I came across a "new" (to me at least) Web site on World Heritage matters today. I introduce it below in case other users of this Web site are not aware of it.
The reason it hasn't turned up before despite many, many Googlings by me on "World Heritage sites" became a little clearer when I looked on its "News" page which announced its "release" to the World – dated 29th April 2011!!"World Heritage Memory Net (WHMNet).. was officially launched with the URL of http://whmnet.org for public use on April 29, 2011, ......... This mega partnership project with UNESCO/World Heritge provides instant access to multimedia and multilingual knowledge base of 911 world heritage properties of 151 countries using the much modified and expanded multimedia and multilingual system ofGlobal Memory Net which was launched in 2007 and has a new interface recently."
As indicated, it is a partnership with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and its release was announced on their Web site on the same date :- http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/740
Note that it has been developed as the result of a MEGA PARTNERSHIP!!! The amount of effort (and money!) spent developing it cannot have been inconsiderable both in terms of collecting/entering World Heritage data or transferring it from the UNESCO site (some of the same icons have been carried through –e.g those for Natural etc sites) and also in terms of the software.
I quite liked the following ideas ... but they still seem a bit "half cooked" to me
a. The Time Line
I know that Els had a vision of doing this and we have so far adopted a half way house with the Connections for "Built in the nth Century". But I don't find the memory Net manifestation totally satisfactory either in its presentation which is cluttered (why on earth are the timeline dates at the BOTTOM of the page when most periods don't have entries that far down!!) and not that easy to home in on a period with but, more importantly, with its data. An issue we have wrestled with is what date to use for sites covering many periods. We decided to home in on that/those which capture the "essence" of the site. Memory net seems to have been less flexible – so I find that the Solovetsky islands are dated as 500- 401 BC!!! Really??? Mow when I look at the AB review I discover that the earliest remains on the site date back to th 5th MILLENIUM BC so it looks as if someone had wrongly thought this meant 500BC – but even then such dating is totally useless. The Solvetsky Islands are clearly a 15th/16th century "creation" with a significant 20th century "meaning" as wel. A very quick perusal of the data identified a fair number of similar misidentifications
This is still "under construction" but appears to be a way of assigning "tags" to sites and then displaying these tags visually (though how practical/useful this will actually be remains to be seen in my view!). The few which are shown don't always work and return a large number of often irrelevant photos ("The Great Wall" returns photos of the Falun Copper mountain!) – but do I want to get directly to photos anyway? I think our "Connections" is far superior!!
c. Image Wall
Again to me the possibilities of the technology seem to have overwhelmed the usefulness of the result!!
But, on the other hand, the site does provide another "resource" for us. However I fear that a lot of the data will contain the sort of errors carried forward from UNESCO documentation which I discovered in the Collins book 18 months ago. On the plus side they do have a fine set (up to 75!!) of photos of all (?) of the sites