SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2015, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (5): 608-614.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2015.05.608

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Visualization on the Spatio-temporal Evolution of Historical Events in the Nansha Islands

Jia-sheng WANG1,3(), Man-chun LI1,2, Yong-xue LIU1,2(), He-xia ZHANG1,3, Ye-cheng WANG1,3, Wang-yu CHENG1,3   

  1. 1. Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, China
    2. Collaborative Innovation Center for the South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, China
    3. Department of Geographic Information Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, China
  • Received:2014-01-20 Revised:2014-03-19 Online:2015-05-20 Published:2015-05-20


The Nansha Islands and its neighboring region is Chinese traditional territory. The region has very important strategic value for the abundant oil and gas resources, the significant position of shipping lane. Neighboring countries in the South China Sea have been occupied Chinese Nansha reefs and robbing the oil and gas resources since the 20th century. A complex situation has been formed. Current research about the Nansha dispute give priority to with text. It is counter-intuitive, slow and one-sided to describe the evolvement rules of the Nansha dispute by using text description. In this study, three visualization methods were introduced to reveal the spatial-temporal variation rules of historical events in the Nansha Islands. First, the dispute incidents were collected and preprocessed from a large number of related texts. Then the spatial-temporal characteristics of historical events in the Nansha Islands were analyzed through statistical charts, social network and geographic information system. The results showed that: 1) the evolution of the Nansha islands dispute since the 20th century could be divided into four stages: the colonial period (from 1900 to 1950), peaceful period (from 1950 to 1970), occupation period (from 1970 to 2000) and stability period (from 2000 to 2012). 2) Critical focus reefs by neighboring countries could be divided into reefs with rich oil and gas resources (such as Zengmu Ansha, Wan’an Tan, Liyue Tan etc.) and reefs with superior natural condition (such as Taiping Dao, Zhongye Dao, Nanwei Dao, Nanzi Dao, Hongxiu Dao etc.); 3) The change of Vietnamese events was mainly in the period from 1970 to 2000. The spatial expansion of the events started at Nanwei Dao in the middle part of the Nansha Islands, then enlarged towards the east, the north and the south, and formed four cores of events distribution which included Nanwei Dao, Anbo Shazhou, Northern reefs and Wan’an Tan. Until 2010, the events of Vietnam had covered all of the Nansha reefs. 4) Unlike Vietnam, the events number of Philippine increases progressively with years. These events were mainly located at the north of the Nansha Islands. There were many inflammatory incidents related to Philippine in the Nansha Islands. Philippine had formed four cores of events included Taiping Dao, Zhongye Dao, Liyue Tan and Meiji Jiao with time according to the spatial distribution of events.

Key words: Nansha Islands, historical events, visualization, social network, GIS

CLC Number: 

  • K901.9