This channel would release Beijing, or the whole China, micro-data and maps (e.g. road networks, parcels, human mobility, historical city maps) for the BCL research fellows and external researchers. There are three levels of data access, free download, email request, and shared among research fellows / student members. 


Our released datasets are stored in DropBox. We would like to recommend you setup DropBox for downloading the datasets to your account. This is helpful when the download is temporally unavailable due to too many requests.


How to cite:

Beijing City Lab, Year, Data ID, Data Name,

E.g. Beiing City Lab, 2013, Data 8, Housing price in Beijing,

(For the dataset from external source other than BCL, we would recommend you to cite the original source)


Free external data plase click here>> 

Data released 1-20-->

34 Points of interest of China


Points of interest of China in 2014 (10.6 million) shared in the format of ESRI ArcGIS File Geodatabase


Please send your data request to while indicating your data using purpose as well as yourself. 


Welcome cite the following papers (which use the data as well) for courtesy of using the data for publication.

  1. Long, Y. (2016). Redefining Chinese city system with emerging new data. Applied Geography, 75, 36-48.
  2. Jin, X., Long, Y., Sun, W., Lu, Y., Yang, X., & Tang, J. (2017). Evaluating cities' vitality and identifying ghost cities in China with emerging geographical data. Cities, 63, 98-109.
Long 2016 AG_Redefine.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 5.8 MB
Jin et al 2017 Cities_GhostCities.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.8 MB

33 Parking places of Beijing


Almost all parking places of Beijing in 2014 are shared in the dataset. 


Data format: Shape Files

The data contributors: Ying Long


Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 300.9 KB

32 The new data of Yichun, a shrinking city in North East China


According to our previous bibliometrics study (城市规划的知识产出、消费与网络), the large Chinese cities have been attracted over much attention from researchers, and most of small cities in China are not well studied. For alleviating this situation, we are releasing the emerging new data (open data) for a small city in North East China, Yichun, which is experiencing population shrinking (for more, see the BCL project 15 Shrinking Cities, We hope this effort may shed light on the research for Shrinking Cities in China as well as potentially improve the quality of life of this small city through the lends of more studies and better decision making. 


Data format: ESRI ArcGIS 10.x, File Geodatabase

The data contributors: Ying Long, Dong Li (more to come)

Please send your data request to while indicating your data using purpose as well as yourself. 


Welcome cite our papers:

1. Long Y, Wu K, 2016, “Shrinking cities in a rapidly urbanizing China”, Environment and Planning A 48 220-222

2. Liu X, Song Y, Wu K., Wang J, Li D, Long Y. (corresponding author), 2015, “Understanding urban China with open data”, Cities 47 53-61

3. Li D, Long Y, 2015, “A crowed-sourced data based analytical framework for urban planning”, China City Planning Review 24 49-57

31 Impervious surface areas interpreted from DMSP-OLS and MODIS


We are sharing the urban areas interpreted from night time images DMSP-OSL and MODIS. The data provided by Prof Xiaoping Liu from Sun Yat-sen University cover the whole China for 2000, 2005 and 2010. Please cite the attached paper in case you use the data for research. 

Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 10.8 MB
Please cite this paper.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.1 MB

30 Bus stops of China in 2013


We gathered bus stops of most Chinese cities in 2013. We have used this data for bus coverage estimation. Bus coverage ratio of each city, a key indicator of 公交都市(交通部), was calculated by dividing the area of urban land overlaid with bus service coverage area with the total urban area of the city. Please see "1 Bus coverage of Chinese cities" for details ( 


We are now sharing the bus stops of China which we used for our study. Please cite our recent paper in your publication using our data (attached below).


Please address your data request to Mr Miaoyi Li (email: for the ShapeFiles dataset of bus stops. We would be always ready to provide the full dataset. 


In Chinese
李苗裔和龙瀛 2015 城市规划学刊_全国公交覆盖.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.3 MB

29 Points of interest in Germany, France and UK


Prof Bin Jiang is willing to share points of interest in Germany, France and UK with all BCLers and those who are paying attention to us. Please direct visit his portal at ResearchGate for the data downloading.

All these data have been used in the previous work:

Citation to the paper is welcomed. 

If you meet a problem on data downloading from ResearchGate, please address your email to beijingcitylab(at)gmail(dot)com and we would send you a Baiduyun link directly. Please keep in mind that the data on ResearchGate may be updated by Prof Jiang, and those updates may not included in the Baiduyun link. 

28 DMSP/OLS interpreted urban areas of China in 1992-2007


Generated by DMSP/OLS 夜光遥感影像

Format: GeoTIFF

Provided by the BCL research fellow Prof HE Chunyang at Beijing Normal University


Download: click the file link below. 

For urban areas in 2008 produced by Prof HE, please see BCL Data 16. 


Cite: Yang, Y., He, C., Zhang, Q., Han, L., & Du, S. (2013).Timely and accurate national-scale mapping of urban land in China using Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System nighttime stable light data. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, 7(1), 073535-073535. (see the link below for the full paper)


Other datasets of BCL that might interest you.

  • 15 Parcel maps for 297 Chinese cities
  • 17 Impervious area of China
  • 22 Urban areas of China in 2012 (by various methods)
  • 26 Natural cities of China 1992-2012
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 2.3 MB
The paper that relates to the data shared
Adobe Acrobat Document 5.1 MB

27 Various datasets from the BCL SinoGrids projects


City-related data, with a rapid growth in amount, is involving various aspects of everyone’s daily life. City researchers are devoting efforts to deepen our understanding of city based on unorthodox data. However, as most data are too precise and thus, sharing these data may offend the benefits of the original data holders. In such context, focusing on the extent of China, we initiated SinoGrids, a platform for the sharing of micro-scale data based on a 1km fishnet. Guidelines and Tools are provided for the micro-scale data holders to downscale their original datasets onto the 1km fishnet and upload to the platform of SinoGrids, forming a crowdfunding platform for basic data in China.

In terms of the scale, 1km2 is a scale both available for regional analysis between cities and internal studies of a certain city. Also, SinoGrids will share its data in the crowdsourcing way. The collected datasets, from either donations of scholars or open internet resources, (e.g. Weibo, taxi trajectory, road junctions, bus stops, photos) will be summarized to the fishnet and made public on SinoGrids data platform. In other words, the total amount of Weibo, Flickr photos and bus stops, etc. per 1km2 according to the fishnet will be displayed on the platform. The platform will also maintain the most and complete indexes and data guidelines for the convenient implementation of the public. On the one hand, data holders donate their micro-scale data through SinoGrids. On the other hand, they can realize regional analysis, urban studies, city planning consultation, and public participation under the guidelines of SinoGrids. SinoGrids will be a public and open platform for city-related data, with a hope to provide complete and transparent data support for quantized researches and regional analysis.

For data browsing and downloading, please navigate to "14 SinoGrids" in the BCL Projects channel (Click me).

26 Natural cities of China 1992-2012


Natural cities in each year during 1992-2012 generated by Prof Bin Jiang (

For more about Natural City, please visit Prof Bin Jiang's arXiv:


Format: ShapeFiles

To cite: Jiang B. (2015), Head/tail breaks for visualization of city structure and dynamics, Cities, 43, 69-77. (


Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 9.1 MB

25 Flickr photos of China


All  2,171,162 photos of China (till March 2014), prepared by Dr LI Dong


Format: ShapeFiles


Data download
compressed file archive 91.9 MB

24 Beijing check-in records from Sina Weibo


All check-in records collected from Sina Weibo in 2013

Totally 868 m check-ins for all 143,576 venues


Note that the coordinates of this data have been modified officially (火星坐标系). Additional georeferencing might be needed. 

To cite: Long Y, Liu X, 2013, “How mixed is Beijing, China? A visual exploration of mixed land use” Environment and Planning A 45: 2797–2798

Data download
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 22.2 MB

23 Inter-city connection of China (from various papers)


We release the dataset of several papers on inter-city network analysis by BCL research fellows. More is coming in future.


1 Liu, Y., Sui, Z., Kang, C., & Gao, Y. (2014). Uncovering Patterns of Inter-Urban Trip and Spatial Interaction from Social Media Check-In Data. PloS one, 9(1), e86026.

2 甄峰, 王波, & 陈映雪. (2012). 基于网络社会空间的中国城市网络特征. 地理学报, 67(8).


Format: MS Excel


Data download
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 5.4 MB

22 Urban areas of China in 2012 (by various methods)


We BCLers have been busy with mapping urban areas of China using various approaches like benchmarking road junction density and population density, as well as vector cellular automata. 


Download: This dataset is open to all BCL members.

To cite: Long Y, Shen Y, 2014, Mapping parcel-level urban areas for a large geographical area, arXiv preprint arXiv:1403.5864. ( Later this has been published in Annals of AAG


Four ShapeFile layers are included in the package:

(1) Road junction density

(2) Population density (based on BCL Data 19)

(3) Vector cellular automata



In addition, you can download BCL Data 16 DMSP/OLS interpreted urban areas of China in 2008 (night light images), and urban areas reflected by BCL Data 17 Impervious area of China (actually urban areas overestimated by the data). 

Data download
Compressed Archive in ZIP Format 42.6 MB

21 Road junction density of China in 2011


Process: kernal density of all road junctions of China in 2011 (searching radius 1000m)

Spatial resolution 200m

Density (ESRI GRID): (

Junctions (ShapeFile): please email for the raw junctions of China (over 2 million junctions)

Map download:

Provided by Dr Ying Long


 To cite: Long Y, Shen Y, Jin X, 2015, “Mapping block-level urban areas for all Chinese cities”, Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106 96-113