Gim Jeong-ho

Kim Jeong-ho's magnum opus, Daedong Yeojido.

Kim Jeong-ho (pen name Gosanja; ‘the guy of old mountain’ 1804–1866?) was a Korean geographer and cartographer. He was born in Hwanghaedo. It is believed that he walked the entire length and breadth of the Korean peninsula, through mountain and valley, in order to research and compile his magnum opus, the Daedongyeojido, (대동여지도, 大東輿地圖) a map of Korea that was published in 1861, from which was subsequently made a single-sheet version, the Daedongyeojijeondo (대동여지전도 大東與地全圖).

The events surrounding Kim's death are obscure. Following the publication of a later version of the Daedong Yeojido in 1866. Kim is not heard from again. The document from the Governor-General of Korea asserts that the Korean regent Daewongun, upon viewing the later version of Kim's great map, became incensed by its inclusion of details of a sensitive nature critical to national defense. According to the document, the Daewongun had Kim arrested and jailed and the maps had been destroyed.

However, this is not true, as the original wood printing block of Daedong Yeojido still can be found in the Soongsil University and also in the Korea University. Furthermore, the people who helped to develop the map such as Choe Han-gi and Shin Hun was not convicted at all. The Korean historical community believes that the document was a fabrication by the General-Government, which was under control by Japan during Japanese colonization.

The asteroid 95016 Kimjeongho is named in his honour.


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Further reading

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Gim Jeong-ho, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.