Project outputs of BalticRIM

Results of work package 2 (WP2)

BalticRIM workpackage 2 was directed by the Finnish Heritage Agency from the beginning of 2018 to spring of 2019. The tasks were to assess the existing information on MCH, which was to lead towards perceived gaps by the MSP experts. MSP requirements were to be met by organising the MCH data to template/templates and finally, MCH categorisation and terminology were to be defined from each country.

The status report for the activity A2.1. was finished in the spring of 2019 and circulated among the project partners for internal use. The results will be published for wider audience at the end of the project in 2020.



The goals for the workpackage included co-operation between maritime cultural heritage officials in the partner countries to bring together information about the MCH management. This included information on the various registers used to gather MCH data as well as the ways, how this data is made publicly available.

Practical work

To gather the various datasets, several questionnaires and templates were sent to the partners to be filled. Due to the different tradition of management in the partner countries, discussion was needed to define the best way to gather the information. Simply, we needed to discuss what information was wanted and how things are defined. Wording presented difficulties due to terminology gaps, different register traditions, different ways to construct the data etc.


Very soon it became apparent that it was not practical to force a standard site categorisation. MCH management varies in each country, and has been developing through different histories and practices, which is visible in the management practices and registers. A joint categorisation would require an enormous amount of management and discussion, which would have been impractical in the scope of the BalticRIM project. Furthermore, the partners saw no particular reason for such categorisation, but agreed that it is beneficial for the government agencies working around MCH management co-operation to be aware of the different practices and datasets in other countries around the Baltic Sea. This facilitates management as well as the protection of the maritime and underwater cultural heritage.  

The datasets used for Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage management in each country around the Baltic Sea are presented in the adjacent table.

Maritime Cultural Historical (MCH) categories in the Baltic Sea Region registers
This document contains the different categories, which are used by the BalticRIM partner institutions to classify various types of maritime cultural heritage sites. Each partner was requested to fill in a questionnaire and look for maritime categories in their register(s). Some categories were common to all partners, such as “wreck” and “burial”. The questionnaire revealed also gaps, especially categories, which describe large-scale phenomena were extremely rare, for example sea battle area. Some phenomena of the maritime cultural heritage had not been classified in any country, such as “ship trap”.
The categories also make visible the variability of the MCH. It is evident that it is not possible, or even necessary, to unify the registers or formulate pan-Baltic MCH categories. The variability of the categories also derives from the different nature of the heritage administration traditions.
The maritime categories have been compiled from the register or registers of the heritage officials in each county or country. The document is an overall view on the comprehensive MCH in each partner region.



Maritime Cultural Heritage Data Accessibility Template version 1.0
The Data Accessibility Template includes information from each BalticRIM partner country. In addition, Sweden has provided data. The template describes how and in which form data on Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage is available. Open access data are shared by WMS and/or WFS services and on webpages. In some countries interface services are not used, and the data are available in traditional archival forms. Template also indicates if data is restricted.
The information has been gathered from the participants by a questionnaire, where various forms of data sharing were marked. The various institutions, which took part to the questionnaire, are visible in the first column of the template. Some information has not been provided and this has been indicated in the template.



 Toolkit for mapping underwater landscape