National atlas of Sweden
The greatest event in the cartography of Sweden is the publication in April 1990 of the first volume of the encyclopaedic National atlas of Sweden. This atlas will cover all aspects of Swedish geography in 17 volumes, to be published before 1996. The first volume, Sveriges kartor is a general and historical survey of Swedish mapping. It is also issued in an English edition (Maps and mapping, ISBN 91-87760-02-9). A new map of Sweden on the scale 1:700,000, which has been the subject of some debate, was added to the first volume.
A PC version of the atlas is at the same time being developed at the Institute of Geography of the Stockholm University. It is in fact a mini-GIS at a very low price (SEK 1,000), intended for schools, libraries and the general public. The map of this PC atlas has been modelled thus, that one may have a general survey of Sweden in one window and at the same time a detailed map of a smaller area in another window. Reducing or enlarging are uncomplicated functions, done by redefining the limits of the inset map. To avoid scawly pictures at small scales, a 'generalizing function' adapts the representation of details to the scale interval; that means the larger the scale, the more detailed the map picture.
There are several differences between the printed map and the PC version, e.g. the location of place-names. The printed map contains more than 10,000 names. But the location of a name is independent of the scale, so it may seem to be further away from the place ( city &c) at the larger scales.
The PC version has some advantages that are lacking in the books: e.g. one can measure distances and surfaces; one can transform co-ordinates; one can import one's own data and choose ones own thematic presentation; one can add a map catalogue and import ones own catalogue entries.
Some institutions were interested from the beginning to give support to the map catalogue: concerning modern maps there was the National Land Survey, the producers of charts, geological, meteorological, hydrographical and satellite maps; concerning old maps -for the time being only the Military Archives, Stockholm.
The Militairy Archives are now engaged on re-cataloguing their old (especially manuscript) maps to be adapted to the search system of the PC Atlas. Besides the place names, co-ordinates, scales &c one can find the names of authors, engravers, publishers, mapping techniques, year of edition, information on watermark, artistic cartouches, remarks on the map's peculiarities, provenance &c. It is the hope that other institutions, holding old maps, will! follow the initiative of the Military Archives. The Map Department of the Royal Library wil1 do so, as well! as the research archives of the National Land Survey at Gävle.
At the Royal Library the National Bibliography of Maps is being produced in due course. The fourth issue appeared last spring (English title is Swedish printed maps 1989 ISSN 0283-9547). It is part of the annual bibliography of books, and some 150 offprint are also sent out on subscription. Size is the same as before: 31 pages, 190 higher and 500 lower level entries.
The Royal Library has started a close cooperation with the PC Atlas to deliver catalogue entries and to be able to use the PC Atlas as a graphic interface for the local map catalogue and for the National Bibliography. This project was present at the IFLA conference in August 1990, which contained also a quite successful workshop on mapping and spatial information in Sweden, with presentations by several mapping agencies and researchers and with demonstration of the PC Atlas and two other computerized presentation systems.
At Uppsala University the Department of Maps and Prints obtained in 1990 equipment for the cornputerized cataloguing of maps. In spring 1991 -after completing the educational programme started in 1990- the department will! link up with the LIBRIS system for the registration of maps in the National Bibliography by adding information of the more recent Swedish maps in the possession of the Uppsala University Library. The plans for the future are to register at least text data on the collection of manuscript maps in the PC Atlas.
There has appeared an academic dissertation at Uppsala on the history of geodesy and mapping in Sweden 1695-1860 (Sven Widmalm, Mellan kartan och verkligheten, 1990)
The historical! section of the Swedish Cartographic Society has established itself more firmly with a working group and study meetings as a preparation for the Imago Mundi conference in 1991. Chairrnan is Ulla Ehrensvärd.
A guide to Swedish map collections is on its conclusion and will! be published in 1991.
Göran Bäärnhielm, Royal Library, Stockholm