Geographic Reality versus Imagination in Taiwan’s Historical Maps

Jinn-Guey Lay, Yu-Wen Chen, Ko-Hua Yap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


During the past 400 years, Taiwan has experienced the dominance of various political regimes, which allowed the development of a diversity of cartographic styles for academic comparison. A detailed analysis of historical maps across centuries demonstrates that this contested island has been illustrated with a blending of reality, misconception and imagination. This paper narrates how maps reveal political rulers’ conscious and unconscious perceptions of this island. We call attention to the abundant cartographic materials in existence and suggest that they can be fascinating materials for the study of the contested colonial histories of this island in various disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCartographic Journal
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)180-189
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1171 Geosciences
  • Taiwan
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Taiwan

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