Back in February, Wired Magazine ran a story on the center of the USA according to Google Maps. The -ist network of sites, being geographically organized, was quick to pick up on this meme, giving us the center of New York and of Washington D.C..
Inspired by the pirate within us, Shanghaiist rose to the challenge of finding the X that marks the spot and discovered that this is not such a simple calculation for our city. First off, Google Maps doesn’t have street data for Shanghai, only satellite maps:
Cross checking with our trusty-rusty “5 kuai value for 3 kuai” 2006 Shanghai Jiaotong Ditu, the center according to Google Maps is a green space on the east side of Maoming Nan Lu just north of Yongjia Lu. Anybody have any clue about the identity of that giant trapezoidal building to the west?
Not satisfied with mere photography (“pictures taken from space? bah humbug!”), Shanghaiist then resorted to Google Bendi, the Chinese version of Google’s local business search. Searching for “center” in “Shanghai” takes us here:
This shows the center of Shanghai as being a location just west of the Shanghai Museum, somewhere in the park that covers the underground HK Mall, a mall which by the way has a pretty decent arcade and more teenage girls than spill out of Cashbox at 2 am.
To throw even more local flavor into the mix, Shanghaiist resorted to a Baidu map search:
Baidu shows the center of Shanghai to be a non-descript location between Huaihai Lu and Changle Lu at Huating Lu.
And finally, step into three dimensions with Hangzhou-based E-dushi’s map of Shanghai. A click on the approximate center of Shanghai takes us here:
Finally, we have found it. The little building in the center of the screen is the site of the Second National Congress of the Communist Party of China: the center of Shanghai.
Or is it? What do you think is the true center of Shanghai?
Old map scan taken from Tales of Old Shanghai.