Ming Dynasty Geography

Map of the Ming Dynasty Territory.jpgThe Ming Dynasty was one of the most documented eras in the history of China. Ming dynasty geography is well-written and the records have been well maintained. Chinese geography documentation began in the 5th century BC, but the geography was well advanced during the time of the Ming Dynasty.

Apart from this, printing technology helped in recording detailed maps and other books. Many maps survived and have helped in giving a lot of information about geographers and cartographers during the Ming era.

Li Zemin’s Shengjiao Guangbei Tu

This is one amongst the great pieces in cartography. It is based on The Mongolsby the famous Li Zemin. The map was lost but fortunately, derivative works survived. Other Ming Dynasty maps that followed were also based on the maps created by Li Zemin.

Qingjun’s Gianglun Jiangli Tu

The Gianglun Jiangli Tuwas a map created by Zen Monk Quingjun, who lived in the early days of the Ming Dynasty. The map did not survive, but a modified version survived. This map later included Ming names after Yan Jie updated it. The map also included detailed information on Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the sea routes.

Other Maps

In the later days of the Ming Dynasty, more than 40 maps were printed. These published maps had more advanced grid references and systematic methods of representing rivers, mountains, cities, towns, borders and roads. Some of these maps showed sea routes along China coasts, Southeast Asia, Africa and India.

Geographical Features

The Forbidden City was built during Ming Dynasty. There were five bridges for the five Confucian virtues: righteousness, benevolence, proper conduct, wisdom and trustworthiness. Today, this city is still the largest ancient complex in the world.

To the south, there is a stream of water that serves as the Daoist requirement of having water to the south of a very important complex building. Generally, the Ming Dynasty geography flourished and was well developed. Many maps survived, leaving a lot of information of Chinese geography and history from the Ming Dynasty.