1 The Gridded Eco-museum (GEM)

Every home is special to the person who lives there. However, place is often itself an event, a centre of meaning. For example, ‘Ground Zero’, ‘Tiananmen Square’, and ‘Auschwitz’ are not mere locations. They are not undifferentiated spaces. All are dynamic places, expressive aspects of cultures. In their unique ways, these places say something about politics, pain, triumph, and loss. They are repositories of memory, conveyors of rhetoric. The experience of being in these cultural heritage locations is very different from the experience of being elsewhere.

A gridded eco-museum (GEM) is a virtual cultural heritage location created to exhibit the identity of a place based on local curation of its unique social objects. Eco museums originated in France, the concept being developed by Georges Henri Rivière and Hugues de Varine, who coined the term ‘ecomusée’ in 1971.The term "éco" is a shortened form for "écologie". It refers especially to a new idea of holistic interpretation of local cultural heritage as a facet of the human ecological niche. As an on-line format, the display/educational framework of an eco-museum is a geographical information system. It consists of a map which is gridded with hyperlinked ‘hot spots’ and scaled according to the topographical detail required to precisely locate social objects. The social objects are represented as digitised files and web URLs. Hyperlinks are created from the gridded map to the social objects to sustain a local place-narrative augmented with references to their wider significance.


2 The Grid

The grid is taken from the OS Explorer Map No151 Cardiff and Bridgend.

The Gorge galleries consist of 35 of the map’s 1m grid squares between 109400m and 15700m East and 86000m and 81100m North. The cultural heritage location consistes of an area 7x5 km


Each 1km grid square can be enlarged to function as a thematic 'gallery' to display social objects.


3 Three Gorges Ecomuseum


First hot spot