Scarce map of the southwestern part of Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island, first published by the British Admiralty in 1904.
The map covers all of Lamma island and covers Hong Kong from Mount Davis and Pok Fu Lam in the northwest to Bluff Head, Stanley (also called Chikchui Fishing Village on the map) and Chug Hom Kok, centered on South Horizons and Deep Water Bay. As noted in Charting The Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong Maritime Museum):
The chart was referenced to a datum position in Aberdeen Harbour although, curiously, the contemporary plan of Aberdeen was always produced as a separate chart (see chart 3385) until the two were combined in a new chart in 1969 (see chart 1918). The datum position was Deep Pass Point (now in a shipyard on the shoreline below the Catholic Seminary at the end of Welfare Rd., Wong Chuk Hang) given as in position 22º 14’ 50”N 114º 9’ 38”E referenced to the flagstaff on Victoria Peak being in 22º 16’ 39.3”N 114º 8’ 37.78”E assuming the Hong Kong Observatory was in longitude 114º 10’ 18.75”E.
The chart number is today in use for a chart of the Rade de Brest, France.
Lt. Douglas went on to become Rear Admiral H.P. Douglas, Hydrographer to the Navy and inventor of the Douglas Protractor and the Douglas (now international) sea state scale.
The pencil notes add the names Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay.
The lighthouse on Green Island, across from Mount Davis is shown. Across the Channel, a bit of the town plan now the west end of Belcher Road is shown, with a Rope Works and Gov't Wharf. Outside the town's streets, a "Plague Hospital," and Cattle Market appear west of Reservoir.
At Taiho Wan (Telegraph Bay), a Good landing place, Misson College, Monatery and Dairy farm are shown.
At Aberdeen, the Docks are shown, along with Shekpaiwan Village , a Stonne Bridge, Joss House, Police Station, and Chimney Paper Works.
Near Deep Water Bay, a Tile Works and area labeled "Cutting for Clay" is shown. Further ease is Cable House and the Golf Links.
At the far eastern side of the chart, the villages of Stanley and Taitam appear with several Joss Houses in the area and a policestation.
Lamma Island is largely unihabited, with a small Village, Joss House, Boat House and well noted on the northeast side near Lukchau (George Island). Sokku Wan (Picnic Bay), includes an area in the interior of the bay locating "nets".
The British Admiralty has produced nautical charts since 1795 under the auspices of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (HO). Its main task was to provide the Royal Navy with navigational products and service, but since 1821 it has also sold charts to the public.
In 1795, King George III appointed Alexander Dalrymple, a pedantic geographer, to consolidate, catalogue, and improve the Royal Navy’s charts. He produced the first chart as the Hydrographer to the Admiralty in 1802. Dalrymple, known for his sticky personality, served until his death in 1808, when he was succeeded by Captain Thomas Hurd. The HO has been run by naval officers ever since.
Hurd professionalized the office and increased its efficiency. He was succeeded by the Arctic explorer Captain William Parry in 1823. By 1825, the HO was offering over seven hundred charts and views for sale. Under Parry, the HO also began to participate in exploratory expeditions. The first was a joint French-Spanish-British trip to the South Atlantic, a voyage organized in part by the Royal Society of London.
In 1829, Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort was appointed Hydrographer Royal. Under his management, the HO introduced the wind force scale named for him, as well as began issuing official tide tables (1833). It was under Beaufort that HMS Beagle completed several surveying missions, including its most famous voyage commanded by Captain FitzRoy with Charles Darwin onboard. When Beaufort retired in 1855, the HO had nearly two thousand charts in its catalog.
Later in the nineteenth century, the HO supported the Challenger expedition, which is credited with helping to found the discipline of oceanography. The HO participated in the International Meridian Conference which decided on the Greenwich Meridian as the Prime Meridian. Regulation and standardization of oceanic and navigational measures continued into the twentieth century, with the HO participating at the first International Hydrographic Organization meeting in 1921.
During World War II, the HO chart making facility moved to Taunton, the first purpose-built building it ever inhabited. In 1953, the first purpose-built survey ship went to sea, the HMS Vidal. Today, there is an entire class of survey vessels that make up the Royal Navy’s Hydrographic Squadron. The HO began to computerize their charts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1968, the compilation staff also came to Taunton, and the HO continues to work from there today.