The Old city area viewed from the sky

The Old city area viewed from the sky

samedi 30 mai 2009

Virtual Shanghai Bookmarks

Virtual Shanghai has now produced a research-oriented set of bookmarks on Netvibes. This was a long-time plan that was delayed for lack of adequate tools. Netvibes provides a neat interface for such a purpose.

The bookmarks are organized under six headings (tabs): Photographic collections, Map collections, Map tools, History & New Media, History & GIS, East Asia Maps. The General tab introduces to the purpose of the bookmarks.

The list of bookmarks, as well as the headings will be up-dated regularly, so as to maintain an effective tool for research.

Check it out at: or from the Virtual Shanghai Platform: Toolbox menu.

samedi 23 mai 2009

Shanghai Maps: Secrets, lies, and urban icons

Maps are an essential tool for the study of cities. Yet, as a wealth of studies have demonstrated, maps are not straightforward and genuine renditions of reality. They are documents produced for a purpose by a wide range social, economic and political actors with their own agendas. The new essay on Virtual Shanghai [see Texts -> Essays] presents a study of maps and map-making after 1949. "Shanghai in post-1949 maps: Secrets, Lies and Urban Icons" argues that political considerations and tight control on map-making led to the production of increasingly sanitized maps in addition to a clear distortion of the physical space represented therein. Would the study of other cities in China reveal similar patterns? Were the authorities in the former Soviet Union and its allied countries also involved in such misrepresentations of space and control over map-making? The second part of the paper examines map covers in their use to represent the city through buildings or places deemed to best embody the city. Icons changed over time, with the Huangpu River ad its banks as the most consistent symbol of Shanghai.

dimanche 10 mai 2009

Visual narratives: there are two new visual narratives on VS: "Trajectories: Women in China", I & II. This is an attempt at presenting a macro-argument through images (photographs and illustrations). It is part of an exploration of methodological issues conducted with a group of scholars involved in another project, Common People and Artist. This is an on-going research project. Yet it is also proposed as material for classroom teaching. Feedback on this aspect is also welcome.

mercredi 6 mai 2009

Opening of the "Virtual Shanghai Blog"

Virtual Shanghai has benefited a lot from inputs and contributions by many people on the WWW. With this blog, I hope to maintain a regular line of information about the evolution of the platform and communicate on new additions. The blog is also designed to allow users, readers, and visitors to send feedback and express opinions, advice, proposals, etc.

Welcome to the Virtual Shanghai Blog! I look forward to reading your posts. Messages in English, français, deutsch, espanol, italiano, corsu, 中文 are all accepted.