Data Visualization of Cultural Heritage along Suzhou Canal: A Case Study of Gusu Prosperous Map


The Gusu Prosperous Map painted by Xu Yang depicts the urban cultural scenes in Suzhou city in the Qing Dynasty and embodies abundant cultural data that deserve digital preservation. Given the goal of constructing a national cultural park, this paper proposes a development of a digital mapping method to present the cultural sites. Taking the Gusu Prosperous Map as the case study, this research uses the data visualization and GIS-based mapping to explore the historical data and insights in the traditional painting. This study categorizes the tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and collects the cultural data of their spatial, temporal, functional and perceptual characteristics. A digital map on GIS is made to highlight the spatial distribution of different sites and show the coupling of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Form prototypes are created for tangible cultural heritage and the perceptions of the intangible cultural heritage are analyzed. Matrix and choropleth graphs show the correlation of cultural data from spatial and temporal considerations. This study presents a digital method to visualize the cultural data and demonstrate the value of the historical sites. The mapping framework transforms cultural scenes in the painting into digital visuals, which could serve as a reference for landscape design and city planning.


Shengdan Yang
Student, Ph.D., Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Yan Huang
Professor, Environmental Design, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2023 Special Focus—New Agendas for Design: Principles of Scale, Practices of Inclusion


Suzhou Ancient City, Cultural Heritage, Grand Canal, Digital Visualization, Mapping

Digital Media


Data Visualization Of Cultural Heritage Along Suzhou Canal (Embed)