Going Digital: Old gardens in a digital era
Updated 19:14, 02-May-2019
By Sun Qingzhao
Recent years have seen the use of digital technology to preserve the cultural relics of classic Chinese gardens. From the Old Summer Palace in the north to the Suzhou Gardens in the south, China is making great strides in the restoration and conservation of historic gardens.
Dubbed "Garden of Gardens," the Old Summer Palace is a grand complex and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in the 1700s during China's Qing Dynasty and was looted and burned in 1860 during the Second Opium War.
But, thanks to the technology of virtual reality, the ruins of the Old Summer Palace have been brought back to life.
Experts from Tsinghua University managed to restore 60 percent of its original appearance, and they have researched more than ten thousand historical files, restored over four thousand design charts, and made two thousand digital architecture models.
"Garden of Gardens," the Old Summer Palace. /CGTN Photo

"Garden of Gardens," the Old Summer Palace. /CGTN Photo

The result of the project has been incorporated into the digital guide of the Old Summer Palace, and the digital restoration will be further expanded, so the public can learn more about cultural heritage.
Meanwhile, Suzhou in east China's Jiangsu Province is famous for its UNESCO-listed gardens and old waterways. The garden design emphasizes the harmony between man and nature.
The Humble Administrator's Garden is the largest of its kind in Suzhou and generally considered the finest in southern China.
Recent years have also seen the development of high-tech to help boost tourism at the site. A tour guide app for the garden has been developed for use on mobile phones. Visitors can have a clear picture of the garden in a digital format. The app can give them an online map, helping them find their way in the garden.
Meanwhile, visitors will be able to hear information about many cultural sites in the garden, such as its architectural design and history. It will be of great help to visitors all year round, and for the overall picture of Chinese classical gardens, many are using digital technology for better conservation.