Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Second and Third-Order Triangulation Map of Hunchun, Manchukuo (1939)
12019-11-18T17:18:31-05:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f353Kantō-gun, "Gunji kimitsu chiikinai sankaku sokuryō seika hyō tōsha ni kansuru ken." March 9, 1939.plain2020-09-13T15:15:47-04:0042.86282, 130.36603Manchukuo1932-1945Clipping in Rikuman mitsu dainikki S14.8.62, National Institute of Defense Archives of Japan.1939-03-09Public Domain.Sakura ChristmasKwantung Army; Imperial Land Survey Department; ground triangulation; trigonometric survey.SMC-0050Kandra Polatis4decfc04157f6073c75cc53dcab9d25e87c02133
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12019-11-18T17:18:32-05:00Problems with Triangulation22Imperial Land Survey Department; ground triangulationplain2021-09-28T10:44:50-04:0042.8675, 130.3581Hunchun03/09/1939Sakura Christmas
The photographic technology introduced by Kimoto revolutionized mapmaking in Manchukuo, which had relied on ground triangulation since the early 1900s. Ground triangulation used trigonometric principles to calculate distances and elevations across the land. Beginning in the eighteenth century, this cartographic practice emerged as one of the primary ways in which European colonizers came to “know” their imperial acquisitions. As Edney contends, the rhetoric surrounding this practice gave colonizers a sense of mastery over distant places, expressing the paragon of imperial rule in ordering the land in rational, standardized terms (Edney 1997).
Ground triangulation, nevertheless, was an arduous process. Teams of eight, ten, sometimes more, would spend several days in the countryside surveying. Sometimes they encountered bandits who occasionally robbed, even killed, workers. Out in these rural areas, they measured angles, distances, and elevations from a triangular network of known control points, called mapping chains, like this example from Hunchun near the Korean border. The known control points used by Japanese, however, overlapped entirely with Manchukuo's railroad network, which limited ground triangulation out in the hinterlands severely.