The website Mapping Tibetan Culture was created in Fall 2015 as a final project for ASCE V2365: Intro to Tibetan Civilization with Professor Gray Tuttle.
One of the class assignments in our semester required us to work together as a class to locate centers of Tibetan culture around the world. I saw value in assimilating these datasets and attempting to map them to visualize the spread of Tibetan culture in the 21st century.
Each of the Teaching Assitants (TAs) for the course sent me the map contributions collected from their students as Excel .xls files. I first cleaned up all the data by organizing it under the following headers: Name of the site, Foundation Date (if known), Affiliated Order, Street Address, City, State and then attempted to group them by Continent and Country.
I then used CartoDB to visualize the data I had. CartoDB has a very interesting functionality that allows it to geo-encode a given data set given on headers found in the tables. So using the street address, city, state and country, CartoDB was fairly accurately able to assign a latitude/longitude to each site in my table.
For this project, I focused on one region each in the United States (Bay Area), Europe (Greece/Italy) and Asia (Taiwan) to capture the widespread influence of Tibetan culture. Each of the maps used in the project are highly interactive: you can zoom in/out and click on each of the bubbles to learn more about that site. The bubbles each represent a site, color coded by the order the site is affiliated with.