The research data targeted by NFDI4Culture is subject to specific requirements: First, it is necessary to differentiate between digital representations (reproductions) of cultural assets, including their metadata, and procedural research data resulting from research processes. Both stand in a complex and dynamic interdependence. Second, it must be taken into account that digital representations of cultural assets can become intangible cultural assets themselves (e.g. due to possible loss of the original). Third, tangible and intangible cultural assets are subject to complex legal and ethical conditions. Fourth, research data as an outcome of research processes on cultural assets is closely tied to the cultural economy that often utilises the results for economic purposes. The cultural products created from economic use can themselves become new objects of research. Users in NFDI4Culture’s community do not only generate data about their research objects – the research objects, their digital representations and their further use are bound together in constant exchange between science, economy and society.
Consequently, NFDI4Culture deals with multimodal data types on two levels: (1) digital representations of cultural assets, such as all forms of 2D digital reproductions (paintings, sculptures, sheet music, photography, performed works of art, etc.), 3D models of cultural assets (from artefacts to large man-made structures such as monuments and buildings) created by photogrammetric processes, laser-based 3D scanners or structured light systems, all types of audio-visual data (music, film, stage performances etc.). And (2) procedural research data, such as graphic formats (raster and vector including image metadata), formats for the digital depiction of music, computer-generated structures of cultural assets on the basis of CAD/CAAD or rendering programmes, computer-based simulations of cultural spaces or artistic performances, encoding and annotation formats (music encoding, image annotation, time tags and shape annotations for videos etc.), and a broad range of metadata and semantic models for the description of tangible and intangible cultural assets.