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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

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