Journal cover Journal topic
Advances in Cartography and GIScience of the ICA
Journal topic
Articles | Volume 3
29 Nov 2021
 | 29 Nov 2021

The effect of the Cold War era on maps for public use in the Eastern Bloc countries: Tourist maps

László Zentai and Gábor Gercsák

Keywords: tourist maps, topographic maps, Cold War era, secrecy

Abstract. Cartography of the Cold War era was very characteristic in the Eastern Bloc countries. The abnormal secrecy instructions forced by military cartographic authorities (following the Soviet advisors) influenced the making of all kinds of large- and medium-scale cartographic products for public use. Most of these maps were somehow distorted, although it was not easy to implement the technology of distortions developed by cartographers in the analogue map production era in the early 1960s. Tourist maps are expected to be created using topographic maps, but the access to classified topographic maps (both civilian and military) was limited for civilian users (even for civilian national mapping agencies, at least in the early years of the Cold War era). The tourist maps of this era were quite different from country to country in the Eastern Bloc, partly due to their cartographic traditions and to the relationships between the military and civilian cartography even influenced by the users’ demands.

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