Uses of Arches

There are many ways in which Arches software is used by the community. Arches is widely extensible and can be customized for many purposes, therefore this list will grow and expand over time. The broader categories of uses include:

     Heritage Inventory
     Heritage Science
     Digital Humanities and Research
     Infrastructure and Construction Project Management

Heritage Inventory

Create heritage inventories that describe types, locations, cultural periods, materials and conditions of cultural heritage resources and establish the numerous and complex relationships between those resources. Cultural heritage organizations around the world use Arches to inventory, survey, and help protect and manage a variety of heritage resource types, both immovable and intangible. The following are examples of how Arches is being deployed for heritage inventory purposes:


Arches for HERs

Arches for HERs is a comprehensive data management platform for UK Historic Environment Records (HERs). It is a singular information system that includes the ability to enter, manage and publish inventory data via the web, with geospatial visualization and full integration with ArcGIS Pro, advanced querying tools, and integrated workflows for casework and consultations. One usage of Arches for HERs is the Greater London Historic Environment Record (GLHER), which is planned to be publicly launched in early 2023.


City, Regional, and National Inventories

Create and manage information to identify, locate, and describe significant heritage resources for cities and regions, such as HistoricPlacesLA, and for national inventories, such as the Jamaica National Inventory of Historic Places.


Heritage at Risk

Aggregate data, imagery, and reports about heritage resources under threat, such as from development or climate change, as demonstrated by the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) implementation of Arches.

Heritage Science

Manage heritage science data and support the documentation, research, and analysis activities of conservation scientists and other heritage professionals.


Arches for Science

Arches for Science is a comprehensive system now under development to help heritage scientists, other heritage professionals, and heritage organizations secure, retrieve, visualize, compare, and share heritage science data, and manage tasks in the lab. Arches for Science will be implemented at the Getty Conservation Institute, where it will be known as DISCO (Data Integration for Conservation Science).

Digital Humanities and Research

Build digital applications to support research, visualization, and data analysis using digitized collections and artifacts. Utilize the enhanced database capabilities to structure, manage, and retrieve information, and for analysis and interpretation of stored data. Use Arches API configurations to connect to customized front-end applications, as well as to integrate with other information systems.


Archival Collections

Store and manage data about archival collections, as demonstrated by the Research Collections Viewer, which utilizes Arches as a backend database to provide access to inventories and digitized material from Getty Research Institute’s special collections.


Digital Maps

Use Arches geospatial capabilities and integrate base maps and map layers to search, visualize, and manage historical maps, as shown in the Historical maps of Candia project.


Infrastructure and Construction Project Management

Track development projects, permitting processes for construction, and create environmental reviews, as used by the Port of San Francisco. Aggregate information for residential and non-residential parcels and create workflows to import external data into an Arches system, as demonstrated by the Union Sanitary District, a waste collection, treatment and disposal service in the East Bay area of Northern California.



Last updated:  July 2022