11th International Seminar Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage University of Florence, Italy September 2006

Beyond the archives: Reading, writing and mapping São Paulo's heritage Documentation is moving beyond the archives. Heritage can be tagged, commented and rewritten through new layers of participation and visualisation. Fundap – the Foundation for Administrative Development – is building a website for the continuous open documentation of heritage authored both by researchers and by the public. It is a move towards creating open and accessible records of public heritage. Historical records, buildings and artefacts can exist a connected living dialogue. We see four routes to this and are actively incorporating them into our work - both behind the scenes and within the users' experience. Electronic access, requiring a digital version or summary for every asset Dimensional access, offering a spatial and visual experience Taxonomic access, allowing arrangements of information from different angles that are guided by tags, categories and metadata Participative access, offering a public stake in tagging, annotating, sorting, prioritising and connecting

Electronic access and accessibility
When heritage is recorded by multimedia or electronically it is immediately shareable over electronic networks. When it is on paper it is more likely to be stuck in an archive. However if information can be put online it doesn't mean it is universally accessible and we are well aware that the internet represents this paradox of access and accessibility in Brasil. Statistics show that 15% of the population are counted as internet users and around 10% have computers at home. With this poor access to the online world – through modems and creaky telephone lines – multimedia resources can be as inaccessible as a dusty book in the archives. However digital resources are have more reach and are more easily shared by making hitherto inaccessible documentation searchable, saveable and manipulatable. This growth in accessibility is fuelled by the widening availability of free and easy-to-use content management and an expectation that information should be available and present rather than overpresented and impenetrable. This means delivering the maximum content with the minimum dressing, lifting barriers, dropping procedures and beginning to trust the public to start to do some of our work for us. Outsiders are acutely aware of information that is locked away or worse, information that is locked away in a number of different locations. Heritage documentation in cities is very much a victim of this distribution of unshared resources and it often follows that the richer the information, the harder it is to locate, triangulate and assimilate. A large number of repositories also makes for a larger number of gatekeepers and of 'outsiders' to the information. In São Paulo, our fully accredited research team has to negotiate four heritage organisations, eight federal, state and city ministries together with three document repositories and nine libraries. Each of these requires some form of introductory letter or permit in order to access resources and things don't happen very quickly. This experience of badly connected document archives perfectly matches the concept of the information silo. Wikipedia defines this as 'a management system incapable of reciprocal

operation with other, related management systems'. The gatekeepers, procedures, formats and different classifications all conspire against connecting information or constructing more definitive resources. In order to reach beyond these barriers we have to declare independence for heritage documentation. In order to free documentation, we need to take lessons from the new information architecture and the experiences of digital collections and to look at the examples of free online services and free software.

Open documentation seems like an alien concept to the locked-up world of paid publications, passworded intranets and stored paper records. Information is separated from its network of references and sometimes it is 'buried' which is a larger issue than any of the institutional transactions, imagined security threats or privacy claims that currently justify closed records. There are few truly confidential documents and with little of the graded access available electronically - such as read, copy and write permissions. There are real world parallels here such as museums and exhibitions that also use similar graded access - 'look but don't touch', 'no photographs'. At the same time they hide 90% of their collection and curators are the filters, the gatekeepers to the scarce resource of floorspace. In an electronic world these digitised records, documents and exhibits are free of space constraints and must be independent. It is time to bare all.

Fundap – visualising the document
Fundap is responsible for developing a new platform to provide public and administrative access to records of city properties that are under the protection of federal, state and municipal laws. Time delay, inefficiency and paperwork can mount up for even mundane public or internal requests while processes are opaque and institutions are protective of their materials and their remit while no single methodology exists for handling records, plans, judgements and assessments. A preoccupation with the collection of proofs, evidence and detail for the purpose of enforcement has closed opportunities for sharing and co-operation. We are well aware that ultimate ownership of all these resources is with the public, the voters and the taxpayers. It is better that this information, these details and data exist beyond the information silos – it is better out than in. There is a strong demand for accessible documentation and our approach has been to research resources in order to assemble histories, plans and images of São Paulo's built heritage and this first step is creating the basis for an open and updateable online repository. We are also thinking of modularity and allowing for the future docking of other organisations and agencies who can either contribute to the information directly or run parallel systems, possible using a duplicate of our system. The construction, production and hosting has been performed with free and open source software alone. All investment has been directed to the human resources required to provide the research and design rather than as a payment to a closed and proprietary software system. We have been able to customised the website and can be the system can be shared, lent, duplicated or passed on to other organisations to use as a basis of their own information dissemination initiatives. Our documentation now exists out of the archives and in the browser, and this is now the only interface required to interact with data. Downloaded viewing applications sometimes hit the mark but are now much less attractive and cumbersome plugins are also surpassed by ajax and web2.0 refinements. These ease the viewing, reading and even the authoring of resources, all online and away from the quicksand of directories and the hell of email. With our ultralow budget we can still deliver full histories, property blueprints, digital maps, a real estate database, photo gallery, online updating and access control for sensitive information. This operationalises hitherto dead information and leverages our other three mantras of information access: dimension through maps and images; taxonomy guiding the pivoted views of categories; Participation by users to both read the resources and to

write, interact and upload.

Dimensional access through images and maps
Maps and images continually direct us and inform us when we navigate cities and heritage while they have become vastly easier to produce, store and share. We are taking advantage of this growing simplicity of serving maps and photos to add to the user experience and to cross-fertilisation between media. A simple architectural feature, highlight or point of interest can be presented either in a paragraph of text or through photos and from a number of different angles while presenting a fuller context. This dimension of documentation has previously deserved especial attention, extra budgets and special application whereas now it can be included without specialist skills and without massive editing or programming. Panoramas and video clips are also easier to assemble but we feel that there are enough free services that if these are needed they can be linked rather than hosted. The utility to low bandwidth modem users is outweighed by the burden of opening or transferring files and clips on our servers. Maps offer a lot to heritage. They are used to visualise distance between threats and opportunities for protection and conservation, monitoring the encroachment of illegal developments and revealing the most vulnerable boundaries. They can also locate possibilities for the extension of protected areas, registrations or the consolidation of historical clusters. Google maps and Google Earth have opened up great expectations of the demure art of supplying maps. Google Earth represents the state of the art but is a huge file that needs a recent PC. Yet, based on breakthrough standards of time-to-load, navigability and usability, there are fewer barriers for users of newer online maps and fewer inhibitions for using digital map tools as historical documentation. Online maps alone can offer a great level of interactivity, the ability to show many layers of information plus a spatial search and match. It is now possible to navigate historical areas, adding layers of history and annotating space backed up with as good as free satellite images. In our version we use municipal data and this will extend to maps supplied by the water company and much of the functionality will develop over time with gathering contributions and byproducts of our own work. Worldwide user communities and the accumulation of comments and additions have created a massive resource with great implications for heritage. Many of the possibilities for our map and new initiatives are informed by the mashups of recent years. A mashup is the hybrid use of maps with conventional data sources and publicly contributed data for instance the Early Gothic Structures in France site, UNESCO World Heritage Site and the famous Chicago Crime Map plots daily crime reports onto a Google Map of the city. From the perspective of the mashup, new layers can be added from pre-prepared external sources: visitor data, traffic conditions, architectural history. We are also able to enrich maps by plotting additional data 'on the go': trails, panoramic viewpoints, 'how to get there' info. These require a cheap GPS unit to record the frequent visits that the researchers conduct and save the trails and waypoints for future use. Maps represent locality and are spatial indexes to conventional documentation. The Fundap site allows users to access information through properties plotted onto maps which are hyperlinked to the records of the individual properties and plotted by the focuses shown below. They can show the focuses of category - integrity, proximity – spread, relativity – context and layers - parallels.

Category – integrity Proximity – spread Relativity – context Layer - parallels Searches - combinations

Common properties such as by era, governor By zoom level and focus Other buildings, features Emergent maps of history, geology, culture All of the above, in a search result

Taxonomic access – inside out
In the digital age we're creating new principles free of the old limitations. This is changing the basic shape of knowledge, from (typically) trees to miscellanized piles. This has consequences for the nature of topics, the role of metadata, and, crucially, the authority of knowledge. In short, the change in the shape of knowledge is also changing its place. (Weinberger 2006) We have learned from looking at similar examples to the content we are producing. A record of a heritage property contains similar elements to that of a book and so we can rightly be informed by the Amazon website. A visit to a record page there shows a growing clutter of added, excavated and implied categorisation and connection. The guts, intestines and skeletons of publications and collections have been promoted from nowhere to the middle of the landing page and above the reviews. It is the Richard Rogers effect on the repository with the new information architecture creating Pompidou Centres and Lloyd's Buildings with the pipes, whistles and metadata extended beyond the archives and wound around the exterior.
The open record

Automatic analysis and entrées

Folksonomy and Tagsonomy
In the cobweb world of the library or the physical bookshop there was a single location for each resource – HA281, G156, Heritage tourism, Culture, Cultural Property, Antiquities, Oversized, Database, CD – and electronic holdings have been moving away from this for a number of years. In the post-Google world of tagging and folksonomies everything is miscellaneous with knowledge existing in the piles that David Weinberger describes above. This extra categorisation and metadata also represent navigational pivots and facts – users can view records according to these categorisations. It is as possible to generate a list of ruined educational properties that are from the architect Ramos de Azevedo and in the bairro of Luz as it is to show properties that lie close to the Tucuruvi-Jabaquara metro line, have more than two reviews and a user rating of more than four out of five. It is also easy to find all properties that users have labeled with a personal or cultural tag like 'GilbertoGil'. These views represent an escape from Dewey-decimal, alphabetical and departmental categories that can bury resources and releases them. Our job then is to present an architecture that allows people to navigate many categories, to show them where they are within the information and what other properties are closely related and to give them the possibility to contribute or move to a different information level or focus.

Participation architecture
Tagging is the stage door to participation. It takes a large effort to research a contribution. It takes a small effort to add a comment or extra information. It takes a tiny effort to add an extra keyword or tag to a document. With a small and dedicated user group these contributions can be generated in a more focused and intense way to share work among a number of experts or to gather meaning over time. With a larger public then the focus accuracy and relevance of keywording is less but layers of meaning develop with a tagging average. Content is found, content is used, people interact with content to make it more findable. Interconnection through unimposing metadata to allow the Great Pyramid of Cholula and the Pyramid of Cestius to share the same visualisation as the Great Pyramid of Giza or even the ziggurat at Khorsabad. Something is added. The documentation assumes another form. Participation future Participation starts with team members and widens to the professional community before the general public become involved. These initial expert contributors will offer sharper, more fundamental tags, additions, comments and lay the foundation for the participation of a greater number of users. According to Charles Arthur, “It's an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will "interact" with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it.”

(Arthur 2006) The expectation of contributions can therefore be overstated but it requires patience to make a system of documentation open enough to allow a wider reading and writing of content. Success is more certain if the technical barriers to entry are lowered to provide safe spaces for contributions and the means of lifting information free of databases. The work is continual and punctuated while there can be little obsession for the final product when the product is continuously produced and rewritten. Another obsession - with security – can harm contributions when it cannot distinguish between possible collaborators and possible threats.

The ultimate objective is a documentation system open for the public to add their images, memories, detailed comments and to tag items with keywords to enrich the context, depth and findability of materials. The resulting metadata and keywords are relationships that can be mapped and make up layers of different types of information – photos, comments, heritage tagging – that reveal new combinations and configurations of heritage.

Next connections
The connection between conventional heritage documentation and Oral History has been neither cemented nor properly explored. At first it appears that there is a huge distance between the expert and the witness, and between the database and the interview. The four means of producing accessible documentation diminish this distance and sound can be connected to video to carbon dating and anthropological analysis through simple information architecture. Likewise, photos can be contributed and integrated. Camera phones and cameras on mp3 players and pendrives are providing many more opportunities to capture heritage at any time of day and at any time of year. This can provide new detail, extra context and generate an insight. A further integration with cellphones is the ability to connect location with information and already it is possible to navigate and map using tower triangulation and services such as GeoVector, YellowArrow and FoundCity which are annotating cities and sharing stories that are attached to a location. An emerging geoweb of heritage data not only relies on the architecture and participation we have already described but would require closer collaboration and overcoming institutional barriers. Digital access is already reducing these barriers and offering shared interfaces to incorporate and synthesise information sources and to begin to exchange layers of heritage. This too is a means to reduce spam and information overload and to prioritise expert information for expert use.

Charles Arthur (2006) What is the 1% rule? The Guardian , Thursday July 20, 2006 DigiCult (2004) Preparing for the ambient intelligence landscape, The Future Digital Heritage Space: An Expedition Report, December 2004 Schuyler Erle, Rich Gibson, Jo Walsh (2005) Mapping Hacks: Tips & Tools for Electronic Cartography, O'Reilly Media Ian Gilfoyle and Peter Thorpe (2004) Geographic Information Management in Local Government, CRC Press Milorad Tošić, Valentina Milićević and Miomir Stanković (2005) Intelligent Information Systems: A contribution to the next generation national heritage infrastructure, Review of the National Center for Digitization Vol. 7 2005, University of Belgrade

David Weinberger (2006) What's Happening to Knowledge? Wikimania 2006 Ivan Zdravković, Svetislav Momčilović, Marjan Panić (2005) Presenting national heritage with web geographical information system "Mobile city guide", Review of the National Center for Digitization Vol. 7 2005, University of Belgrade

Rupert Brown and Neide Farran Fundação do Desenvolvimento Administrativo – Fundap Rua Cristiano Viana, 428 – 3 º andar CEP 05411 – 900 – São Paulo – Brazil