Research of Changes in Main Streets at Huwei Township


Huwei Township, an urban township in the center of Yunlin County, Taiwan, is the secondary significant district for local industries, economy, education, medical care and employment. Since most literature review of Huwei Township focused on the developments of history rather than the studies from geographic and spatial perspectives, the researchers decided to utilize SuperGIS Desktop to display the changes in main streets of Huwei township from literature, map, and time context.

Protesters take to the streets on July 1. Photo: David Wong

3 main methods are employed:

1. Sort out the development history of Huwei Township according to literature review
2. Analyze main street changes of Huwei Township with maps
3. Employ GIS technologies to display the development and changes in Huwei Township and conduct spatial analysis on peripheral region and assist the relevant divisions in planning more possibilities of following developments. 


1. Collect literature and maps related to main streets’ history of Huwei Township and sort out the development history 

2. Geographic Information System: The researchers adopted SuperGIS Desktop 3.2 to overlay diverse maps, including historical maps like Atlas of the Historic Administrative Pau Division of Taiwan during the period of Japanese rule (Meiji version) and terrain map, digital maps and satellite images of Formosat-2 to conduct analyses. Besides, the functions within SuperGIS Desktop 3.2, like Image Rectification, Image Transparency, Labeling, and so on are also employed to overlay ancient maps with the current maps to comprehend the spatial changes of Huwei main streets.

By using SuperGIS Desktop 3.2, users from various domains can manipulate a professional platform for geoprocessing and analyzing, displaying, editing, managing, and querying spatial data even faster and more easily.

3. Interview Town Mayor and cultural workers to know the development history of Huwei Township, and carry out the field survey to compare region changes in different periods.


1.Integrating with GIS technologies to display the historical developments of Huwei Township on map:

The researchers found that names of streets in Huwei Township were not shown on ancient map during Qing Dynasty. In addition, the history, district and region of Huwei Township were changed a lot as the time passed. In order to clearly view region of Huwei Township in different periods and the geographical differences among each period, the researchers employed GIS technologies within SuperGIS Desktop to overlay and analyze historic maps of Huwei Township, and display spatial relation among these maps.

2.Displaying changes of main streets at Huwei Township from Japanese rule to ROC rule:

According to the satellite image we can see that main streets at Huwei Township are now the popularity and business concentrated area. These main streets in the initial period of Japanese rule belonged to undeveloped area; however, the area enlarged rapidly with expansion of sugar mills and then expanded forwards to the position of department of administration with evolution of local system.

By overlaying Huwei main streets maps of each period, SuperGIS Desktop fully presents the spatial changes of Huwei Township from Japanese rule to the period of ROC rule.

Huwei Township Map in Qing Dynasty
Satellite Image of Huwei Township

Historical changes have left cultural marks on Huwei Township. The relevant divisions can integrate the cultural capital with GIS to build tourist guide system which may meet modern people’s requirements. Huwei owns rich tourism resources but was developed early so that the narrow streets caused the traffic jam and parking problems today. By using SuperGIS Desktop to overlay relevant layers and maps and conduct diverse analyses on Huwei Township, researchers can find the results to assisting in planning the following developments for more convenient traffic system and friendlier atmosphere of the township. Furthermore, the analyzed map data generated by SuperGIS Desktop can be utilized as map resource of tourist guide system on culture and tourism afterwards.

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