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In recent years, a great number of digital archives have been built in the field of cultural heritage preservation. Besides providing a systematic way to store and handle digitized versions of valuable artifacts and archival items these archives allow scientists, preservation officers and other professionals to access documents and information that may otherwise be unavailable. Opening the cultural archives for interoperation as well as public access is often a desirable objective. For this purpose, a user interface everybody knows and understands would be a good choice. In this paper, we propose to use Google Earth as a search and retrieval client for public access to digital archives. A mapping from a metadata model comprising geospatial, temporal, and thematical tags onto the Google KML is presented. This way Google Earth can easily be extended with cultural heritage information as stored in one or more digital archives. Any user all around the world can use Google Earth to locate, display and access the desired information by simply downloading and installing the appropriate KML file.
Date of Conference: 6-8 April 2010