Distorted Hiking Maps in Hungary between 19751990

Dr. Papp-Váry, Árpád

Hungarian Geographical Society

E-mail:pappvary@ t-online.hu

In 1965 the U.S.S.R. proposed, during the conference of the military and civilian mapping services of the socialist countries in Moscow, the total separation of military and civilian map production and use. In Hungary a ministerial order of 1973 ruled that maps classified open could only be published on the basis of a new map system. The maps of the new map system had a distorted structure. The films of topographic maps have been assembled through image transformation into a photomosaic system. When photographing the dislocated maps placed on a slanting plate, shortenings (reduction of coordinates) resulted at the raised portions, while elongations (extension of coordinates) occurred at the lowered parts. At the same time with stretching and shrinking right angles of coordinates were also eliminated. The stretching, detached map portions distanced from each other, were faced with shrinking lengths at meeting the adjoining sheet. Due to the fluctuating distortions, the extending and shrinking lengths the map became unsuited for exact measuring angles or distances. An enlarged version of the distorted map series had also to be used as basis for hiking maps.

These tourist maps were allowed to be produced at the scales of 1:40 000, 1:60 000 and 1:80 000 lest one would be able to overlay them on earlier military maps. Greater scale required greater density of content compared to the distorted compilation basis. Enrichment of content had to be adjusted to the distorted graphic scheme. Territories beyond national boundaries had to be left blank. Each map could represent a maximum territory of 1000 km². Scale of neighbouring sheets adjoining either exactly or with overlay were ordered to be different. The maps represented relief by contour lines of 50-metre intervals, but in the case of contour lines running at greater distances from each other halving and quartering contours were also allowed to be applied. Following 1990 earlier distorted hiking maps were reworked on the basis of topographic maps, resulting in undistorted new editions with 10-metre contour intervals.