Conference: Access to World Heritage Sites from St Kilda to Uluru


Programme and further information  of this exciting conference hosted by New Media Scotland are detailed below.

Register now at:

I Know Where I’m Going
Remote Access to World Heritage Sites from St Kilda to Uluru

Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th November 2011
Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB

At a time of economic crisis and environmental threat, countries everywhere have to address the dual challenge of protecting and preserving their natural and cultural heritage while maximising their economic value. This two-day international conference will focus on the potential for new technologies to create high-quality, remote-access visitor experiences for World Heritage Sites and other sites of cultural, historical and natural significance where remote access is either desirable or necessary.


To showcase some of the new technologies available (3D/4D scanning, mobile technologies, GPS/GIS, satellite technologies, apps and social media) & discuss their applications.

To debate policy issues linked to the benefits and challenges these new technologies present for sites preservation, conservation, and interpretation worldwide; particularly in terms of remote and virtual access to sites which are sensitive, and in terms of economic benefits for tourism.

To encourage site managers worldwide- particularly within the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Network- to consider the benefits & impact the new technologies could have for their own sites and allow them to investigate those further.

Wednesday 23rd November 2011
Remote Access Technologies & Applications

Registration 8.30am

Welcome/Failte 9.30am

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture & External Affairs, Ms Fiona Hyslop MSP.

Introduced by Malcolm Maclean of Pròiseact Nan Ealan (Gaelic Arts Agency) & Conference Chair.

Keynotes 9.45am

-Dr. Mechtild Rössler, Chief of the Policy and Statutory Section, UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

-Mr Robin Turner of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland Remote access to St Kilda through time and space.

-The St Kilda World Heritage Site Remote Access Centre, by the Rt. Hon Brian Wilson.

Q&A chaired by Joanne Orr, Chair of the UK National Commission for UNESCO in Scotland.

Break 11:00am

Presentations 11:20am

-3D Digital Technologies for Remote Access and Sustainability, by Doug Pritchard and Chris McGregor (Digital Design Studio-Glasgow School of Art & Historic Scotland Scottish Ten).

-Visualising our Underwater Heritage,
by Mark Lawrence and Chris Rowland (DJCAD-University of Dundee & ADUS).

Remote Insights into our Marine Natural Heritage, by Paul Thompson (University of Aberdeen).

Q&A chaired by David Mitchell (Historic Scotland).

Networking Lunch & St. Kilda Exhibition at Inspace 12:35pm

Keynote 2:00pm

-Mr Ben Kacyra, Founder of CyArk,
Introduced by Malcolm Maclean of Pròiseact Nan Ealan (Gaelic Arts Agency) & Conference Chair.

Presentations 2:20pm

-Space & natural & cultural heritage sites, by Mario Hernandez
(European Space Agency & UNESCO Space for Heritage Project).

-Visualizing Heritage: New media technologies and the representation of ancient tombs of Monte Albán,-Mexico, by Prof. Ellen Hoobler (Cornell College, USA).

Q&A Chaired by Doug Pritchard (Digital Design Studio-Glasgow School of Art).

Break 3:15pm

Presentations 3:35pm

-Are we there yet? The future of shared mobile context and its impact on visitor experience
by Ben Mosse (Nokia).

-Mainlimes Mobil – Presenting Archaeology and Museums with the help of smartphones
by Erik Dobat (Boundary Media KG, Germany).

-Jurassic  Tweets: Can micro-blogging and social media be of value to World Heritage Sites?
by Dr Sam Rose (Jurassic Coast WHS, UK) & Louise Matthews (Bournemouth University).

Q&A chaired by Dr Diarmad Campbell (British Geological Survey.

Wrap-up session 4:45pm

-Do we know where we are going? What opportunities? What challenges?
by Sue Davies (UK National Commission for UNESCO & Wessex Archaeology).
Wine Reception & St.Kilda Exhibition at Inspace

Music at the National Galleries Scottish Restaurant 6:30pm

Conference Dinner at the National Galleries Scottish Restaurant 7:30pm

Thursday 24th November 2011
Key Issues for Remote Access

Registration 8:30am

-Ruth Parsons (CEO of Historic Scotland) & Kate Mavor (CEO of the National Trust for Scotland).


-Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park by members of the Board of Management and Parks Australia on remote access technologies in a living cultural landscape: issues of ownership and participation (video conferenced session).

-Remote access technologies and the preservation and promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage, by Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland & Chair of the UK National Commission for UNESCO in Scotland.

Q&A chaired by Jane Jackson (Capita Symonds).

Break 10:30am

Presentations 10:50am

-Remote access technologies and resource poor settings: Does it work? Is it sustainable?
Panel session with Dr Kodzo Gavua (University of Ghana), Mr Ali Ould Sidi (World Heritage Site Manager of Timbuktu WHS, Mali) and Mr Zagba Oyortey (Culture Works Africa).

-Do we know where we have been? Using the Oral tradition & storytelling: as the oldest remote access medium to heritage sites,
by Tom Muir (Storyteller & Folklorist from Heart of Neolithic Orkney WHS).
Networking Lunch & St. Kilda Exhibition 12:30pm


-Cultural tourism trends and the role of remote access in knowledge-based tourism and World Heritage
by Mr Peter DeBrine (UNESCO Programme Specialist in Sustainable Tourism).

-Shortening the heritage tourism value chain: How can new technologies empower people to create, and seize, the added value of world heritage tourism,
by James Rebanks (Rebanks Consulting Ltd, UK).

Q&A chaired by Benjamin Carey (Dunira Strategy).


Presentations 2:40pm

– Connecting Generations, Exploring Places: Enabling Remote Access to Archives
by George MCKenzie (National Records of Scotland).

-Remote access for learning & sharing: the CyArk Archive and the Digital classroom
by Elizabeth Lee (CyArk).

Q&A chaired by Alexander Bennett (National Trust for Scotland).

Wrap up session 3:35pm

-Concluding remarks & policy directions, by Mr Peter DeBrine
(UNESCO Programme Specialist in Sustainable Tourism, World Heritage Centre).


Building on the experience gained at World Heritage properties, the conference aims to create a network (both physical and remote) of interpretation specialists, curators, conservators and custodians facing the challenge of creating remote access to sensitive, hard-to-access or other trans-national sites. It will bring together Sites directors and heritage practitioners- both tangible and intangible- in the UK and abroad, but also policy makers and technological innovators, and will seek to break down conventional sectoral divides between heritage practitioners and technological innovators, in order to debate remote access.

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