COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Georgia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.11 New technologies and digitalisation in the arts and culture

The general state of ICTD in Georgia may be described as "spontaneous computerisation", without any single strategy for development of the sector. The information space in Georgia, though experiencing some progress, is at a transitional stage towards democracy and requires reforms for free access and distribution, reliability of information etc.

Table 5:    Internet retail subscribers, 2010-2013

 

1st Quarter
2010

1st Quarter
2011

1st Quarter
2012

1st Quarter
2013

DSL technology

137 036

174 542

206 379

213 045

Fiber-Optic technology

66 120

93 638

136 955

197 524

EVDO&CDMA technology

33 334

55 812

61 674

51 567

Wi-Fi technology

405

1 867

9 108

21 018

Source:    National Communications Committee

Table 6:    Statistical data on mobile phones, 2010-2013

Year

2010

2011

2012

1st Quarter 2013

Total number of mobiles

--

70 813

51 014

125 253

Source:    National Communications Committee

Adoption of the Law on Telecommunications (2005) and Law on Independent Regulatory Committees (2005) initiated favourable circumstances for the development of new media.

The Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia intends to use modern technologies for the creation of a full national database of cultural heritage, although this is a project for the future. A similar programme of upgrading museums is under development, although not many museums have websites. In the library sphere the situation is more than critical. The university system also suffers from a lack of development in the ICT sector. Most of the traditional cultural institutions still cannot meet the requirements of the information society.

The Information Systems in Cultural Heritage Management

The first project in Georgia drawing on the European experience of applying GIS for the inventory of cultural heritage was the Tbilisi Pilot Project implemented in 1999-2000, in the scope of the joint programme of the World Bank and the Georgian government implemented with the assistance of the Council of Europe. The methodology elaborated within this project enabled the development of large scale GIS projects for the inventory of urban heritage in Tbilisi, Batumi and Abastumani in 2005-2008. The elaboration of the Historical-Cultural Reference Plans of these historic cities was made possible thanks to the immense data processing and analytical capacity offered by the GIS.

In the scope of Tbilisi and Batumi projects, a special computer programme has been created to manage and process information in digital format. The programme allows integration of attribute and graphical data and is equipped with a comprehensive search tool and a tool for generating different thematic maps.

This GIS based programme has set the model for elaboration of Historical-Cultural Reference Plans in other historic towns and settlements. Moreover, GIS has been increasingly used in the inventory of immovable objects and for creation of cultural heritage protection zones all over the country (e.g. Mtskheta, Kutaisi, Signaghi, Telavi, etc).

As the experience and volume of the digitalised information has been steadily growing in recent years, the need to systematise the information and create an integrated information system for data storage, processing and updating became evident. In 2005-2007, thanks to financial assistance from the Development and Reform Fund of Georgia and UNDP, the MoC launched a project for creation of a unified information system in the field of cultural heritage. The model of the system was elaborated, integrating the different information on cultural heritage (protected zones, immovable and movable listed properties, museum-reserves, etc) and allowing external links to similar systems of different related institutions, e.g. the State Customs Office. The integrated information system represents one of the key instruments for management and planning in the field of cultural heritage. Currently it is being tested and revised to make it efficient in practice.


Chapter published: 26-01-2016

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