M.J. Kraak1, F.J. Ormeling2, W. Broeder3, E. MacGillavry4, W. Goorbergh5

1 - ITC – Department of Geo-Information Processing, Enschede, the Netherlands

2 - Utrecht University, Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands

3 - Landkaartje, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

4 - Webmapper, Utrecht, the Netherland

5 - Geografiek, Utrecht, the Netherlands


The current activities of the Foundation of the Scientific Atlas of the Netherlands concentrate on the problem how to create a near autonomous national atlas within the Geodata infrastructure. The objective is to use the geodata and geo-services available via the GDI to create (interactive) atlas maps. These maps act as any map in a national atlas but also function as an alternative entry to the GDI. This project has to overcome both technological a well as cartography problems. To solve the first problem a prototype atlas has been created in the framework of a recent PhD-project. This paper concentrates on the last recognized cartographic problems and discusses the automatic generation of interactive atlas maps according current web based design options.


One of the challenges using data available through the GDI is that although standards guarantee compatibility of the data, maps produced, if any, via available geo-services of different data providers will all have their own look. This will hamper an easy comparison of the maps. Some cartographic processing of the data to get comparable designs is required, because the ability to visually compare maps to understand relations between themes is one of the strengths of an atlas. In some cases this comparison can be realized used specific web design option like working with transparency to compare different layers, but sometimes one still need two maps next to each other to properly judge a potential relation.


The solution suggested is atlas design template. These templates should guarantee that all atlas maps are presented in a similar style which should make the maps easy comparable. In addition it should also assist in a simple semi-automatic update of the maps when new data becomes available. But the project has also the ambition to incorporate maps from previous national atlas editions to allow for temporal comparisons. As a side step the possibilities to export the maps to Google Earth will be discussed.