[KS] Korean Map tool (online)

gkl1 at columbia.edu gkl1 at columbia.edu
Sun Jun 30 17:04:21 EDT 2013

Thanks to Frank for his updating of the website map tool for modern maps!

   While on the subject of maps, I would like to introduce to the list  
news of a late 17th-18th century Korean map on which all of the  
district names are written exclusively in Hangul. Those who are  
familiar with traditional Korean maps will know that they give the  
names of Korean provinces and districts and all marginal notes only in  
their Chinese form up until the last quarter of the 19th century.

   Unfortunately, this map, which came to my attention last Fall when  
its owner contacted me, bears neither a title nor any clue as to its  
maker. The owner, who lives in Paris, bought the map on a whim at an  
auction in Germany a year and a half ago.

   Going by the cartographic method and handwriting, I see the maker  
as an amateur and probably a self-trained cartographer.  
Cartographically the map is in the traditional "ChOng Ch'Ok" style,  
which goes back to the mid-15th and lasted into the mid-18th century,  
when Korean cartographers absorbed Western techniques that yielded a  
much more accurate outline of the Korean peninsula, and in particular  
the outline of Korea's northern frontier. The hangul place names and  
notes reflect the Korean orthography current in the late 17th through  
the late 18th centuries. The paper has been estimated as of the same
time span.

   There was a map made in 1845 by the Korean Catholic convert Kim  
TaegOn that used Hangul for its place names and other indications. Kim  
was ordained as a priest in Macao and later served as a Korean guide  
for the French fleet active in Korean waters during the 1840s. But his  
map is strictly in the Western cartographic tradition and based on the  
western methods then current. That map has always been in the  
Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and only very rarely displayed. It has  
never been shown in Korea, although Korean historians who visited  
Paris have commented on it and published a picture (which I foolishly  
forgot to note for myself).

   There are a few Chinese characters on the map: the names of  
Paektusan and the island of of Nokto ("Deer Island" 鹿島, under the  
administration of Sunch'On in  ChOlla Province), and a coding note  
using the character 半(반), which I cannot explain but appears next to  
the name of several districts in PyOngan Province (which was not then  
divided into North and South). Other than that, everything is in  
Hangul. Perhaps the mapper thought greater dignity went to Paektusan  
with Chinese characters, but if so, it's hard to see why Nokto should  
have the same treatment

At the request of the owner, I wrote an article, "A Unique Korean Map"  
describing and analyzing the map. It was published last week on the  
website of
the East Asia Institute in Seoul. The link to the article is below. At
the bottom of p.16 of the article there is a direct link to the map


Gari Ledyard

Quoting Frank Hoffmann <hoffmann at koreanstudies.com>:

> A brief note:
> I just put together and updated a website map tool that merges the
> various services from Google, Bing, Yahoo, OpenStreet, and an old
> Russian map--and also included the 'raw' maps for the Korean map
> services Daum, Naver, and Olleh. Those last ones cannot (at least not
> for the web, for the Desktop yes) be integrated via OpenLayers yet.
> Nothing original, but all in one place.
> http://koreanstudies.com/maps/?zoom=8&lat=37.43956&lon=127.82386&layers=0B00000000F
> Best,
> Frank
> --------------------------------------
> Frank Hoffmann
> http://koreanstudies.com

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