Developing a Spatial Data Infrastructure for Archaeological and Built Heritage

Peter McKeague, Anthony Corns, Robert Shaw


Although the INSPIRE Directive provides a roadmap and technical specifications for providing interoperability of spatial information created and held by public bodies across Europe, its relevance to archaeological and built heritage information is unclear. Whilst there is a clear need for access to information about the historic environment by a range of audiences actively engaged in the management of Europe’s rich heritage, delivery of relevant services is restricted to a narrow interpretation of the Annex I Protected Sites theme that focuses on statutory designations. This paper explores business reasons for adopting a more expansive interpretation of what information should be considered as and distributed as part of the Protected Sites theme in order to support policies and activities that impact upon the wider historic environment. The paper also considers the range and potential of information created through investigation and recording of the historic environment, often at public expense or interest. The potential for data reuse generating savings, inspiring smarter working practices, and developing sustainable datasets is explored through case studies from Scotland and Ireland and proposals to establish a thematic geo-portal, web services and applications through the EU Culture funded project ArchaeoLandscapes Europe (ArcLand), are discussed.


Protected Sites, Historic Environment, Cultural heritage, Archaeology, Remote Sensing

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