World heritage sites are cultural or natural sites around the world, identified by UNESCO as of outstanding importance to the common heritage of humanity.
There are 1007 World Heritage Sites spread over 161 countries in the world. They are often inextinguishable in memory. But while large and iconic sites are forever ingrained in our universal consciousness, there are a myriad of overlooked heritage sites of equally stunning caliber. The question thus turns to opening our eyes to the wonders that surround us, near and far.
GoUNESCO makes discovering world heritage more fun: it is a unique travel challenge in which you earn points every time you visit a World Heritage Site, and compete to be the traveller with the highest score. It consists in traveling to any World Heritage Site, click a photo of yourself there and upload it.
This is a project grounded on awareness – the more people are aware of the heritage sites in their vicinity and beyond, the more they will appreciate the importance of shared history and heritage.
This awareness, in turn, encourages more people towards conservation and preservation efforts, ensuring that these sites are not lost to future generations.
GoUNESCO started in 2012 when founder Ajay Reddy set a personal challenge to visit all 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India over the course of one year. As Reddy embarked on this journey, friends and strangers from across India joined him.
Today GoUNESCO is a global community of travel and heritage enthusiasts connected through an online forum and vitalized by its strong social media presence.
GoUNESCO challengers compete to visit as many UNESCO designated heritage sites as possible over a set period of time ranging from one year to a lifetime. Participants post photographs of themselves taken at each site as evidence (#gounescoselfie), and continue to contribute to the GoUNESCO community by offering travel tips to future site visitors.
Recently CyArk contributed to GoUNESCO’s Campus Ambassador Program: Justin Barton conducted an online workshop session where he discussed the timeline of historic documentation beginning with traditional methods of documentation and survey, and continuing to modern advances in technology, like the use of GPS and total stations to accurately annotate a site. Barton continued to introduce the group to further advances in technology augmenting the heritage preservation field today, such as photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning.
The workshop concluded with a Question & Answer session, where live viewers chatted questions related to CyArk’s digital preservation process and the potential of laser scanning for underwater sites, and with the nomination process for the CyArk 500 Challenge. To respond to inquiries from students who were unable to attend the workshop, Barton will continue to answer questions on GoUNESCO’s Facebook page.
For more information visit GoUNESCO’s website