Exploring austrias culture through the language glass

The aim of the project exlore.AT! is to reveal unique insights into the rich texture of the German Language, especially in Austria, by providing state of the art tools for exploring a corpus of Bavarian dialect samples collected between 1911 and 1998 in the region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The large and uniquely rich collection is estimated to contain 200,000 headwords in approximately 4 million records and includes a five-volume dictionary of about 50,000 headwords, covering a period from the beginning of German language until the present (DBÖ, WBÖ).

In order to create enduring value from this resource, the project will apply open science and citizen science techniques to improve access and to leverage the crowd’s wisdom. The engagement of users with the system will be the subject for mind-brain studies, and the results and records will be enriched and interlinked using the best practices of semantic content publishing of Linked Open Data on the Web of Data. The key tasks are to:

  1. Explore Austrian culture within a pan-European and international setting, both concerning concepts of rural life in the multicultural Habsburg Empire and supplementing historical and sociological inquiry with an understanding of the role and implementation of lexicography over time.
  2. Discover challenges and chances of a transformation process from a traditional lexicography project to an open cultural knowledge base and the role of lexicographic knowledge, especially with respect to automatic and semi-automatic techniques for publishing the results as five-star linked data.
  3. Invite researchers, professionals, academics and amateurs to participate, share and grow in the framework of up to date collaborative lexicography.
  4. Create an open, multilingual infrastructure for all to explore the world described by the corpus as documented in languages.
  5. Reflect best practice for publishing multi-lingual linked open data, connecting the lexical, temporal, geographical and historical features of the corpus with the global and European knowledge web.

An interdisciplinary, international team of researchers from Ireland (Alexander O´Connor, Trinity College Dublin, ADAPT Centre), Spain (Roberto Theron, Universidad the Salamanca, Departamento de Informática y Automatica), and Austria (Barbara Kieslinger, Zentrum für Soziale Innovation), coordinated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Eveline Wandl-Vogt), is currently working towards the following goals:

  1. Create a web-based collaborative, multilingual infrastructure for archiving, editing, publishing and analysing non-standard data (historical, dialectal), its lexicographic output, and its knowledge resources for scientific as well as amateur purposes.
  2. Create links between different lexicographic data sets to foster exchange and interoperability at international level.
  3. Engage the larger public in exploring and contributing to lexicographic data in a playful and educational approach (e.g. gamification).
  4. Challenge further research for innovative ways to explore the data by means of highly interactive visual tools aimed at leveraging insights to improve the understanding of the German language.
  5. Connect to other initiatives across the globe, e.g. DARIAH.EU, COST ENeL, EUROPEANA, LIDER, W3C Ontology Lexica Community Group, SOCIENTIZE, European School of Social Innovation (ESSI), opendataportal.at, Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN), European children’s universities network (EUCU) and WIKIMEDIA.AT.

This project is innovative both from technical and humanities perspectives: there is a key interest in creating effective, reusable, domain-tuned IT infrastructure for hosting historical-lexical content. The platform will include an environment for inquiry of the database and, importantly, the connected and linked knowledge from European and Global infrastructures. This will facilitate scholarly and amateur inquiry from both shallow and deep research from around the world. From a humanities perspective, the insight into how users interact with this content, and what riches they can discover in the corpus will likely greatly advance knowledge of the evolution of German and human language in general.


  • McDonald, Daniel, and Eveline Wandl-Vogt. 2018. Blockchain Lexicography: Prototyping the Collaborative, Participatory Post-dictionary. Ilan Kernerman and Krek, Simon. Proceedings of the LREC 2018 Workshop "Globalex 2018 – Lexicography & WordNets". Miyazaki.
  • Abgaz, Yalemisew, Amelie Dorn, Barbara Piringer, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, and Andy Way. 2018. A Semantic Model for Traditional Data Collection Questionnaires Enabling Cultural Analysis. John P. McCrae, Chiarcos, Christian, Declerck, Thierry, Gracia, Jorge, and Klimek, Bettina. Proceedings of the LREC 2018 Workshop "6th Workshop on Linked Data in Linguistics (LDL-2018)". Miyazaki.
  • Dorn, Amelie, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, Yalemisew Abgaz, Alejandro Benito Santos, and Roberto Therón. 2018. Unlocking Cultural Conceptualisation in Indigenous Language Resources: Collaborative Computing Methodologies. Claudia Soria, Besacier, Laurent, and Pretorius, Laurette. Proceedings of the LREC 2018 Workshop "CCURL 2018 – Sustaining Knowledge Diversity in the Digital Age". Miyazaki.
  • Piringer, Barbara. 2018. Mundart. Kulinarische Wortschätze: Schwein.
  • Piringer, Barbara, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, Yalemisew Abgaz, and Katalin Lejtovicz. 2017. Exploring and exploiting biographical and prosopographical information as common access layer for heterogeneous data facilitating inclusive, gender-symmetric research. Eveline Wandl-Vogt and Lejtovicz, Katalin. Biographical Data in a Digital World 2017. A conference in the framework of the project APIS, 6–7 November 2017. Abstracts.. [Wien]. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1041978.
  • Schlögl, Matthias, and Katalin Lejtovicz. 2017. A Prosopographical Information System (APIS). Eveline Wandl-Vogt and Lejtovicz, Katalin. Biographical Data in a Digital World 2017. A conference in the framework of the project APIS, 6–7 November 2017. Abstracts.. [Wien].
  • Wandl-Vogt, Eveline, and Katalin Lejtovicz, eds. 2017. Biographical Data in a Digital World 2017. A conference in the framework of the project APIS. 6-7 November 2017. Abstracts arranged by Eveline Wandl-Vogt & Katalin Lejtovicz. [Wien]. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1041978.
  • Gura, Caitlin, Amelie Dorn, Alejandro Benito, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, and Antonio Losada. 2017. Co-Designing Innovation Networks for Cross-Sectoral Collaboration on the Example of exploreAT!. Juan Manuel Dodero, Ibarra Sáiz, María Soledad, and Ruiz Rube, Iván. TEEM 2017. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality. Cádiz, Spain – October 18 - 20, 2017. New York: ACM. doi:10.1145/3144826.3145378.
  • Benito, Alejandro, Roberto Therón, Antonio Losada, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, and Amelie Dorn. 2017. Exploring Lemma Interconnections in Historical Dictionaries. Phoenix.
  • Wandl-Vogt, Eveline. 2017. Spatial Humanities im Kontext von Digital Humanities Forschungsinfrastrukturen.
  • Goikhman, Alisa. 2017. LangWidgets: Tangible Navigation System for Semantic Fields. TEI '17. Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interactions. March 20–23, 2017. Yokohama, Japan.. New York: ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). doi:10.1145/3024969.3024982.
  • Piringer, Barbara. 2017. Mundart. Kulinarische Wortschätze: Erdapfel, Kartoffel.
  • Lejtovicz, Katalin, and Amelie Dorn. 2017. Connecting people digitally - a semantic web based approach to linking heterogeneous data sets. Kalliopi Zervanou, Osenova, Petya, Wandl-Vogt, Eveline, and Cristea, Dan. Proceedings of the Knowledge Resources for the Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities Workshop, Varna, Bulgaria. Varna.
  • Wandl-Vogt, Eveline, Davor Ostojic, Barbara Piringer, Heimo Rainer, and Ksenia Zsaytseva. 2017. Designing Collaborative Ecosystems and community organization: Introducing the multidisciplinary portal on "Biodiversity and Linguistic Diversity: A Collaborative Knowledge Discovery Environment". Rhian Lewis, Raynor, Cecily, Forest, Dominic, Sinatra, Michael, and Sinclair, Stéfan. dh2017. Digital Humanities 2017. Conference Abstracts. McGill University & Université de Montréal. Montréal, Canada. August 8 - 11, 2017.
  • Wandl-Vogt, Eveline, and Amelie Dorn, eds. 2017. dialekt | dialect 2.0. Langfassungen | Long papers. 7. Kongress der Internationalen Gesellschaft für Dialektologie und Geolinguistik (SIDG) | 7. Congress of the International Society for Dialectology and Geolinguistics (SIDG). Wien: Praesens.
  • Piringer, Barbara. 2017. Mundart. Kulinarische Wortschätze: Bärlauch.
  • Therón, Roberto, Amelie Dorn, Melanie Seltmann, Alejandro Benito, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, and Antonio Gabriel Losada Gómez. 2017. Where the words are: a visual interactive exploration of plants names. Michael Stolz. DHd 2017. Digitale Nachhaltigkeit. Konferenzabstracts. Universität Bern, 13. bis 18. Februar 2017. Bern.
  • Benito, Alejandro, Antonio G. Losada, Roberto Therón, Amelie Dorn, Melanie Seltmann, and Eveline Wandl-Vogt. 2016. A spatio-temporal visual analysis tool for historical dictionaries. Francisco José Garcia-Peñalvo. TEEM '16. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality. Salamanca, Spain – November 02 - 04, 2016. New York: ACM. doi:10.1145/3012430.3012636.
  • Benito, Alejandro, Antonio Losada, Roberto Theron, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, Amelie Dorn, and Melanie Seltmann. A visual historical exploration tool for lexical resources: The case of Austrian language. Tartu, Estonia.
  • Gura, Caitlin, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, and Barbara Piringer. 2016. Wörterbücher als Identitätsträger? Digitales, kulturelles Storytelling am Beispiel des Wörterbuchs der bairischen Mundarten in Österreich (WBÖ). 13. Bayerisch-österreichische Dialektologentagung vom 28.9. bis 1.10.2016 in Erlangen. Dialektale Daten: Erhebung - Aufbereitung - Auswertung. Abstracts der Sektionsvorträge. Erlangen.
  • Wandl-Vogt, Eveline, Alisa Goikhman, Roberto Theron, Alexander O'Connor, Barbara Piringer, and Heimo Rainer. 2016. exploreAT! Kollaborative, multidisziplinäre Lexikographie am Beispiel der Datenbank der bairischen Mundarten in Österreich (DBÖ). 13. Bayerisch-österreichische Dialektologentagung vom 28.9. bis 1.10.2016 in Erlangen. Dialektale Daten: Erhebung - Aufbereitung - Auswertung. Abstracts der Sektionsvorträge. Erlangen.
  • Bowers, Jack Thompson, and Melanie Seltmann. 2016. Exploring data models for heterogenous dialect data: the case of explore.bread.AT!. Claudia Resch, Hannesschläger, Vanessa, and Wissik, Tanja. TEI Conference and Members' Meeting 2016. September 26-30, Vienna. Book of Abstracts. Vienna.
  • Dorn, Amelie, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, Jack Bower, and Thierry Declerck. The colour of language! Exploiting non-standard language colour terms semantically for interdisciplinary research. PICS 2016. Progress in Colour Studies. Darwin Lecture Theatre, University College London, 14 – 16 September 2016. London.
  • Declerck, Thierry, Amelie Dorn, and Eveline Wandl-Vogt. 2016. Adding Polarity Information to Entries of the Database of Bavarian Dialects in Austria. XVII EURALEX International Congress. Book of Abstracts. 6 – 10 September, 2016. Tbilisi.
  • Declerck, Thierry, Amelie Dorn, and Eveline Wandl-Vogt. 2016. Adding Polarity Information to Entries of the Database of Bavarian Dialects in Austria. Tinatin Margalitadze and Meladze, George. Proceedings of the XVII EURALEX International Congress. Lexicography and Linguistic Diversity. 6 – 10 September, 2016. Tbilisi: Ivane javakhishvili Tbilisi University Press.
  • Dorn, Amelie, Eveline Wandl-Vogt, Jack Bowers, Barbara Piringer, and Melanie Seltmann. 2016. exploreAT! – perspectives of exploring a dialect language resource in a framework of European digital infrastructures. 1st International Conference on Sociolinguistics (ICS-1). Abstract Book. 1-3 September, Budapest. Budapest.
  • Siemund, Melanie. 2016. explore.bread.AT! Die österreichische Brotkultur dialektal. DHd 2016. Modellierung – Vernetzung – Visualisierung. Die Digital Humanities als fächerübergreifendes Forschungsparadigma. Konferenzabstracts. Universität Leipzig, 7. bis 12. März 2016.
  • Siemund, Melanie, Jack Bowers, and Barbara Piringer. 2016. Die DBÖ als Ressource - Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft. 38. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft. Sprachkonzil: Theorie und Experiment. 24.-26. Februar 2016. Universität Konstanz.
  • Wandl-Vogt, Eveline, Alexander O'Connor, Roberto Theron, and Barbara Kieslinger. 2015. exploreAT! Re-thinking lexicography. AELINCO 2015. Book of Abstracts. 7th Conference on Corpus Linguistics, Valladolid (Spain), 5-7 March 2015.