T. Lunden1, G. Beconyte2, M. Govorov3

1 - Sodertorn University College, SE-141 89 Huddinge Sweden, email:

2 - Centre for Cartography, Vilnius University, M.K. Ciurlionio 21/27, LT-03101 Vilnius, Lithuania, e-mail:

3 - Malaspina University-College, Geography Department, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, V9R 5S5, Canada, email:


The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) has long been important in many aspects. From the ancient times it played a significant role in navigation and trade in Europe. In the Middle Ages the BSR was synonymous with the Hanseatic League. Nowadays, in the beginning of the 3rd millennium, the region has not lost its political and economic significance in the world and in Europe particularly. The BSR is the first region in the world that has adopted common regional goals for sustainable development. It is estimated that there will be a considerable increase in the number of regional geographic information strategies being implemented through the world in the next ten years. It will naturally raise interest in synthetic geographic information on the BSR, as on one of the most developed regions in the world. 

Atlas of the Baltic Sea Region (ABSR) has been planned as a complex and consistent cartographic edition, containing over 400 maps, charts, texts, illustrations and other materials with a purpose to represent the region as a whole in the best way possible. Nature, infrastructure, demographic, socio-cultural, political and economic situation of the region will be comprehensively represented in the Atlas. Each of seven major themes will be unfolded in several aspects:

  1. General representation within a larger context (EU, Europe, Eurasia, World).
  2. Areas and/or objects of specific interest within the theme (cities, heritage sites, characteristic territorial structures etc.).
  3. History of development, including different viewpoints.
  4. Current situation.
  5. Development plan, outlook, prognosis (where apply).

The goal of the project is representing different aspects of the BSR as of an entity in the form of geographic atlas featuring the most important aspects of the region. It corresponds to the following short-term objectives:

  1. Creation and maintenance of a permanent information system and digital database of the BSR.
  2. Creation and making available to public a collection of maps, compiled from the database.

In pursuit of these objectives, the following general tasks must be performed:

  1. Choice of the best international co-operation scenario for the ABSR project.
  2. Design, development and maintenance of information system and business model of the atlas.
  3. Design of thematic GIS database of the Baltic Sea region.
  4. Selection, analysis and synthesis of geographic data.
  5. Collection of additional non-geographic information.
  6. Cartographic visualization of geographic data.
  7. Design and publishing of printed atlas.