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Creating a GIS for China's History without Maps

January 22, 2009 - 4:15pm
Building 200, room 107
Peter Bol, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University A fundamental geographic information system should provide a platform for diverse disciplines to analyze the spatial relationships in the kinds of information relevant to the discipline. But what kinds of spatial information are fundamental? For the last two hundred years paper maps, based on scientific cartography , provides a kind of a solution. But if we aim to spatially enable the analysis of data from before the era of mathematical cartography, how should we proceed? What is the relationship between our representations in the present of historical space and place and the conceptualization of space and place in the past? The China Historical GIS, which aims to represent administrative space and place from 221 BCE to 1911 CE, has taken an approach that works for many but makes assumptions that historians may well want to challenge. CEAS Winter 2008-09 Colloquium on Maps and Gazetteers as Sources for East Asian History sponsored by the Stanford Society of Fellows in Japanese Studies and the Center for East Asian Studies
Free and open to the public
Event Sponsor: 
Center for East Asian Studies
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