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Wiki diagnostic data archiving system

University of Bologna Team Leader: Mirri Silvia - Assistant Prof. - Dep. of Computer Science.

University of Bologna Research Group: Microchemistry and MicroscopyArt Diagnostic Laboratory (M2ADL) and Department of Computer Science. Mazzeo Rocco, Mirri Silvia, Prati Silvia, Giorgia Sciutto, Fabio Manuppella, Sara Piombo.

Context and objectives

The study of conservation and artistic methods, by applying different diagnostic techniques, provide different kind of scientific data and results (with different digital formats, shapes and sizes, in terms of bytes).

In this context, an open source wiki based tool has been deeply customized with the aim of collecting and sharing scientific and artistic information on cultural artefacts. A prototype (called WiDiDArS, which stands for Wiki Diagnostic Data Archiving System) is currently under test phase.

The goal of WiDiDArS is answering to the requirement of a system which is able to storage and share such heterogeneous information, thereby letting users easily collaborate in exploiting, analyzing and managing them.

WiDiDArS allows data storing, data searching, results comparisons and online availability, in a collaborative and quick way, with a suitable interface.

Methodologies and equipment

This project involves experts on the fields of cultural heritage diagnostic and computer science. The collaboration among these figures is necessary to create an effective and feasible application.

This allows to perform new functionalities (including supporting of non standard image formats, image tagging and its versioning, different users’ roles, and so on) and to adapt the Web interface.

In order to design and develop a suitable interface, Web usability methodologies has been investigated and applied.

From an architectural point of view, a Web server (equipped with PHP and MySQL) hosts the application, which can be exploited by users with a Web browser.


A wiki prototype (WiDiDArS) has been designed and developed. Currently, it is under a testing phase. Registered users may look up, modify, add and comment scientific data and results related to cultural artefacs diagnostic analysis. In order to test the system, a case study has been conducted and applied.

This is based on a set of 28 portraits (called "Gli Uomini Illustri"), which were originally placed at the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino and now are partly hosted in Paris (Louvre Museum). The Figure depicts a screenshot of this case study in WiDiDArs (in Italian language).

In the future, WiDiDArS is candidate to become a solid based of knowledge, collecting and sharing scientific and artistic information on cultural artefacts.

Photo gallery