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Map Archive of Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny 1919 - 1939

Non-commercial project with scans of maps and geographic materials published by the Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny (WIG), 1919 - 1939.


medallion front medallion rear Recognition for our work. More here.


13 June 2021 - map update
nowy From the collection of the National Library of Poland (polona.pl), about 500 sheets of the German 1:100,000 copies of Polish tactical map by WIG, mostly in black and white. The originals bear pre-WW2 dates and their copies are undated, so with no specific information from written German sources, we can assume dating as approx. 1939.
27 May 2021 - map update
nowy A new update, courtesy of the (digital) National Library of Poland (polona.pl), approx. 1700 scans of the Poland's flagship 'tactical map' by the Military Geographic Institute (WIG). An overwhelming majority of sheets are already available from other collections, but it was worth adding the new ones as they are generally scanned very well, and at high resolution (600 dpi).
The sheets are available in three sub-categories:
- WIG 100 000 - main set, 1921 - 1939 (index sheet is here)
- WIG 100 000 - early (1920 - 1925) reproductions based on earlier, Russian maps (cut along different sheet lines). Index here.
- black & white reproductions by WIG in Edinburg (1941 - 1943) as well as sheets produced by the Poland's underground AK (Home Army), approx. in 1942-43 See Index.

What's left behind to add is the German copies of WIG 1:100,000 series, mainly in black & white. These should become available within the next few weeks.

23th March 2021 - map update
nowy Approx. 550 sheets of the Austro-Hungarian 1:75,000 Spezialkarte 1:75 000 map - through the digital library of the National Library of Poland, but from the collection of the Jagiellonian University of Krakow. Unfortunately, the sheets do not plug missing areas in the index sheets, they are high-resolution (600 dpi) versions of the 300 dpi sheets we already have from the same source.

We have had some requests to fill in gaps in the coverage of German 1:25,000 topo maps from the western part of the country. To do that, we used scans from the Canadian McMaster University 600 dpi) as well as the University of Berkeley, California (300 dpi), plus a few dozens of sheets from our own collection (600 dpi). In total, approx. 3,100 sheets which are available via „Topographische Karte / Messtischblatt - Germany”. Some 25 sheets or more from the border area of Holland and France ‘spilled’ over the edge of the known world, because our index sheet does not extend far enough to the west. These sheets are available via map list and marked on the list as ‘empty’ (though they are not). And for the continuous, year-round,,spring cleaning, we have added several sheets of the GSGS 4144 (Germany 1:25 000).
To clarify, we are not working on, or planning to provide full coverage of either original (i.e. German) or Allied (AMS / GSGS) series covering the territory of Germany, given the number of sheets and editions runs into dozens of thousands...
And, while working on the above, it was hard to notice a gap in coverage that is Bavaria (Bayern). Fortunately, courtesy of the University of Berkeley library, we were able to provide approx. 320 sheets of a 1:25,000 map of Bavaria (Topogr. Karte von Bayern w skali 1:25 000), cut along different lines to the regular German Topographische Karte. The sheets from Berkeley are at 300 dpi, plus approx. 25 sheets from our own collection, at 600 dpi. Since we don't have our own index sheet, the maps are available as a list, and the coverage (approx.) can be checked on original German index sheets from 1944 below the list.

14th March 2021 - map update
nowy From the collection of the National Library of Poland (polona.pl) we have added a large number of German 1:25,000 maps (Topographische Karte / Messtischblatt)
- approx. 980 original German editions and around 130 post-WW2 Polish re-prints (usually with change of main place-names), published / printed by the Polish Główny Urząd Pomiarów Kraju, GUPK (Head Office of Land Survey) dated 1946 - 1948
- approx. 20 re-printed editions published by the Polish Dowództwo Głów. Kartografja Poznań (1919 - 1920), and a few others which are possibly reprints from the same source. We don't have an index sheets for this batch, and don't expect to located detailed information about the coverage (though it can be assumed to cover the areas contested by Germany and Poland directly post-WW1. Therefore, for better or worse, the sheets have been placed together with (early) WIG 1:25,000 editions.
- a few dozen of sheets from the area of Germany west of the Oder river arkuszy z terenu Niemiec na zachód od Odry - this batch also includes post-WW2 Polish reprints by GUPK. Also, approx. 50 German sheets from the collection of Brigham Young University w Utah and further 24 German sheets from the collection of the Archiwum Państwowe (State Archive), Poznań, Poland. Unfortunately, a few sheets from the Utah collection shows the areas that were contested, historically, by France and Germany, so we... ran out of the index, and these sheets are only available via above-linked list.
23 February 2021 - map update
nowy A new batch of W.I.G. maps from the National Library of Poland, via their digital arm, polona.pl:
- a few dozen older editions of WIG 1:25,000 maps, produced in mid-1920s),
- approx. 40 original K.u.K. 1:25 000 sheets (hard to verify, as they look quite similar to the mid-1920s re-prints by WIG)

With some exceptions, most newly-added maps are already available, from other sources. However, the new copies are very well-scanned at 600 dpi resolution, so they're highly recommended.

The update also included sheets from a mini-set of Poland and neighbouring countries (1:1,000 000), published by WIG in Edinburgh, in 1943.

And, to continue with small-scale, several sheets of the WIG 1:1,000 000 International Map of the World
- AS WELL AS one, German, undated reprint of the abovementioned 1:1,000 000 sheet "LWOW (LEMBERG)", original Polish date is 1938, most probably re-printed by 1940.
11 February 2021
nowy From the collection of digital National Library of Poland (polona.pl) we have added approx. 500 - 600 sheets of the German 1:100,000 map, so-called „Generalstabskarte” (Karte des Deutschen Reiches), most of the sheets from the area of north-west and south-west Poland. There is nothing particular about individual sheets, other than a few with hand-drawn, planned, local railway lines (Bahnstrecke), a few more with maps with overprinted, new place-names (Namensänderungen), as well as sheet No 421 Löwenberg (Lwówek Śląski), with hand-added, post-WW2 updates, which were later introduced in the Polish, post-WW2 1:100,000 series called “Borowa Góra”.
The update also includes approx. 40 German sheets in the same format and size, produced in 1940 - 1942, as German, colour copies of pre-WW2 WIG 1:100,000 maps. The sheets cover the area of Poland annexed into 3rd Reich in 1939 and also referred to as, “Karte des Deutschen Reiches”. They do not contain any updates, other than some place-names changes into German.

From the same collection, we have added up to 40 other, 1:100,000 German maps, such as
Kreiskarten
Umgebungskarten
Manöverkarten (maps produced for large-scale military manouvers)

Please note: the manouver-maps are large, and scanned at 600 dpi, so indivudal jpg files can reach up to 100 - 120 Mb.

Also, from polona.pl:
2 sheets of a road edition of WIG 1:300,000 map, produced, but abandoned by late 1920s.
approx. 130 sheets of the WIG 1:300,000, so-called operational map, plus approx. 20 sheets published by WIG in Edinburgh, during WW2, as well as a couple of sheets produced by the Home Army secret map unit in occupied Poland (BOM)
around 40 British, WW2 copies of WIG 1:300,000 (Poland 1:300,000, GSGSG 4172), dated 1941 - 1943
approx. 50 sheets of WIG 1:500,000 map of Poland and adjacent countries, both standard, air edition, and a few extra sheets published by WIG in Edinburgh.


26 January 2021 - map update
xyz

From the collection of the Digital National Library of Poland (polona.pl) we have added approx. 300+ sheets of the German 1:100,000 map (Grossblatt / Einheitsblatt). Please be aware! - the maps were scanned at 600 dpi, so the jpg files range from 60 - 100 Mb. This is very likely to cause problems when you try to open the files in your browser (left-click) as browsers are not designed to handle such large files. We would recommend downloading and saving files on your computer (RIGHT-CLICK / save as...).

31 December 2020 - map update
1

A small, Christmas update: approx. 130 small-scale US maps dated 1942 - 1953. Originally most sheets were produced by the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) and Department of State, and from 1947 onwards, by CIA. The maps are mainly related to strategic and geopolitical events unfolding in Central and Eastern Europe. It is a rather subjective selection, including some, somewhat unusual in 2020, like a series of maps of the USSR showing areas "off-limits" to foreigners (by the look of it, about 90%). The recurring motif is, naturally, cold-come-hot war, sometimes only hovering in the wings, elsewhere, displayed bluntly. 600 dpi scans come from the University of Stanford, California, libraries, while 300 dpi from the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Other, similar (and dissimilar) maps can be viewed and downloaded (save target as...) at NARA website (currently approx. 3000 maps)

A certain... "supplement" is a set of 9 sheets, one-colour reproduction of WIG 1:300,000 maps. This "edition" comes from 1946 r. in the US Department of State, and they show a new, "eastern boundary of Poland" with the USSR.

And, in a staggered update, courtesy of the McMaster University of Canada, approx. 200 Soviet 1:100 000 maps (including, at least several Finnish reproductions dated 1940 - 1942, for rather obvious context) as well as 37 German, WW2 variants, i.e. Russland 1:100 000 dated 1941 - 1943.

And, for the very, very end of this rather unusual year... a minor update - a preview of what's coming in 2021 (the clue here is the name of the collection ;)


19 October 2020 - map update
up From the collection of Berkeley Library, University of California, several hundred sheets of the German 1:300,000 Übersichtskarte von Mitteleuropa, dated 1913 - 1945.
- Approx. 300 individual sheets (Einzelblatt)
Because Europe is fairly large and some sheets are irregular in size, new scans are available via three index sheets:
- Western, Central, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia
- Central and South Europe
- Western and Central Europe, a few irregular sheets
Original, German index sheets can be found at the bottom of map indexes and lists. All scans 300 dpi.



14 October 2020 - map update
nowy_update From the collection of Berkeley Library, University of California we have added sheets from four map series:
1. Grossblatt / Einheitsblatt (approx. 330 sheets)
2. Umgebungskarte Norwegen (1:25,000 and 1:50,000) - approx. 50 sheets
For better orientation, the list of maps of Norway includes, at the bottom, a few German index sheets dated 1941 and 1944
3. Topographische Karte (Messtischblatt), 1:25,000, approx. 1500 sheets from East Germany and occupied Poland:
- approx. 800 sheets by the Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme, including 45 coloured sheets (mehrfarbig)
- approx. 150 arkuszy "Planblatt A" (Geheim), from the areas covered by German fortification lines. Please note, this edition does NOT show actual fortifications!
- approx. 400 sheets of the military edition (Deutsche Heereskarte), dated 1944 and 1945
- approx. 50 wydań Königliche Preussische Landesaufnahme, by 1917
- approx. 100 reprinted sheets (often with changed place-names, mostly from the area of the so-called Polish corridor, printed in August 1944 by stellvertr. Generalkommando XX. A.K., Abtlg. Ia Mess/Mil.-Geo. Danzig

24th September 2020 - town plans update
1 We have added several hundred plans from digital libraries in the following categories:
1. Central Europe
2. The Baltics
3. European Russia
4. The Balkans
5. Germany
6. Other (generally, the Mediterranean)
7. WW2 Allied town plans from Western Europe:
- Italy (GSGS 4378 Sardinia, 4379 Sicilia, 4380 Italy)
- France (GSGS 4334 France, GSGS 4381 Corsica) as well as town plans & plans of ports by OSS (Office of Strategic Services, later reformed as CIA)
- Germany (GSGS 4480)
- Austria (GSGS 4483 / AMS M981)
- Yugoslavia, AMS M903 and OSS plans (both WW2 and from 1990s)
- Albania (GSGS 4415) and Greece, GSGS 4457)
8. several sheets of the British map of Malta, 1:2,500 scale (from our own collection)
9. a few missing sheets of the British map of Istanbul and surrounding areas 1:25,000 dated 1944

A few comments: when downloading town plans sourced from digital libraries it is not recommend to rely on resolution information presented in file metadata. Usual, the actual resolution is much higher than declared. Moreover (this applies particularly to digital libraries in Poland), high compression rate used by those libraries means that even high-resolution files can be very poor quality images. Unfortunately, there's no rhyme or reason, i.e. some files from one library can be excellent, while others - from the very same library - are very poor.

And for those disappointed with lack of new (historical) maps... well, take a look at links below:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
The files in the links above can be downloaded, but not from the actual zoomable window but from the file list at the bottom of those pages. Scans are only 300 dpi, but very well scanned.
Other German maps scanned and recently made available by the Berkeley Library (University of California) can be found here. The Library will scan and add new files, but specific dates are unknown, in one word - covid.
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03/21/2020 14:55
What's up, Marek? What are you working on? Hope all is OK.

01/26/2019 14:42
Hi: Are there any other maps showing parishes such as: Andrzej Tomczak Siec parafialna Wojewoddztwa pomorskiego Okregu bytowskiego I leborskiego W drugiej polowie xvi wieku Skala 1:300. Thanks

12/04/2017 15:22
peut-on obtenir la carte détaillée de la frontičre Est suite au traité de Brest-litovsk ? merci d'avance

09/10/2017 04:54
Can I get some guidance on the projection that WIG cartographers used on the 1 to 100,000 maps?

04/02/2017 23:15
osowiec

03/17/2017 11:34
@JMisiewicz I tried to send an e-mail, but got an auto-response: "The e-mail address you entered couldn't be found" If you want to get in touch, please use e-mail (see left)

03/16/2017 18:10
I think we need to drill into this... Please check for my e-mail in your inbox! Smile

03/09/2017 16:41
Hello Marek. I am referring to the Ossada settlements created by Marshal Pilsudski in the Kresy after the 1920 Polish-Soviet war. I am hoping that there exists a map showing the location of these Ossa

03/02/2017 17:27
"Ossadas" is a very generic name (settlements), likewise "Kresy" which stretch from current Lithuania down to Ukraine. Anything more specific?

02/25/2017 11:49
Dzień dobry Marek. Czy Archive mają żadnych mapy przedstawiając
e lokalizację Ossadas w staropolskim Kressy (sprzed wojny)? Dziękuję, Julian.