CHGIS Datasets V3 User License Register Downloads
CHGIS working draft map, showing historical boundaries and dates of validity

Time Series Data 1820 Data 1911 Data 1990 Data DEM Data Other GIS Database

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[note: the following thumbnail images show each dataset relative to 1990 PRC China national boundary]

Time Series Data CHGIS V3 contains time series data for the period beginning 222 BC and ending 1911 CE. The area of coverage has been expanded from the V2 release [Fujian, Zhejiang, and the southern part of Jiangsu] to include Guangdong, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, and the remaining part of Jiangsu.

We distinguish between the dynastic empires, referred to as "Dynasties," and the various independent states and confederations on the borders of those empires, referred to as "Regimes."

All the administrative units that were subordinate to a Dynasty or Regime are defined with unique spatial objects down to the county level. All changes over time for each type of administrative unit are tracked as separate objects in the same GIS layer. For every change in placename, administrative status, or location, a new spatial object is added to the dataset. Each one of these spatial objects represents an administrative unit which existed for a known period of time, and therefore has a beginning and ending year. The span of time defined by the beginning and ending years is called an "historical instance."

For county level units and higher, each change is recorded as a point, showing the location of the administrative office. For prefectures and higher level units, boundary changes are recorded as polygons, which show the area under the supervision of those administrative units for each historical instance. The relationships between particular administrative areas and their respective administrative seats are not recorded in the GIS layers, but are defined in the accompanying CHGIS Relational Database.

Because the GIS layers contain the complete sequence of historical spatial objects, you as the user must sort or query the data by year if you want to use them in the same way as you would use the customary "single-time value" GIS data. This is relatively easy to do. See the Time Series page for more information on making use of the Time Series GIS Data.

T-S Regimes (polygons)
T-S Regime Capitals (points)
T-S Provinces (polygons)
T-S Provincial Capitals (points)
T-S Prefectures (polygons)
T-S Prefectural Capitals (points)
T-S County Capitals (points)

1820 Data CHGIS V3 contains spatial data for the entire territory claimed by the Qing Dynasty for the year 1820.

Separate point and polygon GIS layers are provided for provinces, prefectures, and counties. An additional 8,000 towns and villages are provided as a point layer.

The V3 1820 datasets have not been revised from V2, and are reposted here with the same filenames as the previous version. Spatial objects in the V3 1820 datasets retain the same SYSTEM_ID number that was used for them in previous versions.

1820 Provinces (polygons)
1820 Provincial Capitals (points)
1820 Prefectures (polygons)
1820 Prefectural Capitals (points)
1820 County Capitals (points)
1820 Towns and Villages (points)
1820 Rivers (lines)
1820 Lakes and River Banks (polygons)
1820 Historic Coastline (lines)

1911 Data CHGIS V3 contains spatial data for the provinces of Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Hebei, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Shandong, Zhejiang, Zhili.

Separate point and polygon GIS layers are provided for provinces, prefectures, and counties. An additional 27,000 towns and villages are provided as a point layer. The 1911 datasets were reconstructed from county level and prefectural level maps, dating from the end of the Qing Dynasty and early Republican Period. See the Compilation of CHGIS Datasets page for a full description of the process used to create the 1911 CHGIS datasets.

1911 Provinces (polygons)
1911 Provincial Capitals (points)
1911 Prefectures (polygons)
1911 Prefectural Capitals (points)
1911 Counties (polygons)
1911 County Capitals (points)
1911 Towns and Villages (points)

1990 Data China in Time and Space [CITAS] datasets have been reprojected to match the CHGIS base datasets.

Separate polygon GIS layers are provided for provinces, prefectures, and counties. See the CHGIS China Dimensions page for a full description of the CITAS datasets.

V3 includes new County layers with some statistical data joined to the attribute tables! See Counties description for details.

CITAS - 1990 - Provinces (polygons)
CITAS - 1990 - Prefectures (polygons)
CITAS - 1990 - Counties (polygons)

DEM Data CHGIS V3 contains topographic background images derived from GTOPO-30 Digital Elevation Model data.

Users may download one large image for the entire area of coverage (200 MB), or six smaller tiles of a more manageable file size (20-30 MB each). Please see the grid below to identify the smaller tiles.

DEM Full Area (raster image)
DEM Tile One - Northwest (raster image)
DEM Tile Two - North (raster image)
DEM Tile Three - Northeast (raster image)
DEM Tile Four - Southeast (raster image)
DEM Tile Five - South (raster image)
DEM Tile Six - Southwest (raster image)

Other Data CHGIS V3 also provides supplemental datasets, including points derived from Russian Historical Maps, and other features that have been developed or processed from publicly available sources for use with CHGIS layers.
Time Series - Buddhist Temples in China (points)
1871 Inner Mongolia Towns and Natural Features (points)
1876 Xinjiang Towns and Natural Features (points)
1884 Qinghai Towns and Natural Features (points)
1884 Tarim Basin Towns and Natural Features (points)
1899 Mongolia - Kham Towns and Natural Features (points)
1900 Eastern Tibet - Kham Towns and Mountains (points)
1904 Tibet Towns and Natural Features (points)
NIMA Coastal Rocks and Islands (points)
NIMA Mountains (points)
DCW 1990 Roads (lines)
DCW 1990 Countour Elevations lines)
Yunnan 1948 Joseph Rock Maps (raster image)

Database CHGIS relational database will be updated when the remaining V3 Time Series datasets are completed. Meanwhile, please use the V2 records, compiled into a relational database that includes tables of historical places, parent jurisdictions, GISinformation, source notes and citations, and related lookup tables for change types, feature types, contributors, etc.
CHGIS V2 Relational Database (ACCESS database)