Heritage Here - a Cross Agency Innovation Project giving access to invisible knowledge
Imagine you are sitting on a train admiring the majestic winter landscape of the Dovre mountain range in central Norway.
Would you have known that this is the most important area for wild reindeer in Europe? Perhaps you would be curious about how medieval pilgrims also made their way through these mountains to Nidaros Cathedral and the grave of Saint Olav? Would you realise that the very area you were travelling through was also a strategic centre for the German army during World War II? Or maybe you would wonder about who lived here while the very railway you are traveling on was built over 100 years ago?
The answers to these and other questions lie in numerous national and local databases in Norway. So how can we access and use this content from the comfort of our seat as we speed through the Norwegian countryside? That is when ‘Heritage Here’ comes into play.
This project is the result of cross-agency cooperation under the following governmental bodies; the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization, the Ministry of Climate and Environment and the Ministry of Culture. Project partners include the Norwegian Mapping Authority, the Arts Council Norway, the Directorate of Cultural Heritage, the National Archives and (until December 2014) the Norwegian Environment Agency. Together in Heritage Here the data from these partners has been made digitally accessible; it has been enriched, geo-tagged and disseminated in new ways. Content includes information about animal and plant life, cultural heritage and historical events, and varies from factual data to personal stories. This content is collected into Norway’s national digital infrastructure ‘Norvegiana’ and from there it can be used and developed by others to create new services for business, tourism, education or exported into the international arena, such as Europeana.eu. Some of the results of a hackathon ‘Hack4no’ which the project arranged and hosted in Oslo last year provide great examples of what you can do with good quality accessible source data and some imagination.
In addition to the afore-mentioned activities Heritage Here has worked towards being a competence builder - organising over 20 workshops on digital storytelling and geo-tagging of data, and numerous open seminars with different topics. The most recent was on ‘Mobile Communication’ with both national and international speakers, held at end of January.
In the next 12 months the Heritage Here will continue developing and strengthening partnerships on a national and international level, and to work towards improving data quality and promoting the use of open data. By posing the testing questions and searching for the answers, the project hopes to contribute to (among many other things) ensuring that you can enjoy more than just the beautiful scenery on your next train journey through Dovre.
Project website (mainly in Norwegian).
Senior Adviser Heritage Here