Jingmin Zhang

Graduate Assistant, Digital Humanities, Academic Year 2012-2013
PhD, University of Maryland (2014)

While a student in the Department of Art History and Archaeology Jingmin Zhang worked on mapping some of the most fascinating history in Asia, indeed, the world. In three distinct Google Earth projects Jingmin created: maps of Chinese dynasties (from Shang Dynasty 17th-11th BC to the present), Routes of Silk Road, and Xuanzang's pilgrimage to India.

1. China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, owning thousands of years of continuous history. "Maps of Chinese Dynasties" explores changes of territories of 14 different dynasties throughout the history of China.

2. The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes that extended across Asia, linking powerful civilizations such as Rome and China. Precious goods as diverse as silk, ceramics, and tulips were traded between Asia and Europe. "Routes of Silk Road" displays different routes of Silk Road (both land routes and maritime routes), and marks important locations along the way.

3. Buddhism spread across the Silk Road from India to China, and eventually to Korea and Japan. One prominent example of this is the historic pilgrimage made by the famous Tang dynasty Buddhist monk, Xuanzang. "Xuanzang's Pilgrimage to India" traces his 16-year and 10,000-miles journey to India beginning in 629 from Xi'an, the capital city of China at the time. Xuanzang's account of the journey, The Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Regions, provides full details of the routes he took, cities and states he visited, and culture and customs he experienced.