Digital Resources for Buddhist Studies

Archive for May, 2010

Social network visualization of the Gaoseng zhuan corpus

Posted by marcus.bingenheimer on 2010/05/12

Part of our mission at the Digital Archive section is to show how different views can be derived from the same dataset, in our case marked-up texts. Over the last three years we have been marking up the biographies of eminent monks and presenting them in conjunction with maps in a GIS-like fashion.

The next step is to use certain aspects of our dataset (the so-called nexus points) to show another view of the information contained in the texts, this time as social networks.

Here is the test site (three weeks old):

I was utterly amazed how beautiful the images are and have discovered a few things about Chinese Buddhist history that I would have never noticed if I had only read the texts.

Here is a galaxy view of the Tang Gaoseng zhuan:

tang gsz social network

tang gsz social network

Here are the networks of  Kumarajiva, Huiyuan and Daoan:

kumarajiva, huiyuan, daoan social network

kumarajiva, huiyuan, daoan social network


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Song gaoseng zhuan completed

Posted by marcus.bingenheimer on 2010/05/12

This post is several weeks late. The markup of the Song gaoseng zhuan was completed in March and the data is available:

A) via the GIS interface at

B) as zip-archive containing tei/xml source, rnc schema, readme file at

With this addition the four major collections are complete. Together they contain more than 1300 biographies.

With this we have a strong basis for a “Corpus of Chinese Buddhist Biographies”. Currently, we are expanding the corpus by adding the Biqiuni zhuan 比丘尼傳 (T. 2063, dated 516)), and the two 18th century collections compiled by Peng Shaosheng 彭紹升 (1740-1796):  Jushi zhuan 居士傳 (CBETA/X. No. 1646) and Shan nüren zhuan 善女人傳 (CBETA/X. No. 1657). We will also input the 30+ biographies of translators in the Chusanzang jiji.

Posted in digital edition, GIS tools, scripture | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »