I. Krauze-Tomczyk, J. Karpinska

Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography, Poland


Geographical atlas of Europe for blind and handicapped people is the next typhlological publication issued at the end of 2006 by the Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography in collaboration with the Polish Association of Blind People.

The important feature of this atlas is to present its contents in such a way, that the maps could be readable by blind, handicapped and non-handicapped people. It was possible due to applying modern technology of printing on the special explosive paper, which enables to combine convex map elements with colour surfaces.

Geographical atlas of Europe consists of 2 map volumes and 4 appendices, containing explanations to the atlas contents.

Atlas has the general geographic character including information related to location of Europe on Earth globe and the selected elements of geographical environment: terrain relief, river drainage system political division and settlements for the whole continent, as well as for particular regions.

Cartographic part of atlas is composed of 46 sheets (A3 format) grouped into three thematic sections:

In Section 1 location of Europe on the Earth globe is presented. This section includes sheets with cartographic grid, map of the world and map of Europe with fragments of adjoining continents.

In Section 2 Europe in various thematic aspects is presented. The following maps are here included: general map of continent with coastal line, main rivers and cartographic grid, map of relief, hydrographic map, map of political division, map of settlements.

Section 3 contains 35 sheets presenting overview of 19 regions of Europe; most of them are demonstrated on two maps: general map and map of relief. General map includes the following elements: rivers, lakes, main cities and regions. Map of relief presents areas above 200 m a.s.l., location of the most important mountain ranges, the highest peaks and elements characteristic for particular regions, e.g. groups of lakes, wetlands or diversified coastal line.

The publication also comprises 4 appendices including explanations to the atlas, geographical descriptions to particular maps and regions of Europe, list of Braille abbreviations and index of all geographical names existing in the atlas.