Drawing from visual studies scholarship, we highlight current and persistent critiques of sociological visualization, note recent developments in visualization tools for sociologists, and propose how sociologists can be reflective about their visualization choices. As a case study, we outline the visualization development and selection process in our project of mapping Chinese religious venues. We explain the visualization challenges we faced, the visual biases we hoped to manage, the strengths and limitations of various visualization methods we identified, and how we selected visualizations for varying research queries. In addition, we provide a list of considerations for fellow sociologists working to visualize geospatial point data.


This is the author-accepted manuscript of Henke, Jackie and Fenggang Yang. 2022. “Mapping Religious Sites in China: A Research Note.” Review of Religion and Chinese Society 9(2): 249-274. Copyright Brill, the version of record is available at DOI: 10.1163/22143955-12340008

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