京都新造中華大國各省經界府州縣廳五湖四海及赤白道不差毫釐地輿全圖 (Jingdu xinzao  Zhonghua Daguo gesheng jingjie fu zhou xian ting wuhu sihai ji chibaidao bucha haoli diyu quantu)

京都新造中華大國各省經界府州縣廳五湖四海及赤白道不差毫釐地輿全圖 (Jingdu xinzao  Zhonghua Daguo gesheng jingjie fu zhou xian ting wuhu sihai ji chibaidao bucha haoli diyu quantu)

New capital edition of the complete comprehensive map not deviating for a tiny bit (= accurate) of the Central Fluorescence Great State (= China) with all the provinces’ borderlines, prefectures and counties, Five Lakes and Four Seas up to the earth equator and lunar orbit.

Printed on four separate sheets, woodblock print on paper; size of map proper (including the title): 94,90 x 98,30 cm. Estimated date: 1899–1902 (determined by Yang Yulei through analysis of place-names - administrative units).

Working Group (2019-2023)

Translation Terroirs: East Asia Between Autochthonous and Western Cartographic Languages

A map is a combination of graphic and text, and, by definition speaks two languages—the language of its toponyms and the language of its system cartographic representation. The “national affiliation” of a map is by default defined by the language of its toponyms and other textual elements, but the translatability of a “foreign” map to a considerable extent depends on understanding its cartographic language. We consider a map to be “fully translatable” if the system of cartographic representation applied in the map is common to its translator and the intended audience. This means that redrawing a map with all its cartometric properties and cartographic conventions and translating its toponyms makes it perfectly comprehensible, as has been the case since an internationally recognized standard in cartography was established by the late modern Western maps drawn according to a cartographic projection and scale.

Currently the project focusses on East Asian maps that apply systems of cartographic representation different from that common to their potential translators for the modern Western audience. Special attention is paid to what stays untranslatable, including some entire maps, what can be adapted and how, what is supplemented to ensure comprehending a “foreign” map.

This study is part of a growing research trend seeking to elaborate formal methods of investigating maps, which rely on cartometric analysis and numerical modelling, as well as techniques of analysing the materiality of maps (support, printing techniques, colors etc.). One of the goals is to develop a reliable method to trace filiation of congener maps.

The three-year project (01.01.2019-31.12.2021) is hosted by Department III, benefitting from its highly qualified digital humanities team. Its Principal Investigator is Dagmar Schäfer (Director of the MPIWG Dept. III) and coordinator is Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann (CNRS, France). The project’s permanent participants are Yang Yulei 楊雨蕾 (Zhejiang University, P.R.C.),Lin Nung-Yao 林農堯 (Digital Humanities team of the MPIWG - Gugong Museum, Taiwan) and Yang Wei-Ting 楊偉婷, Ph.D. Candidate of the National Tsing-Hua University (Taiwan) and pre-doc at the MPIWG.

Past Events

Thematic Cluster: Visualizing Cosmologies

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A Study of Commercial General Maps in the Late Qing Dynasty: The Case of Two Maps in the MPIWG Collection

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Projects