RT2 Arches Heritage Inventory and Management System

Phil Carlisle, Dominic Oldman, Stephen Stead, Dennis Wuthrich​​

The Arches Heritage Inventory and Management System was developed by the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monuments Fund as an open source web-based geospatially-enabled information system to help inventory and manage immovable cultural heritage. The Arches software is free and available for download at www.archesproject.org. It was created in response to the persistent need for a system that fits the needs of the heritage field without requiring onerous investment of time and resources. Arches represents a unique initiative undertaken for the benefit of the cultural heritage field at large, with the long-term goal of improving heritage management worldwide. It combines state-of-the-art software development with the insights of many heritage professionals from around the world. This enterprise system incorporates the CIDOC-CRM (Conceptual Reference Model [ISO 21127: 2006]) as well as IT standards. Version 3.0 of Arches is planned to be released in January 2015, and will include a Reference Data Manager to internally manage complex thesauri.

Roundtable participants, including from the project team, will present Arches version 3.0, and discuss a range of topics related to the Arches project, including the rationale behind development decisions, describe the Arches graph data structure, potential benefits of incorporating the CIDOC-CRM and IT standards, our experience following an open source approach, and potential related benefits to the cultural heritage field. Participants will also discuss implementations of the Arches software, both existing and potential, its applicability to archaeological heritage, and outline the process that others may follow to deploy the software.

Keywords: GIS, heritage management, inventories, CIDOC CRM, semantic technologies, ontologies, thesauri, open source software

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