CARTOGRAPHIC RESULTS OF G.L. MAJDEL’S EXPEDITION IN THE YAKUT PROVINCE IN 1868 – 1870
1 - St.-Petersburg State University, Faculty of Cartography, St.-Petersburg, Russia
2 - Institute of History of Natural Sciences and Engineering after Prof. S.I.Vavilov of the Russian Academy of Science, the Department of History of Sciences about the Earth, Moscow, Russia
German Ljudvigovich Majadel (1835-1894), graduate of Derpt University, was the official under the special commissions at the Irkutsk Governor in 1860, and law-enforcement official of Kolyma and district Vilyuisk of the Yakut province in 1862-1870, Head of the Chukotski expedition of the Russian Geographical Society Siberian department, in 1868-1870.
Results of expedition have been published in St.-Petersburg in 1896 in two volumes. The atlas containing 4 maps and the systematic list of the rivers was included in the second volume. The volume contains the extensive information on geography of Yakutia and is the first capacious and detailed geographical description of the Yakut Province in a whole as administrative unit of the vast, remote province difficult in access.
Presence of the atlas as the composite part of published scientifically geographic work was a characteristic feature of that time. Atlases of such kind usually included maps of various territorial scope and the contents, also others not cartographic materials. Majadel’s Atlas though it is small on volume, is especially valuable, as it contains the most complete and correct for that time common map, a map of astronomical points, the systematic list of the Yakut Province Rivers.
Deeply perceiving significance of a map in geographical knowledge and management of so extensive spaces, G.L.Majadel gives in his work the important place to the information on compilation of a general map of the Yakut Province. Being aware of Province study geographic and cartographic level Majdel conducts detailed revision of earlier cartographic works, seeking to state them an objective evaluation.
For compilation of the Yakut Province new general map in scale of 100 versts in one English inch, as initial basis Majadel took pages III, IV of the 1884 General Staff Maps of the Asian Russia. Critically estimating this map, the author has set the task, first of all, to update and add orography of the Yakut Province.
The common map of the Yakut Province should be accepted indissolubly with the systematic list of the rivers on basins whereas «to inscribe on a map all names of the rivers it has appeared impossible». The Majadel’s system of the rivers considerably surpasses earlier sources, including maps by quantity of the rivers and their names.
For demonstrating confidence level of the Yakut Province general map, Majadel has compiled «The Special Survey Map» - «The Map of the Astronomical Points Determined in Both Coordinates, and Travels Accomplished in the Yakut Province». All the Astronomical points known for that period and paths of the travelers and researchers who made measurements, observations and surveys are in it designed.
Large-scale (25 versts in English inch) cartographic maps of the atlas - «Limnetic Province Between the Rivers Kolyma and Large Kovthethj (Ulakhan Khomos Irjakh) and on the Left Coast of Kolyma», «Limnetic Province Between the Rivers Ujandinoj and Selencnj - Khom», «The Taryn Map along Rivers Kyra and Njekhan» are also not less interesting.
Cartographical results of G.Majadel expedition have fixed a level of Yakutia geographical study by the end of XIX century. His work remained the unique summary of scientific activity on geography of Yakutia up to the middle of XX century, completing the period of semi-instrumental cartographical activities. Then, in the first half of XX century, in terrain of Yakutia surveying and cartographic works have been organized in full force.