M. Tee

Regio Ltd



Historical maps allow unique insight into past landscapes, for such purpose they are the most accurate sources. Inclusion of historical maps in different research areas allows to extend data series over long times. The most important historical maps of Estonia have been digitized and part of them has been made available online.

There are lots of maps of Estonia from different ages: modern maps, which were published after 1990; maps which were printed in the period from the second half of the 19th century until 1990; maps from the first half of the 19th century; maps dating from the beginning of scientific cartography - 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; early maps, made before the 16th century.

For Regio Ltd the usage of old maps originated from reprinting and restoring historical cartographic materials at the end of the 1980s. Reprints of historically important maps, for example Ludwig August Mellins Atlas von Liefland (1798-1810), Carl Gottlieb Rückers and Johann H. Schmidts maps of province etc. were made.

The first attempts of digital cartography in Estonia were made at the beginning of the 1990s. The rasterized old-time topographic maps found some practical use as reference maps for land (property) reform. Regio has a full set of raster maps for all of Estonia from the middle of the 19th century: the Generalcharte von Estland (1839) and Specialcharte von Livland (1844) and from the beginning of the 20th century the Russian topographic map M 1:42000.

Internet solutions provide ample opportunities for usage of historical maps. The web-GIS (WGIS) is a comprehensive tool for delivering GIS and mapping functionality. In layman's terms, it is a kind of "smart map" on the World Wide Web.

Web-based technologies help to meet the goals of community-based or public participation GIS. Those types of systems significantly improve the ability of the public to use computer mapping and lead to greater participation. These advances in WGIS technology will actually lead to the increased public participation, transparency in government, geographic literacy and better data-driven decision-making by community-based organizations, communities of practice (CoP).

QVIZ is a collaborative time and map-based environment for accessing digital archival resources by usage of administrative units and building on the knowledge contributed by CoP. QVIZ will research and create a framework for visualizing and querying archival resources based on time-spatial and community contexts and for knowledge building using social software and knowledge technologies to contextualize these resources based on maps, Administrative units and knowledge from CoP.