The "Wenchuan Earthquake Disaster Atlas," a large-scale comprehensive collection of maps jointly edited by departments including China's Ministry of Science and Technology, the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Development and Reform Commission, as well as experts and scholars from related fields, was officially published on March 18.
The atlas panoramically records the massive earthquake, from its occurrence in Wenchuan to post-quake planning of recovery and reconstruction. It adopts advanced technological methods including three-dimensional GIS (geographic information system), databases, remote sensing and digital drawing. The presentation methods, colors and semiotic systems used in the atlas are designed in accordance with the disaster characteristics of the massive earthquake.
The maps' complete and accurate contents provide decision-making references for national defense against major catastrophes and offer comprehensive historical materials for earthquake research. It will also raise public awareness on disaster damage prevention and reduction.
In the past, most of China's earthquake records were mainly in the form of texts. The Wenchuan Earthquake Disaster Atlas is the first comprehensive atlas that panoramically records the complete process of a major earthquake.By People's Daily Onlinehttp://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2009-03/19/content_214315.htm