Have you ever taken a tour through geologic time? Why not sit back and get lost in time by browsing the new Dolomites World Heritage geology portal? The Dolomites World Heritage Geotrail is no longer just a multi-stage trail running through the fossil archipelago; over the past few weeks, it has become an interactive experience that is available to everyone: www.dolomitesgeotrail.com.
More content and intertwining paths
The portal offers additional content that enhances the geological description of the World Heritage Site above and beyond what you can find in the four guides printed in recent years. The available itineraries, and all their possible combinations, give visitors not only a spatial and temporal experience along the Geotrail route and through the timeline, respectively, but they also serve as thematic routes focused on geologic history, climate change, and catastrophic events, which can now be accessed via spherical photos.
The overall effect highlights the serial nature of the Dolomites Heritage Site very well, because each segment of the story represents a unique but fundamental feature that helps give an understanding of the Dolomites in their entirety and allows us to access the history of the Earth, for which the Dolomites are sort of an index.
The Dolomites World Heritage Geotrail is an interactive experience designed to help visitors discover the geology of the Dolomites. The events that have taken place over the last 300 million years have left their mark on the rock composition and morphology of these mountains, making them a wonderful book that can literally be read step by step. Making geology accessible to all is also a way of encouraging a slow, conscious visit to the World Heritage Site, a far cry from the hit-and-run model and the mass tourism attracted only to the aesthetic value of the Dolomites with little interest in gaining an understanding of the deeper processes behind this beauty.
A long list of acknowledgments, with many thanks!
Acknowledging everyone who collaborated on this great project is a difficult undertaking. The most important aspect that we would like to emphasise is that this was an unprecedented team effort involving all the regions within the recognised Dolomites World Heritage Site, coordinated by the Geological Heritage Network of the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation. The institutional partners, in alphabetical order, are: The Department of Physics and Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara, the Department of Geosciences of the University of Padua, MUSE – Museum of Science of Trento, the Geopark of the Adamello Brenta Natural Park, the Ecology Service of the Province of Belluno, the Geological Service of the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Landscape, Regional and Strategic Planning Service of the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Geology Section of the Veneto Region, and the Geology and Materials Testing Office of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/South Tyrol. The detailed list of collaborators, who have contributed to the project is available here.