A kampong (spelled kampung in Malay and Indonesian) is a village in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Cambodia. The term applies to traditional villages, especially of indigenous peoples, and has also used to refer to urban slum areas and enclosed developments within towns and cities. The traditional kampong village designs and architecture have been targeted for reform by urbanists and modernists and have also been adapted by contemporary architects for various projects. Traditional kampongs are also a tourist attraction.

Malay kampongs are found in Singapore, but there are few kampongs remaining, mostly on islands surrounding Singapore, such as Pulau Ubin. In the past, there were many kampongs in Singapore but development and urbanization have replaced them.

Extending from a MOE Tier 2 research collaboration between Chinese Studies and Geography where we map out temples in Singapore (visit demo) and their respective relocations across the years, one research area that interests us was to look into the relation or impact that urban development had on the pattern of relocations of temples across the years.

As a first step, we need to map out the historical locations of kampongs (i.e. villages) in Singapore, where we believe most temples had their humble beginnings.

Kampong Mapping Efforts

Under the project, we engaged a team of passionate part-time research assistants consisting of both Bachelor, Master and PhD candidates to assist with visual inspection and locating of all kampongs that are labelled on a set of historical maps of Singapore ranging from 1846 to 2010.


kampongs estimated in total


step data verification process


years worth of maps


research assistants

Location of Kampongs in Singapore

We relied on the historical paper maps, that were always georeferenced through the effort from the GIS-Strategic Initiative of Department of Geography, as a source of both the name and location of historical kampongs in Singapore. As this mapping effort requires massive amount of labour to visually inspect the historical maps for kampongs, we decided to put together a basic web-GIS app that allows our team of student research assistants to easily collaborative environment.

Our mapping process is currently on-going, view the interactive map below to see the number of kampongs that have been currently mapped out by our team of research assistants.

If the above kampong map doesn't display properly, please kindly notify us.

No. of Kampongs Mapped Across Time

Staff Team

This nature of this research project is an inter-disciplinary and collaborative one involving members across different departments and entities. The following is a preliminary list of members who participated in the making of this demo at this early stage. Full details of the team will be updated here soon!

Kenneth DEAN


Professor & Head of the Department of Chinese Studies

Research interests include Daoist studies, Chinese popular religion, popular culture and Chinese literature

WANG Yi-Chen


Associate Professor & Vice-Chair of Undergraduate Studies Committee

Research interests include Biogeography, Landscape ecology, Spatial epidemiology, GIS and remote sensing applications

FENG Chen-Chieh


Associate Professor & Director of MSc in Applied GIS

Research interests include GIScience, Data modeling, Ontology and Spatial epidemiology

William CHONG

Research Assistant

Project Manager & MA Candidate

Research interests include Buddhist Studies

KIM Ick-Hoi (Rick)

Research Fellow


Research interests include geospatial cyberinfrastructure, high-performance computing (HPC), Internet GIS (Web GIS and Mobile GIS), simulation modeling (cellular automata and agent-based modeling), and spatial demography

HUE Guan Thye

Research Fellow

Lecturer & Specialist on Traditional Chinese Religion in Singapore

Research interests include the Philosophy of Buddhism, Chinese folk religion, Singapore Chinese temples, Chinese Culture, and the Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia

Our RAs

Due to the laborious nature of this exercise, we are deeply grateful to the following passionate part-time research assistants who painstakingly helped to visually inspect every historical map in our collection to locate every kampong that can be seen. Without their help, this effort will not be possible!

(Note: This page will be updated once we are done collating profile info of our RAs.)

Chen Siyu

MA Candidate

Grace Chong Si En

4th Year Undergraduate

Hu Shiqi

MA Candidate

J'Me Ong Jia Min

2nd Year Undergraduate

Liu Qi

MA Candidate

Ng Xin Yi

2nd Year Undergraduate

Shen Yeh-Ying

PhD Candidate

Siah Jin Kim

2nd Year Undergraduate

Sun Pingyu

1st Year Undergraduate

Tang Liyun

MA Candidate

Wan Lingxiao

MA Candidate

Wang Chen

MA Candidate

Wei Bixia

MA Candidate

Wei Qianqian

MA Candidate

Xue Yiran

MA Candidate

Yin Yao

MA Candidate

Deng Lan

3rd Year Undergraduate

Collaborative Kampong Mapping Initiative

To make the mapping process easy, we put together a web-based GIS tool with a simple and focused UI to allow our team of part-time research assistants to work using their own laptops/devices at their own convenience.
The latest result of their mapping effort can be viewed from the map above.

Part-time Research Assistants please kindly Log-In below

If the above app isn't working or you are unable to authenticate, please kindly notify us.