Directorate for Cultural Heritage

The Directorate for Cultural Heritage is responsible for the management of all archaeological and architectural monuments and sites and cultural environments in accordance with relevant legislation.

We ensure that cultural heritage considerations are taken into account in all planning processes, and that the interests of cultural heritage are safeguarded at all levels in the same way as the interests of society as a whole.

Through education and information, we are responsible for increasing awareness among the general public about the value of cultural heritage. We are also the appeals body for decisions made by cultural heritage authorities at county and regional level.

Of the ca. 160 employees at the directorate, 3 are employed with full time cartographic work. Our main effort is to ensure that geographic data for cultural heritage monuments are readily available for regional and local management authorities, where the most important map production takes place.

Our four biggest projects involving cartographic data are the Norwegian National Cultural Heritage Database, Cultural Heritage Search, MedievalGIS and the Cultural Heritage Portal.

The Norwegian National Cultural Heritage Database

In 2003, the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage launched a new database over legally protected Cultural Heritage objects in Norway. The database includes information on archaeological sites and monuments, Sami cultural heritage, maritime heritage, as well as protected buildings and churches. One of the most important features of the database is the use of GIS in searching and maintaining data. The database is available over the internet to management authorities and researchers. The database currently contains 165,000 sites containing 343,000 immovable objects.

While the database is centralized, the addition of new records, and updating of existing data is decentralized. Regional cultural heritage management authorities are responsible for updating the content of the database. This provides accurate and updated information to all management levels simultaneously. WMS services and RESTful API interfaces from the database have greatly contributed to better contact between cultural heritage managers and planners and developers. The easy availability of this data has also increased the visibility of cultural heritage within plan processes.

The Norwegian National Cultural Heritage Database.

Cultural Heritage Search (Kulturminnesøk)

Cultural Heritage Search is an edited version of the data found in the National Heritage database, and the presentation and data that are available is directed towards the public. The database uses cached maps and aerial photographs as the primary entrance to the large database. The individual heritage objects are presented with pictures, movies and description written for the public. The public is also encouraged to include their own comments about heritage monuments, as well as ask questions about the monuments.

Cultural Heritage Search.

MedievalGIS (MabyGIS)

The management needs in urban areas where development often comes in conflict with sub-surface medieval cultural layers are more complex than can be accommodated within the National Cultural Heritage Database. MedievalGIS is an application that provides the detailed information necessary for planning in urban areas with extensive medieval cultural heritage.


The Cultural Heritage Portal

The Cultural Heritage Portal project uses semantic technology to compile data from several sources, such as the Norwegian National Cultural Heritage Database, archives and case handling systems. It compiles the data as RDF in a triple store accessible through a SPARQLE endpoint. The project’s purpose is to make case proceedings and dissemination simpler by facilitating cross-systems access to data.

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