Admiralty chart of northern Taiwan

China Sea. North Coast of Formosa (Taiwan) Kiirun Ko (Keelung Harbour) From the Japanese Government Plans of 1919.

Asia China Taiwan
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Published at the Admiralty
  • Publication date: New Edition 11th April, 1921. Small corrections to 1923.
  • Physical description: Engraved chart, including tidal information, compass roses, soundings, seabed notations, currents, sandbanks, shoals, lighthouses and beacons picked out in yellow and red, inland elevations, detailing, and buildings.
  • Dimensions: 710 by 1040mm. (28 by 41 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1404


Detailed chart of the Keelung Port on the north coast of Taiwan.

Taiwan at the time of the chart’s publication was under the control of the Japanese, who in 1895 had gained control of the island from the Chinese after the First Sino-Japanses War. Under the adminstration of the Japanese Keelung became one of the major trading ports in Taiwan. Although heavily bombed during the Second World War, the port today is one of the busiest container ports in the world.

The British Hydrographic Office was founded in 1795 by George III, who appointed Alexander Dalrymple as the first Hydrographer to the Admiralty. The first charts were produced in 1800. Unlike the U. S. Coast Survey the Hydrographic Office was given permission to sell charts to the public and they produced a great number of sea charts covering every corner of the globe. Most of the Admiralty charts produced by the Hydrographic Office delineated coastline as well as high and low water marks and record depth of water as established by soundings. In addition these charts included information on shoals, reefs, and other navigational hazards that plagued mariners across the world. Thanks to the innovations of Sir Francis Beaufort, who developed the Beaufort Scale of wind strength, the British Hydrographic Office became one of the leading producers of sea charts. In fact, such was their accuracy that the phrase ‘Safe as an Admiralty Chart’ was coined.