Digital Heritage: Do we need interpretation?

Driven by widespread popularity and coupled with the vulnerability of losing intricate data, UNESCO (2003) adopted the Charter on ‘Preservation of the Digital Heritage’. This charter however recognizes the significance and value of digital resources while showing its concerns for protecting losses. But it is still unclear what progress is being made to utilize technology to interpret these digital heritage contents. Like Charter for “Interpretation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage Sites”, there is no such charter or guidelines for digital or virtual heritage sites. In this circumstances, present digital heritage projects are mostly focused either on ‘process’ or ‘product’ but rarely consider ‘user’- end-user’s perception of the content and predominantly developed with an ‘ocular-centric’ tendency.

Therefore, my simple argument is : For better interpretation and experience from a digital heritage site, a comprehensive interpretation method is required.

Furthermore we should promote social activity to evoke awareness in heritage conservation. Instead of pre-determined instructional sequences or descriptive interpretation, the interpretation method should highlights the need of ‘dialogic interactivity’; the interaction setting that is participatory and contributive; where visitor and environment can interplay mutually and communicate with each other.

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