The Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities (MEGA): An Open Source GIS-Based Heritage Site Inventory and Management System | David Myers and Alison Dalgity
The emergence of new digital technologies and rapidly spreading Internet access together present possibilities for widely accessible, Web-based national information systems for the inventory and management of heritage sites. The increasing development of open source software tools further provides that such systems may be purpose-built, adaptable, and extensible to the needs of specific situations, and that once developed they can be available to heritage authorities, which are often poorly funded, without associated licensing or upgrade fees.
Working collaboratively with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities (DoA), the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and World Monuments Fund (WMF) have developed MEGA-Jordan as a tool to inventory, monitor, and help conserve and manage the thousands of archaeological sites in Jordan. MEGA-Jordan allows DoA officials to address needs such as infrastructure and development control and the development of national and regional research strategies. MEGA-Jordan is Web based, bilingual (Arabic-English), and was developed using state-of-the art and open source information technologies. It was designed to be modular and easily extensible, allowing it to evolve with the DoA’s changing institutional requirements and to be adapted by other countries. Work on an Iraq version of MEGA is slated to begin after the Jordanian system is fully deployed, which will include the system’s expansion to contain data for the protection of historic buildings. The GCI and WMF plan to subsequently make the system available for adaptation by other countries.
The full article is available at Project Muse
Image: Members of the project team meet with inspectors from the Department of Antiquities in Umm Qeis to learn their specific requirements for the functionality of MEGA-Jordan. (Alison Dalgity, J. Paul Getty Trust/World Monuments Fund)