Peter McKeague

(Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, UK)

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland holds the national archive of the archaeological and built heritage of Scotland. Information on over 250,000 site records and in excess of one million items of archive is held in an Oracle database. In 1998, CANMORE was launched on the Internet, allowing the public to search and retrieve information from the database, on a variety of text-based criteria. Text-based searches were complemented by the launch of a web-mapping service, initially called CANMAP, in 2002.
This paper highlights the web-mapping services provided by RCAHMS for its own holdings and measures success in terms of the number of initiatives and partnership projects developing as a result of CANMAP.
Data from various national and regional organisations is now being assembled in a single web-map. In Scotland, management of the archaeological heritage rests with several organisations. Historic Scotland is the responsible authority for the statutory designation and protection of that heritage throughout the country. Through a joint development between RCAHMS and Historic Scotland, a website,, was launched in 2004 to provide statutory information alongside the data already available online. Regionally, local authority archaeologists monitor planning applications and ensure that there is adequate archaeological provision for any proposed development. They also maintain local Sites and Monuments Records for their areas and information from these sources will be available online in late 2005.
Through the SWISH (Shared Web Information Systems for Heritage) project, RCAHMS provides a remote database services for its sister organisation, RCAHMW, in Wales. As part of the agreement a web-mapping service, Coflein, has been developed for RCAHMW. RCAHMS is also developing a web-map demonstrator for the Scottish component of the Roman Frontiers prototype website being developed by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.