J. Cajthaml, J. Krejci

CTU in Prague, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Mapping and Cartography


Old maps are powerful source of valuable information about landscape. Traditionally, these maps are stored in archives in paper form. Beside the implementation of the Internet into common life, cartography has begun to occupy the new area of interest – Internet applications and services. Old maps can be viewed on the Internet, they can be compared with other maps and within the frame of web map services they can be even distributed. Just the distribution of the old maps is the step into the future. Then, old maps could be widely and very easily used. Typical users could be environmentalists, historians or interested persons.


In Czech Republic we have a variety of the old maps from the era of Austria-Hungarian Empire. For better efficiency in using of these maps, new applications are being developed at the CTU in Prague. Using our contemporary applications, everyone can view maps of 2nd military mapping (1806-1869), can search for the village or can compare these maps with some other data – everything only within the web browser. The data is also distributed within the frame of web map services in national coordinate system S-JTSK in order that everyone in the Czech Republic can join this data into his own GIS application. Using this model, the data can be used in the Internet or in common desktop GIS connected to the internet.


Our research is focused on old maps digitizing (scanning or vectorization), georeferencing of these maps and their publishing on the Internet including WMS distribution. Our aim is to create general model of the whole process of old maps manipulation (from scanning to Internet applications). As we see in our country, old maps are still very interesting for many people and so we think, old maps should be more accesible than till now. That is the main reason why we are interestred in this field of research.