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Ingénierie de la connaissance et le web sémantique
Tietämystekniikka ja semanttinen web
Knowledge engineering and the semantic web

Symposium on
Digital Semantic Content across Cultures

Paris, the Louvre
4-5 May, 2006

Press Release

The press release (May 2nd) has been published.

Symposium Materials

The presentations and the material of the symposium have been published together with some photos.

Symposium Overview

Communication and sharing information between cultures is based on meaning, i.e., semantics. We understand each other by sharing a common, underlying semantic conception about the world and culture. Meaning can be expressed in different languages, such as in French, Finnish, or English, and different conventions of representing and publishing information are used in different countries. This creates challenges for cross-cultural communication.

More and more cultural content is being represented and stored in information systems and published using digital media, such as the World Wide Web. Most cultural information systems today process data only on the syntactic level without concerning the rich semantic structures underlying the content. It is not easy create advanced cultural applications, if the computers do not “understand” and share the meaning of the content they are processing. Making content machine understandable and interoperable is a goal of the Semantic Web.

Since cultural content is being used not only by the humans but also by the computers, and on the international level, the (meta)data representation conventions and the underlying semantics of the contents need to be explicated also for the machines. This would enable better content interoperability across linguistic and cultural barriers and enable more intelligent and useful cultural services to be built for the end-users.

The French-Finnish symposium Digital Semantic Content across Cultures focuses on the questions of representing cultural content and on publishing it especially on the (Semantic) Web. The objective of the seminar is to discuss the digitalization, archiving, and retrieval of our cultural heritage in all its forms, to deal with the development of methods of compilation and indexation, and to present, in the form of illustrative examples, cultural and recreational services available to citizens (and consumers) including access to contents in different languages from foreign cultures. In addition to textual representations, cultural content can be digitalized and saved in visual and auditive format. This calls for discussion on intelligent multimedia indexing and retrieval.

The symposium is intended for researchers, practioners, and students on culture domains, museums, archives, libraries, and information and communication technologies (ICT). In particular, research, applications, and directions for future co-operation between French and Finnish cultural organizations, research groups, and companies in the field of cultural content and ICT will be discussed.

Call for Contributions

We solicit French and Finnish contributions for the symposium related to collecting, representing, using, and publishing semantic cultural content using information and communications technologies. The contribution can be in the form of (1) a position presentation (e.g., of a research project), (2) a system demonstration, or (3) a research paper. Selected research papers will be reviewed and published in the symposium proceedings. The submissions must be formatted in the style of the Springer Publications format for Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), and should not exceed 15 pages.

Important deadlines

  • February 15, 2006 Initial expressions of interest for a position presentation or a system demonstration at the symposium should be sent to Eero Hyvönen (eero.hyvonen(at)tkk.fi). For research papers an abstract is needed.
  • March 15, 2006 Acceptance of presentations is notified and an initial program of the symposium is published.
  • April 15, 2006 Paper manuscripts to be published in the proceedings should be sent to Tomi Kauppinen (tomi.kauppinen(at)tkk.fi).


The updated symposium programme (May 2nd) has been published.

How to get there

The symposium will be organized at the following address at the Louvre:

The symposium reception on Thursday April 4th at 18:00 will be organized at


The registration / application has now been closed (April 24th).

Program Committee

  • Eero Hyvönen, Prof, Helsinki University of Technology (TKK), Media Technology (chair)
  • Pekka Silvennoinen, Research Director, French-Finnish Science Association and VTT (co-chair)
  • Francis Jutand, Scientific Director, GET, AFFRST, IMVN (co-chair)
  • Klaus Oesch, Tekes Fenix Program Manager, Tekes
  • Vesa Hongisto, Head of Knowledge Management, National Board of Antiquities, Helsinki
  • Juha Hakala, Dr, National Library of Finland
  • Alain Leger, Dr, France Telecom
  • Jérôme Euzenat., Dr, INRIA Rhône-Alpes
  • Asta Bäck, Senior Research Scientist, VTT Information Technology
  • Christian Lahanier, Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (C2RMF), (local organization chair)
  • Tomi Kauppinen, MSc, Helsinki University of Technology (TKK), Media Technology and University of Helsinki, Department of Computer Science (local organization co-chair)
  • Marie Aronson, Dr, L'ambassade de France en Finlande, (local organization co-chair)