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Map is one of the greatest inventions of human beings. Chinese maps as well as Chinese language are with historic evidence. In the Shih-Chi (the historical record by Ssu Ma-chien ), four tools, say level, line, circular, and square gauges, were found to be used for surveying during the period of Hsia and Yu and that was evident initiation of the development of Chinese cartography. In Shang Dynasty, multi-purposes of maps were ever produced. Pei-Hsio, the greatest cartographer in Chinese cartographic histrory, raised the theory of cartography the Six-Factors of Cartography in West Gin Dynasty. With the benefit of the development of printing from Tang Dynasty, the earliest printed map in human history, the Lio-Jeeng Map, was produced in South Song Dynasty. Wooden globe was made in Yuan Dynasty. The western cartographic technology was introduced into China in Ming and Ching Dynasties by the way of map interchanges, and that also had promoted the change of Chinese traditional cartography.

In the past four hundred years, accompanied with the social, economic, and scientific development, Taiwanese cartographic technology has unceasingly improved. The following four stages generally describe the landmarks of Taiwanese cartographic changes according to the background characteristic of times.

【Occupation by Holland】

Occupation by Holland

Though Taiwan was found very early because of locating adjacent to Mainland, there had not been many settlers until the late of Ming Dynasty. The map ( Fig.1) made in the middle of the sixteenth century when Taiwan was occupied by Holland was just for the need of navigation with visual measurement data. Without practical survey on land, the actual shape of Taiwan Island could not be precisely displayed.

【Ching Dynasty】

Ching Dynasty

In 1684, Ching Dynasty government took in Taiwan as one part of territory. Inactive administration was initially adopted, but chorographic maps (Fig. 2), barbarian boundary maps, and military deployment maps were compiled during the emperors of Kang-shi, Yong-jeng, and Chien-long. On which, place names, districts, and township and village communities were mainly marked. The longitude and latitude that currently used to show the direction were not labeled on the maps.

【Japan Ruling】

Japan Ruling

The maps from the year of 1895 to 1945 when Taiwan was ruled by Japan government were with multiple and abundant contents. From the maps of Taiwan Walled-Village map ( Fig.3), Government owned forestry maps(Fig.4), Taiwan topographic maps(Fig.5), and mineral resources maps, the transportation routes, irrigation facility system, terrain, land form, agricultural cultivation and so on were clearly displayed.

【After Recovery of Taiwan up to the present 】

After Recovery of Taiwan up to the present

After the Recovery of Taiwan, the government has made every endeavor to develop the society, politics, economy, national defense, transportation, water conservancy projects, and public livelihood. All those achievements have been presented on various maps. So far, 1:5,000 photo base maps in lower altitude areas ( Fig.6), 1:10,000 (Fig.7) in higher altitude mountainous areas, 1:25,000 economic construction edition topographic maps (Fig.8), 1:50,000 economic construction edition topographic maps (Fig.9), 1:50,000 satellite image maps (Fig.10), and 1:100,000 economic construction edition topographic maps (Fig.11) have been produced.