Heri-Graphs: A Dataset Creation Framework for Multi-Modal Machine Learning on Graphs of Heritage Values and Attributes with Social Media

N. Bai*, Pirouz Nourian, Renqian Luo, A. Pereira Roders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Values (why to conserve) and Attributes (what to conserve) are essential concepts of cultural heritage. Recent studies have been using social media to map values and attributes conveyed by the public to cultural heritage. However, it is rare to connect heterogeneous modalities of images, texts, geo-locations, timestamps, and social network structures to mine the semantic and structural characteristics therein. This study presents a methodological framework for constructing such multi-modal datasets using posts and images on Flickr for graph-based machine learning (ML) tasks concerning heritage values and attributes. After data pre-processing using pre-trained ML models, the multi-modal information of visual contents and textual semantics are modelled as node features and labels, while their social relationships and spatio-temporal contexts are modelled as links in Multi-Graphs. The framework is tested in three cities containing UNESCO World Heritage properties—Amsterdam, Suzhou, and Venice— which yielded datasets with high consistency for semi-supervised learning tasks. The entire process is formally described with mathematical notations, ready to be applied in provisional tasks both as ML problems with technical relevance and as urban/heritage study questions with societal interests. This study could also benefit the understanding and mapping of heritage values and attributes for future research in global cases, aiming at inclusive heritage management practices. Moreover, the proposed framework could be summarized as creating attributed graphs from unstructured social media data sources, ready to be applied in a wide range of use cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number469
Number of pages38
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • World Heritage
  • Flickr
  • multi-modal dataset
  • graph construction
  • machine and deep learning


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