Digital humanities and gis for chinese architecture : a methodological experiment
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How can one use a non-architectural source to build a new history of architec- ture? The study makes use of a corpus of Chinese local gazetteers (Difangzhi, lit. ‘local history’) to take up the methodological challenge. The source comprises 3,999 volumes dating from the tenth to the twentieth centuries covering all the populated area of China, and has been facilitated with a digital infrastructure. This chapter is structured as follows: Sections I and II question some unacknowl- edged fractures and bias in the established histories of Chinese architecture, and open the issues in context. In Sections III and IV, the chapter proposes a new stra- tegic approach to Chinese architecture with original questions and hypothesis. Section V elucidates how the new data were extracted, particularly the methods used in this study for mining and processing large-scale data thanks to digital humanities and geographic information system (GIS). Sections VI and VII report a ground-breaking result on Chinese architecture with two arguments.
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