Digitising Heritage: Capturing the historic environment through digital technology
What is Digitising Heritage?
Digitising Heritage is an exciting new project which coordinates a global digital resource by documenting the historic environment. Digitising Heritage is currently still under development but the site will be fully launched in 2012. Meanwhile for further information about the initiative please read on, and if you would like to sign up to a newsletter to be kept informed then you can do so below.
Digitising Heritage is an online toolkit which allows for the creation of individual web-sites across specific themes, such as industrial heritage, capable of gathering comparable data on sites of cultural interest from across the globe and provides the opportunity for this information to be analysed by both professional and other interested users.
Why get involved?
If you have ever wondered how the power-station looming across the landscape, or the pub around the corner from your house contributes to the culture and identity of your local and national community then you should get involved in Digitising Heritage.
The resource will build comparative information on key themes such as industrial buildings or sports buildings, which will allow the relative rarity and importance of individual structures to be fully understood. For example, the site will allow heritage professionals to understand the relative rarity of individual sites on an international scale. For local communities the initiative provides the opportunity to contribute to building a global picture of the particular themes which have contribute to your identity, and to connect with other communities worldwide with similar characteristics. The site will also provide a unique opportunity to explore the built heritage of a place remotely, before perhaps exploring it in detail in person.
When can I begin to explore?
The site will be launched fully in mid 2012 and the initial theme relates to the use of hydroelectric power. This first theme will provide a model for further themes in the industrial sector and beyond, to be developed. The structure of the site will allow for individual themes, such as schools or mining heritage, to be developed by other users with a toolkit provided. Each theme will then be capable of gathering data from users worldwide. In adition the site will provide a forum for discussions and sharing documents.
Data will be collected via the individual theme websites, with users uploading single sites or larger bulk uploads as required. A data structure will be in place for each theme to ensure that the data collected can be effectively analysed and interpreted. Users will be able to download data directly from the site to allow them to interpret information in further detail using desktop GIS systems.
Who is developing the project?
The project is being led from Scotland, using the heroic history of hydroelectric power as an inspiring story upon which to build the initiative. The data from Scotland follows work on the hydro-electric power sector in Scotland developed by Historic Scotland, more details of which can be found at www.celebratingscotlandsarchitecture.org.uk
, where it is also possible to download a publication on the sector in Scotland.
The initiative is being developed by Historic Scotland and supported by a multi-disciplinary team including representatives from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, the Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry and The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH).
How can I find out more?
The project team would be delighted to hear from users who may be interested in submitting data on sites to the project, or from users who would be interested in establishing individual themes. For more information on any aspect of the project please contact David Fleetwood at Historic Scotland on 0044 (0) 131 668 8771 or by email to David.Fleetwood@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
you can also sign up to a regular newsletter providing information on progress and the opportunity to share your views on how the initiative develops by emailing David with ‘Digitising Heritage Newsletter Request’ in the subject line.
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry
The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage