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2. New maps for the modernizing state: Western cartographic knowledge and its application in 19th and 20th century China

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Chapter Summary

With the coming of Western surveying and cartographic knowledge to China it became common to establish parallels between the Chinese surveying and cartographic tradition and the new knowledge from the West. This chapter outlines some aspects of the modernization of surveying and mapping techniques and institutions during the last 60 years of the Qing dynasty. It is shown in the chapter that large scale surveying and mapping projects by employing modern techniques in China after the completion of the Qianlong surveys only started in the 80s of the 19th century with the Yellow River survey and the Huidianguan survey initiated in 1886, but not completed before about 1894/95. These surveys developed to a large extent on the basis of an awareness of the superiority of maps used by foreigners in China and translations mainly done at the Jiangnan-Arsenal in Shanghai.

Keywords: 19th century China; 20th Century China; Huidianguan survey; mapping techniques; Qing dynasty; Western cartographic knowledge; Yellow River survey



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