Museological Presence through Deep Mapping: The Atlas of Maritime Buddhism

Sarah Kenderdine, Lily Hibberd, Jeffrey Shaw

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this era of ultra-high-fidelity interactive and immersive display systems in conjunction with technologies of image capture and reproduction, the museological presence of historical sites and objects is undergoing radical transformation, for which The Atlas of Maritime Buddhism is an exemplary project. The result of five years’ of documentary fieldwork undertaken at hundreds of sites across Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, The Atlas comprises the largest known collection of fully immersive high-resolution panoramic and panoptic images in the world. The project has inaugurated novel immersive architectures for new exploratory experiences in which viewers can profoundly connect with heritage places and objects through both cognition and the senses. A number of these installations allow the viewer to freely navigate within a panorama and to create their own narrative pathways through The Atlas’s archives.

This chapter delineates how deep mapping allows spectators to navigate this digital cultural atlas in responsive and dynamic ways that also abound in presence. Through the analysis of the aesthetic, theoretical, and technical strategies at play in The Atlas, the chapter also outlines the impact of these experimental approaches on the presence of digitally represented places and objects and their significance for contemporary museology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMuseums and Technologies of Presence
EditorsMaria Shehade, Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003334316
ISBN (Print)9781032368801, 9781032368856
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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