Digital layer of Historical Cairo's archaeological sites (2010)

Maps of the World Heritage Sites (2007)

The QuarryScapes project (2005-2008)

National Archaeological Map of Egypt (2003)


Digital layer of Historical Cairo's archaeological sites (2010)

A study team from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was working on a Preparatory Survey for the Greater Cairo Metro Line no. 4. The study area was identified by the proposed route of the new metro line which would pass directly through the Islamic Cairo area; hence the study was required to grant absolute priority to the archaeological and historical properties.

Seeking to acquire digital data concerning these properties, the JICA team contacted the Supreme Council of Antiquities, which in turn referred to the GIS Center as the only source for digital data of the location and description of the archaeological and historical properties. Over the course of 3 months, at least 160 Antiquities Public Utility (APU)* were researched and included in the digital database.

The vector data (shapefiles) were prepared by being digitized from maps of various scales (based on availability).  The maps are produced by Egyptian Survey Authority and their scales vary between 1:50 000, 1:25 000, 1:5 000 and 1: 2500. The attribute table attached with the shapefile includes: Govname, Admindiv, ID_code, Sitename. Along with the vector data a simplified datasheet for each property was prepared. In addition to the photos that were acquired during the site visits. 


* The general term used to describe the land under the ownership/supervision of the SCA .

Click for samples of the layouts produced

Maps of the World Heritage Sites (2007)

In January 2006, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre launched a retrospective inventory project to identify gaps in the files of World Heritage Sites listed between 1978 and 2004. The purpose was to update the documentation of the sites and to assess their condition and the efficiency of site management actions undertaken by the authorities where the sites are located. 

As the official GIS department of the SCA, EAIS (now GIS Center) was asked to prepare updated comprehensive maps for the six cultural World Heritage Sites in Egypt. Updated numeric maps showing the boundaries of the sites and in line with information provided in nomination texts were produced following verification and approval by both the World Heritage Centre and SCA.

According to UNESCO, by producing these maps, Egypt became the first state party in the Arab region to answer all outstanding questions concerning the delimitation of its World Heritage properties. The World Heritage Centre also expressed its particular appreciation for the work done by the GIS Center. 

UNESCO website

Click for samples of the layouts produced


The QuarryScapes project (2005-2008):

The ‘QuarryScapes'project drew together professionals from academic and other institutions in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, UK, Belgium, Italy and Norway to focus specifically on documentation, conservation and heritage management of fragile ancient quarry landscapes within the first collaborative and innovative project of its kind. The SCA/GIS Center participated by preparing and delivering a National Quarry Map for Egypt and to incorporate the quarries identified into the GIS system developed in the Center.

Quarryscapes website


National Archaeological Map of Egypt (2003):

Following a prime ministerial request in 2003, main state land owners, including the SCA, were required to give listings and maps showing the location of their owned properties. The SCA requested EAIS (now GIS Center) to create official digital layers of archaeological sites situated outside the inhabited land (mapped with cadastral system), or the desert areas of Egypt. This data was to be used to direct the Cabinet of Ministers in land allocation for national development projects. 

The Amlaak provided GIS center with lists of archaeological sites located outside cadastral mapping area. The lists consists of site name, administrative location, X and Y coordinates of sites' centroids or sites' extent.

Excel sheets were created from these lists, and then converted into shapefiles that were double checked for illogic site location or area.

However, the output of this collaboration should only be considered as a primary investigation to the actual site location as it is only based on the visual extraction of the coordinates from the official archaeological site map.

The final layers with about 1380 sites were delivered to Amlaak Department and are continuously used by SCA and other external stakeholders and by the GIS Center for preliminary investigation. The complete map of archaeological sites is the first land management and research tool of its kind in Egypt, primarily to locate sites or to work on specific geographical areas, a reason for which the GIS Center is often approached by archaeological missions.

National Archaeological Map of Egypt

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