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ARCHES PROJECT

An Open Source Heritage Inventory and Management System

ARCHES PROJECT
United States
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BACKGROUND

Arches is a new open-source geospatial software system for cultural heritage inventory and management, developed jointly by the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monuments Fund. Arches grew out of the collaborative effort to create MEGA, the Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities, and the widespread need within the heritage field for inventories that are easy to use and access. Unlike MEGA, Arches is a generic system, and can be used without geographic restrictions. Arches has been purpose-built for the international cultural heritage field, and can be used to inventory and document buildings and other structures, cultural landscapes, heritage ensembles or districts, as well as archaeological sites. As open-source software, Arches is freely available to use and customize, without licensing or upgrade costs, and it is capable of being configured and extended to meet the needs of particular users. Arches incorporates international standards for heritage, information management, and software, leading to better practices in the creation and management of heritage data and facilitating data exchange and longevity in spite of advances in technology.

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HOW WE HELPED

Development of Arches began in June 2011, building on the experience of developing and implementing MEGA. Input was sought from heritage professionals from around the world, helping to shape the requirements for the software. (...)

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WHY IT MATTERS

The need for functional heritage inventories has grown over the past few decades, together with the rise of a global awareness of the importance of heritage management. Nevertheless, inventories remain complicated to establish and maintain, and frequently rely on costly proprietary software that is often a mismatch for the needs of the heritage field. (...)

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IN THE MEDIA
An Open Source Map for Conservation
Hyperallergic, Tuesday, December 10, 2013
VIDEOS
World Monuments FundMiddle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities
October, 2012

A web-based geographic information system (GIS) known as Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities (MEGA), has been developed by World Monuments Fund and the Getty Conservation Institute to record and monitor condition data at heritage sites in Jordan.