After an introduction to the tradition of map-making in ancient China and the impossibility of using most ancient maps for spatial analysis together with contemporary maps using modern techniques such as ArcGIS, this paper points out that Kangxi Complete Atlas Imperial Territories of Kangxi Era, the first map of China based on land surveying was among the few atlases with geographical coordinates before the 20th century. The article introduces the content of this atlas, the digitization method and the significance of digitizing this atlas. The significance of this digitization project can be generalized into four aspects. First, this digitized atlas will help us to improve accuracy in our study of the changes of rivers lakes and coastlines of China during the past 300 years. Second, the digitization of Complete Atlas of Imperial Territories of Kangxi Era will help us solve some problems related to the change of administrative regions which cannot be solved through traditional methods. Third, after digitizing the whole atlas we will built a China basic; geographical information system as it existed 300 years ago, with information about both administrative divisions and physical geographical features which will be beneficial for the study of historical geography history and other subjects. Fourth the digitized atlas and spatial analysis will help us to understand the development of cartographical techniques and will improve
the study of the history of surveying and mapping in China. Finally some issues related to the digitization of this atlas are discussed.