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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

CIPA 2003 XIX th International Symposium, 30 September - 04 October, 2003, Antalya, Turkey
The city of Trabzon has been selected as the case of the study
because of its rich and diverse cultural heritage. Historic
buildings that are already listed on the national heritage are the
topic of this study. The objective is to creating an electronic
database for the existing heritage in Trabzon. This study focuses
on developing a digital inventory database for documentation
and recording cultural and natural properties. The general scope
of the study as following:
• Determining existing historic building stock with extensive
field recording and photographical documentation,
• Classification of the collected data and filling this data into
Electronic Building Identity form,
• Designing a web page for the purpose of sharing database
through the electronic environment (network) with interest
• Recording the condition of the historic heritage from the
past until present time and the most importantly having the
current and precise information about the city’s cultural
heritage and district.
Today data processing and computer usage are intensively into
every sections of the research as well as the daily life of people.
Thus the usage of this database and web page for educational
and academicals purposes will enhance and improve the
research facilities on heritage of the scientists.
Traditional archival methods are not sufficient for diverse users
profile in the computer age. The information needs to be
reproducible and shareable with others, therefore it gives more
opportunity to add and also take out unnecessary things and
becomes more meaningful and beneficial to the everyone who
The web page that is designed for this purposes and will serve
as a cyber database. These types of database and web page have
been started to use recently in Turkey and other countries. The
study of Mersin University City Research Center (AKKENT)
which is sampled as “Inventory Study”(Anonymous 1), the
“Heritage Building Inventory” which is carried out by the
Wellington City Council (Anonymous2), the “Historical
Buildings Database” carried out by Iranian Cultural Heritage
Organization (Anonymous 2) and the “Heritage Building
Inventory” which takes its place in the web site of Canadian
Nanaimo City (Anonymous 4).
The design stages of web page shows at figure 1. There is also
feedback system inside of the model.
The study area has limited with 3 historic districts in Trabzon
for this research. Systematically collected information about the
buildings in the first, second and third historic district had filled
into “Building Identity Form” (appendix B) and each building
had marked on the digital maps with its ID number.
The information about the historic buildings is collected base on
the fieldwork, literature search, existed data from the files of
each building at the local Historic Heritage Preservation Office
in Trabzon. Approximately 500 historic buildings have studied
but considering time limitation of the research, only data about
3 historic districts had used for establishment of web page
initially. Furthermore it is possible to add the data about the
other buildings.
The information on the web page covers word documents,
tables, digital map (AutoCAD and GIS applications),
photograph, architectural drawing (AutoCAD), video images
and additional materials (appendix A). To be able to putting all
above data about historic buildings into the web page requires
special computer language and format. Therefore all data had
converted in to those formats step by step so they became
suitable to access from distance and to produce as an image on
the network.
At the first step, existed written and visual material had
converted to digital data to be published on the web page. An
identification (ID) number had appointed to each building in the
system and these numbers had put into the digital map of each
historic district. Each building has a Building Identity Form on
the web page and has a special link on the digital map with ID
number. For the purpose of this study, Building Identity Form
of 5 buildings has been selected as an example to demonstrate
how this web page works. These buildings are selected carefully
base on different functions and being from the different historic
districts in the city. Photographs of each building are placed into
web page according to ID number in the list and link by .jpg
format by using Adobe Photoshop®. In addition to this, old and
new photograph from the private archive and collection has also
put the page. Furthermore, video images of a few building place
for the purpose of multimedia and interactive usage.
Architectural drawing (measured drawing) such as plan, section,
elevation and photograph are saved in image format also. Some
of the architectural drawings have prepared in vectorial line
format (.dwg file) another word converted into digital data by
using AutoCAD® and other similar types of software. With
this way, web page users can enable download the drawing
materials to the personal computer and use in various purpose
by intervention to these drawings. Measured drawing and
restoration project of the historical buildings from different
institutions or organizations are also included into this database
and given opportunity others to benefit from it.
Microsoft Front Page® is prefer to use as a Web editor. The
flexible and easy framing characteristic of this program was the
reason for choosing the program. When the user clicks on the
one link another frame opens in the same frame. While the
menu is stable, the others can be changed. This characteristic
give chance to users to visit to website quickly. The study had
done on Windows XP system but it had tested in different
systems to see if it has been working properly in.
GIS Applications: The main goal of the study that we work on
is to create a database depended on historical buildings of
Trabzon and share it with others. The one way of this sharing
was using web but also we prepared an alternate to prepare our
Figure 1. Design stages of Web page