China Historical GIS Data Sets Project Available

There was an announcement on H-Asia which might be of interest to historians and researchers that appreciate the power of GIS geographic information data. This Harvard program has made available for free (with registration) the download of an amazing collection of GIS data related to China’s historical borders, administrative units, etc. Below is a copy of their most recent announcement:

China Historical GIS Data sets project available, Harvard University

CHGIS China Historical Geographic Information System [Version 4]
We are pleased to announce the release of the China Historical GIS –
Version 4, providing a fully documented database of historical
administrative units in China. The new datasets may be downloaded free of
charge for academic use.

Contents of the new release include:

Updated! Time Series datasets (from 222 BCE to 1911 CE) for the region
covered by modern Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangdong,
and Hunan and partial coverage for Guangxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Yunnan &

Qing Dynasty Datasets circa 1820.

Updated! Late Qing Datasets circa 1911 for the region covered by Anhui,
Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan,
Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Yunnan, Zhejiang, Zhili
(Including more than 35,000 town and village points)

New! ChinaW Dataset (with more than 150 variables related to Cities,
County Seats, and Yamen) circa 1820-1893, produced by Regional Systems
Analysis Project (G. W. Skinner, Zumou Yue, Mark Henderson at UC Davis)

New! Physiographic Macroregions of China produced by Regional Systems
Analysis Project (G. W. Skinner, Zumou Yue, Mark Henderson at UC Davis)

Updated! CITAS 1990 data (Provinces, Prefectures, and Counties) joined
with basic census statistics.

New! USGS Geographic Names Data circa 1990 for all Provices (over 140,000
named features)

New! Digital Elevation Model plus Topographic Background Image (derived
from GTOPO-30).

Frontier Regions datasets (circa 1875 – 1900) covering areas in Tibet,
Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Mongolia, as digitized from Russian historical

Digital Scans of Southwest China Maps by Joseph Rock

The complete contents of the datasets listed above are available for free
download by registering your name, institution and email address at

CD-ROM is available ….. For price and postage information please
contact CHGIS…

Editors:: Peter K. Bol [pkbol [at mark]] and Jianxiong Ge
Executive Editors: Merrick Lex Berman [mberman [at mark]] and Zhimin

Chair, China Historical Geographic Information System Project
Center For Geographic Analysis
Institute for Quantitative Social Science
1737 Cambridge Street
Harvard University
+1 617-496-6222
Email: pkbol [at mark]
Visit the website at


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