China Historical Geographic Information System

The China Historical Geographic Information System (CHGIS) project was launched in January 2001 to establish a database of populated places and historical administrative units for the period of Chinese history between 221 BCE and 1911 CE. CHGIS provides a base GIS platform for researchers to use in spatial analysis, temporal statistical modeling, and representation of selected historical units as digital maps. The participating institutions have joined together to form CHGIS in order to create a new digital product for free distribution to scholars without restriction. CHGIS users may obtain the data either by download from designated CHGIS websites, or on CD-ROM.

Database Permalink

This permalink is a direct, persistent URL to the database that will always work and won't break.


221 BCE - 1911 CE


Harvard Yenching Institute



Resource Types

Statistics and Data

Online Availability

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