Cultural Resources & Cultural Heritage Inventory and Asset Management using Arches

Web-based enterprise GIS to inventory, monitor and manage cultural heritage and archaeological assets


We helped develop Arches. So who better to help you get up and running?

From data transfer and data collection to using the inventory for protection, improvements, prioritization, funding and public support, we assist you at every step.


Arches is an Open Source, geospatially-enabled, web-based planning and decision support tool for inventorying, monitoring, and managing archeological sites and cultural heritage resources.

It is an enterprise system that Farallon can configure and extend to accommodate new or customized business processes as well as data collection using mobile devices.

Arches is an on-going project (learn about the upcoming V4) developed by Farallon in conjunction with the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monuments Fund.

How to Search in Arches Cultural Heritage Management software

What Can Arches Do For Your Organization?

Answer the important questions

Inventorying your heritage assets, whether it’s in a spreadsheet, an ArcGIS shape file or a geospatially-aware database, is only just a first step. What you really want is a heritage inventorying that feeds into workflows to help you answer your real questions and help you make more informed decision. Arches makes inventorying easy, but then seamlessly feeds real workflows for decision support.

Minimize technical hurdles

Arches is designed to handle sophisticated data entry, data management, semantic processing and geospatial analysis. But to anyone using the app, it is simple, understandable and even fun to use. It does not require a technical understanding of GIS or IT. In other words, anyone can get their job done without technical training or without getting bogged down in technical details.

Built to withstand the test of time

Arches manages data using an internationally adopted common language for heritage inventory and semantic modeling. If the underlying technologies change, the data and semantic models will still be valid, preserved and interpretable across different environments and technological implementations. Your cultural data is assured longevity.

Built-in data validation

Arches incorporates thesauri/terminology management, which enforces data validation and standards, enhances searching, and facilitates entry and retrieval of multi-lingual content. Advanced semantic search lets you discover previously unknown connections and patterns among different kinds of heritage information.

Designed for cultural heritage and archeological asset management

For international cultural heritage applications such as city preservation initiatives, Arches has been designed and optimized to manage culturally significant objects or groups of related objects including buildings, engineered structures, landscapes, districts, signs and plaques. For archeological applications, it manages antiquities sites and archaeologically significant relics.

A better way to do mobile data collection

Typical mobile field data collection apps upload data into the cloud into a generic database table. You then do additional processing to use it. Arches is different. Arches mobile data collection pushes data directly from the field into an asset management system with a complete knowledge structure, automatically applying business rules and integrating directly into other line-of-business systems. It is fundamentally a better way of doing field data collection.

Create new business value

A repository of geospatially-located cultural heritage information is a valuable asset that can be monetized. We can build a custom module for Arches that charges researchers, academics or business developers for database searches or for priority search or research assistance. With Arches, heritage organizations can drive new sources of business value and possibly even change how business is done.

Built around a community

We’ve worked as hard at building a vibrant Arches community as building a flexible and adaptive software solution. This translates to support at any level as well as continuous user feedback.

How Arches Works

The system documents the location and extent of cultural resource features, tracks their condition through time, and creates tabular and map-based visual reports summarizing important information about individual features. This can be used for:

  • identification and inventory
  • research and analysis
  • monitoring and risk mapping
  • determining needs and priorities for investigation, research, conservation and management
  • planning for investigation, conservation, and management activities
  • raising awareness and promoting understanding among the public, as well as governmental authorities and decision makers
  • interoperability and longevity of data and semantic models

Features of Arches Cultural Heritage & Resource Management System:


Spatial and temporal inventory can manage hundreds of thousands of sites and artifacts/assets.


Easy to find, map, and update spatial & attribute information using desktop, web and mobile workflows.


High performance user interface and data processing even for very sophisticated database queries.


Fully responsive and mobile-friendly design incorporating semantic graph data structure, thesauri and Elasticsearch.


Deploy without having to license database, GIS desktop, or GIS Server software.


Integrates with ESRI, Open Source GIS, Google, Bing & other spatial data viewing applications.


Framework can be adapted to specific data collection, update, monitoring, and reporting workflows.


Support for data entry and display across multiple languages (including non-Latin).