Unesco’s World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space

by Nov 4, 2020Articles0 comments

In 1972 Unesco created the World Heritage Convention linking together the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural heritage. Based on the understanding that sites and monuments are threatened with deterioration or disappearance over time, the organization determines that those of outstanding universal value deserve special protection from the dangers they are facing. Therefore, the efforts to identify, protect, preserve, and value the sites included on this list are meant to safeguard and pass the world’s cultural and natural heritage on to future generations.

Overall, to be included on the Unesco World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria created by the organization. According to Unesco, a site has outstanding universal value when it has cultural and/or natural importance that transcends national boundaries and is therefore of great relevance to current and future generations of mankind as a whole.

The criteria are regularly revised by the World Heritage Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself. The list is also constantly updated with new sites, separated into categories: cultural heritage, natural heritage, and mixed heritage.

Cultural Heritage

The following shall be considered as cultural heritage: monuments such as architectural works, sculpture, painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings; groups of buildings which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science; and sites by works of man or the combined works of nature and man, which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view.

Brasilia

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe
Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe

 Venice and its Lagoon

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Historic Centre of Prague

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites

Stonehenge. Aerial photograph by @copter_shot

Stonehenge. Aerial photograph by @copter_shot

Historic Centre of Florence

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Alto Douro Wine Region

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea

Photo by @southamerica

Photo by @southamerica

Vatican City

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Old City of Berne

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Ancient City of Damascus

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Historic Centre of Naples

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Sydney Opera House

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @nearmap

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @nearmap

Medina of Marrakesh

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @maxartechnologies

Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments

Arles Amphitheatre. Drone photo by @lucasmiguel

Arles Amphitheatre. Drone photo by @lucasmiguel

Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe

Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar

Palmanova. Created by @dailyoverview

Palmanova. Created by @dailyoverview

Natural Heritage

According to Unesco, natural heritage includes physical and biological formations which are of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view; geological formations and areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation; and natural sites of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty.

Grand Canyon National Park

Source imagery by @planetlabs

Mount Etna

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery: @planetlabs

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery: @planetlabs

Vatnajökull National Park – Dynamic Nature of Fire and Ice

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

The Sundarbans

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @nasa

Created by @benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @nasa

Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring. Plane photography by @chrisleipelt.photos

Grand Prismatic Spring. Plane photography by @chrisleipelt.photos

Mixed Heritage

Mixed heritage includes sites that meet criteria and definitions of both cultural and natural heritage.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies

Created by @dailyoverview, source imagery @maxartechnologies
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