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?
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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).