A new map providing information on a 1:50,000 scale of China's six western and southwestern provinces and autonomous regions was published on Monday by the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.
This is the first time that detailed geographic information is available for those six areas in west and southwest China, including Yunnan, the Tibet autonomous region and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, covering about 21 percent of the country's land.
It took 2,600 technicians about five years to draft the map. The project is part of the administration's report on surveying, mapping and geographic information in China, which was released on Monday.
The report said the output value of Chin's geographic information industry reached 20 billion yuan ($3.18 billion) at the end of last year.
China has 16 Beidou, or Big Dipper, navigation experimental satellites in orbit. The Beidou satellite system is expected to provide services to most Asian countries in 2014, and it will cover the globe by 2020, according to the report.
Compared with current GPS, or global positioning systems, the Beidou system provides faster speeds and will be free, said Xu Yongqing, vice-director of the administration’s surveying and mapping development department.
Xu also said that a new version of "Mapping World"— a mapping system designed by the administration — will be available in March.
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