ThakBong, a Corpus of Tombstones in Taiwan

What is ThakBong?

ThakBong is a corpus of tombstones in Taiwan plus some other places where Chinese settlers have moved to. The corpus consists of an XML-structure which links to images we are taking from tombs and tombstones in Taiwan.

Lost Graveyards Documented in ThakBong

Before Now
photo of graveyard as before photo of removed graveyard

The Typhoon Morakot has washed away a complete Rukai graveyard. Not a singel piece of stone was saved.

Before Now
photo of graveyard as before photo of removed graveyard

Anping is now more attractive for tourists from the PR of China.

Before Now
photo of tomb photo of removed tomb

The second burial (jiangu/khioh-kut): Bei-bei is more convenient in a bone-ash-tower with air-conditioning.

Before Now
photo of graveyard as before photo of removed graveyard

A park for the brave new world, Kaohsiung, Youchang, Deminlu. Your grand-grand-mother has been kindly removed.

Availability of ThakBong

Copyright Issues

The XML-data and the images in the database are by and by released under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Common License as soon as the images have been properly processed and the XML-data reach a certain level of representativity and a minimal annotation. As Attribution please cite the following article:

Oliver Streiter, Yoann Goudin, Ann Mei-fang Lin (2008), Building a Corpus in Linguistic Anthropology: The Example of Thakbong, Workshop on the relationship between the Distribution of Languages or Dialects in Taiwan and Racial Migration, Taipeh 2008-12-27, Academia Sinica.

BitTorrent Downloads

To speed up the download of the huge set of data in Thakbong, and to reduce the burden for our tiny server, we experiment with the distribution of data through the BitTorrent Protocol. In order to make the file-sharing work, it helps that you leave the files you downloaded (your are a leecher) as long as possible in the same place on your computer, so that other folks can download part of the data from your computer (you become a seeder). Well we are curious whether it works and whether this is actually the right strategy to follow.

There is only one file you REALLY need if you want to work with the corpus. This is the XML-data file. This file not only provides transcriptions, annotations, indexes and references, but also links to the media files. Whether you want to have the media files on your computer or you access them over the Internet, which is probably slow or unfeasible, is up to you. As the total size of the corpus might reach 1000 Gigabyte you probably want to download those images you want to study selectively.

  1. Download Thakbong.0.1.xml.txt.gz (not yet there, wait a moment)
  2. A list of BitTorrent media-files for download
  3. Browse the media-files here, do not use this place for large-scale downloads.

Thakbong Exploration Tools

Thakbong Annotation Tools

The annotation is done through various annotation interfaces: ThakBong Annotation Interfaces, (annotation is password protected).

Thakbong Maps and Graphs

The following maps are taken from our book under preparation. You are free to use these maps for teaching or in your publications, citing the book appropriately. Overall, green refers to place names in Taiwan, red to place names in China, blue to a Tanghao and orange to tombstones without place names.

ThakBong is ongoing work. But more important, it is a collaborative work. We are still in the very beginning and only a few people are working on it. Every help, every new idea, every cooperation is welcome. If you want to contribute to ThakBong, please contact us.

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Last update: Wed May 19 09:10:39 CST 2010