China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape?

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China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? KenGrok 6/29/06 4:38 AM
[My first post ever, please be patient]

On the west side of the village Huangyangtan is what I take to be a military facility of some kind (judging by the masses of olive-colored trucks parked there). And right next to that is a scale-model of a landscape. I haven't tried to identify which region it depicts, but it doesn't seem to be a model of the region where this has been built. The model is mostly mountain ranges, complete with lakes and snow-capped peaks.

Googling Huangyangtan comes up with a number of reports about anti-desertification measures to be taken there (assuming this is the same Huangyangtan as I have found here). There does seem to be a lot of tree-planting around the facility and the model. But not enought to stop sand from blowing into Beijing. The whole area to the west looks like a military exercise area. Maybe if I could read them the giant Chinese letters painted onto some of the hills would tell me more about that area, at least.

In any case, any ideas what the function of this model landscape has?

-- KenGrok
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? stiuskr 6/29/06 4:49 AM
Sweet find there, K. I would have to guess that we'll be able to find this somewhere along one of China's borders. Probably the Russian border, maybe the N Korean. The key to identifying the model will be in the lake patterns.

Gotta go, happy hunting everyone...
"And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky A human being that was given to fly"....Eddie Vedder
Answer: the landscape is of occupied territory KenGrok 7/14/06 1:57 PM
Your suggestion led me to look along China's borders and I found the area represented in the scale model. It's of territory occupied by China but claimed by India, north and south of the east end of the Karakoram range. The borders in this region are shown in red rather than yellow to indicate the dispute.

The Indian name (or Uighur, apparently) for the main area under dispute is Aksayqin Hu. If you look at a map you'll see that there are three such regions like this. A smaller one to the south is part of the scale model. A third one father west is not: the valley directly northeast of K2. Presumably it is so inaccessable in the first place that it's not of concern to the Chinese planners.

The whole area is extremely desolate. There aren't many hi-res shots of the border areas. I've included a link to about the only thing more interesting than bare dirt or ice: a hilltop fortifcation. To the east of it one can see a few groupings of artillery positions (without the hardware).

Still, this doesn't tell of what the purpose of the model is.

A couple more observations about it:
- Its dimensions are almost exactly 700 x 900 m
- At first I though that the grey-colored regions of the model represented those areas that area accessable by graded roads. This appears not always to be the case. One theory: all the trucks parked next to the model brought in recruits who are, centimeter by centimeter, in the process of painting the whole thing something other than the red it is made of.

Added 21 July
Here's what, for example, Wikipedia has to say about Aksai Chin
Wikipedia article on Aksai Chin
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? Felippo 7/15/06 10:21 AM


Very nice find, and very interesting. Maybe the best first time post ever.:)

Thanks a lot for that, and for the nice overlay.

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? stiuskr 7/15/06 11:54 AM
Wow, good work guys! Getting ready for vacation so I haven't been on much lately. I figured it was either a border area, or maybe in a foriegn territory and was being used for guided missle navigation testing, bomb run waypoints or something similar. You know that if they've got this seemingly insignificant patch of land modeled, I wonder what else is out there?
And Braham's find looks to me like a highway network somewhere...
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? cnick6 7/19/06 4:39 AM
Everyone has an active imagination. I do not believe this to be a military installation. The drilling well is a good start.

Reasons not military base:

No guard towers or posts
No fencing
Vehicles would not be painted in colors
No communications tower (or backup)
Too close to residence (could be employees, but again, its too open)

Possible explanation:

There are several references on Google to the "Huangyangtan Farm" project.

One interesting note, is that if you line up North and go directly south a few miles you'll see a large Nuclear Power Plant. To the SE of that is the Hydroelectric dam.

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? KenGrok 7/19/06 9:42 AM
Especially when GE-ing China one's imagination can really go into turbo; there are so many unusual things there. Still, I think the model has some kind military function. Why?

  • It's of a militarily-sensitive region
  • Much of the terrain on the west side of the main north-south road is used by the military. The area where the map sits has been used for military exercise. North of here (OK, possibly no connection) is an airbase with weapons storage and hangars tunneled into the mountain.
  • Most of the vehicles parked around the model are olive-green (well, my imagination tells me that; GE colors are sometimes pretty bad). There are many dump trucks (there seems to be a lot of activity there), but even more personnel carriers. Inside that other facility, on the west side, it's true that there are vehicles of various colors. Perhaps that one does have a civilian function?
  • Too close to town? In the Chinese deserts military facilities are often right on the edge of towns, though on the side towards the hills, and away from agriculture. I have seen this hundred of times.
  • It's not possible to tell whether there's a fence. Looking on the south side of the area, the one without the trees planted, there are regularly spaced tiny blobs that are a shade darker than the embankment. But, again, it's impossible to say if they represent a fence.
  • There appears to a guard tower on the west as well as on the north side
  • If you're referring to the tower in the middle of the facility on the east of the model, that appears to be for radio broadcasting.

But, you know, in the end it's often very difficult to to tell what you're looking at in China. From all my crawling around this and other regions of China, it's hard to tell the difference between military and civilian. And in reality there's perhaps not a strict division between the two.

I propose a contest; have forum readers suggest alternate uses. I'll go first: this is China's first miniature golf course based on the terrain of one of the territories they occupy.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap jwelgan 7/19/06 12:32 PM
The beauty of open source information... Beijing MAC proactive in bettering ecological environment of north China. 4th paragraph:

Huangyangtan, the locality of an artillery shooting range, is 90 km away from Beijing and is one of the sources of sandstorms hitting Beijing. In order to improve the ecological environment there, the Beijing MAC has invested 500, 000 persons/times, millions of yuan of fund to plant trees and grow grass totalling75,000 mu. The forest coverage has increased from 0.08% at the beginning of building the shooting range to the present 62.5%. A coordinated tactics-drilling base of the military area command and a drilling base of a unit have invested large amount of manpower and material to afforestation. Now the barren hills and wastelands in the past have taken on a new green look and the forest and grass survival rate reached 90% and above. The Hongshan Military Horse Ranch has adopted such comprehensive harnessing measures as enclosing pastures where herding horse is forbidden, while growing trees and grass on these pastures to recover the deteriorated grassland. The National Afforestation Committee and the Environmental Protection and Afforestation Committee of the PLA have named the Hongshan Military Horse Ranch as the “Demonstration Base in Ecological Construction” of the state and the army.

Out of that I pull:
1. artillery shooting range
2. coordinated tactics-drilling base of the military area command
3. drilling base of a unit
4. Military Horse Ranch

I believe #1, the artillery range, is here, just to the west of the landscape. The numbers on the hills are probably used for ranging and there do appear to be craters from artillery, especially to the South. Just follow the mountain range and they will pop out at you.

Since there are military tactics drilling bases also in the city, I think it is probable the landscape is being used for those purposes.

The windmill farm is interesting though.

Hope these links work... I haven't posted before.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap BabaJehangir 7/19/06 7:38 PM

I propose a contest; have forum readers suggest alternate uses. I'll go first: this is China's first miniature golf course based on the terrain of one of the territories they occupy.

They've been trying to build roads there for a long time, haven't they. The model is less than 1 sq.mile, so it's use for training infantrymen is limited. But if they want to plan roads and other civil engineering works, then this is just nice.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? Delta102 7/20/06 12:10 AM
Welcomre to GE and Great find !........You've made the New's
Pets of Google Earth

Seasons of the Google Earth Community

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap unknownz 7/20/06 8:24 AM
Yeah I followed a link from an Australian news website to here. Well done folks.
Hmmm I found this post really interesting simply because I am a Chinese. So I started doing some research in Chinese. From what I have found in Chinese official reports and posts in various forums, I can definately tell that this place is a military drilling area. Appreantly it was built long time back and has been one of the training base for Beijing Military Division since. It appears every summer a large number of soliders, tanks, artilery and armed vehicles gather in the base for all kinds of drilling activities. It is a multi-functional coordinated training camp.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap donrico 7/20/06 1:15 PM
its almost like you didnt look at the picture...

there is a fence all around, a front and side gate, guard towers, a huge comm tower just behind the main building, nearest residence is miles away, and then, they are in the middle of NOWHERE.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap agraveman 7/20/06 2:28 PM
Just to clear one thing, this placed is not the other place named Huangyangtan which is undergoing anti-dessertification. That Huangyangtan has the same chinese name but it's in Heibei province (another province). That can ruleout using a anti-dessert facility as a cover-up.
Dont think the cost of that model is that high, since the labour cost around there is next to nothing. Thus, using the liberation army, means anything could be done will be done.
added info: Huangyangtang supposed to be a state-own experimental farm with 4 acres of land and use US imported irrigating machinaries. It is also one of the vineyards of a chinese winery. By overlaying a vincinity map over it, the houses to the east of the establishment are supposed to be farm houses. The hill to the southwest of the facility is called Fabuzhan in the map. The closest large town to the east which marked Shengli in GE is actually called Yongling.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? charliebouy 7/20/06 8:44 PM
my first post as well.
apologies if alreadsy posted, but as per the article by British IT news website The Register, the scale model of the landscape at Huangyangtan appears to be identical to a section of the planet at Karakoram mountains (border India and China).
go to:
34 05 55.62N 79 46 19.78 E, and rotate anticlockwise slightly and view from about 1700ft and eye alt of 226 miles to get the same scale. Pretty close match. Note the pits to the NE of the model site in china where they might have dug out fill to make the model

agree with other post that it could be a military training model - despite the abilty of using computer aided mapping etc, nothing beats the real thing in terms of being there and tasting the grit!

Thanks for the news about the news. Check the blog KenGrok 7/20/06 11:31 PM
Thanks for the report, Delta102. Maybe the news article will bring even more attention to Google Earth, and then Google will make enough money (how, I don't know) that they can add a few more good photos.

That news item is now the most-viewed article at that Sydney newspaper. There's a blog connected to it, a contest to see who can come up with the funniest alternative explanation for the model.

Sydney Morning Herald - Blog
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? spitfirexyz 7/21/06 3:05 AM
"...some of the images in Google Earth and other commercial satellite imaging apps are actually
quite old (ranging from a month to a year). This is why, according to an American quoted in the
article, some of the images in Google Earth and other commercial satellite imaging apps are
actually quite old (ranging from a month to a year).
This is why, according to an American quoted in the article, "In 1999, during the Bosnian War,
we bombed the Chinese Embassy by mistake because of outdated maps and aerial images."

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? WorldWatch 7/21/06 7:41 AM
This made news in Germany today:,1518,427936,00.html
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap jeffryv 7/21/06 9:33 PM
So much for this 3D solid-terrain model being the largest in world LOL

( My home province in Canada )

260 Million elevation data points

Add Google Earth Community search to your blog or website,here
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? PETSA 7/28/06 11:49 PM
thats pretty cool
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? dogstar7 7/31/06 6:50 AM
Here's a post of the area in the map.

Area in the Map
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap Jumble 8/3/06 12:44 PM
UPI has picked up Kengrok's post and made it NEWS again!!

Click Here!!
There are none so blind......
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap KenGrok 8/3/06 1:03 PM
Thanks for the info. The UPI release was rather weak, I think. ABC News has the find at their site, too, and it's actually pretty good (ABC News - Huangyangtan). They got the analysis of a number of authorities who had some fairly informative things to say.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? chickenswitch 8/4/06 2:43 AM
well done KenGrok !!! you have reached the turkish press too. the
content is same to other reports

greetings from cologne


Turkish Press
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap doniv79 8/4/06 4:08 AM
First Post

This region shows parts of the Aksai Chin disputed territory, the Nubra Valley, the Hanle basin, the capital city of Leh and a whole lot more. Actually this is the place where the 1962 Sino-Indian war was fought. Even today this is a high-security zone, albeit a bit less stressed since China and India have signed a treaty till 2007.

Aksai Chin was once part of the ancient Ladakh kingdom.

The largest water body in the mock-up is the Pangong Tso, as it is known in India. One-third of the lake falls in India and the rest is in China. Arguably said to be 120 kms long, it freezes over in the winters.

One can also see Tso Moriri, Tso Kar and the twin lakes of Kyun Tso (Tso stands for lake in Ladakhi). These are pretty popular tourist destinations.

The Hanle basin is also home to the highest astronomical observatory in the world, housing the Chandra telescope. This mock-up also covers the highest battlefield in the world, the Siachen glacier, since it falls approximately in this region.

So in effect, there are 3 countries here - India, China and Pakistan (technically Pakistan Occupied Kashmir).

Just returned from a month long biking vacation to these places

Thanks for the background information! KenGrok 8/4/06 6:12 AM
Nice to hear some details about the area. But you're probably kicking yourself for departing for Aksai Chin before reading this post. You would have saved yourself a lot of time and trouble, by choosing to head off to the replica instead. You could have walked through Aksai Chin in an afternoon without even breaking a sweat. On the other hand, perhaps the hard work of biking through the non-virtual landscape had its benefits, too.

Maybe you can post some placemarks + photos in the Travel forum when you're ready.
Article in the Indian Express KenGrok 8/7/06 1:58 PM
Here's an interesting article in one of India's newspapers. Rather than repeat what has been said elsewhere the reporter has done some original research; he contacted the Chinese Army for a statement: Article in the Indian Express
Re: Article in the Indian Express Braham_S_Aggarwal 8/7/06 11:58 PM

He contacted the Chinese Army for a statement:

Just a correction, Actually he had contacted an Indian Army Quarter Master, who had served on Indo-China border at Aksai Chin Area.
[color:"blue"] Worldwide Technologies [/color]
Possible real photo of the site? KenGrok 8/8/06 5:22 AM
Someone at the Sydney Morning Herald blog about the replica posted this link WForum which shows a photo that could very well be from training exercises held at the Huangyangtan site. Even after installing the Chinese character set for Internet Exploder I still couldn't read the accompanying text (I suppose it would help to learn it in the first place).

What does everyone think, especially those who can read Chinese?
Re: Possible real photo of the site? spitfirexyz 8/8/06 5:51 AM
Hope it can help.
This is an image of the chinese (?) comment of the photo

Re: Possible real photo of the site? Braham_S_Aggarwal 8/8/06 7:21 AM

It means :

Today's most attractive picture of army aviation : See how the land army rehearse at the sand hill? Cool !
[color:"blue"] Worldwide Technologies [/color]
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap jeffryv 8/13/06 10:39 PM
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? SkyWolf 8/16/06 2:17 AM
God knows what it is, i believe!
I love map. I love Google Earth. ╭⌒╮┅~ ¤  ╭⌒╮ ╭⌒╮ ╭⌒╭⌒╮╭⌒╮~╭⌒╮︶︶, ︶︶ , ︶︶︶︶,''︶~~ ,''~ ︶︶  ,'' ╬ ╱◥███◣╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬╬ ╬ ︱田︱田
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? icetoo 8/20/06 9:12 AM
I did scroll a little from that model and find this, it looks like chinese letters on the ground
anyone knows what that says?

Chinese text

And if you scroll to left it looks like numbers, 4,5,6..

weird place!
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? Braham_S_Aggarwal 8/20/06 12:38 PM
OK, Now to make it more interesting, Here is a collection of 100+ placemarks containing all these digits, signs & target circles.

It all starts within a range of one kilometer from the model and is spreaded upto to twenty kilometers or beyond.
Re: Possible real photo of the site? whitecue 8/21/06 10:20 AM


It means :

Today's most attractive picture of land army : See how the land army rehearse at the sand hill? Cool !

hi, my first post too. being chinese i can say that your translation is not quite accurate, it's not the "land army" training there, it should be "army aviation", so those guys in the photo should be some PLA army aviator with their little chopper models walking around. and this post is really nice, i'm fascinated by those white patterns in the desert, gee, what are they?
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? whitecue 8/21/06 11:07 AM

OK, Now to make it more interesting, Here is a collection of 100+ placemarks containing all these digits, signs & target circles.

It all starts within a range of one kilometer from the model and is spreaded upto to twenty kilometers or beyond.

hi braham, some of these marks are clearly military-related, some of them read: "train hard", "repay our fatherland", "march from here to the battleground", "contribute to the north-west", all in all, propagandas, and one of them even says "have fun in doing it", heck. however, other marks, like those alongside the dark colored paved road, are just signs promoting the protection of the road, says something like "damaging the road is shameful", guess they are for the drivers. anyway, interesting find
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? Braham_S_Aggarwal 8/21/06 12:35 PM
Thanks for updating and subsequently stating the actual meanings of those signs.


I'm fascinated by those white patterns in the desert, gee, what are they?

See Here
[color:"blue"] Worldwide Technologies [/color]
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? paul_z 9/1/06 8:05 AM

I've had a look at three of the sites discussed on the BBS. The 'scale map' is, I think, exactly that, and the fact that it's a disputed area suggests military training. I suspect it's helicopter or other aircraft navigation training, especially given the proximity to both abandoned and working airfields to the north. The red buildings to the east suggest barracks with trucks outside, for enlisted men or trainees. The other buildings (to the south of the barracks) suggest offices and other facilities including a significant telecomms capability (large antenna shadow to north of blue building) consonant with aircraft movement systems.

This interpretation is bolstered by the numbers written into hillsides to the north. It's likely these are for navigation training too, in areas where man-made structures are unavailable. Most holders of private pilots licences learn to use railroads, motorways, etc as navigation aids: in remote areas (such as disputed zones) these are less frequently available, so terrain interpretation becomes essential. Initial training in this can be fraught with danger, so the numbers may be there as additional aids to developing this awareness in initial training.

The airbase mentioned in a later message 'now things are getting more mysterious' shows an abandoned airstrip to the west. This is clearly abandoned as various river channels have dumped sediment across the runway. The strip to the east looks like it's currently under construction and the final surfacing has yet to be completed. I'd suggest it's under construction as the differences in tone of the surface suggest concrete laid in strips (you can't lay an entire runway in a single block, it'd crack up and it's too difficult logistically). The underground bunkers are either hardened hangar facilities for aircraft or munitions stores. The excavated material has been laid between sections to provide blast deflectors to prevent an explosion in one setting off adjacent stores/facilities. Clearly military and also unlikely to be active when the imagery was collected.

The final message about the white lines 'now things are getting bizzarre' are most interesting, I've honestly no idea what they are. The lines are clearly quite wide as the vehicle tracks cover <20% of a white line. The 'tracks around the white lines' are more likely an artefact of the image compression algorithm google earth uses to deliver imagery over the internet. I don't have a suggestion for what the white lines are for.

I'm coming at this as someone with >10 years experience interpreting aerial imagery, so I'm fairly convinced the explanations above are good, however if anyone has any realistic suggestions for what the white line pattern is I'd be interested in hearing it!

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? wellew 9/1/06 8:50 AM
Opinions on the Xinhua photo that might be HYT KenGrok 9/2/06 7:44 PM
The photo with the Chinese press agency’s name on it has kept me busy for a while. I have a few ideas but no solution, so I’d like to hear what the forum might have to contribute.

I have been unable to make a positive match between what is shown in the photo and what we can see in at the Huangyangtan site. It could be due to insufficient resolution. As an example of what I mean, I have assigned an average height of 1.70 meters to the men in the picture. Using them as a ruler, the lake or reservoir shown in the lower-right corner is perhaps 60 cm across. Perhaps we’re unable to see anything that small in Google Earth. We can forget about trying to spot the yellow areas that might represent towns.

And in the true Aksai Chin I have found no area that includes the bodies of water shown in the Xinhau photo. That’s where I begin to wonder whether the photo even comes from the Huangyangtan facility. Further reasons for doubt:

Towns – The photo shows yellow areas that probably represent towns or villages. If that’s the case, the number in this photo exceeds the number of inhabited places in all of Aksai Chin. Nowhere in that region are there 4 – 6 towns within a few km of each other. There are barely that many villages to begin with. And nowadays none of them are more significant than a group of a few buildings. The regional “capitol” is reported to have had 850 – 1600 inhabitants, perhaps at the beginning of the 1900’s, but recent travelers report it is now nothing more than a few military buildings.

Bodies of water in general – As opposed to Tibet proper to the east, Aksai Chin has much less water. There are a number of large lakes, but the area region lacks smaller lakes in groupings like the ones shown in this photo. At a scale of 500:1, which has been mentioned elsewhere, the aforementioned lake would be about 600 meters across, big enough to spot despite most of the region being show only in low-res.

Railroad? – There’s a dashed line shown in the photo which could represent a railroad line. There are none in Aksai Chin.

That leads me to conclude, very unwillingly, that the photo could be from a different facility. That would mean that there’s at least one more scale-model landscape somewhere in China, though not necessarily as large.

I have looked around as much as I can get away with (you might be aware that my wife no longer allows me much time with Google Earth), but have not yet found a region that matches the one in the photo. Perhaps it is, in fact, in Aksai Chin. If someone wants to be a hero, please find it. Here are a few ideas I have that might help to locate it:

Orientation – The daylight, and the length of the mens’ shadows lead me to believe that the picture was taken around midday. Thus the shadows point to the north. The terrain is probably laid out accordingly. Thus we’re looking from the north (NNW, really). That puts the one lake to the west of the largest yellow blob, and the group of 3 lakes to the south of it.

Yellow blobs – Probably towns, as mentioned already. The biggest one has three characters on it. Can any Chinese readers photoshop them clear enough to read them? Three characters means a town name with three syllables (of which there are only a few million).

Roads – The red lines must represent roads. Note that the main ones, as well as the dashed line I take for a railroad, run roughly east – west.

The yellow line – I’m unsure what this could represent. A border, maybe. A lot of borders follow rivers (and that what it looks like in this photo). I looked all along China’s borders but found no match. The Chinese have relatively few rail lines and roads that run parallel and so close to a border, so I’m really unsure about this. On the other hand, of those seven white, numbered things on stilts, six of them are on one side of the yellow line. If they represent approaches to the main town, perhaps they represent defense moves, which would come from the direction China and the town, occupied by the enemy, would be in China, Chinese territory would be on the south side, the enemy on the north. But, again, I found nowhere that matched these and the other criteria.

For anyone who sets off to find the matching region, all I can say is good luck. And any comments to the above are welcome.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? Benjamin_Becker 9/20/06 4:48 PM


I just stumbled on this thread, and I don't have time to read it entirely, sorry... so if the following is information that has already been made available, please ignore me.

Just wanted to say that I've recently been at that place. The area is brimming with military activity, there are helicopters flying, you can see tanks and heavy artillery etc. You can also hear artillery fire. The white numbers are targets, I've seen tanks taking shots at them.

The Chinese characters on the ground serve various purposes; some I couldn't read, some warn of the area being off-limits, some say "protect nature" *g* etc. Note that in China it's relatively common to write huge characters on the ground (usually white stones are used), by and large the meaning is rather basic and uninteresting (protect the grass, don't go here, in some years this will be a green garden and more such nonsense).

In the area, there are lots of military patrols. The soldiers are friendly and approchable, but don't give any information if you ask them.

As I said, I've got no idea whether the above is of any use to you guys.

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? Braham_S_Aggarwal 9/20/06 11:00 PM
It confirms that this whole area is a big military training facility or it could also be much more than that.
No luck so far KenGrok 10/1/06 11:54 AM
In my limited free time I have been browsing locations for a possible match to this photo. Note that I'm not looking for the actual place where the photo was taken, but rather for the place it represents.

I've been through all of India and most of southeast Asia. I wish I was posting this to say I'd found it. Does anyone have some ideas on how I might faster locate the area represented? Recall from my previous post that I feel that the photo was not taken at the Huangyangtan site; too many things are shown in that photo that aren't present in Aksai Chin. That's why I'm combing other areas.
Re: Opinions on the Xinhua photo that might be HYT Michael_Lynch 10/5/06 11:12 AM
Is this whole thing serious? In about 20 minutes and using the info in the posts, I found the place on Google Earth. The shape and locations of the surrounding terrain and other bodies of water is the same. Go to 33d 31'22.35"N 79d47'41.20"E. that is the body of water in the model or I am a Chinese Aviator! The general "lay of the land" is identical. Even the shape of the shorelines of the lakes and the "chain" arrangement of the primary lake. No mystery here! Probably the Chinese way of training for the eventual takeover of the region. You can bet that they want this back! Especially since they have fought over it at least twice in the past 50 years. Who knows what for. They have their reasons and for the Chinese, that is all that is important.
Re: Opinions on the Xinhua photo that might be HYT KenGrok 10/5/06 12:33 PM
Mr. Lynch, are you referring specifically to the photo shown in jeffryv 's post from 14 August (link: Post of photo from Xinhua)?

I ask because I'm not able to match the area you pointed to and that in the photo. The KMZ seems to be broken, or it doesn't work for me at least, so I couldn't check this any further.

You wouldn't be the first person to call me a bit slow, if I can't see the match, but I believe you are perhaps referring to the general question of which region is represented by that landscape-within-a-landscape. If so, well, good work but that was answered some time ago (link: Region identified, with additional input in reply to that).

Let us know. I'd be really happy if someone has, in fact, figured out the Xinhua photo.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? blairmac 10/30/06 6:31 PM
Brilliant post, it's been a facinating read. I find it hard to beileve that it's not a military area, the buildings etc on the eastern side have to suggest this.

Now i'm going to go and make a find of my own so that I can make worldwide news.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap ganfei 11/4/06 4:45 AM
nobody can believe me. I born here.
the name is Huangyangtan not huangyantan

it's a military exercise area.!836449133D1FE13D!654.entry
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? PriceCollins 4/9/07 9:04 PM
This posting had been deleted because it was a reply to another person's posting which was deleted for reasons unrelated to the topic.

EDIT: It is too bad that the original body of the post has been deleted. The attachment showing an overlay of the model on the actual landscape remains. I have replaced the images in the post. Hill

                                                Side-by-side comparison: <-- LEFT Aksai Chin -------- Huangyangtan camp RIGHT-->

Note especially the bodies of water.

Higher resolution overlays are provided in the attached file.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap Lrae 4/10/07 3:17 PM
Nicely done Price! I like the fact that you can look at it from both sides... overlays on both locations.
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscap Ender_Wiggin 6/22/08 2:35 AM
At the airbase to the north, there are some MAJOR tunnel entrances at the far north end, as large as Cheyenne Mountain. It this the major command centre for the Chinese military or do they have another location?

I know there is a large underground facility, but not where? Is this it?

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? gazavat 2/1/09 5:17 PM
Hi there,
how does it come that the old links to the site (one given in this forum, and one which Wikipedia Aksai Chin article refers to) now lead me to a different location, placemarked "Yinchuan
Ningxia, China" ??
thanx for an explanation, and proper coordinates of the place will be appreciated
Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? Diane9247 4/17/09 3:43 PM
Hello gazavat -

The kmz led me to the site in the title. I can't imagine how yours went astray. oconfused And, what an interesting thread this is!

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? satcom15 4/17/09 5:56 PM
That is one of the strangest things - a mock-up of western Tibet? How bizarre.
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Date of SAT footage: April 5th 2005 smokeonit 6/27/09 5:56 PM
The date of the SAT footage: April 5th 2005

or am i missing something??? a lot happens in 4 years...
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Re: Date of SAT footage: April 5th 2005 6/28/09 9:11 AM
its almost like you didnt look at the picture...
Re: Date of SAT footage: April 5th 2005 smokeonit 12/19/09 11:01 AM
Originally Posted By:
its almost like you didnt look at the picture...

Re: China - Huangyangtan - Scale model of landscape? TawKeenSmak 12/21/09 4:30 PM
Nice Find Indiana..! More treasure to discover!
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Re: Opinions on the Xinhua photo that might be HYT SwingDaddy 5/28/10 9:50 AM
I might add some useful conjecture. Might some lines in the scale model represent approach and departure directions for attack aircraft?
Scale model of landscape - New imagery KenGrok 3/17/11 11:43 AM
Compared to other parts of China this whole region has gotten frequent updates during the past 12 months. But sometimes I've wondered whether Google was excluding the scale model of Aksai on purpose.

Not any more. With the new imagery released today (17 March 2011) the site gets its first update; the photos go from May 2005 to October 2010. Not that much has changed. The base itself has added a couple of new buildings, and couple of mobile satellite uplinks happen to be parked in the central courtyard.

The scale model has either the bleached out in the sun a bit, or the colors of the photo are simply different than the more vivid ones from 2005.

To the north, west, and south there's been a lot more activity, though it's not related to the scale model. It's obviously one of the central training sites in this part of China. Trenches riddle the hills, and several tarmacs are now to be seen for come-and-go tent camps; a couple are active.

Re: Scale model of landscape - New imagery Hill 3/17/11 10:47 PM
Historic imagery acts in a different way. Unclicked shows the latest imagery while clicking it shows the 2005 imagery. There is no operating scroll bar. But perhaps that's the way that GE handles areas with only two dates now. oconfused

I like the old imagery much better.
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