euTV logo

The three main content domains will be (a) news, (b) sports, and (c) documentaries. In the existing market of media monitoring and clipping, euTV distinguishes itself by simultaneously analysing multiple information streams (text, speech, audio, image, video) instead of a single one and tracking TOI in real time. This provides the user with a more robust identification of their TOI and greater insights into how the information is spread.

Joint laboratory MICC – Thales

MICC, Media Integration and Communication Center of the University of Florence, and Thales Italy have established a partnership to create a joint laboratory between university and company in order to research and develop innovative solutions per safety, sensitive sites, critical infrastructure and transport.

MICC - Thales joint lab demo at Thales Technoday 2011

MICC - Thales joint lab demo at Thales Technoday 2011

In particular the technology program is mainly focused (but not limited) on surveillance through video analysis, employing computer vision and pattern recognition technologies.

A current active filed of research, continued from 2009 to 2011 was that of studying how to increase the effectiveness of classic video surveillance systems using active sensors (Pan Tilt Zoom cameras) and obtain higher resolution images of tracked targets.

MICC - Thales joint lab projects

MICC - Thales joint lab projects

The collaboration allowed to start studying the inherent complexities of PTZ camera setting and algorithms for target tracking and was focused on the study and verification of a set of basic video analysis functionalities.



In 2011 the joint lab led to two important demos at two main events: Festival della Creatività, October 2010 in Florence (Italy) and Thales Technoday 2011 in January 2011 in Paris (France). In the latter the PTZ Tracker has been nominated as VIP Demo (Very ImPortant Demo).

Some videos about this events:

Onna: a natural interface system for virtual reconstruction

A technology transfer project for an international exhibition about the story of Onna, an italian town near to L’Aquila, which was affected by the earthquake during 2009.

A natural interaction based system is designed and developed in order to present a large number of multimedia contents (videos, images and audio) collected and created by the curators of the exhibition.

Interactive system scenario in the Infobox at Onna

Interactive system scenario in the Infobox at Onna

The project involves the study and development of an interactive system which adopts the paradigm of the natural interaction in order to allow users to access and consult multimedia contents related to different areas of the town of Onna, an italian town near to L’Aquila, which was affected by the earthquake during 2009.

The concept proposed for the user-interface is inspired by the educational game book published in the seventies about the devastation of the town of Pompei after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 B.C. The pages of the book are composed of images of the destroyed Pompei which can be overlapped with images of the town before the eruption.

Our idea is to recreate a similar mode of interaction and use a background picture of the town of Onna after the earthquake so that the user can interact with some areas of the image and see them as they were before the earthquake. In addition for each area is possible to visualize multimedia contents about history, architecture and life before the earthquake.

The user-interface will be optimized in the environment of the exhibition in order to allow multiple users to interact independently with the system.

MAC-GEO: the effects of geothermal power in Tuscany

A technology transfer project for the Regione Toscana in order to provide a solution to predict the effects of geothermal power both in the same basin and the surrounding environment in some areas of Tuscany.

Geotherm viewer data visualization

Geotherm viewer data visualization

A web application in a GIS environment is designed and developed in order to visualize and query simulation data and their scenarios stored in a geospatial database.

Geotherm Viewer

Geotherm Viewer

Project URL:

The MAC-GEO project aims to give the Regione Toscana some simulation tools to predict the effects of geothermal power both in the same basin and the surrounding environment.

The project was funded by Regione Toscana CIPE funds, following the announcement Framework Programme Agreement Research and technology transfer for the production system – Supplementary Agreement III.

The project started in September 2008 and lasts two years.

MICC research staff designed and developed the Geotherm Viewer, a web application in a GIS environment for viewing and querying simulation data and their scenarios stored in geospatial database.

The system was designed for users who need to quickly view the results of the generated simulations in order to assess which groups of data for later analysis and deepen the effects of geothermal both in the same basin and the surrounding environment. In addition, the user-interface provides a set of interactive features for geographic data visualization, data from web map services and information generated by Google Maps.

The Geotherm Viewer has been developed with open source technologies.


Enrich is a targeted project funded under the eContentPlus programme. Its objective is to provide seamless access to distributed digital representations of old documentary heritage from various european cultural institutions in order to create a shared virtual research environment especially for study of manuscripts, but also incunabula, rare old printed books, and other historical documents. It builds on the Manuscriptorium Digital Library ( that has already managed to aggregate data from 46 collections from the Czech Republic and abroad.

Manuscripts found by Enrich system

Manuscripts found by Enrich system

The project groups together almost 85% currently digitized manuscripts in the national libraries in Europe. These collections will be enhanced by substantial amount of data from university libraries and other types of institutions. The consortium will make available more than five million digitized pages.

Manuscriptorium is a result of 15 years of work and development carried jointly by two important czech institutions: AIP Beroun LTD and the National Library of the Czech Republic. It is the richest digital manuscript resource in Europe putting at disposal more than one million digitized pages, having a safe digital archive, enjoying of state support for digitization, and talking in czech and english languages. Ca. 50% of its users come from abroad and it operates a special clone for support of teaching and learning in secondary schools. Its origins are in the Memory of the World programme of UNESCO; therefore, the National Library of the Czech Republic received the UNESCO world Jikji award in 2005. The Manuscriptorium-related digitization knowledge and know-how have been taught and shared in many countries of the world.

Manuscriptorium builds on a robust xml schema the most important part of which is the european master format for electronic description of manuscripts based on TEI.

The basic corpus of data is made available from the digital storage facilities operated by AIP Beroun LTD in the Czech Republic. The Enrich project will integrate even more data from remote foreign digital libraries. The metadata records for the central database will be preferably collected via the OAI protocol; they will contain links to images stored in remote image databanks. Necessary transformation routines will be created and tuned for each partner. Specialized on-line tools will be also developed to enable Manuscriptorium schema compatible metadata structuring and output validation for those partners that have digital data with no presentation tools and will like to make them available.

Enrich target user groups are content owners/holders, libraries, museums and archives, researchers and students, policy makers, and general interest users. The project will allow them to search and access documents which would otherwise be hardly accessible. Besides images, it will be also able to offer access to TEI-structured historical full texts, research resources, other types of illustrative data (audio and video files) or large images of historical maps. The Enrich consortium will closely cooperate with TEL (The European Library) and will become a component part of the European Digital Library when this becomes reality.

The users will get tools that will assist them to create their own documents and personal digital libraries in Manuscriptorium using any analytical objects of which the documents consist. Tools for usage of more languages will be offered for application in Manuscriptorium as well as multilingual ontologies enabling search in local languages and retrieval of data in source languages.

The Enrich consortium consists of 18 partners and the project is also supported by a number of other institutions among which there are many important content owners.

The project is coordinated by the National Library of the Czech Republic together with other two Czech partners: AIP Beroun LTD and Crossczech Prague Inc.

The interest to cooperate has been expressed, among others, also by the national libraries of Hungary, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, and Turkey as well as by the university libraries in Bratislava, Bucharest and Heidelberg. The list of associated partners will grow during the project duration.

DanThe. Digital and Tuscan heritage

DanThe is an online service, developed and implemented by Tuscany Region and MICC – Media Integration and Communication Center – University of Florence, to promote the resources related to digital cultural heritage of Tuscany. DanThe provides a direct access to collections, databases, regional museums, libraries and catalogues of cultural heritage.

Danthe. Digital and Tuscan Heritage

Danthe. Digital and Tuscan Heritage

The “catalogue of collections” provides a selection of the Tuscan digital documents (texts, images, video, audio) concerning cultural heritage (artistic, historical, archaeological, ethno-anthropological, archival and bibliographical). These collections were previously catalogued by the Michael Project (Multilingual Inventory of Cultural Heritage in Europe). Within the universe of European digital resources Danthe identifies a Tuscan subset of collections and make it accessible to different users.

The “catalogue of cultural heritage” is designed to collect and make available descriptive and informative catalogue records – in accordance with local owners (municipalities, museums, institutions etc.) – and realized using the standards ICCD and the CART free software, produced by the Tuscany Region and carried out by the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa.

In accordance with the guidelines of Michael Project, Danthe selected digital collections regarding people, works and cultural heritage of Tuscany, promoted, financed or produced by Tuscan institutions and regional offices of national or foreign institutions. The collections presented in Danthe, as those ones published on the European portal of Michael, are available online and/or offline, are free, or available on the registration fee and may be completed, planned or in progress.

In future the system will enable an innovative technological regional application to provide services that manage digital contents regarding cultural heritage and it will be able for the integration with the Regional Cooperation Application of Tuscany – CART

In this perspective, the Regional Information System will be able to:

  • hold copies of data on cultural heritage (regional databases and third party) and their metadata in a centralized repository;
  • allow automatic updating of data through the application infrastructure for cooperation;
  • interoperate with Information systems of external structures (Michael, CulturItalia, Europeana) using appropriate protocols and server (OAI-PMH);
  • allow the use of such digital contents by the web interface unified Danthe.

DanThe is part of a national strategy (portal CulturItalia) and (Europeana) which aims to combine and enhance digital assets in Europe, to consolidate descriptive standards and to set minimum standards in the development of resources of various nature and non-traditional format, generated using innovative technologies and for heterogeneous users.

Because of the deep analysis of the existent carried on digital resources relating to cultural heritage, the European project Michael was the basis to fill and populate DanThe database. The close cooperation between national European project of Michael, the regional cataloguers and the editors of DanThe allowed to use the expertise and knowledge of the local census of digital collections and to personalize the presentation and the fruition of the digital resources themselves.

Even though DanThe borrowed from Michael all the entities structured and divided according to the descriptive standard of the project, the Tuscany recourses are presented in a singular and personal way. In particular, it were not censed catalogues of libraries when they gave no services other than paper, to consider as digital collections not only the resources derived from analogical source (books, art works and objects of art, etc..) but also those formed from digital material (videos, Word documents, audio files, etc..) and to give a direct access to the collections online providing, where possible, the specific URL of the resource rather than to the generic website or the catalogue containing it.