Full text: New perspectives to save cultural heritage

S. Reis, R. Nisanci, V. Yildirim, H. I. Inan, T. Yomralioglu* 
KTU, Geodesy and Photogrammetry Engineering Department, 61080 Trabzon, Turkey 
(sreis, misanci, yvolkan, hibrahim, tahsin)@ktu.edu.tr 
Commission VI, WG II 
KEY WORDS: GIS, Databases, Cultural Heritage 
Protecting, advertising and transferring to the next generations of historical assets is one of the most important mission of societies. 
The protection of an heritage is not left only self-respect of individuals but also guaranteed under law. However, arrangement, 
protection and regulation of inventories about historical assets, using classical techniques, is an extremely hard process in a country 
having a vast many historical assets like Turkey. Considered their locations and characteristics, historical assets have different 
features. In classical systems, locations (address) and attributes (memorial buildings, examples of civilian architecture, the number 
of storeys, owner, protection degree, etc.) of historical places are kept in paper passed environments. Separations between historical 
assets in the maps are enabled using different colours (representing objects according to classes and kinds) and symbols. A historical 
place on which an investigation required is informed about by searching through all archive files. In addition to causing loss of time 
and labour, this method makes difficult to save these assets thoroughly. On the other hand, in the information era, the value and 
importance of information have been accepted among all communities. People who use information have been studying on 
possibilities of reaching information faster and more easily. Used among different professions in recent years, Geographical 
Information System (GIS) provides a considerable comfort for users in recording inventories about historical assets because GIS 
have a great deal of facilities such as storing graphical and non-graphical data at the same time, linking and analyzing with each 
other, offering information at any scale. In this study, inventory of historical assets in Trabzon city has been computerized, and a 
database design of historical assets has been realized. So, a historical asset information system (HAIS) has been formed. HAIS 
involves photographs, videos, graphical and non-graphical information about historical assets. 
Cultural assets in a country are not only a part of that country 
but also a part of worldwide cultural assets. So, current cultural 
assets should be presented in an easily-accessible environment. 
Today’s improved communication technologies have an crucial 
role in collecting, presenting and sharing data. Affects of 
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) on spatial query and 
analysis works make extremely easy to present cultural assets. 
In this regard, after collecting Immovable Historical Asset 
(IHA) spatial and non-spatial information, it is important to 
manage this data under a database (Duran, 2002). 
Increasing the quantity and quality of information about the 
cultural heritage will help in making more effective decisions 
regarding the organization of modern life in the historical cities 
and confront them to the challenge of globalization against 
rising decline. There are numerous general texts, books and 
research about monuments, but very little raw data suitable for 
geographical analysis (Esposito, 2003). The extreme main 
problem encountered in GIS studies is the lack of required 
quality data (Siebert, 2000). Spatial data that is of adequate 
quality and quantity is the most indispensable component of 
planned database concerning historical assets. This kind of data 
should be acquired in an appropriate form in data collecting 
stage and it should be manipulated in carefully designed 
databases in the stage of data storing (Reis, 2002). Designation 
stages of databases especially planned for large areas - 
nationwide or covering a region should be implemented in a 
planned way because of intense data. 
In Turkey, the key problem of Immovable Cultural Heritage 
(ICH)’s site management is that the sites are not systematically 
located on an official map or collected into a database. Because 
nongraphical information about immovable historical assets in 
Turkey are held currently in classical archive systems, it has 
been encountered some problems in labeling, controlling and 
performing spatial query about these assets. In order to form a 
database concerning immovable historical assets, it is needed to 
gather inventory records and spatial features in a standardized 
way and to link them one another. While nongraphical data 
includes city name, district name, photo, address, constructional 
situation and conservation condition, graphical data is formed 
by property maps( 1/500, 1/1.000, 1/2.000 scaled cadastral 
maps), land development plan and current base map (1/1.000 
scaled base maps). 
Immovable historical assets in Turkey are under responsibility 
of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Under responsibility of 
this ministry, General Directorate of Cultural and Natural 
Conservation and Directorate of Cultural and Natural 
Conservation, under responsibility of this general directorate 
and organized in regional base, work on determination and 
conservation of nationwide cultural and natural assets. In order 
to implement zone-based works quickly and precisely, forming 
directorate-based databases is strongly needed. 
Corresponding author : tahsin@ktu.edu.tr

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