Documenting places - and thus space - is one of the most fundamental components of VCP. This involves documenting geographical features of all types across China and Vietnam at this point. This includes the natural and the cultural, and very local and the transregional, the official and the unofficial. The broader goal is to build a comprehensive geographical model that can be used to generate maps as well as enable spatial analysis and queries, and then use that model to index and integrate a wide variety of resources about those places â textual studies, Encyclopedia entries, images, audio-video recordings, journal reprints, immersive objects, and more. This includes basic documentation of place names, creation of spatial databases and maps, development of rich multimedia essays on places, and immersive models of places.
The central lynchpin is the VCP Gazeteer, which is essentially a dictionary of place and institution (feature), names that includes their location in terms of latitude and longitude. It is the latter location that allows for the included features to be expressed on a variety of maps, as well as for maps to link back to descriptive entries for features in the VCP Gazeteer. The VCP Gazeteer assigns each feature a unique ID, which is then used to catalog all other resources like images in terms of the place where they photographed, texts in terms of the places they discuss, and so forth.
The VCP Gazetteer itself is linked to and managed within a separate application, Fichoz/Actoz, a Filemaker-based database. The VCP Gazeteer itself only has general and limited descriptive information about features – description is a paragraph to a page, and there are no structured fields unique to specific types of features. A given feature will thus have a brief descriptive entry in the VCP Gazeteer, from which there will be a link to a more detailed entry (information, history, etc.)in the corresponding Fichoz/Actoz database,