The aim of the article was a comparison of the content’s scope, classification and presentation methods on topographical maps issued at the turn of 19th and 20th century covering the territory of former Russian partition. Three of such maps were chosen for the analysis, namely: Russian (scale 1:84,000), Austrian (scale 1:75,000) and German (scale 1:100,000). As a starting point of the study served an attempt at reconstruction of map legends, as, a coherent symbology key (i.e. map legend) can be found neither for Russian nor German map. It was conducted by employing the symbology keys prepared in the Interwar Period, as for the Russian map there was no legend enclosed, while in the case of German the legend enclosed featured only the road network. Apart from the legends, an analysis of the map sheets covering four areas was conducted. Those areas were, as follow: Brest, Dęblin, Pinsk and Pułtusk vicinites. The next stage was to elaborate a legend comparison with summary in the form of a table for particular thematic layers: settlement and built-up area, transport network, sacral buildings facilities and other buildings, land cover, hydrography, relief, and borders. An assumption was made that despite the apparent similarity of the scales (1:75,000, 1:84,000, 1:100,000) and source materials the maps analysed are distinct in terms of presentation of the geohistorical landscape. The settlements on the Russian map were illustrated in a schematic manner, while the other maps approached the subject more meticulously. The discrepancies involve also such areas as: road network, land cover, and waters, which were categorised along different sets of criterion. It happened that some categories present on the Russian map were absent from the Austrian and German. It involved such objects as: fascine roads, wooden churches or radiostations. Those differences stem from not only the “military mode” of elaboration of the German and Austrian map, but also conscious interference in the scope of content and classification methods.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.