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Author hubert
Partaker
#46 | Posted: 19 Sep 2012 10:18 
I'll do Finland, Hungary and Croatia

Author elsslots
Admin
#47 | Posted: 19 Sep 2012 12:10 
I've also received Malaysia, Laos, Thailand

Author Assif
Partaker
#48 | Posted: 19 Sep 2012 13:55 | Edited by: Assif 
Remaining countries:

Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, El Salvador, FYR Macedonia, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Korea (North), Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Urkaine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Author elsslots
Admin
#49 | Posted: 19 Sep 2012 14:03 
I believe that's right.
Keep them coming!
I've added a bunch tonight, but still have 9 e-mails to work through

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#50 | Posted: 19 Sep 2012 15:12 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I will do Ethiopia, Gambia and Tanzania

Author Euloroo
Partaker
#51 | Posted: 19 Sep 2012 20:53 
UAE done

Author Euloroo
Partaker
#52 | Posted: 19 Sep 2012 22:20 | Edited by: Euloroo 
elsslots:
a. Not all WHS have "Official" Web sites. If not do we ignore them or do we choose the "best" site for description and visiting information.... and if that is Wikpedia or wikitravel?
>> I would rather have "not available" in that case. The good thing about "official" should be that visitor information is accurate.
b. I some cases the information might be within a "larger" Web site covering an area or city (where for instance only 1 building has been inscribed). Do we include such "larger" Web sites?
>>Possibly. I will soon encounter "Rome", so that could be a good testcase
c. Sites with multiple locations may have more than 1 Website or the most obviuos web site might not cover some locations. Do we allow multiple Web sites per WHS?
>>yes it is possible, though I have seen serial nominations included in 1 website (see the Longobards)


This going to be a great resource and I appreciate that people are putting in a lot of effort, but over time I think we can make some refinements. Clearly one size doesn't fit all but I've noticed some patterns and have developed a kind of mental hierarchy of websites endorsed by owner, operator, government agency, local authority etc. I've tried to reference websites/pages as high up the hierarchy as available:

1. Directly endorsed websites dedicated specifically to the WHS or a significant component.
2. Pages on the owner's/operator's website (e.g. Church, national park authority; heritage agency, local council) dedicated to all or a significant component of the WHS.
3. Pages on the Government Department website with the portfolio for the WHS.
4. Pages/sites of Government endorsed tourism/visitor agencies dedicated specifically to the WHS.
5. Pages/sites of Government endorsed tourism/visitor agencies for the general area with reference to the WHS.

By way of a couple of examples:

Frontiers does not have a single dedicated website, however the three main components do. www.hadrians-wall.org and www.antoninewall.org are directly endorsed by Government Agencies, English Heritage and Historic Scotland, respectively. i.e No. 1 in the hierarchy. Historic Scotland directly manages significant components of the Antonine Wall (although the majority is in private ownership) but reference to pages on their website would come at No. 2 in the hierarchy. The Antonine Way website, assuming it's officially endorsed which I don't believe it is, would come in at No. 4 in the hierarchy. However, still an interesting link.

The Greater Blue Mountains is a large complex WHS and does not appear to have a single dedicated website. The Government Department with the Portfolio for this site is the New South Wales Government Office of Environment and Heritage - No.3 in the hierarchy. However, the inscribed area is made up of eight individual parks (e.g. Wollemi National Park) each managed by the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service - No. 2 in the hierarchy. The tourist website www.bluemts.com.au is officially endorsed but covers significantly more than the inscribed area - i.e. all the townships and their associated businesses - No.5 in the hierarchy. I just found that Tourism Australia has recently launched a campaign for the WHS but this would still come in at No.4.

I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Author elsslots
Admin
#53 | Posted: 20 Sep 2012 00:25 
Euloroo:
The Antonine Way website, assuming it's officially endorsed which I don't believe it is, would come in at No. 4 in the hierarchy.

this was just an error on the page, I've corrected it, it was meant for the "normal" links

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#54 | Posted: 20 Sep 2012 04:51 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Euloroo:
(I) have developed a kind of mental hierarchy of websites endorsed by owner, operator, government agency, local authority etc.........I'd be interested in your thoughts


Whilst "categorisation" is a useful approach to understanding the World, another way of looking at things is in terms of "continua" along various dimensions of separable but interacting variables with many points along these being feasible, resulting in a multi dimensional model. If we "unpack" what we might mean by "Official Web site" I see 3 significant dimensions to the issue
a. The body responsible for creating/maintaining the site.
b. The "specificity" of the site to the WHS
c. The accuracy/comprehensiveness of the site

Within these there is an enormous range of possibilities. At one extreme there can be a government department which has, as part of its overall Web site, a single page which covers all the WHS in the Country -"Offical" yes, but hardly very "specific" or comprehensive! And at the other there can be a highly knowledgeable and committed individual who has created and is maintaining a comprehensive Web site solely and specifically concerned with a single WHS without any government assistance or even knowledge totally "unofficial" but incredibly useful!

We presumably started this exercise because of an implied belief that "Official" sites were "worth" highlighting more than "unofficial" sites in that they were more likely to be up-to-date, correct, complete, free of adverts etc etc. We didn't define "official" but, perhaps started off assuming it would mean "Governmental" at some level.

"Governmental" encompasses a very wide range of organisational models. Some "Western" countries like to set up units at arms length from government to look after, publicise etc their WHS. Many of these fit within the description "Government endorsed" used by Euloroo but, strictly, are not "part" of Government. In other countries Governments "run" (or attempt to!!!) almost everything so, in Ethiopia for instance, the Tourist Board and Ethiopian Airlines are both arms of Government. So, a web site run by Ethiopian airlines could be described as "official" in a way in which a Web site run by British Airways could not!!

UNESCO seems to prefer WHS which are "run" by Government or are at least tightly controlled legally by it, but it is perfectly possible for a totally non-Governmental organisation to be involved in running/publicising a WHS. Blenheim Palace, for instance, is privately owned as is its "official" Web site. Many WHS are multi-owned sites such that any Web site about the WHS must either be government run (local or national) or must be the responsibility of some "grouping" of individuals with an "interest" in the WHS whether in "running" it, coordinating it or in publicising it or all of these. In some countries tourist promotion organisations are often likely to be, in effect, private trade bodies, whereas, in others they may be a unit of the Municipal government. Are we suggesting that a site run by the latter is more useful/worthy than one run by the former? As far as I could discover, all the worthwhile sites relating to WHS in Namibia were run by groups of tour and lodge providers and excellent they are too but not "Official"?? In Ethiopia, on the other hand, the government has set up a series of pages for its WHS some of which are "empty" and others completely incorrect (It had "Lower Awash" in the wrong place!!). The Gambian Government Web site hasn't even got round to recognising yet that the Stone circles are a WHS. For most African WHS my starting point for information would always be http://www.africanworldheritagesites.org/. This is the "private initiative of British-born conservationist, author and photographer Dr Peter Howard" I have not (as yet!) discovered any inaccuracies and it has even already been updated for e.g The Lakes of Ounianga. The "Cloud" is full of government Web sites which start with grand hopes but quickly dribble into nothingness or inaccuracy as the money and the skills run out!

On a different dimension "Official" implies that the Web site is solely concerned with a specific "World Heritage site" and, possibly, even has that site's name in its Web address. The reality is of course that organisations can operate with single Web pages each devoted to a single WHS within their overall Web site rather than having separate Web sites - National Parks Authorities are a classic example. But what if the NP Authority has chosen to have a series of pages about multiple WHS which "happen" to cross Web page boundaries? They may not have separate page addresses but can still be searched upon and may (or may not!) contain useful information. Does this exclude them from being considered "Official"? Similarly a municipally run information site might well cover many aspects of its locality are we saying that the section on its WHS could only be considered "official" if it has a separate page address?

Which takes us to my third dimension comprehensiveness and accuracy. I guess that what we want from an "official" site includes correct entrance times/fees, directions, how to get there on public transport, visiting information, reasonable descriptions and photos. Experience of this exercise certainly shows that sites run by government or government-sponsored organisations are likely to contain such information but certainly not always and the Web sites of privately run "tourist" organisations are often the best source of such information!!

I fear that the reality is that any over-rigid attempt to define/categorise "Official" is doomed to failure at any practical or logical level. That said, this exercise has been (and continues to be) useful and interesting in
a. Identifying additional Web sites concerned with specific WHS
b. Identifying the wide range of "models" and outcomes which exist around the World for running and publicising WHS.

Author Euloroo
Partaker
#55 | Posted: 20 Sep 2012 07:27 
Solivagant:
We didn't define "official" but, perhaps started off assuming it would mean "Governmental" at some level.

Certainly, I wouldn't assume Government involvement per se makes the website official. I'd say endorsement by the owner or manager of the WHS is about as close to official as you can get but even then, this won't work for many multi-ownership sites. In those cases some kind of Government oversight is inevitable.

Solivagant:
I fear that the reality is that any over-rigid attempt to define/categorise "Official" is doomed to failure at any practical or logical level.

Without a doubt. There are far too many possibilities. But this exercise has been good for highlighting to me some great "official" sites that cut through a lot trying to look official. Wadi Rum and Kakadu are two cases-on-point!

Author elsslots
Admin
#56 | Posted: 20 Sep 2012 09:01 
China has been done too!

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#57 | Posted: 20 Sep 2012 11:37 
hubert:
To find websites in the national language, it is sometimes successful to go to the English (or German) Wiki page and then switch to the respective language


Thanks - a useful facility. It saves at least the translation of the search argument!

Another q about translation.

When I use Chrome as my internet browser I have it set to translate all sites not in English. I can either set a language as "always translate" or get Chrome to ask if I want a translation before it does so. This applies whther I have accessed the Web site via a Google search or not and is much easier than having to go out to Google Translate and paste in the web site address.
BUT - I know of no way of doing this with Internet Explorer as the browser. Is this the case (because Chrome and Google Translate are from the same stable) or is there a setting on IE 9 I don't know about?

Author Assif
Partaker
#58 | Posted: 20 Sep 2012 14:08 | Edited by: Assif 
Remaining countries:

Brazil, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, El Salvador, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Urkaine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Author elsslots
Admin
#59 | Posted: 20 Sep 2012 14:34 | Edited by: elsslots 
Surinam has been done

I've finished my work for this evening, 3 e-mails still remaining
Was surprised by the number of Chinese websites in English

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#60 | Posted: 20 Sep 2012 14:49 
There is nothing official on North Korea.

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