HERMeS: HERitage Management e-System

Pavlos Chatzigrigoriou

Researcher

HERMeS

CUT Arch. Kyprianou 31 CY 3036 Limassol CYPRUS

www.thinkhermes.com

www.digitalheritagelab.eu

EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / EUROPA NOSTRA Award 2015 for Research and Digitization



Re-discover Heritage, Think HERMeS





When a piece of long-term research finishes, there is always a question about further development. In the case of HERMeS (HERitage Management e-System developed for the Historic City of Hermoupolis, in the Greek Aegean Island Syros) it was also a question about raising awareness. HERMeS proved that 2.4 historic buildings collapse every year, as a result of abandonment. This phenomenon was intensified by the severe economic crisis in Greece. The research proposed an optimal conservation plan for the city, after carefully evaluating variables, through an innovative point system. But in order to keep following this hermplan, there was a need to update the data, as buildings are constantly changing through time. Updating a database of 1000 historic buildings with no funds is a huge challenge. Developing a digital heritage collection crowd-sourcing portal, using open source software and sharing crucial data for every building, was the answer to this problem. Citizens check the database, report mistakes in the database, and contribute stories and photographs. This effort led us to a big digitization project, involving up to 1,290 historic buildings, 14,400 geo-tagged photos and more than 15,000 fields of information. HERMeS, as an innovative heritage research and digitization project, won the 2015 European Union Europa Nostra Award. It is used in tourism and education, and now with the help of the Digital Heritage Research Lab from the Cyprus University of Technology, HERMeS is going to connect the intangible and tangible heritage which forms the “Urban Memory” of Hermoupolis.