RESHAPING THE FUTURE OF PORTUGUESE AZULEJO PATTERNS
Keywords: Azulejo, Tiles, Patterns, Digital Art History, Cataloguing, Visual Image Search, VGG Image Search Engine, VISE
Abstract. This paper introduces a new approach to the inventory and catalogue of azulejo patterns found in Portuguese buildings. It uses computer-vision based software tools for automatic search and matching of azulejo patterns, thereby improving the scalability and speed of existing cataloguing methodologies. The online catalogue of azulejo patterns is called Az Infinitum (Azulejo Referencing and Indexation System), a publicly accessible online portal suitable for both researchers and the general public who are interested in exploring and understanding this cultural heritage of Portugal. The effectiveness of this catalogue as a research support tool is demonstrated using a case study based on the Marvila pattern (i.e. P-17-00999). The online catalogue has inspired the development of an engaging application, called Azulejar, which allows one to create new patterns or understand the mathematical process behind existing azulejos patterns. This application has a potential to become an effective educational tool for inspiring everyone to explore and understand the science behind the beauty of azulejo patterns.