I just ran across this interesting post from a few weeks ago. It seems that an alphabet soup of non-profit companies, The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), World Monuments Fund (WMF), and Jordan Department of Antiquities (DoA) are developing a geographic information system to manage archaeological sites in Jordan.
The Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities (MEGA) - Jordan will be a Web-based, bilingual (Arabic-English) system that will be used by inspectors, archaeologists, scholars, and government planners involved in cultural heritage management and research.To this end, the planners have embraced open source:
“…Software needs to be open source or low cost, because in Jordan a traditional GIS desktop license costs many times more than the annual salary of a highly trained technical employee.”And not just any open source GIS, too:
The open source software technologies will include PostGIS and GeoServer along with a public mapping front-end such as Google Maps.Not only that, it looks like that MEGA-Jordan is a prototype system set to be eventually deployed to other areas, such as Iraq. In a part of the world with a rich cultural history and a surfeit of archeological sites, this is information well worth cataloging.
This is a great use of GeoServer in the wild, and I will be following its development closely. Launch date is tentatively set for fall of 2009.