Digital platform for cultural heritage combining flexibility, easy access and qualitative content. Platform maintain stakeholder interests across distances.
Local and regional coastal authorities are faced with a specific challenge when involving civil society as stakeholders in the management of coastal cultural landscape. Due to depopulation and recreational use of the coast an increasing number of people live outside small coastal communities but still maintains emotional ties and has specific user interests in the coastal cultural landscape. In Agder (NO) more than 50% of the house owners in the cultural environment of Lyngør live in the capital Oslo and less than 17% lives within the county. Furthermore, the coastal cultural landscape is made up of vast historical maritime infrastructure that is difficult to interpret and access for the general public. The responsibility for the dissemination of these landscape values is not limited to one single institution.
To meet these challenges Lindesnes Lighthouse Museum developed Coastlight.net as a website that tells maritime history through films, photos and text. The stories are linked to their geographical position with digital maps. The platform aims to deliver high quality content and to cover a growing geographical scope. However, the museum has neither the resources nor knowledge to produce all content. To meet these objectives the museum has encouraged other stakeholders (mainly other cultural heritage institutions) to provide content.
The platform is dependent on other cultural institutions delivering content. Main user groups are tourists and local students and schools.
1 person has been dedicated to developing the platform. 2016 – 2018 yearly support of 20 000 EUR from the Norwegian Art Council for technical development, building competence and network. Vest-Agder county council has co-financed content production for specific locations of high values.
Evidence of success
The platform has in 2018 115 videos, 464 text & photo based descriptions, covers 11 countries & 28 institutions uses the platform to share content.
Social: Used by students and local schools. More user analysis is needed in order to proper estimate the social impact.
Cultural: Used by the regional public authorities as a support to raise awareness amongst policy makers on specific coastal landscape of high value.
Economic: Can be better integrated in regional online tourism marketing.
A challenge is to secure long term sustainability of the initiative. Development has been mainly project financed. To continue development the museum needs resources to cooperate with national and international partners and to make the service visible and accessible for user groups.
Potential for learning or transfer
The success of the platform lies in its innovative combination of flexibility, easy access and qualitative content. An advantage is that the platform isn't dependent on new productions but can easily adopt older productions. All content is licenced under creative commons. This makes the management of the content easy and cost efficient. Instead, the museum prioritise finding and encouraging partners to produce quality content. High quality content makes it an attractive platform for others partners to be part off.
The practise offers a way for public authorities to develop both engagement and sustainability issues in relation to heritage. Engagement: it offers a new way for sharing heritage in a world with high degree a geographical mobility. The flexibility of the platform also makes it a relevant tool for the educational system. Sustainability: it offers a flexibly way to disseminate a cultural landscape and thus has the potential to promote a sustainable cultural tourism.
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