Frequently asked questions


  • Can I use Lingscape for free?

    Yes, of course. The apps can be downloaded from the Apple and Google app stores for free. The same applies to dedicated projects. If you want to use the app and platform for your thesis, in class, or to annoy your friends, just let us know.

  • Do I need an account to contribute to the project?

    No, you can upload photos to the app without having a user account. We are happy about every single contribution. We do have so-called “project accounts”. These are meant for people who want to run their own project on the platform, e.g., as part of a research project or a master’s thesis. If you just want to upload some photos along the way, you should be fine without an account. You can still add your name or a nickname in the app settings, if you want to be credited as the author of your photos.

  • Can I use the app on a tablet?

    Well, yes, and no. Technically, the app was not developed to work on tablets, so while you might still be able to download and use it on tablets, you might notice some unexpected behavior, crashes or missing functionality when doing so.

  • Do you only collect multilingual signs?

    No, definitely not. You can upload whatever you find interesting or conspicuous, as long as it contains some form of language and can be found in the public sphere. You are interested in Portuguese stickers only? No problem. French/Arabic bilingual posters? Go ahead. Plates that contain all the languages of the EU? Very welcome as well.


  • Why is my language not yet available in the app?

    We have decided to let the app grow according the needs of our community instead of adding the maximum number of languages to the list right away. So, to get a missing language in the app, just upload a photo, use the “Other language” tag, and add the name of the missing language in the comment field. We will take care of the rest.

  • I have uploaded something that I want to delete. Can I?

    If you are part of a specific project, just contact your project manager and tell them to delete the photo or hide it from the public. If the photo is part of the public photo stream, use the “Report a photo” function in the app to let us know that you would like to delete the photo.

  • I have uploaded a photo with the app. Why hasn’t it arrived on the web map yet?

    For technical reasons, it can take up to 1 hour between a new upload in the app and the photo being added to the web map. Just go out, take another photo, and soon your photo will have arrived on the map.

  • I have uploaded a photo to the app, and now it is gone. Why?

    Sometimes, we hide photos from the public photo stream. The main reason to do so is because a photo does not match our criteria for data collection and quality. Was the photo off-topic maybe? Did it contain your cat or Aunt Lydia baking cookies? Was it blurred, upside down, or did it show anything but language in the public? Then yes, your photo might have got missing from the public stream. Otherwise, not so likely.


  • How can I start my own project with Lingscape?

    That is pretty easy. Just drop us a line using the contact form and let us know what you want to do. We will then set you up with an account that gives you access to the project administration. There you can create and administer your own photo collections and projects. A tutorial explaining the functionality of the platform can be found here .

  • I need additional languages for my project. How does this work?

    Just let us know which languges you would like to add to the list, and we will take care of it. Here you can find the complete list of languages currently available in Lingscape. We use the ISO standard 639-3 for our language labels. You can find a referecne here. This also means that languages or varieties not listed in this standard cannot easily be added to the list of languages.

  • I need additional taxonomies for data annotation. Is this possible?

    Sure, just let us know which taxonomies and categories you would like to use for your project. In general, we try to create taxonomies that serve a general purpose, that is, the categories you choose to work with should ideally apply not only to your project or context but be useful also for others.

  • I have 729 photos I would like to upload. Is there a way to do this automatically?

    Well, almost. If you would like to upload a larger number of images at once, or if you have a collection on your computer that you think should be available in Lingscape, just let us know. There is a workflow for that. The data need a little preparation, though, to make sure they match the data scheme we use for the database.

License & publication

  • Can I use your photos in my presentations/publications?

    Yes, that is possible. Look here to find out more about our license model and for suggestions for project citations.

  • Where can I find publications about Lingscape?

    References to publications that come from the project team directly can be found here. We also maintain a shared publications folder in which we try to collect all publications related to the platform and the projects it contains. You can find the repository here, to access it, please contact us via e-mail to get the access password.