The Arches Heritage Inventory and Management System: a standards-based approach to the management of cultural heritage information

The Arches Heritage Inventory and Management System was developed by the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monuments Fund as an open source web-based geospatially enabled information system to help inventory and manage immovable cultural heritage. The system incorporates two CIDOC standards, the CIDOC-CRM (Conceptual Reference Model [ISO 21127: 2006]), and the draft of the CIDOC International Core Data Standard for Archaeological and Architectural Heritage. The implementation of the CDS in a modern information system, as well as the first mapping of the CDS to the CRM, have helped to further develop the CDS itself. This paper documents and shares the experiences of that process and the potential benefits of incorporating the two CIDOC standards into the design of Arches. Arches was created in response to the persistent need for a system that fits the inventory requirements of the heritage field without requiring onerous investment of time and resources by heritage organizations individually. Arches represents a unique initiative undertaken for the benefit of the cultural heritage field at large, with the long-term goal of improving management of immoveable heritage worldwide through the use of more effective inventory systems. It combines state-of-the-art software development with the insights of many heritage professionals from around the world.

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