[Back] [Forward] [Contents] [Journal Homepage]

1.9 Wider perspectives

In recent years, at a national and international level, there have been a number of initiatives to co-ordinate information systems and services for archaeological and architectural conservation. One example is the Historic Environment Information Resources Network, or HEIRNET, a consortium of UK bodies seeking to facilitate common standards and support communications links between information systems relating to the historic environment. A recent report prepared for this consortium on the increasing numbers of Historic Environment Information Resources (Chitty et al. 2000) has recommended that:

'A central register of Historic Environment Information Resources (HEIRs) should be created and supported by the community of information systems.
A technical advisory facility should be established to help projects to use data standards and data structures that assist interoperability and to bring research results to wider audiences.
Funding agencies should take concerted action to ensure that the creators of information systems incorporate accessibility and interoperability.'

The first of these recommendations has become reality with the establishment of the Heirnet register. This has been developed further with the creation of HEIRPORT, a portal using interoperability techniques to enable users to access data from a wide range of organisations.

Such moves are timely and may help archaeologists improve their input to the new regional organisations being set up by government (such as Regional Development Agencies, Regional Cultural Consortiums and others). The developing regional structure provides an opportunity for establishing improved arrangements for the protection and enhancement of the historic environment through closer co-operation and the development of partnerships between local authority archaeologists and others with a concern for the historic environment. At the international level there is also a growing trend towards co-operation, both in terms of the creation of international standards such as CIDOC, and through joint projects funded, for example, by the various European Community schemes (Clarke 2001).

[Back] [Forward] [Contents] [Journal Homepage]

© Internet Archaeology URL: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue15/3/pg9.html
Last updated: Wed Jan 28 2004