Preservation and Access: Reference Materials

Period of Performance

5/1/2007 - 6/30/2009

Funding Totals

$256,390.00 (approved)
$256,390.00 (awarded)

China Historical Geographic Information System

FAIN: PM-50025-07

President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA 02138-3800)
Peter K. Bol (Project Director: July 2006 to September 2009)

The creation of an authoritative common base geographic information system for Chinese history from 221 BCE to 1911 CE, in collaboration with Fudan University of Shanghai.

The China Historical Geographic Information System (CHGIS) project is creating an authoritative, freely available database and GIS that describes the administrative structures of Chinese history from the formation of the Qin Dynasty (222 BCE) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1911 CE). The objective of the project is to create an open-ended platform, which can be used as the basis for exploring the successive political systems through more than 2,000 years of Chinese History, and also to provide a means for the digital representation of their locations in the contexts of space and time. In addition, the CHGIS provides a means for statistical datasets (such as population, tax, land-use, or other data) to be added for particular periods and areas of interest, allowing users to store, search, compare and analyze their own data in relationship to numerous other types of data within a single unified geographic framework.

Associated Products

China Historical GIS Version 6 (Database/Archive/Digital Edition)
Title: China Historical GIS Version 6
Author: Man Zhimin
Author: Peter K. Bol
Author: Ge Jianxiong
Author: Merrick Lex Berman
Abstract: The China Historical Geographic Information System, CHGIS, is a free database of placenames and historical administrative units for the Chinese Dynasties from 221 BCE to 1911 CE. CHGIS provides a base GIS platform for researchers to use in spatial analysis or to visualize the historical divisions of China as digital maps. 2000-4000 worldi-wide vistors per month access the site.
Year: 2016
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Information on the history of the CHGIS project, notes on participants, and links to dataset downloads with permanent URLs
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: All datasets are permanently archived and accessible in Dataverse. Includes time series, slices in time (1820 and 1911), and miscellaneous contributions.
Access Model: the CHGIS datasets are open access, free download