unesco world heritage sites

World Heritage Sites is a pretty amazing resource. This is what it’s about:

The WHTour is creating a documentary and educational image bank of printable panographies and online virtual tours for all sites registered as World Heritage by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

All panographies are shooted [sic], assembled and uploaded exclusively on this website by Tito Dupret, a 34 year-old multimedia director from Belgium and Bijuan Chen, his 26 year-old wife and multimedia assistant from China.

So far, they have covered Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eastern Canada, China, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, The Philippines, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

This represents 16 % of all 812 WH sites : 131 sites with 750+ panographies.

This project is slowly growing since July 2001 and will need years to complete. The WHTour is alive thanks to the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the World Monuments Fund and Donators.

You need Quicktime to view the images. And be sure to click the links at the bottom to find out more about the way the project is put together.

There are two things that bother me about this project, though. The first is that they need to put up a disclaimer: “To all governments, organizations, companies and individuals : act responsibly. Don’t commercialize, pollute, trash or blow up World Heritage Sites.” Blow up? Sad, but true.

The second is that there are no, as far as I can tell, descriptions or histories of what it is you’re looking at. Maybe they plan to link that in later.

You can sign up to be notified when there are new sites or panographies added (panographies are panoramas you can control—it’s sort of like seeing things as if you were standing there yourself). And you can donate to the project—it’s worth supporting. The maps are pretty good.

I’ve been to only one place on this list—can you guess which one? The saddest is Bam, Iran, as they show photos from before and after the earthquake.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/13/05 at 06:07 PM
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