BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China is set to launch its first national census of geographic conditions between 2013 and 2015, according to a Cabinet decision publicized Tuesday.
A State Council circular said the census will target natural and cultural elements on the Earth's surface within China's land territory.
Information on land features, vegetation, waters, deserts, and bare areas, as well as transport grids, residential areas and facilities, will be collected, the document said.
China aims to gather objective and accurate geographic information, thus providing basis for creating and carrying out national development plans and facilitating the country's ecological conservation efforts, it added.
Preparation work will be done within the couple of months to June 2013, followed by a 24-month phase-1 process through June 2015, which will feature data collection and processing, field investigations and information reviews.
In phase-2, scheduled between July and December 2015, the tasks will be sorting, gathering and analysis of information, and forming a census report.