Task-Related Activities for Implementation and Launch of services (TRAILs) enable an open and demand-oriented participation of our community in a dynamic environment.

In the N4O programme, various incentive measures are planned to stimulate new ideas and to enlarge and diversify the community participating in NFDI. This includes the format of the TRAILs, which have been already developed in an open process with the N4O community in the first phase. Later, they will also be openly tendered for a second phase (2025-2027). In this way, TRAILs will explicitly enable the expansion of the community actively involved in N4O also by providing flexible funds. 

The first round already showed that the format is particularly interesting for universities: More than 15 different German universities are involved in the first round of TRAILs. 

List of Trails

Directory and evaluation of existing tools, standards and data

This TRAIL intends to describe the current heterogeneous state of data generation and archiving. This will create the basis for coordinated and practical optimisation and standardisation of procedures.

Responsibility: Landesamt für Denkmalpflege im Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart / Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn Center for Digital Humanities

Archaeological Remote Sensing in the Roman Rhineland

To process and evaluate remote sensing data as well as geophysical sensor information in order to identify and delineate archaeological sites, a multitude of sensors, formats, strategies, workflows and teaching materials are available. This TRAIL will identify best practices and evaluate deficits in data handling. The results will be summarised in a white paper, and then, modelled, tested and evaluated.

Responsibility: Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn Center for Digital Humanities / Universität Tübingen, eScience-Center

Exploring the RDM landscape in museums and collections

Through an environment analysis, the existing approaches for indexing objects will be systematically recorded, categorized, and published. Thus, this TRAIL creates a structured basis for the further necessary work related to the standardization, networking, interoperability and publication of research data from collection contexts.

Responsibility: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz / Universität Köln, Institut für Digital Humanities

Evaluation of fuzziness and wobbliness in numismatics and ceramology 

The aim of TRAIL is to collect, extend and evaluate modelling approaches to fuzzyness and wobbliness in research data in the exemplary context of numismatics and ceramics research. As a result, a white and a blue paper with best practice examples as well as transformations between different modelling approaches will be published.

Responsibility: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum / Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Institut für Informatik

Towards interoperability of data on archaeological and natural history objects

This TRAIL focuses on the provenance of complex objects from archaeological and natural history collections. The subject of this TRAIL is the development of a conceptual data model realizing semantic interoperability for collection object provenance data for the different disciplines.

Responsibility: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin / Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz

Digital provenance research: methodologies, concepts and name authority files

The aim of the TRAIL is to categorise and catalogue existing resources and create a new paradigm for name authority files, which will be published using the DANTE vocabulary server. This will prioritise enriched and qualified (meta)data by relevance. 

Responsibility: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Kunstwissenschaft, Fachgebiet Digitale Provenienzforschung / Digital Provenance

A workflow for enhancing iconography authority data in the Wikimedia Universe

Descriptive elements such as texts and images are a prerequisite for complete classification. Selected community-driven vocabularies are made available via the DANTE vocabulary server and additional descriptive elements such as free texts incl. reference information and media are published via the Wikimedia Universe. 

Responsibility: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz / Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Institut für Geschichtswissenschaft

Solving vagueness modelling issues in numismatics and ceramology

Research data contain fuzzy and wobbly interpretive statements about objects, which must be recorded and provided FAIRly. This TRAIL focuses on a FAIRification tool to handle vagueness. In this context, the challenge is to create a web-based data enrichment tool that can be used to create machine-readable qualified references and supports relevant attributes related to modelling vagueness.

Responsibility: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz / Universität Köln, Institut für Digital Humanities

An URI lookup and resolve service for LOD resources related to collection research

The TRAIL addresses the describe and discover aspects of the research data lifecycle and contributes to the FAIRification of specialist concepts. The aim of this TRAIL is to develop the content of the tool by integrating new authority files, community-driven vocabularies and LOD resources and name authority files. We will expand the technical side of the JSKOS data exchange format, which is already supported by re3dragon, to include missing object-specific criteria. 

Responsibility: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz / Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Institut für Informatik

ArboDat+: Development of a concept for a centralized standardized ArboDat service 

The goal of this TRAIL is to redesign ArboDat as a user friendly, extensible web-based software system in order to overcome various present challenges for collaboration and data sharing. The program package ArboDat has been developed to capturing archaeobotanical data and is widely accepted in the (European) community with various but isolated offline installations.

Responsibility: Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel / Niedersächsisches Institut für historische Küstenforschung

Poseidon 2.0: A data repository for genetic, bioarchaeological and archaeological data.

This TRAIL addresses the challenge of linking genetic data extracted from human remains together with archaeological context data and other analytic data such as from stable isotope analysis. Taking the existing Poseidon framework the project is expected to result in an extended package description format and accordingly an extended software package, which is able to describe such cross-domain datasets. 

Responsibility: Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel / Max Planck Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie, Leipzig

Workflow Tool for archaeological experiments and analytics

The lack of standards and tools for recording and reporting makes it difficult to compare, scientifically share and assess the data quality of archaeological analyses and experiments. In this TRAIL, a flexible and easy-to-use visual workflow tool is developed that allows researchers to record metadata: Experiment design as well as protocols of sample preparation procedures and/or analyses. The aim is to create a prototype that can be continuously improved according to community needs.

Responsibility: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz / Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum

Georesources in human history: the life cycle of lead from Roman Cartagena

The TRAIL aims to develop a web-service (“Georesources in Human History“) in order to create interfaces between various older non digital data collections and digitalised data bases and connect them on the basis of semantic-web-technologies on the basis of an ontology. The is implemented through the formation of a Storage Service (StoS) together with a Software Application Service (SAS), as well as a data and discovery service (DaS, DiS) by help of the program MyCoRe.

Responsibility: Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum / Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften

Development of an interface for sites, monument and restoration and conservation data

The aim is to make the enormous amount of heterogeneous monument-related data held in country- or institution-specific systems more accessible and searchable in the future. For this purpose, a standard / interface for addressing monuments and sites, as well as restoration and conservation data, is being developed. A white or blue paper will be produced to define such a standard for subsequent updating by the specialist community as part of the consortium’s work.

Responsibility: Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz (GDKE)

Implementing mapping processes for site and object protection related vocabularies

The aim of this TRAIL is to link thesauri by semantic relations and to develop a network of subject ontologies in archaeology, cultural landscape, cultural history and anthropology, restoration/conservation, building research, building and architectural history, monument conservation and art history. This will be done using two Software Application Services (SAS), DANTE and Cocoda.

Responsibility: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz / Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, Denkmalwissenschaften und Kunstgeschichte (IADK)

Development of a comprehensive online geodata service for sites and monument data

In order to make monument-related data more accessible, an INSPIRE-compliant geodata service is to be created in which spatial information on sites and monuments is bundled into a common service. The definition of an online geodata service for addressing and describing monuments and sites will be published as part of the consortium work.

Responsibility: Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz (GDKE) / Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen, Lehrstuhl für Architekturgeschichte

 Dating partial objects: the model case of historical building research

The dating of partial objects is to be addressed within the framework of TRAIL by improving the interoperability of existing research data ontologies and is to be developed on the basis of concrete examples. Using different datasets of the same building object, a semantically modelled core dataset for dating will be developed.

Responsibility: Landesamt für Denkmalpflege im Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart / Technische Universität Berlin, Fachgebiet für Bau- und Stadtbaugeschichte

Rich Metadata Discovery Service. Prototyp: GeoNumismatics

The aim is the early provision of a fully usable discovery service. This service will primarily contain data on numismatic finds. In line with the FAIR Data Maturity Model, a rich metadata discovery service will be offered as a free web service for research via an API and will be used as Open Educational Resources in education at Heidelberg University. 

Responsibility: Verbundzentrale des GBV, Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg, Universität Bonn

Web-based geodata infrastructure for the recording of features and finds

The TRAIL meets the need for a unified excavation database design for use by universities, companies, municipal and district archaeology services and authorities. The excavation database will combine the parallel developments of iDAI.field and archaeoDox. This infrastructure will enable the acquisition of structured, primary archaeological factual and geodata via a web backend and an offline running frontend.

Responsibility: Verbundzentrale des GBV, Archäologisches Museum Hamburg 

Sustainable retro-digitization of paper-based research data.

This service is provided to improve accessibility to hard to find paper-based research data. The goal is to provide a workflow and tools for the retro-digitization of paper-based research data and historic preservation office file collections, and to prepare the data for semi-automated long-term preservation using norm data and adherence to common standards.

Responsibility: Verbundzentrale des GBV / Generaldirektion der Staatlichen Archive Bayerns



The NFDI4Objects Temporary Working Groups (TWG) are the driving force behind the consortium’s continuous development of standards and specifications.

Communuty CLuster

In community clusters we connect expertise on a wide range of disciplines and topics! They are made up of active members of member institutions, experts and interested individuals. 


NFDI4Objects brings together a dedicated community to create a to create a internationally networked  data infrastructure for numerous related disciplines.