I now have this Firefly book, "World Heritage sites - A complete guide to 878 UNESCO WHS
" (it is published by Collins in UK) and have given it a quick perusal. I think it will be a useful addition to my "library" of WHS books but
it is not without its faults! A disappointment is the fact that many sites do not have a photo provided of them - in that way the book displays its origins as an "office based" production! I wonder if any of the production/editorial team have actually visited any/many of the sites? The impression given is of a "cut and paste" job of taking photos and text from other sources (especially the photo agency www.shutterstock.com
) without really understanding them. At least this Web site contains "first hand experiences" and "real opinions" - even if one doesn't agree with all of them! Some of the sites lacking a photo really need one - especially where the description appears to be written on the basis that one is looking at what they are describing. And there are the usual pages filled completely with a single picture of a site which adds nothing to what one can see a 1000 times if one makes a single Google search or looks at a National Geographic. Whilst other sites could have really made use of the space so wasted with photos which gave real sense of the place. For some reason Al-Hijr even gets 1.5 pages of photos - perhaps because it was the last site to be reviewed and they had a spare page! The book also relies a great deal on Tito Dupret as a source of photos - www.world-heritage-tour.org
(though the book gets their URL wrong by missing out the first hyphen and in fact they have expanded their remit now and call themselves 1001wonders.org !). Perhaps the fact that they have quite long way to go in photographing all WHS is partly a reason for the "gaps"
On first viewing I agree with Meltwaterfalls that this book is less error prone than the Bonneville one - I gave up writing to Els (who was in contact with the editor) pointing out the most crass ones in that book which was a very shoddy piece of work! But there are errors - as it has "UNESCO Publishing" clearly badged as the prime producer it might be of interest to discover and document these! In fact there are no "credits" to any editorial staff by name - the sole attribution of "responsibility" is "Text edited by Collins Geo based on official information made available by UNESCO and its World Heritage Centre"
. Well, if it came from UNESCO/WHC we must expect a few errors then!
One I have already noted provides an interesting example of how, in this Web Age, errors/mistakes become "viral" and get reproduced until they become accepted as "fact" - Wiki of course is also guilty of this.
I quote from the book re Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works
("HSLW"!)"HSLW contain over 200 former saltpeter works where workers from Chile Peru and Bolivia lived in company towns.....
Funny - that isn't how I understood the site!!
And Els has written in her introduction on this Web site EXACTLY the same phrase (you will have to correct it now Els!)
And the UNESCO Web site introduction also has the same phrase ( http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=1178
) - That UNESCO page is obviously the prime source of the error which gets repeated by everyone else! Error?? Yes! Self evidently the site doesn't "contain"
over 200 works - but only the named/inscribed 2. The AB evaluation gets it right - "Humberstone and Santa Laura works represent over 200 saltpeter works that once existed, where workers, drawn from Chile, Peru and Bolivia.."