The project "Common people and the artists in Republican China" was implemented as an experimental research platform and a joint project between the Lyon Institute of East Asian Studies (IAO), Heidelberg University, and Boston University over the 2005-2008 period. Through this project -- generously funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Fondation (Research grant) and French CNRS (LEA Joint Lab) -- the participants developed various projects related to the use of digital technologies and visual sources in Chinese studies. One of its component was a project about "common people" in Republican Beijing.
After the completion of the project, I decided to expand this project further and to join the more global approach set in motion with Virtual Shanghai and join the group of scholars involved in establishing a group of autonomous, but parallel projects on different Chinese and Vietnamese cities. Through Virtual Beijing, I hope to bring together a wide range of resources on the history of the city, to provide visual and spatial data based on historical sources, and to explore the potential of H-GIS in the study of Republican Beijing.