A critical aspect in conserving the ICH is to conduct proper documentation of ICH

A critical aspect in conserving the ICH is to conduct proper documentation of ICH. Currently, data and information on intangible cultural heritage are scattered between different agencies and organizations. The extensive information on ICH through the agencies and government websites are in the form of HTML files which are unstructured and very time-consuming for end-users wishing to extract information about specific types of ICH in Malaysia. It is important to note that ICH have data that have both spatial and non-spatial attributes. There is no centrally maintained website that provides integrated information of ICH such as name of practitioners, types of ICH, location, methods, equipment and others.

Problems arise when users want to gather information from text, table and static maps that are stored at different agencies, organizations and websites. In most cases the data will lack spatial information while the static maps are sometimes not geo-referenced to actual coordinate system. This makes it difficult to compare the location and conduct spatial measurements and analysis. Since the cultural heritage were promoted as a tourism product in Malaysia, some organization create a static map to show the location of some cultural heritage to attract tourist. The problem is that, these static maps cannot be changed to suit user’s needs and interest such as change the scale of a map select an area of interest or perform any spatial analysis. Information is very crucial in tourism business (Gratzer, Werthner, ; Winiwarter, 2004) because the decision of tourist to visit a tourism destination depends on the information available to them (Djeri, Plavša, ; ?erovi?, 2007; Bonera, 2008).

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Only the older generations can still convey the folk legends, variety cultural performing arts, beautiful handicraft, historical stories and so on; and as they get older and will gradually pass away someday, this valuable cultural traditions and heritage would follow them to the grave if nothing is done (Zhang ; Lu, 2008). In the long run, the neglect of protection, management and preservation of CH will result in the degradation of the CH resources. So, it is crucial to find a way to store and managed the information into one organized system.
There are various types of CH information such as written, oral, published text, unpublished text, images, works of art, artifacts, historical treasure and others. The unstructured data of CH made it impossible to integrate into a central system. Other than that, the vast information about CH in Malaysia required large database space to store all the information. In order to solve the documentation issues regarding, data collection, data integration, database design, spatial data information and interactive map visualization, a suitable tools needs to be addressed.


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