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Review of the methods of cartographic presentation of warfare

Abstract

Maps, depicting the warfare, are elaborated according to the rules developed over the years. Although, they are not free of errors. The authors draw our attention to the diversity of methods related to the cartographic presentations, which are shown on the historical maps. This is quite understandable, because every such a map introduces an individual point of view on the historical facts. It is noted, that the most commonly used methods are the qualitative ones, among which, for instance, first of all, the method of signature is frequently used.

In the case of historical maps displaying an event in the specific sequence of times, a loss of cartographic information always occur. This is connected both with the complexity of historical facts and with the difficulty in reading a map, which should present the dynamics of this phenomenon in a complete way. The dynamic variables, such as the time of exposure, duration, frequency, order, degree of change and synchronisation, should be taken into account on the maps of warfare.

The use of information technology makes it possible to develop not only the simple maps presenting the course of warfare in the statistic and schematic ways, but also the maps, which are rich in various types of multimedia information.

Multimedia cartographic presentations can be enriched with the photos and panoramas showing the direct effects of warfare and the pseudo three-dimensional visualization showing the battle from a selected direction. The proprietary software let to combine the sequence of photos into a presentation, allowing to take a virtual tour of the areas directly affected by the hostilities. Network services, such as WMS, WFS, WCS, provide the integrated data from the different sources for us. So, we can connect the archival maps with the contemporary satellite images, defining, thus, the location of a specific place in the terrain.

The authors do not cover the issue of complexity connected with the elaboration of maps presenting the combat operations. The most important problems, which have not been discussed in this article, are the following ones: lack of base maps from the period to which the presented issues related, deliberate distortion of map contents, historical and cartographic imprecisions presented on the maps, appropriate selection of the methods of cartographic presentation related to the phenomena, which are presented on the maps.

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