Gefördert vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
Finanzierung: Kooperationsprojekt im BMBF-Förderschwerpunkt „Wechselwirkungen zwischen Natur- und Geisteswissenschaften“

Research project


In the Sichuan Province (China) Buddhist stone scriptures dating from the 8th to 12th century can be found at various locations distributed over the province. These stone scriptures provide valuable information on the history of Buddhism in China and the adaption to the Chinese culture (Sinicization).


Stone-Inscriptions in the province of Sichuan, China (Source: Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2009)

The research project "3D-Sutren" (3D Sutras) was launched in 2008 and is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of Germany. The project runs within the research line "Wechselwirkungen zwischen Natur- und Geisteswissenschaften" (Interactions of Natural Sciences and Humanities).

The project aims at investigating and documenting the stone scriptures with different scientific approaches - including archeological, art historical, linguistical and geographical point of views. This interdisciplinary collaboration will generate added value, which is not possible within single disciplinary research.

The GIScience research group, Heidelberg University, will develop a web-based Geographical Information System (GIS) and Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for the management and analysis of the spatio-temporal datasets acquired by e.g. historical text investigation and interpretation as well as with state-of-the-art 3D data acquisition methods such as Terrestrial Laser Scanning. The spatial data infrastructure will be based on open standards of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and therefore provides an interoperable and sustainable tool for future extension in space and time (e.g. other provinces and historical epochs).

Project partners:
  • GIScience research group, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr. Alexander Zipf, Dr. Bernhard Höfle
  • Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Dr. Lothar Ledderose
  • i3mainz - Institute for Spatial Information and Surveying Technology, University of Applied Sciences Mainz, Prof. Dr. Frank Boochs
Lying Buddha

Lying Buddha of Wofoyuan (Source: Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2009)


3D-Model of Wofoyuan - Reconstruction by use of topographic maps, satellite Imagery, photographic Images and Laserscanning-data

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Latest Revision: 2019-12-10
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