Imagine you are travelling through the majestic landscape of the Dovre mountain range in central Norway…
Would you know that this is the most important area for wild reindeer in Europe? Perhaps you’re curious about how medieval pilgrims made their way through these mountains to Nidaros Cathedral and the grave of Saint Olav? Would you realise that the very area you are travelling through was also a strategic centre for the German army during World War II? Or maybe you’re just wondering who lived here when they were building the railway over 100 years ago?
The answers to these and other questions lie in numerous national and local databases in Norway. So how can we access and use this content as we travel through the Norwegian countryside? That is when Heritage Here comes into play.
Heritage Here (or “Kultur- og naturreise” as it is known in its native Norwegian) is a national project which has been running since 2012 and has two main objectives: to help increase access to and use of public information and local knowledge about culture and nature, and second, to promote the use of better quality open data. The aim being that anyone with a smartphone can gain instant access to relevant facts and stories about their local area wherever they might be in the country.
This project is the result of cross-agency cooperation between the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization, the Ministry of Climate and Environment and the Ministry of Culture. Project partners include the Norwegian Mapping Authority, the Arts Council Norway, the Directorate of Cultural Heritage, the National Archives and (until December 2014) the Norwegian Environment Agency. Together in Heritage Here the data from these partners has been made digitally accessible; it has been enriched, geo-tagged and disseminated in new ways. Content includes information about animal and plant life, cultural heritage and historical events, and varies from factual data to personal stories. This content is collected into Norway’s national digital infrastructure ‘Norvegiana’ and from there it can be used and developed by others to create new services for business, tourism, education or exported into the international arena, such as Europeana.eu.