The history of modern maps in Japan begins with the Japan maps (called INŌ’s maps) prepared by Tadataka Inō after he thoroughly surveyed the whole of Japan around 200 years ago. The purpose of this study was to investigate the precision degree of INŌ’s Tokyo map by overlaying it with present maps and analyzing the map style (map projection, map scale, etc.). Specifically, we quantitatively examined the spatial distortion of INŌ’s maps through comparisons with the present map using GIS (geographic information system), a spatial analysis tool. Furthermore, by examining various factors that caused the positional gap and distortion of features, we explored the actual situation of surveying in that age from a geographical viewpoint. As a result of the analysis, a particular spatial regularity was confirmed in the positional gaps with the present map. We found that INŌ’s Tokyo map had considerably high precision. The causes of positional gaps from the present map were related not only to natural conditions, such as areas and land but also to social and cultural phenomena.
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