I'm looking for good free online sources of vector (shapefiles of cities, provinces, terrain etc) and raster data on China.
Are there any open repositories of this type of data?
Open Street Map appears to have pretty comprehensive coverage of China's transportation and political boundaries. You can download a zip file of Chinese OSM shapefiles from GeoFabrik at:
Digital Chart of the World - DCW (China) http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~chgis/data/dcw/
Admin Boundaries (e00 format) http://sedac.ciesin.org/china/admin/bnd90/bnd90.html
Open Street Map #OSM n shapefile format
downloads.cloudmade.com/asia/china/china.shapefiles.zip (same as jvangled)
Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) http://data.geocomm.com/catalog/CH/group121.html
Global Administrative Areas also has a nice multi-level dataset :
It is not shapefiles but if you can read Chinese, then Environment and Ecological Science Data Centre for West China http://westdc.westgis.ac.cn/ might be of help. Although it says West China but many datasets are countrywide. Has things like landcover, vegetation, locations of glaciers and so forth. The catalog is a bit messy though...
After trial, the best free resources are:
Global Administrative Areas : http://www.gadm.org/country
The best non-free ressource is :
For rast data (elevation models, satellite imagery etc), check http://grass.osgeo.org/wiki/Global_datasets (China is large enough... and even high-res maps are listed there).