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Development of Census Mapping

and Use of GIS in China

Gao Hansong
Census Center of National
Bureau of Statistics, China
1 Overview: China Census
• Population Census (every 10 years )
2000(5th) , 2010……
• Economic Census (every 5 years )
• Agriculture Census (every 10 years )
• In China, The local government and local
statistics officials take a more important
role in Census
• Census is organized in accordance with
administrative divisions: province, city,
county/district, town, village/block and
enumeration areas(EA)
2 Development of Census
Mapping and Use of GIS
• In the 2000 census, most parts of China
used hand-drawn census maps, not digital
maps, because available maps were too
small to provide sufficient details, or
considered out of date.
• But in the past 5 years, many cities got
high-quality and large-scale maps, by
surveying and aerial photography.
• Some city digitizing the census maps and
developed local Statistic-Geographic
Information Systems
• Census data are linked with spatial data,
by adding hand-drawn EA’s boundaries
above the new maps as an overlay.
• Usually the local bureau of statistics and
their cooperation commercial company
develop and manage these systems which
are funded by local government
• GIS software: SuperMap, ArcGIS,
A Statistic-Geographic Information System of Qingshan District,
Baotou City
Census map of Qingshan: buildings, enumeration area’s boundary
and POI
The system integrate the data of Population Census, Economic
Census and other statistic survey
Users can inquiries and
analysis all the local data
about population, economy,
social problem, with table,
graph or thematic map
• We published CD-ROM named as
“Annual Electric Maps of National Social
and Economic Statistics” since 2004,
which is a simple GIS for query at
county/district level.
• The map scale is 1:250,000
• The attribute data includes statistic data of every
county in the whole country, including population,
work, education, industry and so on
3 Problems
• Uniform standard
China is a big country, but in very
• There is no uniform standard of census
mapping in China.
• Some cities have accurate census maps
and developed systems , while some have
only cursory maps drawn in paper.
• Different areas have different difficulty
• In the big city:
Roads and buildings change soon. The expenses of
buying large-scale maps and updating are too
• In some area:
The local government don’t have enough money to
survey, update maps and take digital census mapping
• We are preparing to establish a uniform
standard of census mapping, which can
be used in all the census and in most
areas of China.
• Include: framework, approach, software
and so on
• Some areas will be funded
Spatial Data
• All the activities about surveying and
mapping are under the supervision of
State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping
(SBSM) in China
• It’s hard to got spatial data which can be
used in census mapping, especially large-
scale maps
• We need to cooperate with SBSM to got
spatial data. We need more large-scale
maps which is updated to support census
• We will make a more closer cooperation
with SBSM. Maybe a standard of basic
map elements for census will be
established soon.
4 Prospect
• We have a project to construct a platform
named as ESSGIS (Economic and Social
Statistic GIS), include census mapping,
management of the census database,
analysis of the data and data dissemination
Census data

Software for
census mapping
Census data

Census data
used in
We are developing a simple software used in census
mapping instead of manual drawing.
We are applying for special funds to
complete the project .
We will make a trial in the 2008’s China
Economic Census
Maybe in 2010 population census……
Thank you