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The Klimathek is the research image database of the research on climate images initiated by Birgit Schneider. The database functions explicitly as an internal research database by allowing to analyse and classify the different image fields of this area and to merge them into a digital image atlas. Its first goal was achieved: the development of a consistent typology of climate images and a comparative analysis of numerous individual examples, especially with regard to the graphic display modes, their history and the motifs of the images. Thus, climate images from very different fields are collected, with a focus on images from science, but also from advertising, film, computer games and art.
The image database currently exists as an offline version in Potsdam. In addition to collecting and researching images, another aim of the Klimathek is to gather international examples that can offer suggestions on how climate change can be communicated in concrete terms. The visualizations cover the topic globally as well as locally. In this way, the Climate Images Library demonstrates the possibilities of visual climate change communication using historical, current and innovative examples in their breadth of content and media, in order to provide suggestions and solutions for users, but also to highlight possible problems. By extending the research field to non-university user groups, it is intended to make design, conceptual and theoretical orientation knowledge available for the field of climate change communication in the future. A publication of the database is planned.
Since 2017, the image database has also served as a reference for the research project Digital Analysis of Networked Climate Images funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, together with PIK and the Interaction Design Lab of the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. The anchoring in the humanities and natural sciences as well as in interface design takes into account the interdisciplinary character of the project, which is also located in Potsdam at an important historical and current location for observation and modelling on climate issues
Design of the future user interface for the online version of the climate library. Design: Lucas Vogel, Potsdam University of Applied Sciences.