Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Inquiries can be directed to the webmaster, Timothy M. Ciccone, at email@example.com
What is the purpose of this page?
The purpose of this webpage is to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of Asian architecture through images and descriptive text. As the website primarily relies on donors for image contributions, the country-by-country coverage varies according to what contributions we've received.
How can I contribute my own photos?
Contributions are the main source of material for this website. If you wish to contribute, please contact us (E-mail here) and we'll send you follow-up instructions. If your files are already digitized, you can upload them directly via FTP or e-mail.
How do you maintain the site without advertising?
Our website is a labor of love, and we don't post any advertising. We rely on contributions from visitors (and our own, limited pockets) to keep the site up-and-running. If you are intersted in donating please see the donation link on the front page.
I submit photos, do they become your property?
No. This website is a collaborative effort. Each contributor retains the rights to her images, including the right to sell her images to interested publishers or request removal of her images from the website.
What photos are eligible?
All architecture, gardens, or statuary (carved from the living rock only) of historical value from any site in Asia (inclusive of the Middle East).
We would also like to expand the scope of the site into central Asia, including the contemporary nations of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and so forth.
If you contribute photos, they must be your own property (i.e., photographed by you). We do not normally display modern buildings unless they are exceptionally iconic (e.g., the Bank of China in Hong Kong).
Why would I want to contribute?
This site receives numerous hits a day. It is a good way for your images to be seen and enjoyed by visitors the world over. Also, if you happen to live in one of the areas applicable to this site, your photos can help showcase your region's local heritage.
Occasionally, publishers will contact the webmaster requesting to purchase a photo. All such inquiries are redirected to the person who contributed the photo, who may then negotiate terms of sale (this website does not expect to receive any compensation as a result).
Why are there more photos from certain countries, and less from others?
We are limited by the number of photos we receive from contributors. If we haven't received photos from a particular country, we cannot post photos from that site.
I have a question. Who do I email and how long it will take?
Click here to contact the webmaster. Generally we will e-mail you back within 3-5 days, but please note that due to the volume of emails we receive, we cannot answer extremely general questions or questions outside the scope of this website (e.g., What is the best hotel in Kyoto?).
Can I use these photos in a school report, etc.?
Certainly! Credit the site "www.orientalarchitecture.com" and also credit the contributor of the photos. The contributor(s) are listed at the bottom of each site's thumbnail page. If you want to use certain photos for other than educational purposes, or have other questions, click here to contact the webmaster.
Can I publish these photos in a book? If so, what is the charge?
It is up to the person who contributed the image(s) to decide whether to allow commercial reproduction. Publishers interested in using a certain photo or photos should email the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. The webmaster will forward the inquiry directly to the photographer so that the two parties may negotiate terms directly. For resolution issues, see the following question.
I love a particular photo, but I want more detail. Is a larger version available?
The webmaster has high-resolution versions of many, but not all, of the photos archived on behalf of the various contributors. To request one for use, see the note about publishing above.
Who made this page? What is its history?
The webpage is currently managed by a team of five editors listed on the front page, although Timothy M. Ciccone does all the page layout and editing. The webpage began in August, 1998 as a joint project between architecture design students Timothy M. Ciccone and Abraham Ahn for Professor Yunsheng Huang of the University of Virginia. It was originally his course website, but after a short while we decided to go public and invite outside contributors to submit photos. Since then, the site has grown from a humble beginning of 63 sites to the current total of about 700.
Is this a travel page?
No. There is no information about lodging, food, or tourist services on the website. However, it may be useful for visitors to print out a city's index of sites before visiting that city. Sometimes, a map is included on the city's index page, and certain maps are GPS-calibrated such as those for Hoian, Vietnam and Shirakawago, Japan. Certain sites have GPS coordinates listed--taken from direct onsite readings--which can be very useful for travelers with handheld GPS devices.
Can I link to your website?
Please. It is in your benefit to contact us if you do, since we will provide a reciprocal link. The correct link is www.orientalarchitecture.com
I see an error, or a link doesn't work. Can I contact you?
Please. There are doubtless lots of small errors, but hopefully no major ones! E-mail the webmaster here.
Can I trust the accuracy of this information?
Information is generally collected from reputable sources. With one exception, all of the editors have a background in architectural history. However, sometimes we are forced to use internet sources for information if no books are available. In all cases a bibliography is listed at the bottom of each individual page for further research. Also check the comprehensive site bibliography on the front page.
The flash map seems to be inaccurate--why are nation-states prioritized over cultural regions, and why are the political boundaries shown as they are?
There is no simple answer to this. For reasons of geographical proximity, sites are grouped on this website by the urban area or local region that each currently occupies. The drawback of this approach is that the political reality of the present world has cut off certain regions from one another that have historically shared a common identity. In Korea, for example, Seoul and Gaeseong are separated by about a hundred kilometers, and they've historically shared a common cultural and political regime well into the twentieth century. However, the modern political division of the peninsula into North and South Korea have made Seoul and Gaeseong mutually inaccessible to one another. Although there's no such thing as a "North Korean traditional architecture", the historiography of traditional architectural sites in the North (as determined by North Korean scholarship) is different from the interpretation found in the South. This is not to say that sites in the North are somehow more valuable or exotic than those in the South just because they are harder for outsiders to access. But visitors to the Korean peninsula--and indeed all of Asia--are limited to what they may see by artificial visa restrictions and so forth. Hence, on this website, the geography and landscape of the region is shown according to current national boundaries. This is also in line with the way maps are most commonly displayed in travel books, which have to take into account the modern-day accessibility of sites to one another according to what political entity controls the area at present.
What's the point of the guestbook?
It's just for fun. We check it each day and love to find new comments!
Why the name "Oriental Architecture" and not "Asian Architecture"?
This is a sticky issue. Since www.asianarchitecture.com was taken, we had to settle with www.orientalarchitecture.com. Although "Oriental" was a loaded term even before professor Edward Said introduced "Orientalism" in 1978, we believe that the term "Orient" is sufficiently broad to include areas as diverse as the Middle East and the eastern tip of Japan, but narrow enough to restrict certain regions of Asia that are effectively beyond the context of this website (Russia and northeast Siberia, for example).