Building on advances in consumer UAVs, photogrammetry and augmented reality to re-imagine how we can empower communities that are stewards of heritage sites around the world facing conflict, encroachment or natural hazards such as flooding.
Cultural heritage is increasingly threatened by conflict and environmental factors.
How communities connect with their heritage can affect its preservation as well as jobs and revenue where there has been tourism in the past or scope for tourism in the future.
Heritage stewardship can be an instrument to promote stabilisation and in building communities that are more resilient. Equally heritage and history can prove divisive, hence the importance of understanding how to address heritage stewardship in a conflict-sensitive way.
With resources always scarce, this project also looks at the smart use of consumer technology to empower local champions.
The convergence of five factors have made this possible:
Compact ‘consumer’ UAVs have been used in the humanitarian response to map. We will be taking this idea further to enable communities to model and monitor key buildings and sites; and to experience and share the data in a richer, more intuitive way.
This could have valuable spin offs for the community, beyond just heritage stewardship.
A detailed plan for a pilot project that would demonstrate:
In addition it will provide a practical demonstration of community based heritage stewardship in an area affected by conflict and environmental challenges.
Why is this important?
Heritage is not only a visual witness of human civilisation it is also an integral part of a society´s collective memory and being. By protecting heritage and safeguarding it for future generations we are not only saving history we are also saving lives by reminding individuals of the past of their communities and the landscapes they inhabit. Protecting such sites in times of conflict requires an approach that is both conflict-sensitive as well as coherent with the humanitarian response. Designed in an appropriate way such a response could complement and enhance the traditional humanitarian response.
The dilemma about humanitarian priorities is often posed in a stark manner: surely humanitarians’ number one priority is saving lives? Don’t lives matter more than buildings?View
The community based approach to the mapping, modelling and monitoring of endangered heritage sites needs to be grounded in the real issues faced by remote or isolated communities, if they wish to preserve their history, culture and local skills.View
Heritage sites across the Middle East have long suffered from various forms of vandalism, neglect, urban encroachment, and natural deterioration. But since the Arab Spring, with authoritarian regimes replaced by weak governments or failed states and with the rise of ISIS and its affiliates, these sites face the unprecedented threat of total destruction.View
In December 2016, a consortium led by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) published a major review that provides detailed insight into the use of drones or airbourne systems in humanitarian crises.View
What role can the community play in protecting cultural heritage? This was a recurring theme, if an unspoken question, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) round-table meeting on ‘Protecting Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict Zones: Is a New Framework for Action Needed?’, held at the beginning of December 2016 at the British Academy.View
Could the benefits of drone usage in other sectors also apply to applications in remote locations without the backup of a national support network?View
Until recently mapping the ground in 3D would have required a stereoscopic camera with the depth created by the differential depth of field between the two lenses.View
We are at the very beginning of a new era that brings together aviation, robotics and cloud based applications, creating new challenges and opportunities.View
The widespread calls for greater innovation in the humanitarian sector and smarter ways of working demonstrates not just a system stretched to breaking point by crises around the world and aggravated by ever greater threats such as pandemics.View
On February 21st 2017, a new initiative was launched in response to calls by the Global Development Community ‘for better access to imagery and data, which can fuel greater analysis and insight into the various challenges facing societies across the globe’.View
Conservation is a journey not a destination, but each Spri 7 Whitley Award winners share their journeys with their peers and a wider audience at the Royal Geographical Society.View
It’s a matter of being there. Immersive technologies are a powerful way of bringing us closer to people and places. That could mean virtual tourism, compelling advocacy for important causes and engaging ways to raise funds.View
It’s only the perspective of hindsight which provides the opportunity to document the outcomes from a successful project. This blog seeks to document some of the initial successes.View
You are seeing this because you are using a browser that is not supported. The Elrha website is built using modern technology and standards. We recommend upgrading your browser with one of the following to properly view our website:Windows
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of browsers. We also do not intend to recommend a particular manufacturer's browser over another's; only to suggest upgrading to a browser version that is compliant with current standards to give you the best and most secure browsing experience.