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The 3rd ISPRS Workshop on Dynamic and Multi-Dimensional GIS & the 10th Annual Conference of CPGIS on Geoinformatics
Chen, Jun

ISPRS, Vol.34, Part 2W2, “Dynamic and Multi-Dimensional GIS’’, Bangkok, May 23-25, 2001
Georg BARETH 12 , Si JIN 23 , Tailai YAN 3 and Reiner DOLUSCHITZ 1
’University of Hohenheim
Department of Agricultural Economics (410 A)
Sub-Group of Applied Computer Technologies in Agriculture
70593 Stuttgart, GERMANY
Tel/Fax: ++49-711-459-2841/3481
E-mail: bareth@uni-hohenheim.de, agrarinf@uni-hohenheim.de
2 China Agricultural University
Sino-German Project
College of Agricultural Resources & Environmental Sciences
Beijing, 100094, P.R. CHINA
Tel/Fax: ++86-10-6289-3423/3539
E-mail: bareth@gmx.de
3 China Agricultural University
Department of Information Management
Section: Information Systems and Remote Sensing
Beijing, 100094, P.R. CHINA
Tel/Fax: ++86-10-6289-2119/2332
E-Mail: zhudg@hns.cjfh.ac.cn
KEY WORDS: Large Scale, GIS, Sustainable Agriculture, Beijing, China
The Sino-German Project between the China Agricultural University and the University of Hohenheim, Germany, focuses on sustainable
agriculture in the North China Plain. In the first phase of the project, an experiment field has been established near Beijing to investigate
different agricultural practices and their impact on harvest and environment. Researchers from several departments are involved in the
project: Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Informatics, Vegetable Science, Landscape Ecology, Phytomedicine, Plant Nutrition, Plant
Production and Soil Science. Apart from the field experiment, the project focuses on regional modeling. For the township of
Dongbeiwang, where the experiment field is situated, a GIS is established containing base geodata, statistical data, remote sensing
data and the project database of the field experiment. This GIS enables the modeling of strategies for sustainable agriculture with large
scale data. This paper reflects the experiences of data collection in China and presents the problems and the method of the set up of a
large scale GIS for a township in China.
The Sino-German Project focuses on the development and
implementation of sustainable strategies in agriculture.
Therefore, spatial modeling and regionalization for policy support
as well as field studies are essential. For a suburban township of
Beijing, Dongbeiwang, a large scale GIS is necessary to
extrapolate the results of the field studies to estimate the impact
of the research. Furthermore, a large scale township GIS
enables the modeling on field level to simulate sustainable
scenarios for agriculture. Based on our own experiences in
China, the set up of a spatial information system in a large scale
in China for modeling environmental aspects faces three major
• Information about large scale data
• Access to large scale data
• Information about map projections and coordinate systems
The information about large scale data in China is very limited.
Especially for foreigners or sino-foreign co-operations, such data
are restricted due to data policy and are hardly accessible even
so they are available. But also for Chinese it seems very difficult
to get access to any spatial or statistical large scale data. The
biggest problem is that there are no central institutions for data
and information delivery. Therefore, the whole process of “What
can I get where?” is like a puzzle work and needs an immense
amount of time for driving around and asking people. After you
finally acquired some data, there are still major problems to face.
For spatial data, the most serious problem is that paper maps in
large scale sometimes come without the information about
coordinate systems and map projections and this information is
almost impossible to get. So, is it finally impossible for sino-
foreign projects to work on a large scale in China or are there
still possibilities for large scale modeling of environmental
aspects for sustainable development? The latter is very apparent
in Chinese press .
The acquisition of large scale data in China is, as already
mentioned, very difficult. Some sort of land register maps exist in
a scale of 1:2,500 and 1:10,000 including points of elevation and
general topographical information. The date of the maps differs
widely. On the basis of the 1:10,000 map, a soil and land use
map is available as well, but the information quality is rather poor.
In Fig.1, this digitized soil and land use map for the township of
Dongbeiwang is shown. For the digitization, ArcView was used.
The attribute tables of this map are still not finished due to
translation problems. The different colors of the map indicate the
different administrative units (villages) of the township. The
polygons with the black outlines indicate the land use units for
which it is described if the land use is agriculture, residential etc..
These land use units carry vague soil information as well. This
map represents the spatial base information and is also used for
the field campaigns. The problem due to the lack of information
of x,y-coordinates and map projection was solved by a DGPS
field campaign. The results of the first DGPS campaign are
represented in Fig.1 as red lines and points. The DGPS
information which has an accuracy of around 2 m is described in
more detail in the second contribution of the MDGIS’01 (Bareth
2001). Additional information of the DGPS mapping is the
elevation with an accuracy of around 5 m.