A graphic composition of CineMAP Japan logo in the middle, a cartoon representation of a filming camera on the left, and a close-up of spiraling film reels on the right.

CineMAP Japan


CineMAP geotags cinematic scenes to put films literally on the map, indicating both where films were shot as well as where they are set. The project consists of two interrelated digital undertakings: (1) a database of time-stamped film scenes with their corresponding global coordinates, and (2) an interactive mapping website and app that represent this data. 

The film database draws on important information about each film, such as synopses, genre, dates of production and release, and crew. CineMAP will enable anyone (from students and scholars of film studies, urban development, and geography to film buffs and tourists) to produce various interactive maps visualizing the data. One could, for instance, be able to produce maps that show in what parts of which cities the majority of New Wave films were shot; or when mountains become important markers of nation in film history; or in which fictional genres filmed locations more often correspond directly to depicted locations. CineMAP will thus be the first research tool to crystallize the interconnectedness of cinema and space via a clear visualization.

CineMAP JAPAN Beta is an interactive visualization tool for Japanese films shot on location. Based on a vast database of geotagged film locations of films shot both in Japan and around the world by Japanese film producers or in the Japanese language, CineMAP enables researchers, fans, and tourists to examine the real places recorded on and refracted through film. This beta instantiation of CineMAP will make public for the first time the database as a means for visualizing the places of Japanese film.

CineMAP collaborators are particularly grateful to the following project sponsors:

  • Penn State University, Center for Humanities and Information

  • Penn State University, College of Arts and Science, Teaching Innovation Project (TIP)

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Center for East Asian Studies

  • Japan Past & Present, Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities

  • Northeast Asia Council (NEAC), Association for Asian Studies