Kim Jong Ho and “Taedongyo Map”


Kim Jong Ho was a geographer and cartographer who was active in the 19th century.

He was greatly interested in geography and cartology from his early years and devoted his whole life to mapping.

He concentrated efforts on drawing maps together with his colleagues and made a Korean atlas called “Chonggudo” in 1834. Later he compiled the “Terrestrial Globe”, “Complete Map of the Crab”, “Taedongyojijondo” and other maps.

In particular, the “Taedongyo Map”(Korean Map) made in 1861 was an excellent one rare to be seen in the world at that time.

Ri Chun Min, Researcher of the History Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences, says:

“Kim Jong Ho is a geographer and cartographer who made a contribution to the modern development of geography of Korea. The historical books ‘Ojuyonmunjangjonsango’ and ‘Record of Experiences Away from Home’ printed at that time contain writings highly appreciating the scientific talents of Kim Jong Ho and the utility value of the ‘Taedongyo Map’.

The life of Kim Jong Ho who devoted his all to mapping was the life of a true patriot for the country and fellow countrymen.”

Kim Jong Ho made a field survey and measurement, walking across the country for nearly 30 years. It is said that in the course he climbed up Mt. Paektu twice through virgin forest with no road.

In those days, he failed to see his beloved wife’s death and suffered from an incurable disease, unable to move even an inch.

But he overcame all those trials and sufferings and completed the “Taedongyo Map” in the end. The map was drawn in a total area of 33 square metres on a reduced scale of 1 to 162,000.

It was comparatively precise and correct and had some new system. It represents the development of map drawing and geography of Korea at that time and is of great value in studying history and geography and social economy in the closing years of the feudal society.

The “Taedongyo Map” of Kim Jong Ho who made a contribution to the development of geography of the country is being handed down as one of the precious scientific and cultural heritages.

Categories: History, Narrated

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