Digitisation of Scenic and Historic Interest Areas in China
Keywords: Digital Scenic Area project, Scenic Area, representation, Slender West Lake, China
Abstract. Digital documents have become the major information source for heritage conservation practice. More heritage managers today use electronic maps and digital information systems to facilitate management and conservation of cultural heritage. However, the social aspects of digital heritage have not been sufficiently recognised. The aim of this paper is to examine China’s ‘Digital Scenic Area’ project, a national program started in 2004, to reveal the political and economic powers behind digital heritage practice. It was found that this project was only conducted within the most popular tourist destinations in China. Tourism information was the main object but information about landscape cultures were neglected in this project. This project also demonstrated that digital management was more like a political or economic symbol rather than a tool for heritage conservation. However, using digital technologies are still considered by the local government as a highly objective way of heritage management. Selected as a typical Scenic Area in China, Slender West Lake in Yangzhou was investigated to identify heritage stakeholder’s attitudes toward digital management and the request from local management practice.