Yan Ruyi's Qinling and Han River maps from the period 1805 to 1825


Yan Ruyi Map of Huyang (~1812) small


The Central Qinling in Yan Ruyi's Map of Four Provinces


Topics covered on this page:

US Library of Congress Digital Image Collection
Information on 'Map of the four provinces in the north bank of the Han River'
Recent Papers on the LoC and other Yan Ruyi Maps
Four Provinces Image Table
Three Provinces Defence 1822 Maps Table




In the 13th Jiaqing year (1808) of the Qing period, the scholar official Yan Ruyi (严如熤, 1759~1826) was appointed as Hanzhong Zhifu (Prefect). While he was in Hangzhong, Yan Ruyi made many contributions to the development of local educational institutions and cultural activities. He also managed the production of the “Hanzhong Gazetteer” (Yan and Zheng, 1813; 严如熤,《漢中續修府志》) and was engaged, also with the help and support of Zheng Bingran, in a much more extensive mapping activity of the Qinling and other regions of Shaanxi, Sichuan, Hubei and Gansu that reached its conclusions at the beginning of the reign peiod of the Daoguang Emperor in 1822. These efforts were all responses to the desire of the Qing government to gather information to help provide greater security throughout the wild border region of the four Provinces. Some early outcomes of this extended period of mapping were the map called “Map of the four provinces in the north bank of the Han River” of which a copy is available from the US Library of Congress collection and the later “Complete overview of defence conditions in three provinces” (Yan Ruyi, 1822). The maps produced by Yan Ruyi for the “Hanzhong 1813 Gazetteer”, the “Map of the Four Provinces …” and for the later “Complete overview of defence conditions…” are the subject of this page.


Original Material References:
Yan, Ruyi and Zheng Bingran (1813). “Hanzhong Fu Gazetteer”, in 32 Chapters (In Chinese)
漢中續修府志: [32卷] 嚴如熤修; 鄭炳然等 纂
Hanzhong xu xiu fu zhi: [32 juan] Yan Ruyi xiu Zheng Bingran deng zuan
Yan, Ruyi (1822). Complete overview of defence conditions in three provinces, 14 Chapters. (In Chinese).
Sansheng bianfang beilan, Yan Ruyi, Zhang Pengfeng (Ed), 1822 14 Juan


The US Library of Congress Digital Chinese Map Collection


The US Library of Congress has a large collection of old and ancient Chinese materials. Among these are maps and map reproductions dating back some centuries. The Geography and Map Division of the Library web page can be found HERE. Part of the collection is the Arthur Hummel collection and some of the maps of the Hummel collection are among the 373 Chinese images available in digital format. The Chinese Maps that are available can be accessed directly HERE. Images can be downloaded for use in research and other non-profit activities in GIF, JP2 (JPEG 2000), or JPEG formats. However, only the JP2 format file has the resolution that allows view of all readable characters at the brush stroke detail level. For academic study, high resolution view of characters is therefore essential. If you wish to download and view the detail in these maps you will need suitable software to read JPEG 2000 and view the data. Possibly the best software available for this is IrfanView that can be downloaded from HERE.


The Library of Congress collection has previously been the souce for important material used in our work on the Qinling Shu Roads web site. The project investigated a Qing Period strip map of the northern Plank Road and provided translations of Chinese papers describing its history and significance. At the time, the online maps were not available and it was scanned for the researchers into a set of Tiff files and reduced by the authors to Jpeg images of sufficient resolution to read the characters. This project area, which was instigated due to their previous study by Herold J. Wiens in 1949 can be found HERE. At this time the complete set of sections making up this strip map are NOT yet available as Jpeg2000 images and the set available at this web site are at the best resolution that can be widely accessed.


Map of the Four Provinces on the North Bank of the Han River


Yan Ruyi's “Map of the four provinces in the north bank of the Han River” 《汉江以北四省边舆图》 (1800~1820). is available from the US Library of Congress in highest resolution as JPEG 2000 (jp2) format. Since not all software can handle this format a set of Jpeg images with sizes of about 2 MB have been made available here. The map was first converted from JPEG 2000 (jp2) to Tiff (tif) without loss and then cut into four quarters. The quarters were converted to JPEG by Adobe Photoshop with enhancement. They can now be viewed across the web without special software. If care is taken, a Jpeg is sufficient in this case to see characters almost as easily as on the highest resolution image.
In addition to the Jpeg images, a Google Earth presentation of the LoC Map is available below if you wish to download it and view it in Google Earth. It was scaled as well as possible to modern maps based on assuming a transverse mercator projection with local origin and presented in geographic projection in Google Earth. By zooming in all characters can be read clearly. The accuracy and scaling of this and other maps is a subject currently under investigation and documentation.


The US Library of Congress holding of this map (called the LoC Map below) has been described and discussed in two books published in the last 10 years. One is a publication representing the outcomes of a joint project between the US Library and Prof Li Xiaocong of Beijing University to list and describe the Hummel Collection. The results were published in 2004. The second publication was the result of a joint project between the US Library and the Taipei Palance Museum in Taiwan. The outcomes were published in 2013 by Prof. Lin Tianren. It again listed and described the Hummel collection but also matched them with related holdings in the Palace Museum's extensive collection of ancient Chinese maps and other treasures. Among the items in the Taipei collection are a pair of maps for the areas north and south of the Han River. The map for the north (called the Taipei Map below) has been compared carefully with that in the US Library Hummel Collection by Feng Suiping who has provided a document on this topic that is available below. The Taipei maps seem to be later copies of the LoC Map by another person with additions made on the basis of additional surveys carried out for Yan Ruyi's 1822 publication. It is the opinion of the Web Site Author that the LoC Map is more interesting as cartography while the Taipei Maps are much better works of fine art and calligraphy. They would have been suitable for presentation to a representative of the Emperor! The only current images of the Taipei maps seem to be in the publication:
Lin Tianren (Ed) (2012). "Mapping the Imperial realm: an exhibition of historical maps", National Palace Museum, Taipei.


Descriptions of the 'Map of the Four Provinces on the North Bank of the Han River'


1. The map was first described in detail by Li Xiaocong in his 2004 book on the Hummel Collection:
Li Xiaocong (Ed) (2004). “Summaries of holdings in the US Library of Congress' Collection of ancient Chinese maps”, Beijing, Cultural Press, October 2004. (Chinese and English)
Meiguo Guohui Tushuguan Guancang Zhongwen Gu Ditu Xulu, Li Xiaocong bianzhu, Beijing Wenwu Chubanshe, 2004-10.
美国国会图书馆藏中文古地图叙录, 李孝聪编著, 北京 : 文物出版社, 2004—10. ( 中英 )

Entry for the map in Li Xiaocong's book:

[Translation of Chinese Text]
Han jiang yi bei si sheng bian yu tu
(Map of the Four Provinces on the North Bank of the Han River)
A 107 x 182 cm wood block print from the Qing Jiaqing period compiled by Yan Ruyi (Editor) and Zheng Bingran (Cartographer). The map scale is not stated. A red signature block and Title in black ink can be found on the back. The scope of the map covers the Han River from its source and upper reaches downstream to Baihe Xian. To the north of the Han River it includes adjacent [watershed] areas from the four provinces of Gansu, Shaanxi, Henan and Hubei. The brushwork depicts mountains, rivers and administrative units as well as roads and tracks of the Han River watershed. It uses various combinations of vertical and horizontal rectangles, squares, circles and ellipses to distinguish Prefectures, second level Ting, Zhou and Xian counties and military garrisons; it uses dotted lines to indicate roads and tracks, and provides characters to indicate villages and towns, strategic passes and post stations along the roads; it uses triangular symbols to indicate landforms and red lines to indicate the boundaries with the four provinces; in mountain areas it uses symbols to indicate the presence of forests and tree density. It has 6 separate annotation boxes. These provide: the legend for the annotations and symbols, the sources and hydrology of the Han River, the main topographic features, the produce, land reclamation, forestry, roads and situation of the settlers in the mountain areas bordering the four provinces. Ningshaan Ting is present on the map and was established in the 5th Jiaqing year (1800) but Foping Ting [established in 1825] is not present, and the name of Ningshaan does not indicate that the prohibition on writing "Ning" [see Note below] was yet in force. It is therefore likely that the map was compiled in the years between 1800 and 1820. From the annotation, it seems that this collection of materials should be combined with a matching "Map of the Four Provinces on the South Bank of the Han River", but a second such map in the Library [of Congress] collection was not found.
Map Series Serial Number: 84696078
[Note: Taboo on using personal names of Emperors, in this case the Daoguang Emperor whose reign years started in 1821 and who had a personal name of the same character "Ning"]
(清)严如熠编,郑炳然绘,清嘉庆年间刻印本,未注比例,107×182厘米。图背贴红签,墨书图题。 此图覆盖范围从汉江上游源头至下游白河县,汉水以北的甘肃、陕西、河南、湖北四省交界地区。 以形象画法描绘汉水流域的山脉、河流、行政区划和道路。用方形、横方形、矩形、圆形和椭圆形符号,分别标示府、厅、州、县和分防、营汛的位置;用点线表示道路,注记道路沿线的村镇、关口、驿铺;用三角山形符号表示地貌,用红线标志四省分界;在部分山形符号上加标森林符号,以区别树木多寡。附6处注文,分别描述本图的编绘及图例,汉江源流及水文特征,四省境内山川形势、物产、垦殖、林木、道路及移民情况。 嘉庆五年(1800)设置的宁陕厅已标,佛坪厅未见,“宁”字不因避讳而改写。故,该图应编绘于嘉庆年间(1800~1820)。 据注文,此图应与一册描述道路程途里数的书相配合,而且还应有《汉江以南三省边舆图》合为一套,后二部图书,国会图书馆未藏。


2. The map was also described by Prof Lin Tianren in his 2013 book on the Hummel Collection of the LoC and matching materials in the Taipei Palace Museum collection:
Lin, Tianren and Zhang, Min, Eds (2013). "Reading imperial cartography: Ming-Qing historical maps in the Library of Congress", Published by the Academia Sinica Digital Center (Taipei), 2013/11/01. (Chinese and English)


Entry for the map in Prof. Lin Tianren's book:

[Translation of Chinese Text]
"Map of the Four Provinces on the North Bank of the Han River"
First to fourth Daoguang years (1821-1824)
(Qing) Yan Ruyi (Ed), (Qing) Zheng Bingran (drawer)
Wood Block printed on paper 107x182cm
Map Division of the US Library of Congress
Map Collection number: 84696078
Details for the "Map of regions of four provinces adjacent to the Han River": A map of National importance showing areas from the two banks of the Wei River in the north, the Han River in the south, the Jialing River in the west and a line including Laohe Kou in Hubei, Wenxiang Xian in Henan and Xichuan in the East: the scope includes the upper and lower reaches of the Han River from its source down to Baihe Xian, the administrative areas involved are on the north bank and include the common border areas of Gansu, Shaanxi, Henan and Hubei. On the map the north marker is at the top and the south marker is at the bottom, the drawn area depicts mountain ranges and watershed areas within the common border areas of the 4 provinces, as well as administrative divisions and roads. Within the map there are illustrated annotations that explain information in the map legend: "In this map the boundaries of the four northern provinces of Shaanxi (), Gansu (), Hubei () and Henan () are shown by a red line. Where there are a number of trees drawn, it indicates the extent of native forests; a large solid square represents a Fu, a horizontal rectangle a Ting, a vertical rectangle a Zhou, a circle a Xian and a vertical oval indicates the presence of a Deputy Magistrate or a garrison (usually an 8 level deputy magistrate or a 9 level Zhubu). In regard to the river valleys and gulley branches, if you can identify associated terrain features, there will not be a large error." The roads are indicated by dotted lines, and annotations along the roads indicate Villages and Towns, mountain passes and postal relay stations. Mountain ranges are depicted using triangular symbols, parts of the mountain areas are covered by tree symbols with the number showing tree density: The boundaries of the four provinces are indicated by red lines, and the map has overall six annotation boxes, describing the map production and legend, the watershed of the Han River including its source and hydrology, as well as the terrain characteristics, produce, cultivation in forests, roads and the situation of refugees.
This map is due to Yan Ruyi (1759-1826) and Zheng Bingran. In the first Daoguang year (1821), Yan Ruyi was promoted to Circuit Inspector (Daoyin) of Shaan'an Circuit; Imperial Censor Zhuo Bingtian (1782-1855) compiled the "Current situation in Shaanxi, Sichuan and Hubei" where he wrote: "the region from Lüeyang as far east as Yunxi in Hubei is known as the North Mountains (Qinling) Old Forests"; from the Sichuan border to Baokang in Hubei is known as the "Ba Mountains Old Forests". These areas are not suitable for cultivation and there is very little to gain from them. Drifting people pay landlords a small amount of money to rent a few gulleys and ridges. If harvests are poor they move on, such people are called "Shanty Dwellers". ........... rather than trying to control them in these places, it would be better if they were managed collectively by the three provinces. You are asked to implement this and establish an administration with a high official. " (see "Outline of Qing History" "Annals of Zhuo Bingtian") In the same year, a group led by Yan Ruyi took responsibility for the border region defence in the mountain areas of Sichuan, Hubei and Shaanxi to survey the region and plan for its defence; Yan Ruyi was responsible to investigate the whole region, its government, its garrisons and infrastructure. In the 4th Daoguang year (1824) Yan Ruyi suggested that a Ting administration (namely Foping Ting) be established in Zhouzhi Xian, and modified the borders of Yang Xian and garrisons in Shang Zhou and Lüeyang with the approval of Circuit Inspector Lu Kun (1771-1835) (see "Annals of Yan Ruyi"); but in this map the Ting is not to be seen, nor are the garrisons at lüeyang and Shang Zhou.
Yan Ruyi had by this time drawn the "Map of three provinces to the south of the Han River" (see Collection of the Taipei Palace Museum, item number 021473), which can be consulted for reference; in this map can be found Dingyuan Ting which had been established in the 7th Jiaqing year (1802) (see Yan Ruyi (Ed) "The Hanzhong 1813 Gazetteer" [V.2 "Constructions"]); new administrations can also be found in the three counties of Ankang, Ziyang and Pingli which were in place by the 3rd Daoguang year (1823) but Foping Ting was not yet established. The two maps seem to have been constructed at the same time, and the information in the two maps can be corroborated. It seems that the two maps had been drawn by Yan Ruyi by the 2nd Daoguang Year (1822) at the time that the "Complete overview of defence conditions in three provinces" was published. By contrast, Beijing Library (National Library) judged only that the maps were drawn between the 5th Jiaqing year (1800) and the first Daoguang year (1821), which needs to be refined further.
道光元年至道光四年( 1821-1824)
木刻墨印紙本 107x182cm
圖提《漢江以北四省邊輿圖》; 全國主要描述渭河南北兩岸以北、漢水以南,嘉陵江以西,湖北老河口、 河南閿鄉縣、淅川一線以東: 範園包括了漢水上游源頭至下游白河縣,行政區域屬漢水北岸四省(甘肅、陝西、河南、湖北)的交界地區。 圖中標示北上、南下的方位,以形象畫描繪四省境內的山脈、河流、行政區劃和道路。圖中注文圖說,說明圖例資訊: "圖為漢江以北陝、甘、楚、豫四省邊境,紅線分疆界,所繪樹木多寡,即為老林。寬窄大方圈為府,橫方圈為廳,長方圈為州,圓圈為縣,長圓圈為分駐佑貳(正八品縣丞、正九品主簿) 分防營汛至河流溝岔須[學]形勢亦無甚差訛也"。 道路以點線表示,並註記沿線村鎮、口隘、驛站。山巒以三角符號表示,部分山形符號旁另標示森林符號以區別樹木多[事]: 四省分界線以紅色線區隔,全圖六處註文,分別描述本圖的繪製及圖例、境內漢江源流及水文特徵、四省境內山川形勢、物產、墾殖、林木、道路及移民情況。 本圖為嚴如熤(1759--1826)、鄭炳然繪。道光元年(1821),嚴如熤擢升陝安道;禦史卓秉恬(1782--1855)上陳《川、陝、楚老林情形》摺,疏曰: “由陝西略陽迄東至湖北鄖西,謂之南山老林;經四川穿境至湖北保康,謂之巴山老林。地皆磽瘠,糧徭極微。無業遊民,給地主錢數千,即租種數溝數嶺。歲薄不收則徙去,謂之棚民。……與其即一隅而專謀之, 何如合三省而共議之。請於扼要之地,專設大員控制。”(參:《清史稿·卓秉恬傳》)同年,派嚴如熤總攬川、楚、陝山區邊防察勘及建設事宜;嚴氏周曆相度、析官移治、增營改汛。 道光四年(1824)嚴如熤議置廳治(即佛坪廳)於盩厔縣、洋縣界及增營汛于商州、略陽,巡撫盧坤(1771--1835)採其議(參:《清史稿·嚴如熤傳》);圖中廳未見,商州、略陽似仍未置營汛。 嚴如熤同時繪製了《漢江以南三省邊輿圖》(國立故宮博物院藏,平圖021473),可對應參照;圖中已見嘉慶七年(1802)新置的定遠廳(參:嚴如熤纂《漢南續修府志》卷二《建置》);道光三年(1823) 析安康、紫陽、平利三縣地所置磚坪廳尚未標示。兩圖既為同時,圖繪時代資訊可互參。判斷此圖繪製或為嚴如熤在道光二年(1822)刊行《三省邊防備覽》同一段時間的作品。 又《輿圖要錄》斷本圖繪于清嘉慶五年(1800)至道光元年(1821)間,似可榷。


Papers by Feng Suiping on the 'Four Provinces Map'


Director Feng Suiping of the Hanzhong City Museum has written two papers on the maps that have been translated and made available on this page. The first was (in fact) written after a draft of the second was under discussion. It is clear from the above descriptions of the LoC Map that there are diverse suggestions as to the timing. The work by Prof Lin Tianren and the existence of the two maps in the Tapei Palace Museum collection have only become recently well advertised. However, from a number of differences described by Feng Suiping in the first Paper, it seems Prof Lin's comments were based on assuming the LoC Map and the Taipei Map were the same which is not the case. Feng Suiping's arguments suggest strongly that the LoC Map is from an earlier activity and that the Taipei Maps are copies of the earlier maps with some additions as well as some errors. It is likely the Taipei Maps were produced as part of the effort leading to the 1822 “Complete overview of defence conditions in three provinces” (Yan Ruyi, 1822), that it was commissioned by the Military Governor of Hubei Yan Junlie and drawn by a person who is not acknowledged on the map(s).
The first publication available here is:
"A discussion concerning the 'Map of four provinces north of the Han River' in the collection of the Taipei Palace Museum" by Feng Suiping, Director, Hanzhong City Museum, (EN Transl. David Jupp)
The document includes both a Translation into English and the complete Chinese text for comparison and discussion and can be read or downloaded HERE.


Feng Suiping's second and more extensive paper is called “Postscript to the “Map of neighbouring regions of four provinces on the north bank of the Han River” from the collection of the US Library of Congress.” It discusses the map held by the LoC in close detail and proposes likely dates for its development and printing. The proposals are earlier that those of Prof. Lin Tianren but based on the ideas discussed in the first paper (see above) sees the LoC Map as a product of an original mapping effort (1808-1813) that was later copied and re-drawn as the maps (north and south of the river) in the Taipei Palace Museum. The English language paper available here is a translation of the Chinese language paper 《美国国会图书馆藏《汉江以北四省边舆图》书后》. This paper was originally written prior to locating the maps in the Taiwan collection and has been revised to take these maps into account. The paper builds on the studies and suggestions by Prof Li Xiaocong and Prof Lin Tianren and undertakes a detailed examination of the map annotations, the 72 Valley Entrances on the north of Qinling as well as the geographical and cartographic principles used in construction the map. The paper proposes the original map was drafted and published between 1808 and 1813 while Yan Ruyi was Prefect of Hanzhong but most likely had some additions in the one or two years following that period as mapping continued. The English translation has added some Figures and explanations in footnotes. A separate document on Chinese mapping technology as demonstrated by Yan Ruyi and others over this period is in preparation. The image tables provided after the summary of the paper have been collated as a resource for closer study of the ideas raised here by Feng Suiping and in the books by Prof Li Xiaocong and Prof Lin Tianren.


English Abstract:

[Translation of Chinese Text]
Summary: The “Map of neighbouring regions of four provinces on the north bank of the Han River” is a Qing Period map of the Qinling region in the US Library of Congress collection which is of the utmost importance. This paper introduces and discusses the annotations and legend from a geographic point of view and establishes where the map’s value lies. On the basis of records from a number of historical documents, it can be established that the drawings were the achievements of one Zheng Bingran. On the basis of the suggestion by Lu Yinpu to "provide a scale using the method of squares" the time when the map was drafted is suggested to be between September of the 13th Jiaqing year (1808) and September of the 18th Jiaqing year (1813). Progress is also made in regard to the existence of the parallel publications “Map of three provinces on the south bank of the Han River” and “Records of roads in the mountain regions of three provinces”.
内容提要:美国国会图书馆藏《汉江以北四省边舆图》是一幅极为重要的清代秦岭地区图。 本文从地图学角度介绍了该图的图例与图示,指出其价值所在。根据诸多文献的记载,钩沉了绘制者之一的郑炳然之事迹,按照卢荫溥“计里开方”的建议, 提出了此图的绘制时间应在嘉庆十三年(1808)九月至嘉庆十八年(1813)九月之间。对与之相对应的《汉江以南三省边舆图》和《三省山内道路考》作了进一步的探讨。


You are welcome to access this translation as a PDF (3.3 MB) through the following link:



Image Table 1: "Four Provinces Map" Images for display or download

(汉江以北四省边舆图 )


The Jpeg maps available in the table below were developed from the original JPEG 2000 image which was divided into four quarters to keep the Jpeg sizes of sub-images acceptable for download (max of 2 MB). The set of six (6) annotations are also provided as details for close examination of the characters.


Image Number

Jpeg Name



Hanjiang_Image_block2_TL_tiff.jpg (1.6 MB)

North West Quarter of the Map


Hanjiang_Image_block2_TR_tiff.jpg (1.8 MB)

North East Quarter of the Map


Hanjiang_Image_block2_BL_tiff.jpg (2.2 MB)

South West Quarter of the Map


Hanjiang_Image_block2_BR_tiff.jpg (2.1 MB)

South East Quarter of the Map


annotat_1_Tiff.jpg (1.2 MB)

Annotation Text 1


annotat_2_Tiff.jpg (1.2 MB)

Annotation Text 2


annotat_3_tiff.jpg (780 kb)

Annotation Text 3


annotat_4_tiff.jpg (700 kb)

Annotation Text 4


annotat_5_tiff.jpg (570 kb)

Annotation Text 5


annotat_6_tiff.jpg (390 kb)

Annotation Text 6



NOTE 1 : The images have been tested for view in Windows Explorer browser. However, despite reduction of size achieved, it is possible that the large images may not open in your browser. If this happens, you can download a image to your computer by "right clicking" on the link and using the “Save Target As…” option rather than opening it in the browser or picture viewer.


NOTE 2 : If you wish to view the Jpeg image of the whole map, rather than the four quarters, it is 7.8 MB and so it has been put into a "Zip" file to force download rather than view in the browser. It will be able to be viewed by many image view software packages. To download it hit HERE.


NOTE 3 : Alternatively, the map can be downloaded as a super-overlay for viewing in Google Earth. If you zoom in to the image then all characters can be read as well. This presentation has been shifted and scaled in the north-south and east-west directions to align it as closely as possible with the earth's surface. It is quite a good match overall but retains significant distortions - as you would expect. You are welcome to download the KMZ file from HERE. If you would first like to read an introduction to the materials available as KMZ a PDF can be accessed HERE.



Image Table 2: "Three Provinces Defence", Map Legend and Map Access

(三省边防备览,与图目录 )


In the "Complete overview of defence conditions in three provinces", Yan Ruyi provided 14 maps with scale bars and consistent symbols for places in the Districts involved in the span of the study. Map 2 is a strip map of considerable length and is not included but the others are each on two facing pages and cover a specific region. The maps have been merged so that the two facing pages are joined to make a map mosaic. They are accessible through the following Table where the map name in Chinese and English is provided as well as the scale (length of the square grid cell side in Li) and extent (dimensions of the map in squares) of the map area. In the text of the "Three Provinces Defence", the road distances and travel times are discussed as well as strategic issues of the border regions. They represents the culmination of the work done by Yan Ruyi since 1808 when he went to Hanzhong Fu. The maps are accessed through the Map Number. A KMZ file is available for viewing the geographic extent of the Maps in Google Earth, but not the individual maps which can only be accessed in the Table. If you use Google Earth and wish to try this KMZ file it can be accessed HERE. If you would first like to read an introduction to the materials available as KMZ for the maps on this page a PDF can be accessed HERE.
(Warning: The maps are quite large (4.3-6.7 MB) as they preserve enough resolution to enable characters to be read. Only view them directly if the band width is high enough.)


Map Number (MB)

Chinese Name

English Name

Size of square

Grid size

Map 1 (4.9)


Sichuan, Shaanxi, Hubei complete Map

100 Li

11 by 21

Map 2


Outline of linked strategic border regions

(no scale)


Map 3 (6.1)


Ningqiang, Mianxian, Nan Zheng, Baocheng, Xixiang, Dingyuan Map

100 Li

5 by 10

Map 4 (6.0)


Ankang, Pingli, Ziyang, Xunyang, Bai He Map

100 Li

5 by 10

Map 5 (4.7)


Yushan, Fangxian, Zhushan, Zhuxi Map

100 Li

5 by 10

Map 6 (4.3)


Yunxi, Yunyang Map

50 Li

8 by 12

Map 7 (5.8)


Guangyuan, Tongjiang, Nanjiang, Ba Zhou Map

100 Li

5 by 10

Map 8 (5.9)


Taiping, Chengkou Map

100 Li

5 by 10

Map 9 (6.0)


Fengjie, Zuoshan, Daning, Yunyang, Kaixian Map

100 Li

5 by 10

Map 10 (6.2)


Huayang, Houzhenzi Map

40 Li

8 by 12

Map 11 (4.6)


Hei He Map

30 Li

8 by 12

Map 12 (6.5)


Shangzhou, Nanluo, Shanyang, Lantian Map

50 Li

8 by 12

Map 13 (4.3)


Meixian, Qishan, Baoji, Fengxian Map

40 Li

8 by 12

Map 14 (6.7)


Xiaoyi, Ningshan, Huxian, Zhouzhi Map

50 Li

8 by 13


If the images are too big to view and/or use - try "right click" and “Save Target As…” to download files

If you wish to acquire all of the files (>70 MB Total) please contact Project Principals



NOTE 1 : A mosiac of Four 1:500k scale Russian Topographic Maps has been created at 25m resolution cell size that covers much of this region. It can be used especially to identify terrain features and rivers as well as places if the Cyrillic is converted to Pinyin as described in documents available at the Qinling Plank Roads to Shu web site. The KMZ file provides access to a super-overlay of this map mosaic in a zip file that also includes the two other KMZ files referenced above. To download it you can click HERE. If you would first like to read an introduction to the materials available, a PDF can be accessed HERE.


NOTE 2 : The Map 1 Overview Map of the collection from this book (川陕湖边境总图) can be viewed in Google Earth as it has been scaled to geographical projection and located for this purpose. In the book it has North at the top and East to the left and so presents rotated by 180 degrees here. It is not very accurate by modern map standards but it scales surprisingly well for a Qing Period map. As printed in the book scanned (25cm height by 30cm width for the pair of facing pages) it is nominally 1:1.5M scale. Its scaling is part of a study on the scaling and metric properties of all the maps between 1808 and 1822. It has been made into a KMZ file and a KMZ file of the control places used to scale the map is also available. You are welcome to download the two KMZ files in the Zip file provided HERE. If you would first like to read an introduction to the materials available as KMZ a PDF can be accessed HERE.



Work in Progress


A main document outlining the method of squares, Pei Xiu's six principles and the concept of map scale in Yan Ruyi's mapping in greater detail is in preparation. It has some supporting documents concerning various issues in Chinese cartography. Additional work has also been done and exists in draft form. For example:
(1) Investigations have been made to relate the annotation on the "72 Qinling Valley Entrances" to known valleys. This has resulted in a Google Earth presentation and a supporting document. The supporting document can be accessed HERE and the Google Earth presentation downloaded HERE This material will be updated (if possible) with field work.
(2) A draft page has been created that will eventually outline all the maps and associated annotations in the Hanzhong Prefecture 1813 Gazetteer. These were the first group of maps made during Yan Ruyi's activities in Hanzhong. The present draft contains scans of the "birds-eye" landscape style "Northern Plank Road Map" from a modern copy of the Gazetteer by Guo Peng and can be found at: Maps of the Hanzhong Prefecture Gazetteer of 1813
(3) A set of digitized maps from the Kanxi Jesuit maps of 1718 have been used to construct a mosaic covering the general area within which the Yan Ruyi maps are located. They are intended as a means to compare the Yan Ruyi maps with other Chinese data and help to mosaic the smaller (high detail)Yan Ruyi maps. They can be found at: Maps of the Kanxi Secret map series published in 1718


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