THE QATAR NATIONAL HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT RECORD: A PLATFORM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A FULLY-INTEGRATED CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT APPLICATION
Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Geospatial Database, GIS, Management, Application, Software, Web based
Abstract. The development of the Qatar National Historic Environment Record (QNHER) by the Qatar Museums Authority and the University of Birmingham in 2008 was based on a customised, bilingual Access database and ArcGIS. While both platforms are stable and well supported, neither was designed for the documentation and retrieval of cultural heritage data. As a result it was decided to develop a custom application using Open Source code. The core module of this application is now completed and is orientated towards the storage and retrieval of geospatial heritage data for the curation of heritage assets. Based on MIDAS Heritage data standards and regionally relevant thesauri, it is a truly bilingual system. Significant attention has been paid to the user interface, which is userfriendly and intuitive. Based on a suite of web services and accessed through a web browser, the system makes full use of internet resources such as Google Maps and Bing Maps. The application avoids long term vendor ''tie-ins'' and as a fully integrated data management system, is now an important tool for both cultural resource managers and heritage researchers in Qatar.