Several map series held in Cambridge University Library cover the area of China.
1. 中国1:1000 000地图 (国家测绘局编制) [Enquire in Chinese Department]
This official map series covers the whole territory of the People's Republic of China in 77 sheets. Sheets are designated according to the numbering system of the International Map of the World (IMW), by a Roman letter followed by an Arabic numeral, in the case of China from A-49 to N-52 (see map index). Each sheet covers 4 degrees of latitude and 6 degrees of longitude. For example, sheet J-50 (北京) (36-40 degrees north latitude and 114-120 degrees east longitude).
See the Place-name Index to this series and the two other series of the same scale mentioned below.
2. Japanese Military Survey (陆地测量部)
These maps were produced for the use of the Japanese armed forces during their occupation of China. In addition to being highly detailed, their main advantage is that all place names are given in Chinese script. Coverage of China is not complete, but most comprehensive in areas occupied by Japanese forces.
Sets of these maps are available at the following scales:
1:100,000 (1cm. = 1km.)
中国本土地图 (6526 sheets) [Microfilm.B.833-847]
中国本土地图目录 (东京, 1967) [FB.205.18]
中国本土地图目录 (大阪, 1976) [FB.201.36]
中国本土地图目录 (东京, 1987) [FB.201.91]
1:50,000 (1cm. = 500m.)
中国大陆五万分の一地图集成 (4025 sheets) [Atlas.1.98.21-28]
中国大陆五万分の一地图集成总合索引图 (东京, 1994) [S696.b.99.320]
1:25,000 (1cm. = 250m.)
中国大陆二万五千分の一地图集成 (1676 sheets) [Atlas.1.98.29-32]
中国大陆二万五千分の一地图集成索引图 (东京, 1993) [S696.b.99.321]
3. Krasnaia Armiia : General'nyi shtab
These maps, produced by the General Staff of the Red Army, form part of the largest cartographic project in history to map most of the world's surface at a number of scales. The maps are characterised by comprehensiveness, detail and consistency. The maps of China at the larger scales are the best openly available.
All toponyms on General Staff maps are cyrillicised according to the appropriate system for each language (Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uighur etc.). The transcription system for Chinese (Han) names is basically that devised by the Archimandrite Palladius (Pyotr Ivanovich Kafarov) (1817-78) and published in his Chinese-Russian dictionary Kitaisko-russkii slovar' (Pekin, 1888). See the comparative table to convert to Pinyin. Chinese script equivalents of place-names can to some extent be established by reference to Japanese or Chinese maps where available.
Coverage of China in CUL is complete or almost complete at the following scales:
1:1,000,000 (1cm. = 10km.) [Maps.F.019]
China is covered by 77 sheets at this scale. Sheets are designated according to the numbering system of the International Map of the World (IMW), by a Roman letter followed by an Arabic numeral, in the case of China from A-49 to N-52 (see map index). Each sheet covers 4 degrees of latitude and 6 degrees of longitude. For example, sheet J-50 (北京) (36-40 degrees north latitude and 114-120 degrees east longitude).
1:200,000 (1cm. = 2km.) [Maps.H.049]
China is covered by 1,619 sheets at this scale. Each 1:1,000,000 sheet is divided into 36 1:200,000 sheets, covering 40 minutes of latitude and 1 degree of longitude. These are identified by the number of the 1:1,000,000 sheet followed by a Roman numeral (I-XXXVI) (see sheet diagram). For example, sheet J-50-III (BEIJING) (39°20' - 40°00' N 116°00' - 117°00' E).
Also partially available online.
1:100,000 (1cm. = 1km.) [Maps.F.022]
China is covered by 6,336 sheets at this scale. Each 1:1,000,000 sheet is divided into 144 1:100,000 sheets, covering 20' of latitude and 30' of longitude. These are identified by the number of the 1:1,000,000 sheet followed by an Arabic numeral (1-144) (see sheet diagram). For example, sheet J-50-6 (北京) (39°40' - 40°00' N 116°00 - 116°30' E).
4. Army Map Service (AMS) series
These maps were produced for the use of the United States armed forces.
1:1,000,000 (1cm. = 10km.) [Maps.1.01]
This series was conceived as part of the International Map of the World (IMW). Toponyms are rendered in romanisation only (Wade-Giles and Post Office systems). Most of these maps are also available online from the University of Texas.
1:250,000 (1cm. = 2.5km.) [Maps.349.02]
Toponyms in these maps are rendered in Wade-Giles and Post Office romanisation, with the addition of Chinese characters for some larger places. This series is partially available online from the Universities of Texas and Harvard.
Map extracts covering the the same area of China (山东省威海卫) are set out below to give an idea of the different styles of some of these map series.
J-51 大连 (1:1,000,000)
J-51 Dalian' (1:1,000,000)
Army Map Service
NJ-51-10 Wei-hai-wei (1:250,000)
J-51-XXI Weihai (1:200,000)
War Office Intelligence Division
Map of Wei-hai-wei (1:63,360 1 inch : 1 mile) 1908
Extract from Google Earth.