Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia pages:380-385
Virtual Systems and MultiMedia edition:10 location:Ojaki, Japan date:17-19 November 2004
This paper discusses the concept of a global portal to heritage and its first manifestation in the UNESCO World Heritage website. For more than eight years at VSMM and similar venues, scholars have been advocating the need for a virtual portal to the growing body of heritage information and research. Born out of these discussions, the non-profit Virtual Heritage Network (VHN) was established in the year 2000 with the goal of building a shared repository at the international level, particularly to rich media content. Working with UNESCO for the last few years, VHN, UC Berkeley’s Center for Design Visualization, and an international, multidisciplinary team of technical, design, and heritage professionals have been assembling the foundations of this portal. The first phase, available as the World Heritage Website, is a powerful new tool to share statutory, technical and rich media content about world heritage. As the official online presence of the international Convention (or Treaty) for “the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage”, the World Heritage Website is the public’s portal to their shared world heritage. Its evolution, structure, and planned enhancements are discussed.