Geographic information systems in China

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Geographic information systems (GIS) are becoming an increasingly important component of business operations in China and GIS software are playing an increasing role in the way Chinese companies and analyze and manage business operations.


When GIS first became widely available in the 1980s and 1990s, the only source of geographic data for China was paper maps. Several universities elected to undertake the huge task of digitizing this information so that other researchers could use it.

The two earliest projects were conducted by The Australian Consortium for the Asian Spatial Information and Analysis Network (ACASIAN) at Griffith University and the China Data Center at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. ACASIAN specialized solely in spatial coverages while the China Data Center included GIS coverages as a supplemented to their primary mission of providing Chinese statistical and census data.

There is a great deal of high quality GIS data being produced in China by both government organizations and private companies. Today, China's National Spatial Data Infrastructure Project, uses the WGS84 standard.

Notable persons

Prof. Chen Shupeng, born in 1920, is considered the founding father of Remote Sensing and GIS in China, died on 25 November 2008.[1] Chen started the State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System (LREIS) in 1987.


Major institutions include:

Global navigation satellite system

  • Beidou navigation system is used for GIS data gathering

See also


External links