Interactive maps showcasing the world’s monuments: Case Studies
What makes an interactive map a success?
Interactive maps are increasingly entering the field of culture, adding new value to sites of contemporary cultural production and cultural heritage.
Within myEleusis, MENTOR creates an interactive map that follows the route from Dipylon at Kerameikos to the archaeological site of Eleusis. The map includes the monuments along the Sacred Way up to the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, as well as the scattered ones located in Eleusis.
The creation of the map will enrich our visit to the monuments in an educating and entertaining way and will upgrade our experience in these sites. Creating an interactive map, however, is not a simple task. An interactive map must meet certain criteria; it must be simple to use, contain all the information needed to communicate to the user, be aesthetically pleasing and meet all the technical requirements of different operating systems and devices without altering its characteristics.
The paradigm set, both in Greece and in international grounds, provides us with rich material for the optimal utilization of technology in order to shed new light on cultural heritage monuments. The interactive map of UNESCO monuments is a typical example. Users are given the opportunity to search on the map for specific monuments as well as to retrieve related information, such as a short description of the monuments in a number of languages, a gallery and a collection of texts. Also, by applying different filters the user is able to view monuments with specific characteristics (e.g. monuments in danger).
Another digital map with multimedia functions, which ended up acting as an archetype for similar applications that followed, is the map of the old city of Paris that represents sites of cultural interest in Paris, and France in general. Using chronological or thematic criteria, the user is able to explore the collection of the National Archaeological Museum of France.
Having researched the best practices in creating digital interactive maps, MENTOR implements myEleusis.MAP, a system seeking to transform the way ancient culture is experienced in Eleusis, and initiating the visitor to the ambience of the Eleusinian Mysteries era, either in situ or remotely. During implementation MENTOR draws informative material from several sources such as: the Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attica, archives and documents collected through in-depth research, and through crowdsourcing campaigns.