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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

CIPA 2003 XIX 1 International Symposium, 30 September — 04 October, 2003, Antalya, Turkey
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this will generate various data related to buildings and sites
digital or non-digital from the recent past. Meanwhile, the
integration of these digital systems in architectural
documentation will effect not only heritage recording, but
many other project requirements. GIS usage in architecture
will make the perception of these different processes in an
architectural project comprehensible and accessible.
These opportunities have been known recently in Turkey but
they are not widely used because the technique and
equipment required are expensive and the digital technology
needs specialists and technical training. The architectural
survey techniques required to document cultural heritage
structures are limited by the continuation of widely used
traditional methods. At the present time in Turkey
architectural documentation projects, the process and the
quality of the site surveying, are generally shaped by the size
of the building and the project budget. At the same time
several projects that are conducted by governments,
academicians and professionals are employing an assortment
of different documentation systems and equipment (Aslan,
2001; Summers, 2001; Tanyeli, 2001; TAY).
Because of mostly the economical situation in Turkey,
heritage documentation process develops in long period. The
groups that are supervising and certifying architectural
heritage documentation projects should define and require
the proper documentation systems and create an appropriate
methodology in order to receive qualified projects.
The architectural survey methodology that was used in
Seddiilbahir and Kumkale Documentation Project has been
revised several times as the project diversified. The site
survey of Seddulbahir in the preliminary years was concluded
in 3 seasons; with the practical experience gathered from this
first survey , the goals of the Kumkale survey were
accomplished more efficiently. Recently after finishing the
entire site survey and documentation database the problems
encountered in the early years of the survey have helped us to
determine more efficient techniques and a more sound
methodology for future surveys.
In this project GIS technology has been chosen as a pilot
application for the documentation of historical sites. The
GIS project was generated with a cross disciplinary approach
which integrates information and research from a variety of
other fields including geodesy, architecture history. It is quite
possible to add to this information from other fields such as
botany, geology, archaeology. A truly comprehensive GIS
should be long term in its planning orientation and allow for
data from fields other than the ones initially covered. Now
that all digital survey data has been generated for the two
sites and a substantial amount of historical information about
the fortresses has been collected the layering of the historical
data is beginning on the geodetic foundation. The
application of the fortresses will be basically a three-step
process. The first step is to create 3D digital map coverage of
the site and the architectural plans of the historical structures.
The second step is to gather all known information about
each resource (historical attributes) related to spatial
information and current information about the existing
conditionsThe third step is to integrate the geormetrical data
with these attributes mentioned above. The pilot project that
haa been completed of the Kumkale cemetery, an 18th
century Ottoman burial ground near the fortress, provides a
good example of interdisciplinary work that is possible using
GIS as an organizational tool. (For this see the project
website; www.seddulbahir-kumkale.com)
The primary purpose for developing a GIS of the Ottoman
fortresses is to facilitate the research in the.project and make
the questions and the answers asked of the collected data
much more accessible, easy to visualize, and easy to retrieve.
With this type of information and data management system
both the present situation of the fortresses and the condition
of the fortresses in the past can be recorded and the
architectural changes from 17 th century to present day can be
determined more efficiently. GIS allows the user to quickly
query a database of architectural plans or photographs in
order to make stylistic comparisons and other types of
analysis. For example, the specific plan of the entrance tower
at Seddulbahir is not clearly known, but an examination
through GIS based inquiry of several other entrance plans of
Ottoman fortresses from the 15th century through the 18th
century can be made to determine if there are any similar
architectural components. This type of query can then be
extended to include the entire plan of the fortress and make a
comparative assessment of its design with examples of
fortifications from the early modern Mediterranean region.
Theoretically, as more cultural heritage projects turn to GIS
for their data organizational needs, and put their data on the
web, the power of this kind of system can be tremendous.
One of the essential requirements of GIS is accurate spatial
data; hence, the geodetic network was designed and
established to cover the entire area of the fortresses and their
environs. Only with this comprehensive approach to the site
could we produce a complete and accurate set of maps and
architectural drawings and models of both fortresses. From
the beginning two different types of geodetic measurement
methods, which consisted of satellite and conventional
measurements, have been used together to increase accuracy.
These two techniques have supported each other, thus
measurements can be accomplished in a shorter time and with
fewer staff in order to complement the type of information
gathered in the architectural survey. Finally, it is expected
that in the future GIS will facilitate the development of the
continuous process of site preservation at both fortresses.
In conclusion, in this project the necessity of integrating
different disciplines within a cultural heritage documentation
project is clearly observed. The main academic components
of the project, geodesy, architecture, and history have share
and understand the GIS digital database in order to use it to
its maximum potential.
The alternative systems for architectural documentation and
its integration with the interdisciplinary projects have been
recently examined and used by both academicians and
professional architects in Turkey. With the rich cultural
heritage that our country possesses, while the extraction of
some sites of heritage list in Turkey are being discussed, it is