Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (4): 797-813.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201904013

• Geopolitics and Cultural Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial patterns of interprovincial physical geographical names and implications for administrative management optimization

Shengrui ZHANG1,2(), Yingjie WANG1,2(), Tongyan ZHANG1,2, Ruichang CAO3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information Systems, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Administrative Division and Geographical Names Management Department, Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100721, China
  • Received:2018-01-02 Revised:2019-03-11 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-04-23
  • Supported by:
    "Atlas of the People's Republic of China (New Century Edition)" Research, No.2013FY112800;The Project of Interprovincial Physical Geographical Names Directory Complication (Ministry of Civil Affairs of China)


The interprovincial geographical entities are the key areas of Targeted Poverty Alleviation and the regional integrated management. Based on the geographical names dictionary, the thematic maps and the atlas of provincial administrative boundaries of China, we established a database of interprovincial physical geographical names (ITPGN) and analyzed the spatial pattern of the ITPGN from the aspects of numerical features, spatial variance and spatial association. The problems and the impacts of the separate management of the interprovincial geographical entities were further discussed and four suggestions were offered accordingly. There were 11325 ITPGN including 4243 water ITPGN and 7082 terrain ITPGN in China. Hunan Province had the largest number of the names, and Shanghai had the smallest number. In addition, the spatial variance of the terrain ITPGN was larger than that of the water ITPGN, and the ITPGN showed a significant agglomeration phenomenon in the southern part of China. Regional terrain and population were important factors influencing the spatial patterns of ITPGN. The largest number of ITPGN was found in areas where the relative elevation was between 1000-2000 meters, and where the population was between 40-50 million. The separate management led to apparent differences in the development goals, development patterns, and management modes in the different parts of the same interprovincial physical geographical entities. These problems would reduce the efficiency of resources utilization, affect the integrity of natural reserves, hinder the cultural exchange and intensify socioeconomic differences among different parts. It was suggested that the government should explore unified management mechanism for interprovincial physical geographical entities, establish special organizations directly under the central government to manage the interprovincial entities, build up interprovincial cooperation zones to realize coordinated development of the interprovincial areas, and take the interprovincial physical geographical entities as unified units for the application of national parks or other protected areas.

Key words: interprovincial physical geographical names, spatial patterns, spatial association, spatial variance, administrative management optimization, China