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Article

Chinese Temple Networks in Southeast Asia: A WebGIS Digital Humanities Platform for the Collaborative Study of the Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia

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Chinese Studies, National Univerisity of Singapore, Singapore 119077, Singapore
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Geography, National Univerisity of Singapore, Singapore 119077, Singapore
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President, Singapore Management University, Singapore 188065, Singapore
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Computer and Electrical Engineering, National Univerisity of Singapore, Singapore 119077, Singapore
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Asia Research Institute, National Univerisity of Singapore, Singapore 119077, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2020, 11(7), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070334
Received: 28 May 2020 / Revised: 25 June 2020 / Accepted: 2 July 2020 / Published: 6 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese Temples and Rituals in Southeast Asia)
This article introduces a digital platform for collaborative research on the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, focusing on networks of Chinese temples and associations extending from Southeast China to the various port cities of Southeast Asia. The Singapore Historical Geographic Information System (SHGIS) and the Singapore Biographical Database (SBDB) are expandable WebGIS platforms gathering and linking data on cultural and religious networks across Southeast Asia. This inter-connected platform can be expanded to cover not only Singapore but all of Southeast Asia. We have added layers of data that go beyond Chinese Taoist, Buddhist, and popular god temples to also display the distributions of a wide range of other religious networks, including Christian churches, Islamic mosques, Hindu temples, and Theravadin, which are the Taiwanese, Japanese and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries found across the region. This digital platform covers a larger area than the Taiwan History and Culture in Time and Space (THCTS) historical GIS platform but is more regionally focused than the ECAI (Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative) By incorporating Chinese inscriptions, extensive surveys of Chinese temples and associations, as well as archival and historical sources, this platform provides new materials and new perspectives on the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. This paper: (1) outlines key research questions underlying these digital humanities platforms; (2) describes the overall architecture and the kinds of data included in the SHGIS and the SBDB; (3) reviews past research on historical GIS; and provides (4) a discussion of how incorporating Chinese epigraphy of Southeast Asia into these websites can help scholars trace networks across the entire region, potentially enabling comparative work on a wide range of religious networks in the region. Part 5 of the paper outlines technical aspects of the WebGIS platform. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chinese temples; clan and regional associations; network relations; WebGIS; collaborative digital humanities platform Chinese temples; clan and regional associations; network relations; WebGIS; collaborative digital humanities platform
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yan, Y.; Dean, K.; Feng, C.-C.; Hue, G.T.; Koh, K.-h.; Kong, L.; Ong, C.W.; Tay, A.; Wang, Y.-c.; Xue, Y. Chinese Temple Networks in Southeast Asia: A WebGIS Digital Humanities Platform for the Collaborative Study of the Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia. Religions 2020, 11, 334. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070334

AMA Style

Yan Y, Dean K, Feng C-C, Hue GT, Koh K-h, Kong L, Ong CW, Tay A, Wang Y-c, Xue Y. Chinese Temple Networks in Southeast Asia: A WebGIS Digital Humanities Platform for the Collaborative Study of the Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia. Religions. 2020; 11(7):334. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070334

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yan, Yingwei, Kenneth Dean, Chen-Chieh Feng, Guan T. Hue, Khee-heong Koh, Lily Kong, Chang W. Ong, Arthur Tay, Yi-chen Wang, and Yiran Xue. 2020. "Chinese Temple Networks in Southeast Asia: A WebGIS Digital Humanities Platform for the Collaborative Study of the Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia" Religions 11, no. 7: 334. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070334

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