From web 1.0 to web 4.0: the digital heritage platforms for UNESCO’s heritage properties in Indonesia

Puspita Ayu Permatasari, Akhmad Abdul Qohar, Arief Faizal Rachman


The advent of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has had and is having a major impact on Indonesian cultural resource management, and on the safeguarding methods of its tangible and intangible cultural heritages. Despite varied levels and visible gaps between rural and urban regions in terms of technology usage, innovative initiatives have been created, which correspond to the needs and expectations of a technology-savvy public. As a starting point, a number of public institutions dealing with tangible cultural heritage (e.g. museums, palaces, temples, World Heritage Sites (WHS)) do use innovative digital tools in order to communicate to various audiences, as well as to enrich visitors’ experience, especially taking into consideration young generations. This paper will firstly examine the role of ICTs in intangible cultural heritage (ICH) (e.g. Batik, Wayang puppet theatre, etc.); secondly, the authors will explain how ICTs can help to communicate and promote the values, history, and significances of ICH products, both for locals and tourists, with the goal of raising awareness on cultural identity. However, the knowledge of ICH still requires contacts with its own communities and is vulnerable, as it can be exposed to excessive cultural commoditization through e-platforms. This study aims at giving an overview and some examples of digital interventions for cultural heritage communication implemented by various stakeholders in Indonesia. In addition, this paper analyses to what extent a participatory approach engaging local communities, academics, private sectors, NGOs and the government, can ensure higher levels of effectiveness and efficiency, hence supporting the conservation of UNESCO tangible/ICH in Indonesia. This paper aims at: (1) presenting the development of digital heritage platforms in Indonesia; (2) providing a grid of analysis of digital heritage knowledge platforms dedicated to UNESCO tangible and ICH in forms of websites and mobile apps.


  • Providing a map of the online presence of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHSs) in Indonesia by analysing 180 webpages in English and Indonesian languages.

  • Identifying several types of digital heritage websites in Indonesia based on the set of categories.

  • Classifying a map of 312 mobile apps dealing with UNESCO WHSs and Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Indonesia, which were retrieved from Android and iOS platforms.


participative heritage preservation; digital heritage; intangible cultural heritage (ICH); information and communication technology (ICT); mobile apps; heritage dissemination

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