Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-62
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-62

  18 May 2021

18 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

An urban extent dataset in late imperial China in 15th–19th centuries

Qiaofeng Xue1, Xiaobin Jin1, Yinong Cheng2, Xuhong Yang1, and Yinkang Zhou1 Qiaofeng Xue et al.
  • 1School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 2College of History and Archives, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China

Abstract. Long-term urban extent data are highly desirable for understanding urban land use patterns and achieving sustainable development goals. However, urban observation data based on remote sensing are typically confined to recent decades. In this study, we advance in this arena by reconstructing the urban extents for China that extend back from 15th century to 19th century based on multiple historical documents. Cities in late imperial China (the Ming and the Qing Dynasties, 1368–1911) generally had city walls, and these walls were usually built around the urban built-up area. By restoring the scope of the city walls, the urban extend in this period could be restored. Firstly, we collected the years of construction or reconstruction of city walls from the historical data. Specifically, the period in which the scope of the city wall keeps unchanged is recorded as a lifetime of it. Secondly, specialization of the scope of the city wall could be conducted based on the urban morphology method, and variety of documentation, including the historical literature materials, the military topographic maps of the first half of the 20th century, and the remote sensing images of the 1970s. Correlation and integration of the lifetime and the spatial data would produce China City Wall Areas Dataset (CCWAD) in late imperial. Based on the proximity to the time of most of the city walls, we generated China Urban Extent Dataset (CUED) in the 15th–19th centuries in six representative years (i.e., 1400, 1537, 1648, 1708, 1787, and 1866). These datasets are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14112968.v1

Qiaofeng Xue et al.

Status: open (until 17 Jul 2021)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-62', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Jun 2021 reply

Qiaofeng Xue et al.

Data sets

An urban extent dataset in late imperial China in 15th-19th centuries Xue, Qiaofeng; Jin, Xiaobin; Cheng, Yinong; Yang, Xuhong; Zhou, Yinkang https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14112968.v1

Qiaofeng Xue et al.

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Short summary
Long-term urban extent data are highly desirable for understanding urban land use patterns and achieving sustainable development goals. Cities in late imperial China generally had city walls, and these walls were usually built around the urban built-up area. By restoring the scope of the city wall, the urban extend in this period could be restored. In this study, we generated China Urban Extent Dataset in the 15th–19th centuries in six representative years based on multiple historical documents.