This introductory chapter situates the rise of district-inspection in broader practices of colonial administration in Canada and the commonwealth. The chapter narrows in on three theses advanced in the manuscript. In particular, it argues that the emergence of the district as form of spatial documentation was crucial in reforming social vision between the eighteenth century and nineteenth century. In particular, the rise of district-inspection allowed population to emerge in HBC records as an object of administration. It also suggests outlines how the study will situate the district as development central to the formation of Canada’s political geography and operation as a colonial state.