Ch'ên Fang-chi 陳芳績 (T. 亮工), geographer, was a native of Ch'ang-shu, Kiangsu. His grandfather, Ch'ên Mei 陳梅 (T. 鼎和明懷, 1579-1649), became a friend of Ku Yen-wu[q.v.] when the latter lived in Ch'ang-shu in 1644. Ku Yen-wu also wrote poems to Ch'ên Fang-chi, addressing him as pupil. Most likely Ch'ên Fang-chi was some ten years or more Ku's junior. At the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644 he abandoned preparations for the examinations, devoting himself to study and writing. As the family was poor he taught children for a living.
In 1668 he completed the topographical work, Li-tai ti-li Yen-ko piao 歷代地理沿革表, in 47 chüan, consisting of tables showing changes in place names from ancient times to the end of the Ming dynasty. It remained unprinted until 1833. Later it was included in the Kuang-ya ts'ung-shu (see under Chang Chih-tung). According to Liu Hsien-t'ing [q.v.] he also made a map of the post roads of the empire, entitled T'ien-hsia i-lu t'u 天下驛路圖.
[ Su-chou fu-chih 蘇州府志 (1883), 100/17b; Ku Yen-wu, 亭林餘集 T'ing-lin ch'u-chi in Ssŭ-p'u ts'ung-k'an (1923) ; Liu Hsien-t'ing, Kuang-ya tsa-chi, chüan 3, in Chi-fu ts'ung-shu ; Wylie, Notes, p. 63.]