6. Conclusion

This project demonstrates online technologies facilitating collaboration can contribute towards inclusion and multivocality, moving beyond technological innovations that merely form another tool in an expert's toolbox. WebGIS projects, through empowerment of disenfranchised groups, can facilitate a necessary shift from a narrative of exclusive expertise to a practice embracing multiple viewpoints and collective learning.

Within archaeology, further development of conceptual and methodological framework underpinning WebGIS in archaeological contexts can potentially lead to greater opportunities for the creation of collaborative projects that can positively contribute to our understanding of the historic environment and ensure there is sufficient public interest to preserve that environment effectively in the future. However, as the project results demonstrated, from a practical perspective feature transcription conducted by volunteers can be of variable quality and accuracy. Therefore, any 'citizen science' project still requires the input of trained professionals at the project design stage to gain the maximum benefit to research agendas at all levels, and in synthesising results with traditional data repositories such as the HER.

A key benefit for projects that make current professional practice more transparent is the potential rise in public awareness of the process of interpretation and a subsequent rise in the value of a professional assessment of a diverse range of data sources, thus ensuring continued public support for funding a comprehensive range of local and regional archaeological services.


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