Information Access Seminar

3-D Visual Analysis of the Korean Buddhist Canon

Friday, September 14, 2007
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

A report on two related projects:

  1. "Text Analysis and Pattern Detection: 3-D and Virtual Reality Environments". The physical positions of each ideograph on the woodblocks used to print the 1,500 Chinese Buddhist texts provide a physical framework for complex analyses of the woodblocks, the texts, and their associated metadata. A new project funded by the National Science Foundation; and
  2. The "Religious Atlas of China and the Himalayas" is expected to include names, dates, coordinates, and associated information for several thousand religious places in China and the Himalayas, including mosques, churches and temples; sacred mountains; religious kingdoms; monumental statuary, and other categories of features. The Henry Luce Foundation recently awarded a grant for a three-year continuation. See

Using the Chinese Buddhist canon as a backdrop for exploring these issues, 3-D and graphic interfaces can offer a dynamic experience for canonic research by combining multiple modalities (text, images, maps, audio, video, 3D graphics, etc.) and contextualizing them in space and time.

Professor Lewis Lancaster is the founder and director of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI). ECAI is promoting worldwide electronic access to quality research data. ECAI is a partnership of technical specialists and the scholarly community dedicated to the support of scholarship through technology. ECAI is building an infrastructure for retrieval of data over the Internet from servers located anywhere in the world. Guided by the paradigm of the historical atlas, research data is indexed by time and place using temporally-enabled Geographic Information Systems software. User queries retrieve and display data in GIS layers on a map-based interface, allowing comparisons across discipline, region, and time.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015