Mapmaking is an ancient art in China. Since the Warring States period (5th century BC) Chinese people began to study cartography.

It entered its golden age with the invention of the compass during the Song dynasty (11th century) and reached its peak in the 15th century when the Ming dynasty admiral Zheng He. In general, the development of early Chinese cartography experienced three phrases: primitive map, classical map, and survey map. The primitive maps were simple maps, still steeped in myth and legend. It was not until the Han dynasty that classical maps began to emerge.

Chinese traditional Mapmaking skills became more developed and advanced in the late Ming dynasty under the influence of new ideas of technology and studies of natural science, which were introduced from the West to China. [Wikipedia]

Source: 1 , Geographicus , Wikipedia

1815 - Thomson Map of China and Formosa (Taiwan)
This fascinating hand colored 1814 map by Edinburgh cartographer John Thomson depicts China.

Liked it? Take a second to support China-Underground on Patreon!