Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > A digital record system for heritage buildings ...

Electronic data

  • 2024walaaphd

    Final published version, 112 MB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

A digital record system for heritage buildings in Saudi Arabia

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2024
Number of pages330
Awarding Institution
Thesis sponsors
  • Taibah University
  • Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Britain, Saudi Cultural Bureau
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this research, an approach for creating a holistic digital record system that integrates information about the tangible (physical: dimensions, materials) and intangible (cultural: methods, skills, history) aspects of heritage buildings in Saudi Arabia is presented. Many heritage buildings in Saudi Arabia are in poor condition due to negligence and lack of conservation (UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 2020), and the lack of scientific research focusing on the digital recording of heritage buildings' information exposes them to loss. Research, application, and experiments in digital recording of heritage buildings are needed in Saudi Arabia. So, the purpose of this research is to establish a framework to improve the recording process of heritage buildings' data, conserve and promote Saudi's Islamic, Arab, and National heritage locally and internationally, and support Saudi's Vision 2030 in developing recording and scientific research in the field of national heritage (Vision2030.gov.sa, 2020, pp. 2-54).
The aim is to establish a new framework for the intense digitalization of heritage buildings in Saudi Arabia as part of a holistic digital platform for voluntary public records. Such a framework and platform are supported through a pragmatic research approach and the use of mixed research methods considering novel fieldwork techniques: laser scanning and digital photogrammetry in combination with documentary research acquired from governmental and private parties. The framework findings resulted in the most holistic digital record system generated in Saudi Arabia recording intangible and tangible information by utilising several digital recording methods, integrating different recording systems, and saving and disseminating the data digitally in an open-access platform.
The delivery of this system and the resulting published information highlights the essential research needed regarding technology practical application and system accuracy between Historic Building Information Modelling Systems (HBIMs) and Geographic Information systems (GISs) and developing training skills strategies in using technical tools, data accessibility, acquisition, and processing, and stakeholder interactions with platforms for digital documentation and dissemination, and future management and decision-making.