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/.
Of the numerous applications of GIS, administration and public services count among the main fields of application. They are both the users and the owners of the largest amount of spatial data. Portals for higher authorities have been the subject of extensive discussions, but the development and possible use of GIS systems in the form of geoportals at local levels still seems to have been insufficiently discussed. This article presents the process of designing and developing a portal for the lowest authorities - local authorities and the local community. A small town in Poland, Sokółka, was assumed as the study area. The concept development was preceded by, among others: recognition of the needs of an administrative unit in conducting spatial policy; establishment of the objectives, functionalities and assumptions of the designed GIS; a SWOT analysis of the designed geoportal; and an analysis of data resources. Pilot implementation was completed with an evaluation of the geoportal encompassing various groups of potential users.