New WikiProject: UNESCO Heritage Mapping

Hello, I’ve noticed many UNESCO heritage sites haven’t been added. Looking in the wiki I havent find any list of which are mapped and which one are missing.

I’ve proposed to do so in the wiki article in discussion:

The idea is to have an overview of what is missing and to add the new ones from 2023.

Who is in for helping out?


Here I tag users that have previously discussed about this topic to invite them to collaborate: @geozeisig, @lutz, @Glad @gmbo @Petja @mrjohnc @Ynhockey @Pikari @Commodoortje @4rch

@escada @SK53 @dieterdreist @Brian_de_Ford @alan_gr @Lübeck @bingo @projecter63

If there is a list or a challenge I could add a few in Nederland, helping @Commodoortje

The problem with mapping these UNESCO sites is that sometimes the site is either a fuzzy thing (like a mountain range) though there might actually be a protected area boundary documented somewhere. Or the site is actually a group of objects separated by vast distances (like the Baroque Churches heritage “site” in my country which is a group of 4 churches in 4 different cities). Do we use a type=site relation or something else for these?


Or tag the objects with e.g. world_heritage=yes and/or ref:unesco=*

I thought the tagging was supposed to be heritage=1 + heritage:operator=whc.

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you are right, of course. Key:heritage - OpenStreetMap Wiki

The issue with the UNESCO lists is that sometimes entire city centres are listed. Either you have to draw a closed way around them, which would be in conflict with the Ground Truth principle, or you put every object in a relation, which is utterly unmaintainable and poorly supported by software, or you tag every structure as a listed building, which is going to conflict with national and other heritage lists.

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Which often goes for other “overlay” polygons/multipolygons as well, e.g. residential area, park, administrative boundaries, which are often not or very poorly delimited on The Ground.

As an example, here is a shapefile for Edinburgh World Heritage Site available under an open licence.

This is orthogonal to listed buildings: there are listed buildings outside the WHS, and unlisted buildings inside it.

I don’t know if it’s a requirement for all world heritage sites to have such clearly defined boundaries, and I don’t know if the boundaries would in all cases be available under an open licence, but the Edinburgh council website says:

UNESCO requires every world heritage site to have a plan which says how the Outstanding Universal Value - OUV of the site will be protected. OUV is the collection of things which make the area special.

That’s a starting point: it would be odd if such a plan didn’t define the area it applies to.

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Normally, I would also be in favor of a quality assurance list. But it would be quite big. Unfortunately, the official list is not allowed to be published anywhere. So it remains with a link to the list. Registered data in OSM are but also not few. If I all objects that are tagged with “heritage:operator”=“whc” I get over 2300 entries.
I have converted these times into a sortable table. User:Gmbo/WHC to get an idea for it.

Translated with DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator (free version)

Normalerwise wäre ich auch für eine Liste zur Qualitätssicherung. Die würde aber recht groß. Leider darf man die offizielle Liste nicht irgenwo veröffentlichen. Es bleibt also bei einem Link auf die Liste. Eingetragene Daten in OSM sind aber auch nicht wenige. Wenn ich alle Objekte, die mit “heritage:operator”=“whc” getagt sind bekomme ich über 2300 Einträge.
Diese habe ich mal in eine sortierbare Tabelle gewandelt. User:Gmbo/WHC um eine Vorstellung dafür zu bekommen.

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This list a a good starting point but it seems very long. Should we divide the lists by regions or preferably order by countries?