Grupo Kalinangan Inc. (GKI) evolved from a project initiated in 2014 in response to the urgent need for documentation of the country’s remaining built heritage, particularly in the wake of the Visayas Earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, which saw many heritage structures suffer significant damage, if not complete loss.
The project that would become the forerunner of the Philippine Heritage Map was developed and maintained by a team of volunteers with a passion for heritage. These volunteers began building a database and inventory for Philippine heritage as they painstakingly gathered the data as they went to different parts of the country. Recognizing the need for a better way and method to gather, store and manage cultural heritage data, the database and inventory was reworked completely on a new platform called Arches, a web software purposely built for cultural heritage inventory and management. The Philippine Heritage Map, powered by Arches, went online on August 20, 2015, becoming the first public implementation of the Arches platform in Asia.
With the launch of the new platform, the core volunteers began reaching out to other local government units, agencies, and other stakeholders to promote the Philippine Heritage Map as a vital inventory of built heritage in the country. A series of volunteer training sessions for several volunteers have helped add new heritage data to the map.
On January 13 2016, Grupo Kalinangan Inc. was incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit organization. In a short span of time since the inception of the initiative by the core volunteers, GKI has transformed itself into a formidable organization that pioneers and innovates on solutions and systems for improved management of heritage resources in the Philippines.