Cultural knowledge is a central tenant of identity for Aboriginal people and it is vitally important that the preservation of heritage values happens. Digital Songlines is a project that seeks to achieve this and was initiated as a way to develop the tools for recording cultural heritage knowledge in a 3D virtual environment. Following the delivery of a number of pilots the plan is to develop the software as a tool and creative process that anyone can use to record tangible and intangible natural and cultural heritage knowledge and to record the special significance of this knowledge as determined by the traditional owners.
Digital Songlines is a product and a service for preserving aboriginal knowledge as a virtual heritage environment. This innovative project has the potential to assist decision making for the management of cultural heritage and the mitigation of damage to its precious heritage values for future generations.
The product aspect is that of a software toolkit for rapid prototyping of natural and developed heritage, including its values within a defined geo-spatially area. The service is also a process for assisting the documentation, designing and creation of interrogative virtual heritage environments. The product seeks to assist communities to visualise those culturally significant landforms, objects, sites, fauna and flora as well as the represent the values, personal histories, geographic descriptions and other cultural related land-uses as determined significant by the traditional owners for a particular contested terrain.
Digital Songlines is developed from indie and open-source virtual software. It was developed in partnership of many where computer application for various purposes was ‘mashed’ together to support the enterprise of recording in real time, cultural heritage knowledge for the purpose of education, entertainment and ultimately to support arts, language and cultural heritage management.