World Heritage Sites: Africa is made up of more than 86,000 objects in 30 sub-collections. The resource links visual, contextual, and spatial documentation of African heritage sites.

The materials in World Heritage Sites: Africa serve researchers in African studies, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, Diaspora studies, folklore and literature, geography, and history, as well as those focused on geomatics, advanced visual and spatial technologies, historic preservation, and urban planning. The collection is also a tool for museums, libraries, NGOs, and government organizations that manage or oversee cultural heritage sites, as well as for experts and professionals engaged in the conservation and management of such sites.

World Heritage Sites: Africa was developed in collaboration with scholars and institutions across Africa, Europe, and North America.

Spatial and contextual data

Spatial data includes 3D models and plans of structures and surrounding landscapes, geographic information systems (GIS), ground plans, façade views of structures, stereo and digital images, panorama images, and digital video.

It is obtained through laser scanning and photogrammetry, as well as satellite remote sensing, GPS surveying, and conventional surveying. Web-compatible versions of the spatial data can be viewed online, and the data are also available for download in formats compatible with standard geographic information systems (GIS) and 3D visualization software.

The contextual data and materials include scholarly research, books, historical and recent documents, maps, site plans or diagrams, and photographs and slides.

Contextual data in World Heritage Sites: Africa includes site-related scholarly research and information such as excavation reports, manuscripts, previously unpublished materials of various types from private and national archives, archaeological and ethnographic field notes, personal journals, trade logs, and travelers’ accounts from the 16th to 19th centuries, as well as a variety of important primary and secondary historical sources.