THE DESIGN OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC ATLAS OF CHINA (NEAC) AND THE METHODS AND TECHNOLOGY OF CARTOGRAPHIC VISUALIZATION
1995, 50 (3):
The National Economic Atlas of China (NEAC) is the first scientific large-scale atlas which reflects comprehensively and systematically the general status of China’ s social-economic development. It gathers a large amount of data from a wide variety of national economic fields during 1985-1990. The atlas, which was compiled after a systematic analysis and processing of data, as well as an elaborate scientific design, and with computer cartographic technology being the main compiling approach. depicts vividly and visually the general status and regional distribution of current development in the country’s economy and society. In its 10 map groups, the atlas depicted, from all pointviews and at varied levels. the resources. population, agriculture, industry, transportation,post and telecommunication, building. urban construction, environmental protection, commerce, foreign trade. tourism. finance. education. scientific research. culture. sports, and medical health care.It is an abundant information database of China’s current status.This paper briefly describes the main aspects of the research on the compilation of the NEAC.It consists of three parts. Five aims of the overall design for the atlas are expounded in the first part: (1) to reflect systematically and comprehensively our national economic system and industrial system. The atlas depicts more than 20 national economic sectors and departments and presents 38 industrial types and 217 sub-catergories. (2) to depict the general scale of the national economy and the developmet level of each industry and department. The gross national product, the national income. the structure of the primary. secondary and tertiary industries, as well as the basic scale. ratio,composition and economic-technical level of each industry. are presented in detail. (3) to reflect emphatically the characteristics of regional comprehensive economy and the mutual eocnomic connections among various regions. The conditions of "blocks" and "belts" (i. e. , regions and departments) are combined in order to emphasize the economic advantages of each region and the relationship among various departments. (4) to show the spatial structure and distribution pattern of the national economy we can see from the atlas the production pattern of every sector and department. and the economic distributive model.of varied provinces. municipalities and autonomous regions. (5) to present the progress of China’s economic development since the founding of the P. R.China, as well as its position in the international economy.In the second part of the paper. the author explains the approaches and technologies for the visualization of China’s social-economic features including the transformation of varied types of data,the method of cartographic classification, the selection of multi-grade cartogrphic units and presentation methods, the design of cartographic symbol system. as well as the cartogrphic generalization.The third part of this paper introduces some computer cartographic technologies in the compilation of the atlas, including the acquisition of data and establishment of database, the research and development of intelligent computer cartographic system. as well as a flow-chart of a workable integrated computer cartographic system.
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