Our approach

What is MonuMAI?

MonuMAI is a citizen science project of the Discover Foundation and the University of Granada that offers the opportunity to approach the great artistic styles of Medieval Andalusia and the Modern Age, which are those that have contributed most to the genesis of Andalusian historic centers, combining heritage, mathematics and artificial intelligence.

Together with the citizen-researchers, we intend to train the algorithm, teach it how to identify these architectural styles from a photograph.

In addition, together we will discover if it is true that there is a tendency to feel as more beautiful a type of proportions on others; we will investigate together on the mathematical secret of the beauty of our monuments.

MonuMAI was born in Granada, as part of the European Night of Researchers. On the one hand, it offers everyone who attends this event the chance to experience the research first-hand, participating as members of the Citizen Science team, and on the other hand, it takes advantage of the great success of the call to reach a broad sector of the population, a key factor in the success of the project.

The project, which began in January 2018, will run for two years and will be promoted and coordinated by an interprofessional team made up of specialists in Mathematics, Art, Artificial Intelligence, Citizen Science and Science Social Communication.

With MonuMAI we have set ourselves objectives in three areas:

Scientific objectives:

  1. Develop an algorithm that learns to recognise immovable property using "deep learnig".
  2. To provide the scientific community with an openly labeled database of immovable heritage.
  3. To provide tools for the analytical or morphological study of the work of art.
  4. Provide geometric and proportionality models for the interpretation of the architectural object.
  5. Contribute to forging interdisciplinary links between science and immovable heritage.

Objectives Citizenship:

  1. To empower citizens to participate in a collaborative scientific project of citizen science.
  2. Familiarize citizens with the scientific method.
  3. To discover to the citizenship the relation between mathematics and art.
  4. To make artificial intelligence techniques accessible to everyday life.
  5. To increase the use of mobile applications as a training element.
  6. To facilitate an integrated vision between aesthetic pleasure and the pleasure of knowledge.

Social Objectives:

  1. Contribute to social awareness of the importance of architectural heritage.
  2. To elaborate an open collaborative Andalusian map of architectural heritage.
  3. Generate a resource to support teaching.
  4. Integrate to the aesthetic experience the knowledge as a resource of scientific tourism.

A few more things...

It has happened to all of us when we visit a city with great monumental wealth, or we stroll through the streets of a charming village; we marvel at the facade of the building, but we do not know how to recognise the underlying architectural style. Many times we do not even imagine that a cathedral or another building belonging to our past, can present simultaneously several elements that classify it in more than one architectural style (Baroque, Renaissance, Mudejar, etc.). These questions arise both on the outside and inside with the altarpiece of a church or cathedral.

The current society of information and knowledge, a society in which technology is increasingly integrated into everyday life, must and can highlight the cultural, architectural, mathematical and artistic value that underlies the hundreds of churches, cathedrals and other administration buildings that populate the panorama of Andalusian movable heritage.

The Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage (AIHH) currently has a consultation portal that offers online information on all the Andalusian immovable heritage. For each register, it describes specific data on archaeological, architectural and ethnological heritage. These data are static, merely informative and not very interactive, but very valuable because they have been compiled from different sources and are also geolocalized.

In order to bring all this accumulated knowledge closer to the citizens, and therefore to the cultural heritage of our cities, we are developing this project. We are designing an app that interacts with the citizen and discovers new data and sensations, activating an active and collaborative component of the new typology of projects known as citizen science projects.

The app we are developing, which we call MonuMAI, has as its strong point its Artificial Intelligence component, and, once the project is finished, it will be able to autonomously recognize architectural styles present in the images that are synchronized with the system. The techniques employed (automatic learning or Deep Learning) will allow the system to be autonomous in its task and improve with use.

MonuMAI, which is already available both on iOS and Android at no cost, aims to become an excellent educational, cultural and social tool that will manage to enhance the historical heritage for Andalusians, as well as for foreign visitors and other tourists who visit us.