History of Cartography

Historical Topographic Maps

4109.4 - The research to the versions of 1:25,000 topographical maps of Taiwan during Japanese rule period

Tuesday, July 4
9:30 AM - 9:50 AM
Location: Harding

The 1:25,000 topographical maps of Taiwan during Japanese rule period were the official maps made in the late period of Japanese regime (since 1920s and lasted until the end of the World War II), which were precious cartographic heritage because it recorded accurately geoinformation of Taiwan at that time. However, the surveying and mapping for this set of maps have had lasted more than 20 years, and there exist complicated versions of that.
According to the author's observation, there exist at least 5 major categories such as (1) the original survey edition, (2) the revised survey edition, (3) the various versions derived from the restricted zone of fortified area adjustments, (4) secret maps copied by the General Staff of Japanese Empire, (5) the scarlet letter overprinted for the emergently mapped edition by the Taiwan Army Command by the end of the World War II, and so on. The researchers in the past seldom did care about the version differences of this set of maps, which may be caused by the difficulties of obtaining entire maps like the same sheet with various editions at that time. However, there are much differences of the contents between different versions. Take Kaohsiung city for example, from the original 1928 edition to the revised edition of 1942, which is the period that the city has had grown so fast, no matter of the street pattern, the central railway station location, port reclamation area and military base distribution, all of these have had a major change dramatically. If we ignore the version differences, we may get wrong research results and different researchers will be hard to dialogue with each other.
Relying on the developed digital collections of topographic maps nowadays, the author has been obtained thousands of sheets of 1:25,000 topographical maps of Taiwan. This study will start from a large number of map data, make a systemic classification of the versions, and sum up the content differences between different versions, then discuss the cause of the version differences, and analyze the historical value of all kinds of multiple versions on the research of Taiwan geographical changes. Finally, put forward some improvement suggestions to benefit the geoinformation curatorship.

Keywords: 1:25,000 topographic maps of Taiwan during Japanese rule period, gaihōzu, history of cartography, digital collection, map sheet editions

Ching-chi Huang

Loyola Map Workshop(Taiwan)

Now I am Chief of Loyola Map Workshop(Taiwan), author of Historical Atlas of Taiwan. I was a staff in National Museum of Taiwan History in 2007-2010 , and a research assistant in Department of Geography, National Taiwan University in 2004-2006.


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Elri C. Liebenberg

University of South Africa

Elri Liebenberg was Professor and Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies of the University of South Africa. She has published widely on the history of cartography of Southern Africa, is the Regional Editor of the Cartographic Journal for Africa and an Assistant-Editor for the ICA International Journal of Cartography . She has been a member of the South African National Committee for the ICA since 1987, was a Vice-President of the ICA from 1999 to 2003, and was Chairperson of the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography from 2007 until 2015.


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4109.4 - The research to the versions of 1:25,000 topographical maps of Taiwan during Japanese rule period

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