Historical Geography Research ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (2): 120-132.

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Changes of the Distribution Pattern of the Xining-Lhasa Road (Qinghai Section) from the Qing Dynasty to the Republic of China: Analysis Based on Digitized Ancient Maps

Li Zhende, Zhang Ping   

  1. Capital Normal University, Beijing 100089, China
  • Received:2020-04-01 Online:2020-05-20 Published:2020-08-14


Against the background of modernization, the distribution pattern of roads in Qinghai changed significantly from the beginning of Qing Dynasty to the founding of People's Republic of China. The Xining-Lhasa road was the main line of the traffic network of Qinghai. The changes of the distribution pattern in modern times epitomize the road network distribution patterns of those in the history. Based on a set of old maps from 1935 in the National Library of China, the changing process of the distribution pattern of Xining-Lhasa road in Qinghai were restored. Three driving forces led to road network changes in modern Qinghai: the abolition of the postal system, which led to the collapse of the official road system in last Qing Dynasty, the new transportation system brought by new vehicles, and the developing activities in the period of Republic of China in Qinghai. The changes of the distribution pattern of Xining-Lhasa Road showed the road network pattern in ecologically vulnerable area was prone to the influences from ever changing human factors in the historical period. The restoration of modern roads based on richly surveyed map data was a preliminary work towards accurate restoration of ancient roads.

Key words: Qinghai, Qinghai-Tibet Road, National Road from Xining to Lhasa, digitalization of ancient maps, historical transportation geography