Friday, October 19, 2012

Backing up cultural heritage

During a pastry-fueled lunch yesterday at eChallenges I bumped into the Director of the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage  at CULTNAT, Dr Yasser Elshayeb. CULTNAT is providing a huge spatial database of cultural and national heritage for Egypt called Cultmap.

A monumental task as Egypt has more than five thousand years of rich history. When I asked how many digital images would be available, Yasser Elshayeb, said “infinity as administrators could put as many pictures and tags for sites as they want”.  The ultimate goal of the project would be to expose the database of information on Cultural and Natural Heritage to the normal everyday user, producing a mapping layer for the visualization of Cultural and Natural Heritage sites.

This would include tangible (historical books, drawings and photographs) to the intangible data (folklore, paintings, musical heritage). There is a great potential to use it as a guiding tool (for tourists and public) or for spatial analysis on the proximity of sites (for researchers). The next step for the team would be to produce the tool in the form of a Mobile Application (on iOS and Android). Eventually tourists would be able to locate, see tweet, post and visit. 

The cultmap project is part of bigger consortium of European projects making up the INDICATE or the International Network for Digital Cultural Heritage e-Infrastructure with 10 partners from Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Slovenia. 

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