In January 2011, the GCI welcomed officials from the Jordanian Department of Antiquities (DoA)—Director-General Professor Ziad Al- Sa'ad and Chief of Staff Catreena Hamarneh— for discussions on the nationwide implementation of the Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities (MEGA) in Jordan. MEGA-Jordan, a bilingual Arabic-English, Web-based national GIS (geographic information system), is the primary tool for the DoA to inventory, monitor, and manage Jordan's vast number of archaeological sites. It was developed as a collaboration among the GCI, World Monuments Fund (WMF), and the DoA.
During the visit, the partners discussed maintenance of the system over the next two years and other measures to support the long-term use of the system, as well as ongoing work by the GCI and WMF to expand the system's functionality beyond archaeological sites so it may be used to manage other heritage types, such as historic buildings, architectural ensembles, and cultural landscapes and routes. The partners also discussed other potential activities for dissemination of MEGA in the broader Arab region.
On April 12, 2011, under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan—who serves as the vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Jordan Museum—the GCI, the DoA, and WMF officially launched the nationwide implementation of the MEGA-Jordan system. The event was attended by numerous guests from neighboring countries.
For more information on the MEGA-Jordan project and to view a video describing the system, visit the MEGA-Jordan project website.