Integrating Heritage. Building a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) for interdisciplinary research of the heritage and history of the Dutch landscape.
01 / 2010 - unknown
'Integrating Heritage' (the IH Program) is an initiative of three Dutch universities (VU University and the universities of Leiden and Wageningen), three national centers of expertise, and several (semi) governmental organizations, all having a long and extensive experience in the field of landscape and heritage research as well as in the application of scientific knowledge for managing our cultural heritage. The general aim of the program is to develop and sustain a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) for interdisciplinary research of the heritage and history of the Dutch landscape. A Spatial Data Infrastructure can be defined as a collection of data sets, agreements, standards, technology (hardware, software and electronic communication) and knowledge providing the different users with a geographic information needed to carry out a specific task. In the case of the IH Program the SDI will also include policy and organizational measurements for sustaining the infrastructure on the long-term and on a national scale. The concept of landscape here covers the whole spectrum of rural, urban and industrial landscapes, including archaeological relics and built heritage, formed over the centuries in the Netherlands. In the sense that the NSDI integrates specialized databases for highly specific aspects of our heritage (archaeological, historical, architectural, geological, etc), and in that it relates cultural heritage features to information about its former historical contexts and present-day dynamic environment, the project has the ambition of ?integrating? heritage. The NSDI creates possibilities for making new connections and comparisons by cross-cutting existing boundaries between different disciplines, time periods and geographical areas. In this way the IH Program aims to contribute to new trends and innovations in Dutch heritage and landscape research. This is necessary for maintaining the high academic standard of the Dutch research in this field and is of vital importance for keeping in touch with the frontline developments in international landscape and heritage research. Because of its complexity and scale, the IH Program needs a sound organizational and intellectual basis. In the proposed pilot project the need and opportunities for a National Spatial Data Infrastructure will be assessed, and the objectives, starting points and goals of the IH Program as a whole will be defined. The project results in a research proposal for the Investment Subsidy NWO Large, to be submitted in 2011 by an extended network of partners.