During these last two months, Ana Cristina Villagas and Fabien Van Geert have been working intensively on the Geopark programme. We visited the different parts of the Geopark of Central Catalonia, in order to observe and describe its reality, the diffusion panels and the indications existing on the territory. We got then in contact with the different stakeholders of the institution, through interviews and meetings. The main collaborators in this process were the Direction or the Geopark, the Tourism Agency of the Bages region where the Geopark of Central Catalonia is situated, the Moià Museum and Archaeology and Palaeontology and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, one of the main partners of the programme.
From these observations and the different reunions and meetings realised with these institutions, we commonly decided to work especially on the diffusion of the Geopark, one of its main difficulties, on the basis of its touristic potential, know as geotourism. As the Geopark is particularly unknown within the larger Barcelona region, and is mostly invisible virtually, the main objective was defined as being the development of a long term strategy for the virtual diffusion of the Geopark on the base of a SIG map to be shown on its Internet webpage and be referred to on the Geopark programme webpage.
In order to do so, a series of fifty cultural, natural and geological points of interest, conceived as “geosites”, have then been identified in a three steps work.
The first step was the description of these points, elaborated from the information provided by the collaborating institutions, reworking it through homogenised texts. Their GPS coordinates have also been identified while specific photos have been selected on the basis of their aesthetic values in collaboration with the different local partners. The example of the Tremp Geopark project, situated in the Catalan Pyrenees and actually on the process to be declared by the UNESCO as part of the Geopark network, has been highly inspiring in this process.
The second step was the translation of these texts, from Catalan to English. The process of translation into Spanish has also been defined and will be realised in the forthcoming months in order to develop a trilingual version of the Internet website.
Finally, a thematic presentation of the chosen points has also been elaborated, in order to present the different points on the Geopark webpage through different levels. The items of classification chosen were “Get to know the Bages vineyards”, “Ways crossing the Geopark”, “Discover Manresa” and “Points and routes of interest through the geopark”. This
classification has been developed after the realisation of an international benchmark analysis on virtual diffusion that included other geoparks in Europe, especially in France and in Japan, which were highly influential in our decision. However, this classification is still in process, as the different projects collaborators must accept it and the final proposition has to be adapted to the possibilities of the Internet webpage and of the SIG virtual map to be developed. These aspects will be worked on in the next couple of months, between the different members of the project.
Fabien Van Geert
Chercheur postdoctorant au CERLIS- Centre de Recherches sur les liens sociaux (UMR CNRS 8070)
Membre du Groupe consolidé de recherche “Grup d’Antropologia del parentiu i del patrimoni” (2014 SRG 1156)
Chargé de mission dans le cadre du programme Géopark