THE USE OF TOURIST MAPS FOR THE STUDIES OF TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT BASED ON THE EXAMPLE OF THE POLISH TATRAS
K. Kalamucki, M. Pason
Department of Cartography, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland
One of the numerous functions performed by maps is a documentary function, which means that a map, also a tourist one, represents the state of geographical reality present at the time of map making. A map provides an inventory of this state.
The purpose of tourist maps proves their particular effectiveness in documenting the state of tourist infrastructure, tourist values and attractions. The development of tourist infrastructure in a given region frequently becomes a subject of studies. However, such studies are mainly based on the analysis of archive documents, especially textual ones while using maps for this purpose is rather rare, which does not mean that their usefulness is low. Therefore, undertaking such studies seems to be fully justified.
The purpose of the research is to test to what extent tourist maps can be useful for studying the development of tourist infrastructure. Another, equally important purpose, is to check the reliability of archive and contemporary tourist maps by comparing their content to other sources, mainly textual ones such as guide books and tourist information brochures. The studies involved the analysis of the content of eight maps edited in 1923 - 2004 depicting the Polish part of the Tatras.
The choice of the region of studies was dictated by the fact that the number of cartographic materials was the largest for the Polish Tatras compared to all other tourist regions in Poland as it was in the Tatras where Polish tourism originated.
The analysis of the map content involved studying the location of tourist infrastructure objects and the routes of tourist trails. Presenting a given object on the map as well as its proper positioning was checked. The length and the route of tourist trails were documented together with the arrangement of tourist infrastructure along them.
The studies showed non-uniform development of tourist night lodging objects. Periods of increase in the number of such objects and periods of its distinct decrease were recorded. The maps also enabled to discern changes of functions of the mentioned objects. The maps constructed for studying the length and the routes of tourist trails proved to be most useful. The lengths were measured and totalled and the values were compared to those on the maps from successive periods. Other types of tourist trails were observed, e.g. cycle lanes. The map analysis proved to be extremely useful for studying skiing infrastructure (ski lifts, ski runs and ski trails).
The above analysis also enabled the assessment of tourist maps reliability. Many of them did not depict the tourist content, they often lacked objects which existed in a given period, which was confirmed by the studies of other archive documents. However, in most cases, maps constituted a very reliable and most essential source of archive information. They were irreplaceable in the studies on the spatial development of tourist infrastructure.