EGYPTIAN GOVT AND IBM TAKE PYRAMIDS ONLINE FOR TOURISM DRIVE

Digital Content

Egypt can now be seen in the virtual world of Eternal Egypt, an interactive website launched last Tuesday by Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and IBM

The project is the culmination of three years of work and a grant of USD2.5 million from IBM. It also includes a hand-held, digital guide to the Egyptian Museum, and internet tours of the pyramids and Luxor Temple that are accessible via cell phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs).

The centerpiece of the Eternal Egypt project is the website. Dubbed "a museum without walls", it is packed with information in English, Arabic and French covering more than 5,000 years and four eras: the Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic. Egypt hopes the site will lure more tourists - a major source of revenue.

"I always visit places because I see a photo or read a book and then am tempted to go to the place," said Fathi Saleh, an organiser of Eternal Egypt and director of the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage. "This venture will be one of the most important websites for people’s cultural heritage in the world."

With maps, timelines and 3-D images of artefacts and monuments, the site can be searched by topic, place, time period - or by randomly selecting areas of interest. The data was compiled by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Asia Media