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Mapping Chiang Rai, Thailand: Creating a Digital ‘Deep Map’ of Buddhist Spatial Change and Significance from 1844 to the Present
Presenter Lightning Session(s)
Anthony L. Irwin
Cornell University, United States
Digital “deep maps” present the multi-layered aspects of history, religion, and numinosity that overlap in place. “Mapping Chiang Rai” is a work-in-progress digital platform based on my data-set of Chiang Rai city’s 208 Buddhist sites. Layered over a time-sensitive digital map, “Mapping Chiang Rai” presents Buddhist spaces through founding dates, construction projects, archeological materials, and ethnic difference. Interview blurbs and photos highlight the affective and aesthetic ways specific temple sites are significant to their communities. “Mapping Chiang Rai” also visualizes the numinous networks that connect powerful Buddhist sites throughout the region. Deep maps such as this digitally display richly textured landscapes to reveal unseen patterns in large datasets that blend qualitative and quantitative place-based research. In this Lightning Presentation I seek feedback on streamlining digital research products into print publications, and more broadly ask how scholars of Asia can incorporate deep maps to broaden our research methods and pedagogy.