Shanghai industries in 1947

In the course of a two-year project on “Cities in turmoil”, an attempt to examine everyday life in times of acute change through the use of GIS, Christian Henriot (安克強) has examined the transformation of Shanghai industries during the Civil War period. The study is based on a unique survey of some 10,000 factories and workshops produced in October 1947 and related materials in the daily and specialized press.

The preliminary findings of this study are available available in two forms. The paper presented at the Lyon workshop (7-9 November 2012) is posted on the Virtual Shanghai platform in the “Papers” section. It includes a good number of maps and photographs.The paper presents first a historical narrative on the state of industries during the Civil War. It then proceeds to draw up a portrait of industries through a  statistical approach. Finally, it addresses the issue of the spatial patterns of industries in the city. The use of GIS offers the possibility to locate factories and workshops accurately in the urban fabric. It established the reality of a strongly industrialized city, with three main concentration areas. Yet it also reveal the widespread distribution of industrial concerns throughout the city, endowing Shanghai with an economic structure apparently very similar to the large European cities of the first industrial revolution.

While the paper makes use of a few maps,  as part of the analytical work performed through GIS, Isabelle Durand, the GIS specialist at IAO, has produced a much larger set of maps that dissect each industrial sector and provide a view of their spatial distribution. In most cases, maps represent the distribution of the factories in three ways: location, capital, and workforce. A few more specialized maps present a comparison of various industrial branches in 1940 and 1947, though for only one territory, that of the International Settlement. Finally, GIS is used to explore possible linkages between industrial sectors, between the location f industries and other parameters (transportation, rivers, housing). The whole set of maps can be found under Map ID 1741-1777.

Cite this blog post
Christian Henriot (2012, November 20). Shanghai industries in 1947. Blog Virtual Shanghai. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from

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