Scottish Ten

The Scottish Ten is a five-year project funded by the Scottish Government. It aims to use technology to create accurate digital models of the country's five World Heritage Sites and five other World Heritage Sites elsewhere in the world. The aim is to better conserve and manage them.


The Scottish Ten was initiated by the Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution in early 2009, at the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Documentation conference. The minister had heard Ben Kacyra, father of the laser scanner and CyArk founder, speak about his mission to digitally document the 500 most at risk heritage sites across the world over the next five years.[1] The minister found inspiration in this project and discussion began as to how Scotland could be involved. The Scottish Ten was formally announced at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial on 4 July 2009.

About the Scottish Ten

The Scottish Ten project states that its primary aims are to:

  • Record important historical sites for the benefit of future generations in Scotland and overseas
  • Share and disseminate Scottish technical expertise and foster international collaboration
  • Provide digital media to site managers to better care for the heritage resource
  • Recognise international Scottish cultural connections

Led by Historic Scotland and its partner Glasgow School of Art, under their collaborative venture ‘The Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation LLP’, the Scottish Ten project states it will create digital documentation of the sites for future development of world class and innovative research, education and management.

The 18th century cotton-manufacturing settlement at New Lanark was the first Scottish site to be scanned.[2] Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, in the United States, was scanned in August 2009.

The project states that the five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland are being scanned. Four of the overseas sites have been selected to fulfil Scottish Government International objectives in North America, Japan, India and China. A fifth site will be selected at a later date.

The project will be using highly precise, high speed terrestrial laser scanning systems, some capable of sub-millimetre data capture and aerial optical remote sensing technology called LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging).

When the digital models are complete they will be hosted by CyArk, a non-profit organisation set up to digitally record heritage sites across the globe and provide public access to the information.[1]


The five Scottish sites are[3]:

The five non-Scottish sites are:


[4] [5] [6]

  1. Kimmelman, Michael (4 November 2009). "Scots Aim Lasers at Landmarks". New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  2. Scottish Ten | Documenting New Lanark, Scotland. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  4. "Discover all about the Scottish Ten project". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  5. "Discover all about the Scottish Ten project". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  6. "My Canadian Pharmacy Reviews: Satisfied Customers Share Their Experience - Business Trends Around the Globe with My Canadian Pharmacy". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
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