China’s geoinformation industry—surveying, mapping, and associated geospatial data and technologies—has grown explosively in the past decade, perhaps more so than that of any other country in the world. Yet outside of China, it remains little known. China’s civilian, military and even commercial geospatial players have long operated in a state of secrecy and restriction.
This 21-article volume, the inaugural issue of the new series East View Special Intelligence Reports, examines the past, current, and future of the geoinformation industry in China. Originally released in Chinese in January 2015 by Social Sciences Academic Press in Beijing, this comprehensive analysis offers timely insider perspectives from individuals and organizations leading change in the public and private sectors. Article authors include officials from national and regional mapping agencies, as well as company executives in China’s geoinformation industry. Now a vibrant billion-dollar activity, China’s geoinformation industry requires continuous updates and transformation to grow dramatically. Several authors recommend policy reforms that would allow market forces to drive the industry and foster demand for geospatial services. Ambitions to expand the Chinese geoinformation industry are integral to the continued development of China’s economy and security, including in information technology, mining, transportation, and China’s first-ever National Geographic Census. Authors view China’s own global navigation satellite system (GNSS) BeiDou and the mobile internet as key catalysts in transforming the geoinformation industry.
A new book series from East View Press, the East View Special Intelligence Reports (EVSIR) are time-sensitive, high-quality English translations of key annual reports concerning security, public policy, and major industry issues in China. These reports are published in their original Chinese versions by East View’s close partner in China, Social Sciences Academic Press—over 300 annual reports in the so-called “Pishu” Blue Book, Yellow Book, and Green Book series. EVSIR volumes are produced in a matter of weeks following the appearance of the respective Pishu annual reports. No other publication series offers Western researchers and analysts such rapid and comprehensive insight into current Chinese topics of critical interest.