The first online cultural map of Thailand is now available with more than 2,000 cultural sites across the country, ready to be upgraded for metaverse technologies.
The virtual map is part of a database developed by the Programme Management Unit for Area-based Development (PMU-A) under the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council.
The PMU-A said recently the database is a joint project of the university network for area-based development comprising 41 universities from 33 provinces.
Kitti Sajjawattana, director of the Area Development Fund Management and Fund Management Unit (Dasta), said the "Cultural Map of Thailand" research project would be developed into a "Cultural Atlas of Thailand" and "Cultural Metaverse Thailand".
Sutat Gammanee, a professor at Kanchanaburi Rajabhat University, said the project is the country's first virtual cultural map. The data provided was collected by cultural experts and researchers who had contributed over 2,621 data collections.
The map also stores cultural capital from local communities, which helps researchers design their methodology. Presented on an online platform, the map functions as an easily accessible site.
The site provides tangible and intangible cultural details that can be categorised into 11 archetypes: artefacts, architecture, historical sites, cultural spaces, languages, folk literature, knowledge and practices concerning nature and cosmology, performance arts, folk sports games and martial arts, social practices, ritual and festive events, and traditional craftsmanship.
The map also features GPS locations that provide precise navigation. Apart from an online platform, the PMU-A has been improving Thailand's cultural map into a cultural metaverse to attract the younger generation.
The Cultural Metaverse of Thailand will be presented in four pavilions, based on Thailand's main four regions. The technology will introduce both tangible and intangible cultures to users through virtual reality.