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WHS Hotspot

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Author elsslots
Admin
#1 | Posted: 30 Apr 2008 14:22 
I'd like some discussion about what the definition should be of a WHS hotspot.
Now it is:
'Sites located in a geographical or administrative region with a cluster of at least 4 WHS within a radius of ca. 250km.'

I'm sure about the 4 WHS (rare enough), but not about the region or the radius of ca. 250 km.

One way I like to use is going to the little interactive map on the Unesco website (f.e.: Pont du Gard) and drill down by clicking on the map until you see an area of 215km x80. A red circle will appear, and all WHS within that circle or touched by it, are located within the hotspot!

Author Assif
Registered
#2 | Posted: 30 Apr 2008 18:14 
I agree with Els the geographical criterion can be a bit misleading at times since some sites happen to be lumped together due to reasons unrelated to their being close to a hotspot (e.g. sites at the north African Mediterrainean shore are close to one another because most of the territory of the relevant countries is too arid to be inhabited, not because they incircle one coherent cultural centre). I think what should be taken into account is that the sites belong to a culturally/politically recognized unit that shows some degree of coherence.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#3 | Posted: 1 May 2008 04:08 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Could I put an alternative view about Hot spots?
I don't feel that cultural coherence should be a factor in determining a "Hot spot" - there are other "connections" and indeed country-based views of WHS to provide these.
The significance of a "Hot spot" is the geographical closeness even across political boundaries - this is primarily a "travel aid" to point out where people can easily visit a, possibly surprisingly, large number of WHS in a short time and distance. So, by all means cross political boundaries (between Belgium and Germany?) or cultures (between Mediaeval and modern as in eg Saxony Anhalt?)

You have to use some form of proxy to determine "closeness" but of course all proxies have their problems
a. Distance - it is a lot easier/faster to travel 250kms in Europe than in India.
b. Political boundaries - crossing between Belgium and Germany is somewhat easier than crossing between Israel and Jordan - a "hot spot" which linked Tel Aviv White City with Quseir Amra would be of limited use!

There is also the problem of where to "centre" any radius. Ideally I suppose it would be on a "centre of communication" rather than in the middle of nowhere. The UNESCO site map however only centres on actual sites and therefore doesn't really provide a "true" radius for an area.
It comes down i guess to trading off "exactness" v "utility" - I would prefer to err towards utility - ie the reason why we are doing it (eg "to identify sites which can easily be linked on a single land based trip of "x" days") and have a more "rule of thumb" type definition.

Author Assif
Registered
#4 | Posted: 2 May 2008 09:06 
I wholeheartedly agree various factors should be taken into account while suggesting a hotspot. However, as Els pointed out, many sites happen to be near each other just because they are found in small countries. Having them put together in a hotspot is questionable (not impossible though). I do think a certain degree of coherence is to be looked for although this hasn't got to do with a current boundary. The various sites of Saxony Anhalt do belong together because they are geographically close, culturally part of a continuous political identity and are part of the same modern state. Cross-boundary hotspots are possible naturally, but I do think it wise to look for some coherence of an either historical (as in Dalmatia which is streched over modern Croatia, Montenegro and Albania) or practical nature (whatever this might be...). We do need some sort of guidelines, otherwise we could theoretically lump all European sites together into a large hotspot.

Author elsslots
Admin
#5 | Posted: 14 May 2008 12:12 
I will reject the proposed North Ethiopia hotspot (Awash, Lalibela, Aksum, Fasil Ghebbi, Simien). Though they have a degree of coherence, they aren't within the ca. 215 km circle and the infrastructure in Ethiopia is so bad that it will take you far more than daytrips from any central city (so not a practical hotspot).

Author elsslots
Admin
#6 | Posted: 18 May 2008 06:08 | Edited by: elsslots 
I have changed the proposed Poprad Hotspot into a Bardejov Hotspot, leaving out Hortobagy, Holloko, Vlkolinec. It wouldn't be impossible to see all in daytrips from Proprad, but it would take very long days and it's not such a practical choice (the Slovak infrastructure is not that good, or at least not fast).

Author Solivagant
Registered
#7 | Posted: 18 May 2008 06:57 
"Pedant's Corner" (Or is it "Pedants' Corner"?!)

Herewith the current definition of a "Hotspot" ;-
"Areas with a cluster of at least 4 WHS within a circle with a diameter of 215km (per Unesco website maps) OR within daytrip range from a centre within the area".

The "OR" surely means that the 215km rule takes precedence and is only broken if a greater distance can be travelled in a day because of good infrastructure etc? I.e. as long as they are within the circle on UNESCO map then they are in a hotspot.

As it seems to be being interpeted at the moment it might be better to have a rule more like
"Areas with a cluster of at least 4 WHS within a circle with a diameter of 215km (per Unesco website maps) unless local transport infrastructure makes day return trips from the centre infeasible or clearly permits a greater distance to be covered in which case the "Day return trip" rule takes precedence"

Author elsslots
Admin
#8 | Posted: 4 Jul 2008 10:31 
Anyone good at travelling distances within the former Yugoslavia?

The following hotspot was suggested (starting from Pristina):
Kosovo, Kotor, Ohrid, Stari Ras, Studenica, Durmitor, Visegrad

Using my favourite red circle tool, I think Kosovo, Stari Ras and Studenica certainly are within the 215km diameter. Durmitor and Visegrad are just on the fringes, but could be counted in if travelling there is relatively easy from a central point (Is it?).
Kotor and Ohrid are too far away for a day trip I think.

Author joycevs
Registered
#9 | Posted: 6 Jul 2008 16:09 | Edited by: joycevs 
From Kotor to Peja/Pec where the medieval monuments of Kosovo are, took me a full day drive...
The problem is that getting from Serbia into Kosovo (and the other way around) is not that easy, there's only a few border crossings and they are pretty heavily controlled. The roads in Kosovo are really hard to navigate too. Without a local we would have never found the monastry

Author RobWilson
Registered
#10 | Posted: 16 Jul 2008 16:22 | Edited by: RobWilson 
Considering that Oman only has 4 WHS, the city of Nizwa (where I had been living for 3 years until June 08) is pretty remarkable.
Bahla Fort, Bat Tombs, and the Falaj Daris are all within an hour's drive. If they hadn't made a mess of the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary - it really would have been a hotspot!

Rob

Author Solivagant
Registered
#11 | Posted: 7 Nov 2016 03:24 
I have been wondering what %age of WHS are situated in "Hotspots".
We currently have 71 different hotspots with between 4 (the minimum by definition) and 18 WHS (Brussels) in each. So, at first sight, rather more than 284 WHS will be in a hotspot - i.e over 25% of all WHS. But some sites are in more than one hotspot e.g Verona in both Milan and Veneto so that also has to be allowed for.
Can you do a calculation Els? And which sites are they? Of the 71 Hotspots only 14 are outside "geographic" Europe and those 14 are quite widely spaced so I suspect little double counting of their sites across Hotspots (other than Seoul and Busan)?

The subject is relevant to the question of what might be the quickest way to build up a "seen" WHS list. "Economic Man" as "WHS collector" would plan to visit the hotspots ASAP with minimum time at each - by definition seeing at least 1 WHS per day (but often rather more).

Author nfmungard
Registered
#12 | Posted: 7 Nov 2016 06:23 
Solivagant
I think for you it's to late to profit of such a list :P Can be queried from the database.

Side notes:
* The definition stated here is different from the one we use on the page.
* My San Miguel de Allende Hotspot never made it. It's four!

Author elsslots
Admin
#13 | Posted: 7 Nov 2016 07:11 
Solivagant:
Can you do a calculation Els?

There are 384. I've sent you the list via e-mail. Maybe you can have a cursory check, but I believe the selection is correct.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#14 | Posted: 7 Nov 2016 12:58 
elsslots:
There are 384. I've sent you the list via e-mail

Thanks Els
So 291 in "Geographic" Europe (from 57 "hotspots") and 93 elsewhere (from 14).
I hadn't appreciated how "dodgy" some of the "hot spot" assignments were - at least for the purpose of assessing the practicality of a "day return visit". There is absolutely no way of getting to Kaesong from Seoul and back in a day for instance and I also understand that trips to St Catherines and back from Eilat are suspended. And some of the "Centres" are a bit awkward and could take a day to get to on their own!

Author elsslots
Admin
#15 | Posted: 7 Nov 2016 14:06 | Edited by: elsslots 
Solivagant:
no way of getting to Kaesong from Seoul and back in a day

Indeed. I've deleted it.
I'll add a text about St. Catherine (may be considered temporary, at least more temporary than the Korea border)

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