Geoportaal: mapping our heritage

A wealth of information is available on our cultural heritage. In the context of ‘Vlaanderen radicaal digitaal’, the Government of Flanders is making a strong commitment: making this data digitally available to everyone.


This commitment comes from a great need. It was a real challenge to find your way in the large amount of data on immovable heritage. Information on a protected building for example, or landscape, was not easily accessible and was spread over various applications. An intuitive and freely accessible web application was called for.

One heritage platform that boasts all relevant, up-to-date information.

At a glance you should be able to check whether a building or plot is protected or included in one of the established inventories. Geographical overlap with project areas or archaeological zones can also be interesting. After all, this is relevant information for buyers / sellers, notaries, owners, local authorities,… because certain legal consequences are linked to this.

It is especially important that you can consult the latest version of the data in an intuitive way.


We have used the principles of linked data while building the Geoportaal heritage database.. The original heritage data sources are linked to various applications (such as the database of protected buildings, the inventory of heritage objects, management plans, …). We link to these original data sources via URIs. These links are offered by the original sources themselves and are therefore not to be maintained by us. In addition, the sources can be maintained or modernised separately without having to adjust the Geoportaal. For example, behind the scenes there is a self-regulating network of references, with a guarantee of up-to-date and correct information. And best of all: the user gets all the information he needs in a few clicks and has no idea of the complex underlying technology.

Geoportaal: an intuitive platform to navigate through a jungle of information sources.


With Geoportaal, relevant information about a particular location or heritage site can be quickly found. You no longer have to dive into different archives and wonder whether you have the latest information.

Geoportaal consists of a handy map display: searching can be done by map, address or parcel number. Based on map layers you can see where protected areas, management plans, etc. are located. For each lot, a sheet is available, with administrative data and the indication of whether it is an established architectural heritage, whether it is within management areas, etc.

When more information is available about the desired location, you can quickly click through to, for example, the inventory of heritage or management plans. Here you can find information about the heritage in question and you can click through to the information, such as the Minister’s protection decision.

Want to starting using linked data in your organisation? Don't hesitate to contact me.