Through the Tourist's Lens: Using Social Media & Machine Learning to Understand Visual Experiences at Peruvian Archaeological Heritage Sites

The LLILAS Benson Digital Scholarship in the Americas Series presents a talk by Nicole D. Payntar, a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology, UT Austin.

Registration required:

The intersection of social media and heritage tourism in recent decades has created an abundance of open-source imagery that remains underutilized by the archaeological heritage community and digital scholars. When paired with machine learning algorithms, photographs produced by tourists, as well as historic images in museum collections, can provide researchers with new opportunities to understand how historic site representations and visual expectations drive travel narratives and heritage perceptions that are curated on media-sharing platforms.

Using Cuzco, Peru as a case study, Payntar compares how modern tourists perpetuate the visual perspectives of nineteenth- and twentieth-century explorers through scene and object-based feature extraction, a process that would be impossible to replicate through manual labor.

Payntar's research focuses on heritage tourism, machine learning, and archaeology in Peru. She received her MA in archaeology from Durham University in 2012 and has previously served on the Antiquities Coalition’s #CultureUnderThreat Task Force and as the former assistant director of Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE). 

For more information, contact Albert A. Palacios, LLILAS Benson Digital Scholarship Coordinator.

This event is offered in conjunction with the University of Texas Libraries Day of Digital Humanities.

Dial-In Information

Registration required at:

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 1:00pm to 2:15pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Arts & Humanities, Science & Tech, World & Culture


College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas Libraries

Target Audience

Students, Faculty



Free and open to the public



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