Friday, December 30, 2011

World Heritage Map 2011-2012

The World Heritage Map, 2011-2012, from

“The latest version of the World Heritage map, produced by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and National Geographic Maps with the generous support of Russian Federation, can now be ordered for a modest fee from the World Heritage Centre website.  The featured image on the Map presents Saint Petersburg, where the next session of the World Heritage Committee will be held (June/July 2012).
The World Heritage map is an educational visual tool, allowing UNESCO to communicate its work in this field on a large scale.  It is especially important since print documents, accessible to everyone, are an essential communication tool.
The map features the 936 World Heritage properties, brief explanations of the World Heritage Convention and World Heritage conservation programmes, as well as superb photos of World Heritage sites with explanatory captions.  The dimensions of the map are 78 cm by 50 cm (31 by 20 in.), and it is available in English, French, and Spanish versions.  A Russian version will also be produced this year.”
A copy of the map may be ordered from
The list of the sites, and an interactive map, is at The interactive map allows you to see all the sites by category, and clicking on a site brings up a detailed description, including a brief history of the site, why the site was chosen to be listed, what UNESCO listing criteria it meets, and lots of photos.  It's nicely done and quite interesting.  
I have been to a number of these sites, including three just last summer, during my trip to the International Medical Geography Symposium in Durham, UK: Durham Cathedral and Castle; Roman Empire Frontiers (Hadrian's Wall); and Greenwich Maritime outside of London.  The World Heritage sites are never less than spectacular.  Check out the list by country - The US has quite of few sites (of which I am ashamed to say I've only visited 10 of them).  The UK, Germany, France, and Italy all have many sites, but the list is far from overwhelmingly Euro-centric.  Going quickly through the list, I see that I have visited about 150 of the sites (including a couple that have been designated recently as "endangered"), and of course, my "bucket list" includes seeing the remaining 800 or so sites!  Probably won't get to all of them!  

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