OpenHeritage Enabling the European Culture Economy
OpenHeritage is a European Commis-
sion part-funded project with a duration
of twenty-four months between January
2001 and December 2002. Among its aims
were the creation of an IT infrastructure
for improving access to regionally held
cultural heritage collections via the use of
Application Service technologies, and the
development of a `culturally driven' econ-
omy for contributing to local/regional
The project coordinator and partner responsible for the main technologies of the ASP
was Space S.p.A., an Italian company with an annual turnover of more than
and around thirty-five employees. Space is controlled by the Atlantis Group, which is
itself a sort of agency of the Italian Ministry of Industry and Technological Innovation.
Of the other ten consortium members, eight were based in EU member states and two
were from outside the Community.
An understanding of OpenHeritage's concept of the Territorial Service Centre (TSC) is
of key importance.TSCs are virtual portals which support memory institutions in the
tasks of facilities management, customer relationship management, storage, promotion,
and transaction services, all carried out through deployment of a new model of cultural
ASP.The technologies used for the OpenHeritage ASP were decided upon mainly by the
staff at Space, with System Simulations Ltd taking primary responsibility for the col-
lection management module.The technologies deployed on the project had been found
by the partners to match their technology requirements most closely.
Each TSC uses an Apache/mod_perl
Web server, running the Perl program-
ming language (v. 5.8) and a PostgreSQL
database (v. 7.2.1).Two distinct modules were
developed for use with the TSC system:
Templator a template parsing module,
and XDB a module for managing XML
data using a Postgres relational database
as the data repository.The system also
employs two distinct protocols for data
VR reconstruction accessed via OpenHeritage
OpenHeritage TSC overview
This case study is based on e-mail communication between Salvatore Lusso and Aaron Craig of Space S.p.A.
and Martin Donnelly of DigiCULT/University of Glasgow. Other information has been gained from the
OpenHeritage Web site, http://www.openheritage.com/.The case study process took place during July 2003.
The other members of the consortium were System Simulation Ltd (England), National Museums of
Scotland, Musče Historique des Tissus de Lyon
(France), Museo Archeologico Genna Maria (
Italy), Stichting Museon (Netherlands), Culture Heritage On Line S.A. (France), Centro di
Ingegneria Economica e Sociale
(Italy), Cultural Service Centre Austria, the Association for
Documentation and New Information Technologies
(Russia) and Digital Publishing Japan.
The project's total budget was
4.3M, of which 2.1M was EC-funded.
TWR2004_01_layout#62 14.04.2004 14:07 Uhr Seite 28