Started in 2005, the Virtual Shanghai site was funded by the National Research Agency in France. The project is edited by Christian Henriot of Lyon University, and the project incorporates essays, primary documents, photographs, and maps as a way to explore this tremendously diverse and fast-moving city. It's a tall order, and the site succeeds by presenting original research on the city, digitized versions of early tour guides to the city from the Western perspective, and over 3500 photographs. New users can get started by clicking on one of the main sections, which include "Texts & Data", "Image Collection", "Map Collection", and "References". Each section contains a brief introduction, which can make the amount of material contained within a bit less daunting. Visitors should also note that the site features a weblog with additional updates and resources.