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“Carte-á-figure” maps of Poland: dates, states, and provenances

Abstract

After short introduction to carte-á-figure genre of maps discussed are three maps of Poland belonging to this category: the first state of Hondius’ Nova POLONIAE delineatio”, Visscher’s “Haec Tabula nova POLONIAE et SILESIAE, and Speed’s A NEWE MAPE OF POLAND. For the origin of the Hondius’ map a more precise range of dates is proposed. Question of the Visscher map’s order of states is clarified, supported by evidence from the author’s research. Finally, line of reasoning is presented and arguments quoted disproving widely held belief in priority of the Speed’s map over the Visscher’s. Also, dissimilarities between images of Silesia on Hondius’ and Visscher’s maps together with possible reasons of these are considered.

Open access
Political and administrative divisions of Ukrainian lands on the 16th century maps

Abstract

The author discusses the first maps of Ukrainian lands within the borders of various countries, reflecting their political and administrative division, which were published in the 16th century.

State and administration borders in Ukrainian territories were presented on the map of Southern Sarmatia (1526) by the Polish cartographer B. Wapowski and on the wall map of Europe (1554) by the Dutch cartographer G. Mercator. Maps by S. Münster and G. Gastaldi, including names of individual administrative units without reflecting state and administrative borders, were taken into account. A thorough analysis was carried out of the territorial division of Ukrainian territories on maps in the atlases by A. Ortelius (maps of Poland by W. Grodecki and A. Pograbka), on the maps of Lithuania and Taurica Chersonesus in the atlases by G. Mercator, including their subsequent adaptations. A number of inaccuracies regarding the location of state and administrative borders as well as names of administrative units have been revealed. Particular attention has been paid to the manner of presenting administrative borders.

It was established that in those times no special attention was paid to the presentation of political and administrative divisions on maps. During subsequent editions of maps, no national and administrative borders were updated. Maps could be published without changes for decades. Map publishers often borrowed unverified information, which led to duplication of errors.

Open access
Presentation of build-up areas on topographic maps of selected European countries

Abstract

The authors present a comparative analysis of presentation of build-up areas with conventional symbols on 60 civil European topographic maps. The above-mentioned maps are in different scales, from 1:10,000 to 1:100,000, and have been published in nineteen European countries and the autonomous community of Catalonia. The analysis has proved that the scope of characteristics of build-up areas presented on the analysed maps was very diverse, from qualitative and quantitative point of view (e.g. there were between 2 and 25 different categories on 1:10,000 maps). The 1:10,000 and 1:50,000 maps generally contain more information on the characteristics of build-up areas than 1:25,000 maps. The characteristics themselves are also very diversified (e.g. only 6 of them appear on more than half of the analysed maps – most often churches).

Polish maps stand out due to the fact that they contain particularly rich and consistent representation of both physiognomic characteristics and general functional characteristics of buildings and build-up areas at all the analysed scales.

Open access
The structure of Volume III of the National Atlas of Lithuania and techniques of cartographic visualization

Abstract

National atlases provide comprehensive information about nature, population, social and economic situation of the country. In 2017 the process of compiling and publishing the National Atlas of Lithuania (Lietuvos Nationalinis Atlasas) was finished. The goal of the authors is: in the context of the whole National Atlas to present a thorough analysis of the structure of content and cartographic visualization methods of Volume III. This volume focusses on social and economic phenomena in Lithuania. The authors discuss the principles of compiling the whole National Atlas of Lithuania and presents its structure in a concise manner. Following the classification of traditional mapping methods, specific examples of mapping in Volume III are presented, advantages of mapping techniques are discussed and the structural analysis of mapping methods is also conducted. The conclusions and the discussion part present the problems encountered while compiling Volume III as well as solutions to them.

Open access
Image data paradox – on the impact of the development of image-based remote sensing on the maps’ content in the Eastern Bloc. The case of Poland

Abstract

The authors examine the impact of the development of image-based remote sensing systems on the activities of state administrations in the cartographic production and making of geographical information publicly available in the Eastern Bloc countries. A convergence of cartography, secrecy, and power occurred during the Cold War. Through investigation of facts relevant to the acquisition image data of the Earth surface performed by the USA and the USSR, it aims to examine the key questions of why the logic behind the development of cartography in the Eastern Bloc countries after World War II was distorted. The lack of logic was reflected in the fact that the amount of information actually presented on maps decreased with an increase in the information about the surface of the Earth acquired by the means of remote sensing systems.

It was suggested that image data in the member states of the Eastern Bloc, in spite of their restricted use and a drop in the informational value of maps, was the main factor behind the creation, detail, and geometric accuracy of civilian maps. Proving this thesis involved analyzing the correlations between the achievements in the field of remote sensing and the quality of maps developed during the Cold War in the Eastern Bloc states.

Open access
Labels on coloured tactile maps (typhlomaps) – the Polish experiences

Abstract

The author presents the problems associated with geographical name conventions and labels on coloured tactile maps in atlas-type publications for the blind and visually impaired, based on the author’s many years of experience. The detailed description of the ‘keys’ system and Braille ‘abbreviations’ which Polish cartography uses in this type of works shows the benefits of using the system in the editing of map series. A framework of logical and intuitive ‘abbreviations’ presents many possibilities and makes maps easier to read. The system for connecting names of a particular ‘family’ of terms by using a two-letter abbreviation preceded by a unique ‘key’ should be a fundamental principle for creating sets of Braille ‘abbreviations’ for use in a given work. The author also highlights the need to use exonyms, since Braille’s basic alphabet has none of the diacritic characters which typify various languages, which hinders the correct transcription of certain names.

The proposed system for constructing ‘abbreviations’ and ‘keys’ may also be used effectively in individual town plans and maps to improve the communication of information. The comprehensive structure of this system also makes it easier to search through indexes of ‘abbreviations’ and their explanations.

All the described elements have an impact in raising the practical value of tactile maps.

Open access
New statistical atlases of voivodships and Poland

Abstract

In 2018, 100 years had passed since the Central Statistical Office of Poland (since 2017: Statistics Poland – GUS) was established. This anniversary was considered an opportunity for preparation of a series of cartographic publications, i.e. 16 statistical atlases of Polish voivodships (first order administrative units) and the Statistical atlas of Poland. Publication of such a series of atlases is a new undertaking in the history of Polish statistics – it involved both the employees of the head office of Statistics Poland in Warsaw and the staff of statistical offices in 16 voivodships.

Until 2018 Polish public statistics did not have many such publications. The first atlas publication of Central Statistical Office was Republic of Poland – statistical atlas released in 1930. The next Statistical atlas, covering all of Poland, was published only in 1970. Subsequent statistical atlases were published over 30 years later – the atlases of five voivodships, published in 2006−2016, and the Demographic atlas of Poland published in 2017.

Atlases for individual voivodships were prepared by the relevant regional statistical offices. The project was managed by the head office of Statistics Poland which prepared the guidelines and provided technical and substantive supervision. Due to different sizes of voivodships, the atlases were prepared in scales from 1:900,000 (Opolskie and Świętokrzyskie Voivodships) to 1:1,500,000 (Mazowieckie and Wielkopolskie Voivodships). A standard page contains a map of a voivodship divided into communes (gminas) or counties (powiats) and a map of Poland at the scale of 1:9,500,000 divided into voivodships. The number of pages of the voivodship atlas is 104 with 165 maps: 76 maps of voivodships, 76 maps of Poland, one administrative map of Poland at the scale of 1:3,800,000 and 12 maps of the European Union or Europe at the scale of 1:21,500,000.

The Statistical atlas of Poland was published in early July 2018. It consists of 216 pages, with 281 maps (full-page maps of Poland at the scale of 1:3,800,000, quarter-page maps of Poland at the scale of 1:9,000,000, full-page maps of Europe or the European Union at the scale of 1:21,500,000, and half-page world maps at the scale of 1:200,000,000) and 175 charts/graphs. Maps made by using quantitative cartographic presentation methods predominate in the atlas – choropleth and diagram methods are used most frequently (they are observed on 263 maps).

Statistical atlases of voivodships and the Statistical atlas of Poland count 1888 pages in total with 2934 maps, on which the development of the country is presented in relation to regional and local conditions. All atlases are bilingual, Polish-English. Publications printing was co-financed from EU funds within the Operational Programme Technical Assistance 2014–2020. Atlases are also available free of charge in the PDF format on the website of Statistics Poland: https://stat.gov.pl/statystyka-regionalna/publikacje-regionalne/podreczniki-atlasy/atlasy/.

Open access
Sources and methods of reconstruction of postal roads in the second half of the 18th century on the example of the former Lublin Voivodeship

Abstract

The subject of the article is reconstructing the routes of postal roads within the borders of the Lublin Voivodeship in the second half of the 18th century. The author has attempted to reconstruct the routes of postal roads, using the retrogression method and a cartographic research method with the use of GIS tools. For this purpose, manuscript cartographic and descriptive sources from the late 18th and 19th centuries were used. Cartographic material from the end of the 18th century in connection with descriptive sources constituted the basis for determining the existence of a postal connection. However, maps from the beginning of the 19th century constituted the basis for the reconstruction of the routes of postal roads. The obtained results allowed for the determination of the role of the Lublin Voivodeship in the old Polish communication system. The research has made us aware of the need for further in-depth work on communication in the pre--partition era (before 1795).

Open access
Work on the historical atlas of the sixteenth-century Poland

Abstract

The author begins with presentation of a programme of creating the detailed cartographic picture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 16th century, proposed by Stanisław Smolka from the Jagiellonian University at the first congress of Polish historians in Cracow in 1880. This initiative was partially realised in the atlas of Ruthenian lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the turn of the 16th and 17th century created by Aleksander Jabłonowski and printed in 1904 in Vienna. When Poland regained its independence, it became possible to organize further works. As their results two maps were designed, prepared and issued in the interwar period: the general map of the sixteenth-century Grand Duchy of Lithuania created by Jan Jakubowski, published in 1927 and 1928, and the map of Cracow Voivodship of the Four-Year Sejm period (1788–1792) elaborated by Karol Buczek with cooperation of several other persons and published in 1930 in Cracow.

The main topic of this article is a series of maps with commentaries prepared collectively in the Institute of History of Polish Academy of Sciences, entitled Atlas historyczny Polski. Mapy szczegółowe szesnastego wieku (Historical Atlas of Poland. Detailed maps of the 16th century) which includes Polish lands of the Crown. From the planned eight volumes with maps of individual voivodships or their groups, six were published successively in the years 1966–2018 and the last two are prepared for publishing in 2020. The author presents subject of the series and particularly contents of the main maps at the scale of 1:250,000.

This most detailed geographical and historical analysis of a large part of old Poland depicts the area in the 16th century, but it can also facilitate the process of gaining deeper knowledge about the history of these lands in the earlier and later centuries.

Open access
Continuous or discontinuous? Empirical study on animated maps

Abstract

Advancements in computer technology that have occurred in recent decades have enabled an intensive development in cartographic methods for direct representation of phenomena dynamics. Even with the appearance of ever more advanced technical solutions, the theoretical basis still needs supplementing. The previous cartographic literature emphasises the importance of congruence and isomorphism principles preservation that aims at increasing the effectiveness of dynamic displays. Nevertheless, it is frequently the case that discontinuous phenomena are depicted with the use of smooth transitions. For this reason, it is vital that experimental research should lead to defining which representation methods are appropriate for a given type of content. Our study was focused on the cartographic design of scene transitions in animated maps. Two main conclusions of the research indicate that 1) mode of transition influences the interpretation of the content of cartographic animation depicting discrete changes, 2) maps executed in a smooth mode demonstrate lower effectiveness when compared with animations using an abrupt and abrupt with decay effect transitions.

Open access