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New heritage : new media and cultural heritage
Kalay Y., Kvan T., Affleck J., Routledge, 2008. Type: Book
Date Reviewed: Jul 3 2008

Cultural heritage (CH) and archaeological sites, monuments, and artifacts all over the world are facing rapid decline, and are now at high risk and under threat due to urbanization, conflicts, wars, and tourism. Cultural heritage management (CHM) is traditionally supported by architectural recordings (photography, drawings, plans, and sections), and recently supported by three-dimensional (3D) geometry-based digital or virtual reconstructions and graphical information system (GIS) based cultural information systems with embedded spatial functionality. But, the global complexity of CH, including related historical, religious, social, political, and economic issues, is not well supported, even using today’s digital documentation techniques and technologies.

This book, edited by professors of architecture, is about a new concept in CHM, called “new heritage.” This approach broadens the definition of CHM in order to address the incoherent complexity (including social, political, and economic issues) surrounding the sites involved in CHM. The potential and challenges that arise from the application of the new (digital) media to CH form the framework of the new heritage concept, which has the functionality to become a CHM tool to capture both tangible (3D models and historical databases) and intangible (complex social, political, and economical relations and issues) CHM data, represent the people and communities that created or used these sites and monuments, and support community cultural information systems with spatial and historical living systems functionality.

This book is a collection of 20 well-written and documented key essays from academicians, researchers, and professionals from 11 countries. They represent a wide range of professions, including architecture, philosophy, CHM, cultural information technology (IT), media and design, and archeology-museology. Current discourses arising subsequent to the marriage of new digital media, IT, design, and CHM are explored, such as the ongoing debate regarding the status of the “original” and the (digital) “copy.” Challenges addressed in creating cultural heritage virtual environments (sites) are also presented, as well as lessons learned from world-wide case studies of CHM digital applications in both formal and informal learning environments, and theoretical and practical frameworks.

Concepts and issues introduced, presented, and discussed in the book’s 20 essays include: new (digital) media-based CH preservation and management; heritage and materiality (a philosophical issue regarding the materiality of the artworks as a characteristic of CH); virtual heritage (metadata, space, time, and perspectives); interdisciplinary issues in CHM and virtual heritage; frameworks for meaningful historical representations in digital media; digital representations and interpretations of CH; consuming CH; historical 3D city models and virtual heritage environments (sites); designing virtual museums for CH and architecture; frameworks for virtual reconstructions and discursive interpretations of CH through the new (digital) media; and digital tools and communication technologies to interpret and reconstruct CH.

This excellent book is essential reading for architects, curators, archaeologists, CH managers, IT scientists, students in architecture and archeology, and e-tourists interested in cultural heritage, and who wish to understand the cutting-edge key debates in new CHM--new heritage--and to appraise the limitless growing innovations, affordances, and improvements of digital technologies as applied to CHM.

Reviewer:  Athanasios D. Styliadis Review #: CR135794 (0905-0444)
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Architecture (J.5 ... )
Archaeology (J.2 ... )
Three-Dimensional Graphics And Realism (I.3.7 )
Arts And Humanities (J.5 )
Computers And Society (K.4 )
Information Systems Applications (H.4 )
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