The most popular large-scale maps in Korea by the end of 1800s

What’s Haedong yeojido?
Haedong yeojido refers to “a map depicting the country east of the sea (Korea) from China.” In today’s words, it is a general term for a “map of Korea.” 
The first cartographer to draw the Korean Peninsula in a shape resembling modern survey maps was Jeong Sang-gi (1678-1752). Haedong yeojido is an atlas comprised of eight large-scale provincial maps, which are copies of maps produced in the 1740s by Jeong Sang-gi, and a medium-sized national map, which is a downscaled version measuring 98.6cm along north-south axis. 
Among the two, the medium-sized national map of Korea was a copy of Jeong Sang-gi’s map drawn after 1800 which also added a map of Manchuria obtained from the Qing Dynasty of China. Haedong yeojido demonstrates that Koreans in the 1700s possessed the capacity to produce accurate national maps to a similar quality as modern maps by utilizing only the traditional information on distances and directions available during the 1700s Joseon era when modern measurement techniques were not yet available.
Characteristics and Popularity of Maps Produced by Jeong Sang-gi 
Cartographer Jeong Sang-gi produced precise national maps on a similar level to modern survey maps in the 1740s based only on traditional information on distances and directions contained in Sinjeung dongguk yeoji seungnam (Revision of the Augmented Survey of the Geography of Korea), a 25-volume village-level geographic monograph spanning the entire country that was produced in 1531, pictorial village-level geographic maps (6 volumes, 1720s), and Jeongripyo or Doripyo which were popular roadbooks. 
Jeong compiled a national map comprised of eight provincial maps that connected to form a large-scale map of the Korean Peninsula measuring 2.3 meters along the north-south axis. As the length of the Korean Peninsula is about 1,100km on a flat map, it can be calculated that the mapmaker drew the national map at a scale of 1:480,000.
Characteristics and Popularity of Maps Produced by Jeong Sang-gi 
The maps produced by Jeong Sang-gi are distinct from previous ones in terms of three characteristics. 

First, his maps applied a scale of one hundred li (里) to one ja (尺) to assist the user to estimate the actual distances on the maps.

Second, the maps included selective information pertinent to the user.

Third, Jeong included notes in the margins of the maps to prevent inadvertent mistakes incurred when hand-copying or merging the maps.

Produced in consideration of convenience in usage and replication, Jeong’s maps gradually fulfilled the demand for accurate maps, which had persisted since the late 1700s, and became the most popular large-scale maps in Korea by the end of 1800s. In addition, his large-scale maps were scaled down to produce small and medium-sized maps for various purposes. In the mid-1800s, they were printed and entered into mass circulation as Haejwa jeondo (map of Korea), a medium-sized woodblock painted version of the large-scale maps. As a result, a significant number of manuscript copies of the maps produced by Jeong Sang-gi remain extant in the collections of public and private organizations including 23 copies held at the National Library of Korea and others at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies.

Understanding Usando, the present-day Dokdo Island

In 1693, a Korean fisherman named Ahn Yong-bok was abducted by the Japanese. After being returned to Korea, Ahn voluntarily traveled to Japan in 1696 to resolve the injustice that he suffered. During his stay in Japan, Ahn declared that Usando (Dokdo Island) is situated to the east of Ulleungdo Island, which is in the middle of the sea route towards Japan, and verified that the Japanese refer to Usando as Matsushima.

Ahn’s declaration was recorded in the Yeongjo Sillok (The Annals of King Yeongjo) and further spread among the people, later being included in Seongho Saseol by Joseon silhak scholar Yi Ik, who was a long-time friend of cartographer Jeong Sang-gi. Based on his confidence in Ahn’s statement as recorded in Seongho Saseol, the mapmaker drew Usando (Dokdo Island) to the east of Ulleungdo Island in a smaller size.

The capital Seoul

Gamyeong (監營), a provincial administration and the headquarters of a provincial governor who ruled the entire province

Goeul (郡縣), an ordinary village under a provincial administration

Byeongyeong (兵營), an army command, the highest level among army bases

Tongyeong (統營), a regional navy headquarters of Gyeongsang-do, Jeolla-do and Chungcheong-do Provinces

Suyeong (水營), a navy command, the highest level among navy headquarters

Jin (鎭) and Bo (堡), a garrison and fort, military bases under an army or navy command

Chalbang postal station (察訪驛), in which a grade-6 official titled Chalbang was in charge of a number of postal stations

The system of beacon fires (烽燧), in which smoke during daytime and light at night were used to send signals to Seoul to warn of an enemy invasion approaching the border area

Names of 28 constellations arranged according to the direction of each province centering on the capital Seoul

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