International Workshop on Historical GIS

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Current Status of Building a Spatio-Temporal Infrastructure for Interdisciplinary Studies at Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Fan I-chun
Academia Sinica, Taipei

The idea of setting up a laboratory to promote the use of geo-spatial information began as early as 1989 in Academia Sinica. But it was not until 1996 that a project of building a spatio-temporal infrastructure was formally launched by the Institute of History and Philology. At that time we only aimed at finding a solution that could easily integrate the attributes of time and space of Chinese history, for display and analysis. Later, with the help of the Computing Center, a full-fledged laboratory of Geospatial Information Science Lab (GIScience Lab) was established. Its purpose was not only to fulfill the requirements of historians, but also to meet the demands of research fellows of various disciplines in Academia Sinica such as geologists, botanists, anthropologists, economists, etc.

In the past several years, efforts were made to create a common platform that researchers of various backgrounds can work on. To do this, we vectorize the 304 maps of the Historical Atlas of China by the late professor Tan Qixiang. It then perfectly overlayed with the contemporary 1/1,000,000 scale of Arc/China. This provides a very general spatio-temporal infrastructure for researchers. For specific requirements, we continue to create geo-spatial databases including big scale maps and aerial photos that can integrate with the vectorized maps. Also based on the general infrastructure, several applications are underway. To facilitate the utilization of the system, a proto-type of web-based version is now being tested. All this work involves a great deal of technical and content issues. We will detail them in our presentation.

Related URL:
Academia Sinica: Geospatial Solution

International Workshop on Historical GIS Fudan University, Shanghai, August 23-25, 2001